Home / News / While civil rights organizations urge a boycott of Twitter, advertisers are still running away

While civil rights organizations urge a boycott of Twitter, advertisers are still running away

Elon Musk is confronted with a much more serious issue as he searches for new methods to monetize Twitter: advertisers are leaving the service. According to Musk, Twitter’s revenue has dropped significantly as a result of advertisers’ worries about content control and other issues brought up by activists.

Many significant businesses, including GM, Audi, Pfizer, General Mills, Volkswagen, and other household names who are worried of prospective changes to Twitter’s regulations as well as the departure of top executives, have suspended advertisements in recent days. Industry associations have also voiced concerns about the safety of brands under Musk, and this week, The New York Times reported that “IPG, one of the world’s top advertising organizations, issued an advice… for customers to temporarily pause their expenditure on Twitter.”

The NAACP joined other civil rights organizations in urging a platform advertiser boycott on Friday. Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, said in a statement that it is immoral, dangerous, and extremely damaging to our democracy for any advertiser to support a platform that encourages hate speech, electoral skepticism, and conspiracy theories.

 

The advertisers’ retreat in the face of boycott demands demonstrates how swiftly Twitter’s advertising business has declined under Musk. Furthermore, it occurs just a week after Musk made an effort to convince the sector that he didn’t intend to transform the platform into a “free-for-all hellscape.” The moment Musk’s takeover of the company was announced, hate speech and racist slurs on Twitter significantly increased. Later, the safety chief for Twitter accused the conduct of being part of an organized trolling campaign. However, the activities heightened the worries of civil rights organizations, leading Musk to meet with them this week.

He appeared to blame many of the same activists for the decline in ad income on Friday. He wrote, “Even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we done everything we could to placate the activists, Twitter has suffered a big reduction in revenue owing to activist groups lobbying advertisers.

 

However, a collection of civil rights organizations and campaigners disagreed with Musk’s description. They said that Musk’s mass firings of Twitter employees, especially those who are responsible for safety and moderation, undermine the promises he made after their meeting.

“Content moderation has changed,” stated Jessica González, co-CEO of Free Press. “When you lay off over 50% of your personnel, including teams that are actually tracking, monitoring, and enforcing content moderation regulations, it necessarily suggests that content moderation has changed.”

The group also expressed worries about Musk’s promotion of far-right conspiracies regarding the assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband and cited information suggesting the now-CEO may weaken Twitter’s present transgender protections. “We are witnessing it in real time,” said GLAAD CEO Sarah Ellis, “if Twitter does not take urgent tangible actions that demonstrate a sincere commitment to preserving best policies that safeguard users that companies.”

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