Archive for Twitter

Elon Musk Gets Desperate When It Comes To Advertisers On Twitter

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 1, 2023 by itnerd

Clearly Elon Musk’s F-bomb laced tirade has had significant knock on effects. It seems to have accelerated the departure of advertisers from Twitter. Which I did predict here:

What’s clear from this debacle is that Elon completely off his rocker. And this will simply accelerate the departure of advertisers from Twitter. I wonder if Elon will start caring once Twitter is in critical condition with no hope of recovery? By the time he does, if he actually does care, it may be too late. 

According to this story, the departures likely have started:

The Tesla chief also acknowledged that an extended boycott by advertisers could bankrupt X, formerly Twitter, but suggested that the public would blame the brands and not him for a potential collapse.

However, Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg said: “If anyone is killing X, it’s Elon Musk – not advertisers.”

“Should X collapse, an autopsy would reveal a series of platform policy decisions, staffing cuts, tweets and antagonistic comments by Musk that have driven away X’s primary source of revenue,” Enberg said.

An executive at a major global ad-buying firm, who declined to be named, said only one major client was continuing to advertise on X.

“(Musk) seems to be hell bent on destroying the platform,” the executive said.


“We believe there is a risk that more companies will stop advertising on X; at least on a short-term basis,” D.A. Davidson & Co analyst Tom Forte said.

“It is fair to say this makes the company’s subscription efforts more important and potentially means it may need more than half its revenue to come from subscriptions,” he said.

So how is Elon going to square this circle? The Financial Times is reporting that X is now going to be focusing on smaller businesses. The story is paywalled, but a TL:DR is available on The Verge with the key point from the article. At least from a Twitter perspective:

‘Small and medium businesses are a very significant engine that we have definitely underplayed for a long time,’ the company told the Financial Times. ‘It [was] always part of the plan — now we will go even further with it.’

Here’s the problem with that strategy. I don’t see how getting a bunch of small and medium sized businesses on board will make up the revenue shortfall of a Disney or IBM, or Apple individually, never mind all three of those companies combined. This seems more like a Hail Mary more than a real strategy that could produce real revenue. And given the fact that subscriptions aren’t exactly raking in the cash for Twitter, that means only one thing. Which is Elon has doomed Twitter to a slow and painful death. And his latest stunt has accelerated the death of the platform. Anything he does now is simply delaying the inevitable. There’s just no denying it at this point.

Congratulations Elon. You’ve proven how bad you are at running a company.

Elon Musk Told Advertisers Who Fled Twitter To Go F**k Themselves… Seriously, He Did

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2023 by itnerd

I had a reader ping me on, ironically Twitter to send me this. Advanced warning, this may not be suitable for work:

After I picked my jaw off the ground, I dug around for some context to this rather bizarre moment and found it here:

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and the owner of X (formerly Twitter), says that the current advertiser boycott could “kill the company.”

“What this advertising boycott is going to do is, it is going to kill the company,” Musk said Wednesday. “And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company.”

Musk was interviewed by Andrew Ross Sorkin Wednesday afternoon at The New York Times Dealbook Summit, capping off a day of speakers that included Vice President Kamala Harris, FTC chair Lina Khan, Disney CEO Bob Iger, and PGA commissioner Jay Monahan.

He also responded to Disney CEO Bob Iger, who explained his company’s decision to pull advertising from the platform earlier.

“Don’t advertise. If someone is going to try and blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go fuck yourself,” Musk said. “Go fuck yourself, is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience. That’s how I feel, don’t advertise.”

Well, that’s really going to encourage advertisers to come back to Twitter. All this does is reinforce the fact that Elon Musk is not playing with a full deck. And after dropping the f-bomb a couple of times, he then apparently tried to walk back his Twitter response to a Antisemitic trope on Twitter. Judge for yourself:

Musk did say of the post that sparked the advertiser exodus that “I should, in retrospect, not have replied to that particular post, and should have expanded in greater length about what I meant.” 

“I handed a loaded gun to those who hate me,” he added, calling it “one of the most foolish” things he had said on the platform. Later, after calling Sorkin “Jonathan,” Musk quipped that “what I am trying to illustrate is that, sometimes I say the wrong thing.”

