It’s not just Musk’s tweets that are causing trouble. Some analysts have seen an upsurge in hate speech and misinformation since he took office, including a 500% increase in racial slurs, according to the Network Contagion Research Institute, an independent center that tracks online trends. And Twitter’s Head of Trust and Safety said they deleted 1,500 accounts who have been broadcasting hateful content since Saturday.
It’s the kind of dramatic rise that could scare away lucrative business. “When big advertisers leave for brand safety reasons, no one really wants the dubious honor of replacing them,” said Nandini Jammi, co-founder of watchdog group Check My Ads Institute.
Mediabrands – the media arm of advertising giant IPG – sent a letter to its customers on Monday asking them to stop advertising on Twitter until November 7, the person said. The group’s premier clients include American Express, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co. and Spotify and the company manages more than $40 billion in advertising spend worldwide. The person declined to say whether any of the brands had already suspended ads.
Katie Harbath, former director of public policy at Facebook, said Musk now realizes how complicated it is to manage a free flow of ideas and content while ensuring advertisers stay on the platform.
“Welcome to this world. This is what we all told you it was going to be,” she said. “It’s all mind-boggling to me. For someone who is smart, seemingly so naive.
Musk had previously told advertisers that he didn’t want the platform to become a “free-for-all hellscape” and that he wanted it to be “warm and welcoming to everyone”.
Mediabrands recommended that customers stop advertising on Twitter “until we have more clarity on Twitter’s plans for trust and safety and organizational capabilities to deliver on those commitments,” it said. said the person.
The Twitter controversy is also drawing attention to Capitol Hill.
“Free speech does not include spreading false information to minimize political violence,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who also serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Mediabrands customer outreach took place on the same day that the Global Alliance for Responsible Media released a open letter to Twitter — which called for improved security on the platform for advertisers. GARM is a cross-industry initiative created by the World Federation of Advertisers to tackle harmful content on digital media platforms.
Additionally, on Tuesday, 40 civil society groups wrote an open letter to the CEOs of Twitter’s top 20 advertisers — including Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta — calling on them to stop advertising on Twitter globally if Musk continues to do things that “undermine the brand”. safety and community standards by removing content moderation.
Additionally, a dozen high-end brands represented by luxury advertising firm GroupM have said they want to stop advertising on Twitter if Donald Trump joins the platform, GroupM told The Wall Street Journal last Friday. General Motors also announced last Friday that it is also temporarily halting advertising on Twitter.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mediabrand’s letter.
Alfred Ng contributed reporting