New Twitter CEO Elon Musk is alleging a “massive drop in revenue” after activists pressured major advertisers to stop advertising on the platform – based on Twitter’s supposed future move to free speech.
Musk says this is happening even though there haven’t been any changes to Twitter’s moderation policies – and even though Musk said Twitter did “everything [it] could to appease the activists.”
Musk exclaimed: “Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”
General Motors, General Mills, Pfizer, Volkswagen, and Mondelez International – the maker of Oreos, are among the many that have been reported to have suspended advertising on the platform.
Musk has likely been anticipating advertisers pulling out, with much speculation around Twitter’s plans to generate more revenue without relying on advertisers.
Twitter’s last quarterly filing, while the company was still public, showed that the company had a net loss of over $300 million – excluding one-off disposal gains in the first six months of this year. Musk’s move to cut costs and lay off many employees, combined with pushing a subscription program, appears to be the strategy that will be used to try and balance the books; all as activists try to pressure advertisers to quit.
40 pressure and media groups this week sent a letter to major advertisers on the social network, pressuring them to force Musk to adhere to their content moderation demands or boycott Twitter.
“We, the undersigned organizations, call on you to notify Musk and publicly commit that you will cease all advertising on Twitter globally if he follows through on his plans to undermine brand safety and community standards including gutting content moderation,” the letter reads. “This means that Musk must not roll back the basic moderation practices Twitter already has on the books now and must commit to actually enforcing those rules.”