I’m personally not buying this. Are you? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

What’s even worse is that Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino was in the audience watching this debacle. And she Tweeted this:

That pretty much confirms that she’s part of the problem now and not someone who can guide Twitter to a better place. And she clearly not smart enough to listen to her friends who are telling her to get out before she destroys her reputation.

What’s clear from this debacle is that Elon completely off his rocker. And this will simply accelerate the departure of advertisers from Twitter. I wonder if Elon will start caring once Twitter is in critical condition with no hope of recovery? By the time he does, if he actually does care, it may be too late.

Some Brands Have Stopped Interacting With Followers On Twitter Entirely

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 28, 2023 by itnerd

Since it came to light that Elon Musk is an antisemite that supports antisemitism on Twitter, brands such as IBM and Apple have paused advertising on Twitter. But according to CNN, some ads are going one step further, they’ve stopped interacting with followers on Twitter entirely:

In recent days, a number of prominent media brands have not only paused their paid marketing campaigns on the embattled Elon Musk-owned social platform, but have ceased posting on it altogether, going silent on the once essential site that sought to be the world’s “digital town square.”

The flagship accounts belonging to Disney, Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Universal, and Warner Bros. Discovery (CNN’s parent company) have not posted on the platform in roughly 10 days, following Musk’s disturbing endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory, which he still has not apologized for.

None of the studios commented on the record when CNN reached out for comment. But people familiar with the social media strategies of Paramount and WBD confirmed under the condition of anonymity that it’s no coincidence: the companies have made the active decision to stop posting under certain handles on X due to concerns, including brand safety.

The blackout on X extends beyond these companies’ corporate accounts, in some cases. For instance, the most high profile accounts affiliated with Disney have gone dark on X, such as @StarWars, @Pixar, and @MarvelStudios, which were previously posting multiple times a day on the platform to their millions of followers. Instead, these brands have switched over to the Meta-owned rival Threads, where they have started actively posting.

Here’s the thing. If enough brands stop posting to Twitter and instead post to other platforms such as Threads, people will follow and Twitter becomes less relevant. That in turn makes other advertisers say “why is my brand on Twitter as there’s less people here”? And they’ll go to where the people are. Which will make Twitter even less relevant. Ultimately, it will end with Twitter being driven into extinction and Elon Musk looking like the loser that he is for paying $44 billion for a company and running it into the ground due to his on ineptitude. Frankly that’s what he deserves given his behaviour over the last year.

Elon Musk’s Lawsuit Against Media Matters Has Resulted In Him Being Introduced To The Streisand Effect

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 27, 2023 by itnerd

First some background. Here’s a definition of the Streisand effect:

The Streisand effect is an unintended consequence of attempts to hide, remove, or censor information, where the effort instead backfires by increasing awareness of that information. It is named after American singer and actress Barbra Streisand, whose attempt to suppress the California Coastal Records Project‘s photograph of her cliff-top residence in Malibu, California, taken to document California coastal erosion, inadvertently drew far greater attention to the heretofore obscure photograph in 2003.

Now here’s how it applies to Elon Musk. His lawsuit against Media Matters for exposing antisemitic posts on Twitter being served up beside ads from big name advertisers, who then pulled their ads from Twitter, is has basically resulted in the Streisand effect coming into play according to TechDirt:

in making a big deal out of this and filing one of the worst SLAPP suits I’ve ever seen, all while claiming that Media Matters “manipulated” things (even as the lawsuit admits that it did no such thing), it is only begging more people to go looking for ads appearing next to terrible content.

And they’re finding them. Easily.

As the DailyDot pointed out, a bunch of users started looking around and found that ads were being served next to the tag #HeilHitler and “killjews” among other neo-Nazi content and accounts.

SLAPP stands for Strategic lawsuit against public participation by the way. But I digress. The point is that he’s adding to the reasons that Media Matters is going to win this lawsuit. The fact is that what they said is true and evidence of antisemitism and Nazi posts are easily found if you go looking for them. And you apparently don’t have to try all that hard to find them. The only lawsuit that’s going to be even easier to win than this one is the dBrand vs. Casetify lawsuit. The fact is that Elon is going to get pwned in court as well as the court of public opinion at the rate he’s going. Thus if he were smart, he’d make this go away and do something more than go on the apology tour that he’s planning to go on. But as has been proven recently, he’s not smart. Which is why this will be one more thing that hurts him.

