It has been about a month since tech billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter, and there continue to be incessant cries of outrage and apocalyptic doom from pro-censorship leftist activists and media pundits about how Musk will manage the social media platform and his stated commitment to protect and respect free speech in the “modern public square.”
The constant criticism and protestations may be impacting Musk’s bottom line now, as a report indicates that roughly a third of Twitter’s top 100 corporate advertisers have stopped running ads over the past couple of weeks, Breitbart reported.
Some of those companies have ceased running ads altogether while others have simply paused their ad campaigns temporarily, likely to allow the chaos of the transition at Twitter to die down and to see how everything shakes out over time.
The left’s anti-Musk insanity is having an effect
It was The Washington Post that reported on Tuesday that, according to marketing data, a little more than a third of the top 100 biggest advertisers on Twitter had not run any ads on the platform over the prior two weeks, including 14 of the top 50 key advertisers.
That was determined by way of an analysis of data compiled by a company known as Pathmatics, which keeps close track of digital marketing trends.
However, not all of the ceased or paused advertising on Twitter appears to be directly connected to Musk, but could be in regard to issues at the platform that pre-existed prior to Musk’s takeover in late October.
For example, the Mars corporation, which makes candy and food and other products, said in a statement to the Post, “Mars started suspending advertising activities on Twitter in late September when we learned of some significant brand safety and suitability incidents that impacted our brands.”
Activist outrage scaring off advertisers
That said, much of the drop-off in advertising on Twitter is related to Musk, or rather, to the outraged reaction by some to his acquisition of the influential and popular social media platform and pressure campaigns that vocal activists and groups have launched against the companies that continue to run ads there.
According to Matthew Quint, the director of the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School, some companies are facing mounting “pressure, from a range of their stakeholders and consumers, around being connected with content that is viewed as inflammatory” — a reference to Musk’s reinstatement of some previously banned accounts and vow to allow more free speech and less censorship.
Quint told the Post that Musk had become “a very strong brand himself, and a controversial brand,” and added, “The more he is out in the front, the more advertisers may … just choose to say I’m still not ready to be heavily associated with a Musk platform at this point.”
Targeted boycott and pressure campaign designed to financially harm Musk
Quint’s reference to the “pressure” that some companies were feeling to stop advertising on Twitter was likely in relation to the targeted pressure campaigns and threats of boycotts launched against prominent advertisers by a collection of left-leaning activist and civil rights groups, according to Bloomberg News.
Those groups disagree with how Musk plans to manage and operate the social media platform he purchased for $44 billion, and are now actively working to financially harm Musk and Twitter as a form of punishment for not acquiescing to their every demand on content moderation — meaning censorship of disfavored voices — that were put forward in an initial bad-faith supposed bid at finding agreement.