Twitter suffers "massive drop in revenue," Elon Musk says
The big picture: Before Musk's acquisition of Twitter, marketers expressed concerns about how Musk would handle content moderation on the platform because he has said he will embrace a free speech-first approach.
- Musk's tweet comes on the same day that the social media platform has begun laying off thousands of employees.
- General Mills also said it paused advertising on Twitter, with a spokeswoman telling the Star Tribune the company "will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend."
- GLAAD, Leaders of Voto Latino, Color of Change, Media Matters and other advocacy groups on Friday called on companies to pause Twitter ads, saying the recent layoffs will put content moderation standards at risk.
- Last Tuesday, more than 40 civil rights and civil society groups urged Twitter’s top 20 advertisers to suspend ads on the platform, too.
What he's saying: "Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists," Musk tweeted. "Extremely messed up! They're trying to destroy free speech in America."
Thought bubble via Axios' Ina Fried: There are other reasons why advertisers are pulling back. First and foremost, companies want to make sure they are advertising in ways that are safe for the brand.
- In his first week, Musk has tweeted conspiracy theories, upended the staff and raised significant questions about the future of content moderation on Twitter.
- Many Twitter users made a similar point in their replies to Musk, and a user-generated fact check was added to his tweet.
- The company should be "a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence," Musk said.
- Twitter would build a "content moderation council," Musk said, before making any "major content decisions or account reinstatement."
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.