Elon Musk Is Going To Israel To Convince You That He Isn’t Antisemitic

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2023 by itnerd

News filtered out last night that Elon Musk is going to make a trip to Israel. Here’s the details as we know them:

Mr Musk will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, and travel to the settlements that were attacked during last month’s Hamas invasion, according to local reports.

Sound like he’s on a bit of an apology tour to try and show that he’s not an antisemitic jerk. Despite the fact that he’s endorsed antisemitic conspiracy theories. Why has he decided to do this? I am going to guess that it has something to do with this:

X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, could lose as much as $75 million in advertising revenue by the end of the year as dozens of major brands pause their marketing campaigns after its owner, Elon Musk, endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory this month.

Internal documents viewed by The New York Times this week show that the company is in a more difficult position than previously known and that concerns about Mr. Musk and the platform have spread far beyond companies including IBM, Apple and Disney, which paused their advertising campaigns on X last week. The documents list more than 200 ad units of companies from the likes of Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola and Microsoft, many of which have halted or are considering pausing their ads on the social network.

The documents come from X’s sales team and are meant to track the impact of all the advertising lapses this month, including those by companies that have already paused and others that may be at risk of doing so. They list how much ad revenue X employees fear the company could lose through the end of the year if advertisers do not return.

On Friday, X said in a statement that $11 million in revenue was at risk and that the exact figure fluctuated as some advertisers returned to the platform and others increased spending. The company said the numbers viewed by The Times were either outdated or represented an internal exercise to evaluate total risk.

The advertising freezes come during the final three months of the year, which is traditionally the social media company’s strongest quarter as brands run holiday promotions for events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In the last three months of 2021 — the last year the company reported fourth-quarter earnings before Mr. Musk took over — the company recorded $1.57 billion in revenue, of which nearly 90 percent came from advertising.

In other words, he’s hurting for cash and needs to make this go away as quickly as possible if he can. The fact is that nobody should be fooled by this apology tour. Elon isn’t going to change who he is. And we’ll be talking about some other Elon related controversy soon enough.

The best things that we can all do is to first, ignore Elon when he makes this trip. Second, we should ignore Twitter as it’s a dying platform which is a cesspool of hate and misinformation.

Paris Hilton Has More Integrity Than The NFL As The Former Pulls Ads From Twitter While The Latter Is Fine With Being On Twitter

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 22, 2023 by itnerd

I never thought I would write that headline. But these are the times we live in at the moment. Let’s start with Paris Hilton. Some have seen her as an airhead. But clearly she isn’t as she’s pulled ads from the dumpster fire that is Twitter:

Paris Hilton’s entertainment company 11:11 Media has pulled an advertising campaign from Elon Musk’s X just one month after announcing an exclusive partnership with the platform, becoming the latest brand to halt ad spending on the site formerly known as Twitter over concerns about antisemitism and pro-Nazi content on the site.

“11:11 Media made the decision to immediately pull the campaign from the platform,” Bruce Gersh, 11:11 Media’s president and chief operating officer, told CNN on Tuesday.

The decision by Hilton’s company to pull its advertising is a blow to X and the platform’s chief executive, Linda Yaccarino, who announced a major promotional partnership with Hilton just last month. The deal, which was touted by Yaccarino as a long-term, “official partnership” between Hilton, 11:11 Media, and X, aimed to create “a launchpad for new initiatives in video and live video, live commerce, Spaces, and so much more.” The deal also established a revenue-sharing agreement between the parties.

Yaccarino, a former NBCUniversal advertising chief who has been tasked with wooing wary advertisers back to X despite Musk’s tumultuous leadership, declared Hilton the “queen of pop culture” and described the partnership as “a new era” that would reside exclusively on X.

A spokesperson for Hilton declined to comment on whether the suspension of 11:11’s ad campaign also meant the end of Hilton’s partnership with X. A spokesperson for X also did not immediately respond.

This is a huge blow to Elon and Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino as it shows that the advertising exodus isn’t slowing. In fact it appears to be accelerating. But at least they have one advertiser that isn’t going anywhere. That’s advertiser is the National Football League:

The National Football League is sticking with X, formerly known as Twitter, as Elon Musk’s site faces an advertiser revolt over hate speech and antisemitism on the platform.

