San Francisco, Nov 28

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nstagram's algorithm, which shows reels as per the users' interest, has offered sexually explicit content, including provocative footage of children as well as overtly sexual adult videos and advertisements for some of the biggest American brands, according to an experiment conducted by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

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WSJ conducted the experiment to see what Instagram's Reels algorithm would recommend to test accounts set up to follow exclusively "young gymnasts, cheerleaders, and other teen and preteen influencers active on the platform".

Furthermore, these salacious ads were also mixed in with ads for well-known US brands, including Walt Disney, Walmart, Pizza Hut, Bumble, Match Group, and even WSJ.

The report added that the Canadian Centre for Child Protection achieved similar results with its own tests separately.

While Walmart and Pizza Hut declined to comment, Bumble, Match Group, Hims, and Disney have either pulled their ads from Meta or pressed the firm to address the issue.

The company "would never intentionally advertise adjacent to inappropriate content", and that the company is suspending its ads across Meta’s platforms, Robbie McKay, a spokesman for Bumble, was quoted as saying.

According to Charlie Cain, Disney's vice president of brand management, the company has imposed rigorous boundaries on what social media content is appropriate for advertising and has pressured Meta and other platforms to strengthen brand-safety features, the report mentioned.

In response, Meta informed its clients that it was investigating and that it "would pay for brand-safety auditing services to determine how often a company’s ads appear beside content it considers unacceptable."

However, the company did not provide a schedule or specifics for future prevention. Recently, several companies have halted their ads on X after Elon Musk endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

According to the internal documents seen by The New York Times, X could lose as much as $75 million in advertising revenue by the end of the year as dozens of major brands pull out their marketing campaigns.

More than 200 ad units of companies from the likes of Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and others have halted or are considering pausing their ads on X, according to the report.

Insta's algorithm offers child-sexualising reels to followers of teen influencers: Report

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