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Toxic Twitter activists step up pressure on brands after Trump account reinstated – SABC News


A coalition of civil rights activists on Monday called on Twitter advertisers to come forward with requests to remove their ads from the social media platform after its owner Elon Musk overturned a ban on former US President Donald Trump’s tweets.

Trump’s account, which Twitter suspended after riots at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, citing the risk of further inciting violence, was reinstated over the weekend.

About 90% of Twitter’s revenue comes from digital advertising sales.

Groups from the Stop Toxic Twitter Coalition complained that Musk promised advertisers that Twitter would take a measured approach to restoring banned accounts and would convene a new content moderation board.

As of Monday, such a council has not been established.

“It was a real violation,” Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, a left-wing media watchdog that is part of the coalition, said Monday. He said Musk “lied from the beginning.”

“In less than three weeks, Musk has gone back on all the promises he made to activists and advertisers,” said Jessica Gonzalez, executive director of the Free Press media and democracy group, which is also part of the Twitter coalition. press release.

Twitter, which lost most of its communications team when Musk cut staff shortly after taking office, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This month, Musk complained that pressure from activists had already led to a “big drop in revenue.”

Late last week, Twitter began restoring banned or suspended accounts, including those of comedian Kathy Griffin and Trump.

On Monday, the platform also reinstated the personal Twitter account of U.S. House Representative Marjorie Taylor Green.

Of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers by total spend this year, 51 have suspended ads, according to private conversations with the coalition, public statements or spend data provided by ad measurement firm Pathmatics, Caruson said.

He said the coalition is asking brands that haven’t made their Twitter posts public to pause for public statements and help put pressure on the remaining 49 advertisers that haven’t taken action.

“You have to take a stand and draw a line,” Caruson said. “It’s important for spenders to say they’ve stopped.”

The coalition will consider naming the companies later this week if they don’t make a public statement about suspending the ads, he added.

On Saturday, Musk tweeted that Twitter would reinstate the former president’s account after a narrow majority voted yes in Musk’s poll on the issue.

The names at the top of Twitter’s list of top advertisers have changed since the week before Musk closed the deal to acquire the company.

According to Pathmatics, major brands HBO and Mondelez were Twitter’s top two advertisers in the week before the acquisition. But between November 10 and 16, after Musk laid off half of Twitter’s staff, the two biggest advertisers were FinanceBuzz.io, a personal finance site, and Trendytowns, an e-commerce site in Singapore.

Data from Pathmatics showed that the top 100 advertisers spent an estimated $23.6 million on Twitter between Nov. 10 and 16, up from $24. 2 million spent from October 16 to 22, before Musk became the owner of Twitter.

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