“I think X is in a very difficult business because of the content moderation that they have to deal with,” Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s media and business chief, told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin. “We continue to work with them because our fans are clearly there.”

The league did not provide further comment on the matter.

In a way I’m not surprised because the NFL does not have a great history on being on the right side of issues like this. And I fully expect that the NFL may face some blowback over this decision. Whether the NFL cares about that is another story entirely. If I could give the NFL some advice, they should perhaps take some integrity lessons from Paris Hilton as clearly she has more integrity than the NFL does.

There’s So Much Twitter News Today That I Created A Roundup For Your Reading Pleasure

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 20, 2023 by itnerd

It’s one of those days where news about Twitter is everywhere. Thus here’s the highlights for you to peruse.

The latest hit to Twitter’s bottom line comes from the UK Government. According to The Telegraph, they’ve completely pulled ads from Twitter. While they claim that this was a move that was planned in advance and has nothing to do with Elon Musk being antisemitic, that’s going to hurt Twitter seeing that the UK Government is still spending a lot of money on other forms of social media. And for the record, I do not believe that this has nothing to do with Elon Musk being antisemitic. I think that’s the excuse that they are using to avoid blow back from Elon.

Meanwhile, an author has said that Elon has banned meetings of more than two Twitter employees as he feared that someone in those meetings would sabotage him or the company. Talk about paranoia:

Elon Musk grew so paranoid when he was CEO of X, formerly Twitter, that he banned meetings of more than two employees, the author of “Breaking Twitter” told Business Insider.

“There’s a lot of examples of Elon spiraling out of control,” Ben Mezrich said in an interview. “He got so paranoid at one point that he disallowed any meetings of more than two people at Twitter because he was afraid of a mutiny.”

Mezrich said the Tesla CEO was afraid employees would sabotage the site and that there was a plot to bring him down.

This says a lot about Elon’s state of mind. And his state of mind at the moment doesn’t appear to be in a good place. Which means that we might expect him to do more and more irrational and extreme things as the pressure mounts on him.

Embattled Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino appears to be rolling the dice on her son to help to turn the fortunes of Twitter around:

Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of X, formerly Twitter, has turned the service’s Hail Mary bet on an imagined $100 million political advertising business over to someone she trusts: her son Matt Madrazo.


In recent weeks, Madrazo, who previously headed ad sales at the non-political, creator-focused media firm Studio71, has been privately introducing himself to influential figures in the political ad world in Washington, D.C. He’s part of what’s essentially a two-man operation to restart X’s political advertising business with the goal of capitalizing on the massive amounts of money that campaigns are about to spend during the 2024 elections.

According to three people with knowledge of the situation, Madrazo has been tasked with outreach to Republican digital advertising firms and spenders. Jonathan Phelps, a Pandora and Univision veteran who also joined X in recent months, is handling the platform’s (far less promising) outreach to Democrats. Working occasionally out of Tesla’s D.C. offices, the duo are hoping to resuscitate a line of cash at a moment when the company is desperate for new revenue.

This really has the feel of being a Hail Mary to be honest. But I am free to surprised as I can see scenarios where the Republican Party spends money on Twitter because the platform is full of right wing types that would be receptive to their message. Whether that’s enough to fill Twitter’s bank account with cash to allow it to survive, I’m not sure. But like I said, I am free to be surprised.

Finally, if you need a quick refresher in terms of how we got to this point, this will help you. It really does a good job of spelling out what happened to lead us to where we are today without consuming a ton of your time.

Linda Yaccarino Is Facing Calls For Her To Quit Twitter

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 20, 2023 by itnerd

If Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino isn’t reconsidering her decision to join Twitter, friends and colleagues are saying that she should be according to this story. Check this out:

X CEO Linda Yaccarino, the longtime NBC advertising executive tapped to bring back revenue and credibility to the company from big advertisers, is facing her own credibility crisis as advertisers halt spending over Elon Musk’s endorsement of antisemitic abuse on the social media platform.

Forbes has confirmed that Yaccarino has been contacted by a groundswell of leading advertising executives who questioned why she is risking her reputation to shield Musk’s behavior—and suggested that she could make a statement about racism and antisemitism by stepping down.

