Civil Rights Groups Band Together To Pressure Advertisers To Dump Twitter

Elon Musk might think that “activists” are bad and causing advertisers to bolt from the platform. But those “activists” are about to really crank up the pressure on him and Twitter. Reuters has the details:

The groups in the Stop Toxic Twitter coalition complained that Musk had vowed to advertisers that Twitter would take a considered approach to reinstating banned accounts and convene a new content moderation council. No such council has been created as of Monday.

“It was a real breach,” Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, a left-leaning media watchdog that is part of the coalition, said on Monday. He said Musk “was lying from the beginning.”

“In less than three weeks Musk has gone back on every promise he made to civil-rights leaders and advertisers,” said Jessica Gonzalez, co-chief executive of media and democracy group Free Press, which is also part of the Twitter coalition, in a press release.

It doesn’t surprise me that Musk might have lied as he doesn’t seem like someone who can be trusted. And from what I have observed over the years, most of the time he doesn’t seem to care about his ability to keep his word. But here’s why that might come back to bite him this time around:

Of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers by total spending this year, 51 have paused ads according to private conversations with the coalition, public statements or spending data provided by ad measurement firm Pathmatics, Carusone said.

The coalition is asking brands that have not publicized their Twitter pause to issue public statements and help generate pressure on the other 49 advertisers that have taken no action, he said.

“You need to take a stand and draw the line,” Carusone said. “It’s important for big spenders to say they have stopped.”

The coalition will consider naming the companies later this week if they have not issued a public statement about pausing ads, he added.

Being named and shamed is likely going to be a great motivator for the 49 companies in question to not be on the wrong side of this issue. And it seems to be having an effect:

The names atop the list of Twitter’s top advertisers have shifted from the week before Musk closed his deal to acquire the company. Major brands HBO and Mondelez were Twitter’s top two advertisers in the week before the acquisition, according to data from Pathmatics. But between Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, after Musk laid off half of Twitter’s staff, the top two largest advertisers were, a personal finance website and Trendytowns, an ecommerce site based in Singapore.

Pathmatics data showed that the top 100 advertisers between Nov. 10 to Nov. 16 spent an estimated $23.6 million on Twitter, down from $24. 2 million spent between Oct. 16 to Oct. 22 before Musk became Twitter’s owner.

Keep in mind that the majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising. And if you have “A” tier advertisers, you can charge more for advertising. But it looks like he hasn’t got “A” tier advertisers at the moment based on the above. So Twitter isn’t making as much money. Which means that this play by these groups has a very high chance of success. Which means that Elon should be paying attention to this. Or if he is smart, which he’s proven not to be smart given his recent track record, he would find a way to make nice with these people. But I don’t see that happening. And he’s going to have a major problem as a result.

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