Twitter's Top Advertisers Face Pressure To Ensure Adherence To Content Standards Following Elon Musk Deal

Zinger Key Points
  • Activist groups have taken up cudgels against an Elon Musk-controlled Twitter
  • Demands include that advertisers require Twitter to adhere to basic standards of community trust and security.
Twitter's Top Advertisers Face Pressure To Ensure Adherence To Content Standards Following Elon Musk Deal

Elon Musk's deal to take Twitter private has largely been met with skepticism, predominantly from activist groups. They see the deal posing a grave threat to freedom of expression, the very premise behind Musk's takeover thesis.

Media Matters, which previously called upon Apple, Inc. AAPL and Alphabet, Inc. GOOGL GOOG to play an active role in reining in a Musk-controlled Twitter, has renewed the call. The left-leaning non-profit organization has released an open letter signed by 26 activist groups.

Threat to Public Safety: Elon Musk's takeover will further toxify the information ecosystem and pose a threat to public safety, especially to the vulnerable and marginalized, Media Matters said in the open letter.

Twitter, though not a poster child for healthy social media, has taken several steps in recent years to mitigate systemic risks, the organization said. This has put pressure on other social media platforms such as Meta Platforms, Inc. FB and Google's YouTube to follow suit, it added.

"Musk intends to steamroll those safeguards and provide a megaphone to extremists who traffic in disinformation, hate, and harassment," the letter read.

Related Link: Elon Musk Says Will Try His Best to Retain Twitter Shareholders' Stake In New Private Company

Top Twitter Advertisers Called To Step Up: Media Matters called upon top advertisers of Twitter to demand Musk upholds the basic standards of community trust and safety. If these are not adhered to, the organization urged the advertisers to pull their ad spending from Twitter.

Media Matters put forward three mandates advertisers should require of Twitter. These include keeping the accounts, including that of public figures and politicians — that were removed for egregious violations of Twitter rules such as harassment, violence and hateful conduct — off the platform.

It also suggested Twitter ensures algorithmic accountability, preserves privacy and commits to depolarizing the algorithm. Thirdly, Twitter should continue to remain committed to transparency and researcher access.

"Your ad dollars can either fund Musk's vanity project or hold him to account," Media Matters said in the letter.

The signatories of the open letter include Access Now, Accountable Tech, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Center for Countering Digital Hate Empowering Pacific Islander Communities and Face the Music Collective.

Data provided by Statista show that Twitter's top advertisers in the first quarter of 2020 included Nestlé S.A. NSRGY, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ and The Walt Disney Company DIS.

Advertising revenue accounted for roughly 90% of Twitter's total revenue of $1.57 billion in 2021.

Twitter closed Friday's session down 0.55% at $48.87, according to Benzinga Pro data.
Related Link: Jack Dorsey Says This Was His 'Biggest Failing' At Twitter

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