Twitter X
A new report by The Washington Post shows Democratic candidates have spent over a million dollars to run political ads on X. Pexels

It is no secret that high-profile brands are pulling their paid ad campaigns from Elon Musk-owned social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

Despite radically overhauling its ad strategy, the company has failed to address advertisers' concerns, which surfaced after Musk endorsed an antisemitic and hateful post.

However, it looks like all is not lost for the once-illustrious website. According to a new report by The Washington Post, Democrats running for office haven't stopped pumping ad dollars into X.

After analysing ad disclosure data provided by X, The Washington Post found that Democrats have been spending a considerable amount of money to run several political ads on X since the platform stopped blocking such messages earlier this year under Musk's leadership.

This unlikely group includes Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), Daniel S. Goldman (D-N.Y.) and Musk's other critics on the left, who accused the platform of "profiting off" of "terrorist propaganda" last month.

X (Twitter) hasn't lost its lustre

These ads, which were taken out by over fifty Democratic candidates, campaigns and party organisations across federal, state and local elections, imply that most liberal politicians are willing to ignore their party leaders' problems with Musk.

On the contrary, they haven't shied away from paying Musk's company to reach out to potential voters and donors on X. This is a major sign that X is still viewed as an important campaign messaging tool.

Spokesman for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and co-founder of the left-leaning advocacy group, Accountable Tech, Jesse Lehrich noted that the platform "will continue playing a key role in shaping political discourse so long as it remains the platform of choice for reporters".

However, Lehrich urged Democrats to avoid "directly funding Elon's little hate machine" through political advertising. It is worth noting that Accountable Tech and a group of other organisations have warned corporations against taking out ads on X in an open letter last month.

"It's never been a good advertising platform, and the more polarized it gets, the less likely you are to reach persuadable voters," Lehrich explained. Democratic candidates are different from sole political advertisers on X.

As per The Post's review, several Republican politicians, as well as various campaign and interest groups have taken out political ads this year. Some of these Republican politicians have previously applauded Musk's hands-off vision for monitoring user posts on X.

Democrats vs. Republicans: Who is spending more on X and why?

It comes as a surprise that Democrats, including those who have carefully examined Musk's leadership at the company, are spending nearly the same on X ads as Republicans. In fact, the review suggests many Democrats are among the highest spenders.

After a report by Media Matters accused X of playing big brands' ads next to controversial posts, key advertisers reportedly started walking away from the platform. Notably, renowned brands like IBM, Apple and Disney decided to pause advertising on X in mid-November.

To make things worse, Musk reinstated the account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones over the weekend. However, he is not the first controversial figure to regain their account on X since Musk took over.

While advertisers were leaving X, Goldman, Schiff and other House Democrats sent a letter to Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino, expressing "grave concern surrounding X's ongoing failure to abide by its own policies" on "misinformation and hateful, violent and terroristic propaganda videos".

Referencing the war between Israel and Hamas, they wrote: "In addition to profiting off violent content by a terrorist organization, X has financially benefited from the spread of demonstrably false and misleading content as well."

It is worth noting that Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist organisation. In the preceding month, X profited off political ads from Goldman, Schiff and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), who ironically signed the abovementioned letter. In fact, Schiff has spent more than $90,000 (about £71,000) on political ads on X, as per the report.