Pressure mounts for Elon Musk as brands walk away from Twitter

US agribusiness giant General Mills has suspended ad spending on Twitter, a further sign of advertisers’ concern over the platform’s new owner Elon Musk’s ambiguous view on moderating social media. contents.

• Read also: Suspense around the future of content moderation on Musk’s Twitter

• Read also: ‘How do you delete Twitter?’: Google has been on fire since buying Elon Musk

“We have suspended advertising on Twitter,” Kelsey Roemhildt, a spokeswoman for General Mills, which includes the Cheerios and Häagen-Dazs brands, confirmed to AFP. “We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and assess our marketing spend,” she added.

As of Friday, the day after the acquisition of Twitter by the boss of Tesla, the automaker General Motors had indicated that it had temporarily stopped paying for advertisements on Twitter.

Thursday, the wall street journal claimed that Mondelez International (the maker of Oreo cookies), Pfizer and Audi (Volkswagen) made similar decisions.

Advertisers, who account for 90% of the platform’s revenue, fear that the liberalization of content moderation regulations advocated by Elon Musk will make the platform inhospitable. Most brands prefer to avoid association with non-consensual content.

Since Thursday, the libertarian entrepreneur has been trying to reassure them. He wrote them a letter promising that Twitter would not become a “hellish” platform, “where anything can be said without consequence.”

He also promised to form a content moderation council, and to take a few weeks before potentially re-authorizing certain banned people – like Donald Trump – to return to the social network.

But neither advertisers nor many NGOs seem convinced for the moment.

A collective of nearly 50 democracy and anti-disinformation associations has sent an open letter to the 20 biggest advertisers on Twitter, including Coca-Cola, Google and Disney, urging them to threaten Elon Musk to stop all advertising on the platform if he implemented his plan “to undermine brand safety and community standards, including the liquidation of content moderation”.

On Wednesday, Elon Musk asked in a poll of his 113 million subscribers whether advertisers should “support free speech” or “political correctness.”

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