X’s death spiral appears to be in full swing, with the company resorting to disguised ads that can’t be blocked or reported.
X has been struggling since Elon Musk took over, with advertising revenue plummeting, former executives suing for unpaid bills, former employees accusing the company of not honoring severance packages, and landlords suing the company for defaulting on lease agreements.
Amid the dumpster fire that has become Musk’s ownership of the social media platform, it appears X is now resorting to disguised ads that cannot be blocked or reported, according to Mashable.
Multiple X users have reached out to Mashable over the past few days to report seeing a new type of ad in their For You feed that they had not previously come across on the platform. These new X ads don’t allow users to like or retweet the ad posts. In fact, the new ad format also doesn’t disclose who is behind the ad or that it is even an advertisement at all.
Mashable was able to confirm the presence of these ads, as well as their spammy, click-bait nature:
Mashable has confirmed this ad format with numerous users from across X and have seen a variety of different ads running this bizarre new format that just consists of written copy text, a photo, and a fake avatar that’s sole purpose is to make the ad look like an organically posted tweet.
The type of content being promoted in the ads that Mashable has viewed appear to be consistent with ads found in spammy, low quality “chumbox” advertising – typically defined as those clickbait ads found at the bottom of posts on content farm sites – made popular by native ad networks like Taboola.
The ads are a new low for X and the latest indication that users should start moving to other platforms, such as Mastodon.