Leftist groups call on brands to ditch Twitter if Musk reverses speech policies
"As top advertisers on Twitter, your brand risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists," the groups wrote in a letter
May 5, 2022 3:52pm
Updated: May 5, 2022 7:31pm
Following tech billionaire Elon Musk’s recent $44 billion purchase of Twitter, some of the U.S.’ largest brands have faced calls to boycott the social media platform if the company’s new owner rolls back content moderation policies which proponents say help limit hate speech and election misinformation.
In a letter sent to brands including Disney, Coca-Cola and Kraft, more than two dozen left-leaning organizations urged companies to secure commitments from Twitter to ensure that its user censorship policies are kept after Musk’s takeover and threaten to withdraw funding if Twitter refuses to comply, CNN reported.
"As top advertisers on Twitter, your brand risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists," the letter said
"Your ad dollars can either fund Musk's vanity project or hold him to account,” it added.
According to Media Matters for America CEO Angelo Carusone, negotiating forward-looking contracts with Twitter can help companies protect their brands against any changes made after Musk’s takeover.
"If Elon Musk comes in and gets rid of all the brand safety protections, I think Coca-Cola should be able to cancel their contract," Carusone said. "It would be very revealing if Twitter refuses to or does not sign or does not give those cancellation options."
The letter’s signatories include Media Matters for America, Accountable Tech, the feminist group UltraViolet, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the digital rights group Free Press, CNN reported.
Although Twitter said it has “no planned changes” to its “commitment to brand safety,” in an investor filing on Monday the company admitted it “cannot speculate on changes Elon Musk may make post-closing.”
Elon Musk took to Twitter on Thursday to respond to the letter, calling into question the business interests behind the groups involved.
“Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate…,” he tweeted.
Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …https://t.co/dBFsGjOMC8— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 3, 2022