As the moment of peak crisis arrives for the left, losing control of the narrative-management tool known as Twitter, there are stories (for example, here at Bloomberg) running rife citing no sources at all while claiming that advertisers are nervous of the nazi, child pron, hate-speech that will inevitably return to the social media platform now that the richest man in the world is in charge.
“There’s no commercial viability for a network that doesn’t have some level of content moderation. Advertisers and users aren’t going to show up and post during their workday alongside pornography and extremism — and Twitter is already reportedly struggling with losing its most active users. So in deciding how “free” Musk wants speech to be, he may have to alienate users to get there.”
The Wall Street Journal also warned that “Madison Avenue isn’t sold on the deal,” suggesting advertisers are anxious to be on the Musk-owned platform.
About a dozen of GroupM’s clients, which own an array of well-known consumer brands, have told the agency to pause all their ads on Twitter if Mr. Trump’s account is reinstated, Kieley Taylor, global head of partnerships at GroupM, said.
Others are in wait-and-see mode. Ms. Taylor said she expects to hear from many more clients if Mr. Trump’s account returns.
“That doesn’t mean that we won’t be entertaining lots of emails and phone calls as soon as a transaction goes through,” Ms. Taylor said. “I anticipate we’ll be busy.”
Ad agency Omnicom Media Group evaluates the major social-media platforms’ progress on brand-safety tools every quarter. In July, Omnicom rated Twitter’s progress behind that of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Reddit, according to a document reviewed by the Journal. Robert Pearsall, managing director of social activation at Omnicom Media Group, said Twitter has made agreements to improve its brand-safety controls to meet Omnicom’s standards, but it hasn’t introduced those changes to the market yet.
“There are significant concerns about the implications of a possible change to content moderation policy,” he said.
Twitter has said it is working on tools to give advertisers a better idea of where their ads appear.
Advertising provided 89% of Twitter’s $5.08 billion revenue in 2021.
Perhaps in anticipation of such a smear – and to front-run any advertisers’ concerns, Elon Musk has tweeted a brief letter to advertisers…
I wanted to reach out personally to share my motivation in acquiring Twitter. There has been much speculation about why I bought Twitter and what I think about advertising. Most of it has been wrong.
The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence. There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.
In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fueled and catered to those polarized extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost.
That is why I bought Twitter. I didn’t do it because it would be easy.
I didn’t do it to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love.
And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility.
That said, Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!
In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.
I also very much believe that advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain and inform you; it can show you a service or product or medical treatment that you never knew existed, but is right for you.
For this to be true, it is essential to show Twitter users advertising that is as relevant as possible to their needs. Low relevancy ads are spam, but highly relevant ads are actually content!
Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise.
To everyone who has partnered with us, I thank you. Let us build something extraordinary together.
Remember his words from yesterday:
“A beautiful thing about Twitter is how it empowers citizen journalism – people are able to disseminate news without an establishment bias.”
Let’s hope this is true.