Elon Musk is responsible for Twitter advertising himself, activists say

Leaders of major civil rights groups deny accusations by Elon Musk, who say he broke an agreement with them by encouraging companies to suspend advertising on Twitter.

Musk tweeted on Tuesday that “a broad coalition of political/social activist groups has agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of ad revenue if I agree to this condition. They broke the agreement”.

Musk did not elaborate on the deal. He was responding to one of his followers, who accused Twitter’s new owner of lying when he promised in October that he would form a content moderation council and that “no major decisions on content or account reinstatement will be made before this council meets”.

Over the weekend, after conducting an informal poll on Twitter, Musk and the platform reinstated the account of former President Donald Trump, who was permanently ousted under the previous administration after the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill. American.

Twitter executives fear in 2021 that Trump’s presence and continued use of the site could lead to more violence as he continues to claim the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Earlier this month, some civil rights groups urged advertisers to suspend advertising on Twitter following an increase in hate speech on the site and after the company laid off thousands of employees. employees, a move they fear will hamper the company’s ability to moderate hostility and other problems. content. .

Derrick Johnson, CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said Tuesday in response to Musk’s claims that civil rights groups “would never do such a deal” and that “democracy always passes .” first.

“The decisions made on Twitter are dangerous, and it is our duty, as it has been since our inception, to speak out against threats to our democracy,” Johnson said. “Hate speech and violent conspiracy have no refuge.”

In a statement to CNBC, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation echoed Johnson’s sentiments and said there was “no such deal” with Musk.

“Musk is losing advertisers because he has acted irresponsibly, cutting content moderation teams that help keep brands safe and firing sales teams tasked with nurturing advertiser relationships,” GLAAD said. “The main culprit behind the exit of advertisers on Twitter is Elon Musk.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of the global social action program at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told CNBC that he found Musk’s tweet “vague.” The SWC, along with 180 other nongovernmental organizations, sent a letter to Musk last week urging Twitter to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism to “reduce the marketing capabilities of anti -Semite on the platform. form of social media” .

Cooper said the letter was “not a threat” and that the groups had “not threatened any boycott” against Twitter.

“We’re really asking Elon Musk, who we all know is a pretty creative guy, to lead this,” Cooper said. He said his organization had seen a marked increase in anti-Semitic content in the past two weeks.

According to internal Twitter communications obtained by CNBC, agencies and brands that suspended advertising on Twitter after Musk took over the company are now awaiting updates on the company’s leadership changes, particularly those team working on brand safety. They also want answers to questions about how Twitter Blue verification will work in the future and how Twitter plans to prevent brand impersonation.

Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter launched and quickly canceled a Twitter Blue Verified subscription service, after users who bought badges could impersonate celebrities, politicians and brands. For example, an account created with a picture of a pharmaceutical company Eli Lily posted fake tweets saying, “we are happy to announce that insulin is now free”. The company was quick to correct the false information and suspend the impersonator’s account.

Advertisers’ concerns were not limited to issues raised by civil rights leaders. They also want assurances that Twitter will be safe from hackers, that so many employees have resigned or been fired, and they’re asking for more communication from new management about product and company changes.

SEE: Musk said Twitter Blue will relaunch on November 29

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *