'Toxic Twitter' activists ramp up pressure on brands after Trump account reinstated

  22 November 2022    Read: 281

 A coalition of civil rights activists on Monday were urging Twitter's advertisers to issue statements about pulling their ads off the social media platform after its owner Elon Musk lifted the ban on tweets by former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump's account, which Twitter had suspended after the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021 citing the risk of further incitement of violence, was reinstated over the weekend. Some 90% of Twitter's revenue comes from selling digital ads.

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.

Twitter, which lost much of its communications team when Musk slashed the staff shortly after taking over, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

This month, Musk complained that pressure from the activists had already caused a "massive drop in revenue."

Twitter began reinstating banned or suspended accounts late last week including the comedian Kathy Griffin as well as Trump.



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