Big companies bought by Elon Musk stop advertising on Twitter

United Airlines, a major US carrier, has announced it will stop advertising on Twitter amid growing concerns about the direction the social network will take under new owner Elon Musk. Hate speech, misinformation and anti-Semitic content have proliferated on the platform since last week’s Twitter takeover. The South African-born billionaire, in turn, promised to create complete freedom of expression on the network.

A United Airlines spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters on Friday that the company has halted all advertising spending on Twitter. It is the latest major company to take the plunge, following food giant General Mills (which makes Cheerios), automaker Audi and pharmaceutical form Pfizer.

Bloomberg reported Friday that Microsoft, HBO and Verizon are considering the suit, but for now they prefer a more wait-and-see approach.

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On Friday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly criticized Musk, urging advertisers to end their ties to Twitter.

A number of civil rights groups, including the ADL, a non-governmental organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and extremism, met with Musk this week to discuss the rise of hate speech, racial slurs, anti-Semitism, extremism and misinformation. took the reins of the social network last week. The group also asked Musk to restore its content moderation practices — which have been suspended — and also to guarantee the integrity of Tuesday’s midterm elections in the United States.

Elon Musk leaves the Baron Investment Conference offices at the Metropolitan Opera House, Nov. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

So on Friday, the ADL urged companies and advertisers to stop pouring money into Twitter. The Network Contagion Research Institute, a firm that monitors the spread of hate and misinformation online, said Twitter saw a “prolific uptick” in the second and that “the most engaged tweets were clearly anti-Semitic.”

The Stop Hate for Profit coalition, a group of which the ADL is a member, said after their meeting that “hate and misinformation have been rampant,” adding that Musk “has taken initiatives that make us fear the worst in the future. .

The first week at Twitter under Elon Musk was like a tornado: it started with sleepless nights for some engineers and ended with the layoff of half of the employees.

“It was a very strange week. Executives were fired, others resigned, but there was no official communication from management until Thursday evening,” said a former employee on condition of anonymity.

Employees received the first email saying they would make a decision on his fate on Friday. The next day, the latter confirmed the rumors: 50% of the workforce said thanks.

Marketing and design departments and managers at the front. According to Yoel Roth, the site’s security manager, content moderation was more protective, with a dismissal rate of just 15%.

After 24 hours of silence on the matter, Elon Musk tweeted that “when the company is losing over four million dollars a day, unfortunately there is no other option” and that “everyone who loses their job is being offered three months of compensation.” “.

The decision did not surprise the workers – the rumors persisted – but the brutality of the method shocked.

People walk past Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on November 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Separately, Musk said last week that he would not make significant content decisions or restore banned accounts until a “content moderation board” was created to integrate diverse views. He reiterated this sentiment last Wednesday, adding that the council would include “civilian communities and groups targeted by hate-motivated violence.”

Tesla’s CEO has publicly announced that he will allow former President Donald Trump to reopen the account, although Trump — who has not regularly touted the merits of his social media platform, Truth Social — knows whether he wants to return.

The civil rights group called on Twitter during its meeting with Trump to establish a transparent process for how the network intends to reauthorize banned accounts.

Twitter banned Trump last year, three days after supporters of the former Republican president stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 following his defeat in the 2020 election. Federal charges related to that attack are being investigated.

Musk took control of Twitter after buying the platform for $44 billion.

About 90% of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising — but the social network isn’t the most popular among digital advertising professionals. Google, Amazon and Meta together drive 75% of digital campaigns, with other platforms accounting for the remaining 25%.

According to Insider Intelligence forecasts, in 2022, Twitter will account for 0.9% of global internet ad spending, while Meta will account for 21.4%.

Twitter lost most of its executives last week, including its head of ad sales.

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