Musk puts a vision for Twitter at a public meeting on the site

Suspension

Elon Musk held a public meeting with some of Twitter’s biggest advertisers and marketing partners on Wednesday, airing his vision for the company and looking to keep organizations that provide it with most of their revenue from abandoning the platform.

Musk took questions from a vetted group of advertisers on Twitter Spaces, a live audio chat feature on the site that’s open to anyone to listen. Nearly 90,000 people were listening to the session.

He said it makes sense that advertisers don’t want their ads alongside sexually explicit or racist content, and argued that by getting people to pay for the site, the amount of negative content would be reduced because users would think twice before tweeting something they could get. of them are forbidden.

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“I don’t think having hate speech next to an ad is great,” Musk said. He also said that the pace of change for Twitter would be much faster, and that the company would try new things, some of which would fail.

“If nothing else, I am a tech and I can make the technology go fast,” he said. “If we don’t try bold moves, how are we going to make big improvements?”

The public meeting comes days after Musk – who acquired Twitter in a $44 billion deal last month – threatened to launch a “thermonuclear name and shame” campaign against advertisers who were leaving the site out of fear of his approach to moderating content.

At the Twitter Investors Conference in New York on November 4, Elon Musk said pressure on advertisers from unnamed activists was an “attack on the First Amendment.” (Video: Reuters)

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Musk said last week that Twitter is facing “Huge drop in revenueAdvertisers have paused campaigns on the platform. A group of major advertisers and marketing agencies have said they will slow or pause spending on the site while they evaluate how Musk is running.

The day before the deal closed, Musk tweeted a statement committing to keeping the site from becoming “free for all.” Soon, however, he himself bolstered a conspiracy theory about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, undermining advertisers’ confidence that he would maintain rules against misinformation and hate speech.

Musk has been scrambling to support the company’s revenue streams, cut costs by laying off employees and find new ways to make money as he grapples with the reality of having to pay about $1 billion a year in interest on debt when buying Twitter. The vast majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising. The potential recession and high inflation have already slashed advertising budgets significantly, making now a particularly difficult time for the entire digital advertising industry.

At the same time, advertisers are hypersensitive to the type of content their ads may appear alongside. Musk has repeatedly said he wants to maintain standards for content moderation, but by excluding half of the company’s active employees, groups and advertisers, the company has been able to maintain its standards for keeping hate speech and violent and sexual content off people’s feeds.

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NAACP President Derek Johnson called on companies to drop their ads on Twitter “until action is taken to make Twitter a safe space.” Musk, the self-proclaimed “free speech absolute,” accused the companies participating in the boycott of “trying to destroy free speech in America.”

Automakers Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen have pulled all of their ads on Twitter, along with cereal and snack companies General Mills and Mondelez, the company behind Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers and Sour Patch Kids candy. The international advertising and consulting firm Interpublic Group, which represents American Express, Coca-Cola, Fitbit, Spotify and dozens of other big companies, has also advised its customers to put their Twitter ad purchases on hold for the time being.

“The thermonuclear name and shame is exactly what will happen if this continues,” Musk tweeted on Friday As more companies begin ad exits, he threatens to unleash his rowdy online fans on companies and CEOs who are abandoning the platform.

In his short tenure, Musk has laid off nearly half of Twitter’s workforce, decimating its content moderation and engineering teams days before Tuesday’s midterm elections. While the company’s remaining employees struggled to keep up with complex infrastructure challenges, the company moved to hire some of these displaced employees.

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He said that Musk plans to sell Twitter’s blue verification badge for $8 a month, but without actually verifying users’ identities. Critics worry the change will bring chaos to a platform already struggling with the spread of misinformation, bots and scammers.

The company said it will instead give officially verified accounts a new badge to indicate that their identity has been confirmed. It began rolling out to government officials, celebrities, news organizations and businesses on Wednesday, but then some people lost the new badges. Musk quickly tweeted,I killed herTwitter CEO clearer After that, the company was focusing on its use of “governmental and commercial entities” rather than individuals.

Since taking office, Musk has ridiculed politicians – Including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) On the podium, they made jokes about masturbation, spread false information about the attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Strict restrictions on parody accounts.

These and other Musk moves scared advertisers.

Advertisers are not manipulated by activist groups, but rather forced by established principles about the types of companies they can do business with. These principles include an assessment of the platforms’ commitment to brand integrity and relevance,” Lou Pascalis, president of major marketing firm, MMA Global, said. Tweet at Musk.

Musk banned Pascalis – then lifted the ban – after the exchange.


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