Twitter tries to reassure its advertisers about Elon Musk’s new “freedom of expression”

Alexander Boero

May 03, 2022 at 3:30 p.m.


elon musk twitter

© Jeremy Bezanger / Unsplash

Chilled by Elon Musk’s latest releases, advertisers are looking for guarantees on the future of the platform Twitterwhich some might flee.

Since the announcement of the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk for 44 billion dollars at the end of April, the social network has been surrounded by a kind of vagueness on various subjects, including the very sensitive one of freedom of movement. ‘expression. After stating in particular that ” Twitter censored free speech “And that he would be an agent of change, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX has since aroused concern among advertisers, the platform’s breadwinner.

Twitter wrote to advertisers to try to reassure them

With no doubt in the back of their minds the boycott inflicted on Facebook in 2020 to better fight racist and hateful content, advertisers are beginning to worry about the future reserved for freedom of expression on Twitter. They fear an increase in abuse and toxicity of content.

Elon Musk, who already has his ideas for the future of the social network, announces that he has taken over Twitter as ” free speech absolutist “. This could affect the advertising activity of the little blue bird platform, which can count on its 217 million daily users. Today, Twitter brings in some $4.5 billion a year from advertising.

As a result, Twitter urgently took up its pen to write to advertisers and try to reassure them. On the side of the firm based in San Francisco, the speech is clear: it will not associate the advertisements published on its platform with potentially harmful or offensive content, it indicates in an e-mail consulted by our American colleagues from the FinancialTimes.

The fear of a Twitter that would take a harmful turn for freedom of expression

Are we then heading in the coming months towards a scenario comparable to that of 2020, which saw the giants Coca-Cola, Ford and Unilever boycott Facebook? ” Twitter has made progress in combating online hate and extremism in recent years “, acknowledges Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Anti-Defamation League, an American NGO. Nevertheless, Greenblatt is more worried since the Elon Musk takeover. ” We fear it could take a very different direction “, he continues.

Other organizations have also warned Twitter. This is the case of the European Union, which has already declared that the social network should comply with its future rules on content moderation. These have been crowned by the very fresh Digital Services Act, much more restrictive than the current rules.

Some advertisers have welcomed Musk’s statements, which include strengthening user authentication and putting an end to the bots that abound there. However, others are concerned that Twitter’s efforts to improve content moderation will be undone. ” Advertisers consider the possibility of having to redirect their spending murmurs the head of a large agency, proof that many are currently immersed in a phase of observation and expectation.

Source : FinancialTimes

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