Elon Musk says that civil rights leaders broke an agreement when they asked companies to stop advertising on Twitter. But civil rights leaders say that is not true.
Musk tweeted Tuesday that “a huge coalition of political and social activist organisations decided not to attempt to destroy Twitter by depriving us of advertising money” and “they reneged.”
Permanently Banned Trump’s Account
Musk didn’t detail the deal. A follower accused Twitter‘s new owner of lying when he pledged in October to create a content moderation committee and that “no significant content decisions or account reinstatements would happen until that council convenes.”
Musk and Twitter revived former President Trump’s account over the weekend following an informal vote. Trump’s account had been permanently banned after the Jan. 6 rebellion on Capitol Hill.
The people in charge of Twitter in 2021 thought that Trump’s presence and continued use of the service could lead to more violence because he was lying about losing the 2020 election.
Civil rights organisations encouraged advertisers to stop advertising on Twitter after a surge in hate speech and after businesses laid off hundreds of workers, a move they thought would hinder Twitter’s capacity to monitor bigoted and other problematic material.
Democracy Always Comes First
Derrick Johnson, CEO of the NAACP, claimed civil rights organisations “would never make such a deal” and “Democracy always comes first.”
“Twitter’s choices are dangerous, and it’s our job to speak out against threats to our democracy,” Johnson added. “Hate speech and violent plots have no place.”
According to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and Free Press, there was “no such contract” with Musk.
“Musk is losing advertisers because he’s behaved recklessly, reducing content moderation teams that help keep brands safe and destroying the very sales teams responsible for sustaining partnerships with advertisers,” the Free Press stated in a statement. Musk is responsible for the Twitter advertisement exodus.
Demanding Twitter’s Acceptance
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called Musk’s remark “vague.” The SWC and 180 other NGOs wrote Musk a letter last week demanding Twitter accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism to “degrade antisemites’ marketing capacities.”
Cooper claimed the letter “wasn’t a threat” and the organisations didn’t “threaten a boycott.” Cooper: “We’re asking Elon Musk, a creative guy, to lead in this field.” His group has experienced a rise in antisemitic material in recent weeks.
According to Twitter internal correspondence acquired by CNBC, agencies and companies that suspended advertising on Twitter after Musk took control are waiting for updates on business leadership, especially teams working on brand safety.
They want to know how Twitter Blue Verification will function in the future and how it will stop brand imitation.
Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter debuted and then brought back a Twitter Blue Verified membership service after users impersonated celebrities, politicians, and corporations. For example, a fake Eli Lilly account tweeted “insulin is free today.” The corporation hurried to remedy the error and suspend the impostor’s account.
Advertisers’ worries go beyond civil rights leaders’ concerns. They want guarantees that Twitter will be secure from hackers, with so many staff retiring or being laid off, and better transparency from new leadership on product and corporate changes.