Twitter is giving brands a closer look at where ads run on the service to check if any bad tweets surround promoted posts, which is the first major brand safety update since Elon Musk bought the company. Twitter’s new safety tools come through partnerships with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science, announced on Wednesday, that may help Twitter start to unravel the exodus of brands that depleted its ad revenue in recent months.
“We look at the tweets before and after an ad,” said Mark Zagorski, DoubleVerify CEO, in an interview this week, describing the new product, “to ensure that brand safety and suitability filters, that the advertisers had built with Twitter, were adhered to.”
Twitter has always been an uncertain place for advertisers, just like much of social media, where brand messages intermingle with comments from everyday users. Twitter has been working on brand safety controls for more than two years, as advertisers have been clamoring for more details about the context in which ads appear. For instance, family-friendly brands don’t want promoted tweets to run near posts that contain profanity, hate speech or offensive imagery.
In October, after Musk finalized his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, brands grew even more worried about the environment. Musk implemented less restrictive moderation policies and unbanned thousands of accounts that the previous Twitter regime had blocked for violating its rules. Musk has been vocal about his desire to give Twitter users a wider berth to spout their opinions without running into terms of service violations. Brands feared that could mean more exposure to offensive speech.