The fact that Yaccarino is still there speaks volumes in my opinion. Especially because of this:

The personal outreach to Yaccarino by leading advertising executives comes as X, previously known as Twitter, struggles to right itself under its mercurial owner and to battle the advertiser-unfriendly content his behavior has emboldened. After nearly a dozen years at NBCUniversal as its top advertising executive, where she also launched a partnership with the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, Yaccarino was brought in six months ago to ease advertisers’ nerves over the surge in hate speech and other toxic content on Twitter since Musk bought the platform for $44 billion.

So Yaccarino launched a partnership with the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, which means that she is sensitive to this issue. But she won’t address this issue in any way other than some meaningless words when it comes to Twitter, the company she now is the CEO of. That further validates what I said here:

The fact is that she’s got to know that everything that her buddy Elon is doing is killing Twitter. And she’s letting it happen. Maybe she hasn’t got the will to speak truth to power? Maybe she’s outright complicit in everything that Elon is doing? I don’t know. But I do know this. None of this is a good look for her.

I don’t know if she’s complicit in all of this or she hasn’t got the will to stand up to Elon. But I do know this. Her reputation is in a tailspin right now. And maybe Yaccarino should listen to her friends and colleagues and quit Twitter to save what’s left of her reputation before it’s too late.

Media Matters To Elon Musk: “We Will Win”

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 18, 2023 by itnerd

If you check out this story from earlier today, you’ll see that Elon has lost his marbles by threatening a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters who found that advertising from big name companies was showing up next to Nazi and racist content. This along with Elon himself endorsing antisemitic posts on Twitter has led to IBM and Apple among others pulling their ads from the platform. Media Matters has now responded to Elon’s lawsuit threat. Here is their response via their CEO Angelo Carusone in full:

Far from the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully who threatens meritless lawsuits in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate. Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified. If he does sue us, we will win.

Honestly, if Elon is stupid enough to sue Media Matters, he’s focused on the wrong thing. Advertisers were fleeing Twitter from the moment he took over Twitter. Musk himself admitted that in September that the company’s U.S. ad business was down 60%. At the time he was blaming the ADL for his issues at the time:

And his latest issues are simply adding to this. Besides IBM and Apple, Lionsgate, Disney, Comcast/NBCU, Paramount, and Warner Bros. Discovery among others have pulled ads from Twitter. If Elon were smart, he’d figure out how to walk his stupidity back and create an environment where advertisers feel that they can safely put their ads on Twitter without being exposed to anything that may cause their brands pain. Like for example Nazi and antisemitic content. But he’s too busy trying to threaten and bully organizations that call him out. That’s not a winning strategy. Which he’s about to find out the hard way when Twitter implodes.

Elon Musk Goes Loco By Threatening “Thermonuclear Lawsuit’ Against Media Matters

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 18, 2023 by itnerd

Well, Elon Musk has officially lost his marbles.

I say that because in the wake of IBM, followed by Apple, followed by a host of other advertisers pulling their ads from Twitter, Elon Musk is now threatening Media Matters who outed the fact that big name advertisers were appearing next to Nazi and hate speech content with a lawsuit:

Let’s recap something here:

  • Media Matters found that Nazi and hate speech was appearing next to big name advertisers.
  • Twitter when they were called on it said “its system does not intentionally place brands “actively next to this kind of content”, and the content cited by Media Matters would no longer be able to make money off its posts.” Which to me sounds like an admission that what Media Matters said was accurate.
  • Elon himself also “endorsed an antisemitic post on X that falsely claimed members of the Jewish community were stoking hatred against white people.”

Thus I am failing to see how this is fraudulent to use an Elon phrase. I also don’t see how any lawsuit that he files would last five seconds in court. Having said that, I’m a computer nerd and not a lawyer.

But his threats of lawsuits against people who show Twitter for what it is, which is a tactic he’s used before, is meant to ensure that nobody shines a light on everything that is bad about Twitter. The thing is that this time it will not work. Because I believe that we’ve now reached a point where Elon’s bad behaviour is no longer acceptable and advertisers are taking their advertising budgets elsewhere. And that’s good as far as I am concerned because taking advertising cash out of Elon’s pocket will do one of two things. Either he will alter his behaviour. Which for the record I do not see happening. Or he will be forced to use his own resources, be it selling Tesla or SpaceX stock, to fund Twitter. And that is sure to hurt him and his businesses and make him feel some pain. And it’s high time he has to face some consequences for his behaviour because it is abhorrent and unacceptable.