REPORT: Instagram Serves Ads For Disney, Other Top Brands Beside ‘Sexually Explicit Material’ Geared Towards Kids


An experiment carried out by the Wall Street Journal suggests Instagram is serving “risqué video footage” of kids and “overtly sexual adult videos” to minors. The report focused on the site’s “Reels” feature and found advertisements for high-profile brands, consisting of Disney and Pizza Hut, placed next to sexually graphic content.

For their study, the Journal produced a number of Instagram accounts in order to determine which advertisements they would get after specifically following “only young gymnasts, cheerleaders and other teen and preteen influencers.” The outlet ultimately found that Instagram “served disconcerting dosages of salacious content to those test accounts.”

The sock accounts focused on the website’s Reels function and were set up after “observing that the thousands of followers of such young people’s accounts frequently consist of great deals of adult males, and that many of the accounts who followed those kids likewise had actually shown interest in sex content related to both children and adults,” according to the report.

One series of advised Reels included an advertisement for the dating website Bumble sandwiched in between a video of “somebody rubbing the face of a life-size latex doll” and a “video of a young girl with a digitally obscured face lifting up her t-shirt to expose her midriff.”

Another series consisted of ads for Pizza Hut alongside a video of a guy lying in bed beside “what the caption stated was a 10-year-old lady.”

In addition to the barrage of doubtful material, the Wall Street Journal reported advertisements “regularly” served to the test accounts consisted of ads for dating apps, livestream platforms with “adult nudity,” massage parlors, and AI chatbots “developed for cybersex.”

Meta’s terms of service are expected to prevent these types of ads, the report kept in mind.

In reaction to the experiment, a Meta representative told the Journal the “tests produced a produced experience that doesn’t represent what billions of users see” and declined to discuss “why the algorithms assembled streams of separate videos revealing children, sex and advertisements.”

Some marketers, including Disney and Bumble, told the outlet that they have actually raised issues over the issue with Meta. Others, including Pizza hut and Walmart, decreased to comment.

The report comes as significant brand names continue to suspend advertising on X due to current remarks stated “antisemitic” by website owner Elon Musk, who has emphatically rejected the claims and clarified his comments. He has actually likewise challenged reports that advertisements for leading brand names are served beside explicit content and has submitted a lawsuit in reaction.