The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk is far from complete, but NGOs are already calling on advertisers to boycott the platform if ever content moderation there becomes complacent towards harassment and hate speech under the influence of the libertarian billionaire.

Elon Musk, this unbearable genius

“Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter risks becoming a pit of misinformation”26 organizations said in an open letter to advertisers. “Your brand risks being associated with a platform that amplifies hate, extremism, health misinformation and conspiracy theories (…) Your ad budget can fund Musk’s whim or empower him”added the coalition, led by Media Matters for America, Accountable Tech and UltraViolet – which fight against misinformation and sexism, in particular.

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Raising of shields

Twitter’s Board of Directors (CA) accepted last week Elon Musk’s offer to buy the Californian company, thus valued at 44 billion dollars. The richest man in the world wants to make it a bastion of freedom of expression, which he considers violated by too strict regulations, from the withdrawal of certain messages to personalities banned for having broken the rules several times, like Donald Trump.

Why Elon Musk buys Twitter: the underside of a 44 billion bet

Without mentioning the former American president, ousted in January 2021 from mainstream platforms for inciting violence, NGOs are asking that people fired from the network not return.

The surprise acquisition by the controversial businessman, a fan of provocations on his account with 90 million subscribers, sparked an outcry, including from the Board, who initially tried to prevent the transaction .

“Uncertainties”

On Monday, management said Twitter was at risk of losing users, advertisers and employees worried about the future of the platform. She’s afraid it’s harder “to keep essential employees” and of “recruit new employees”according to documents filed with the US stock market watchdog, the SEC.

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What Twitter will look like after the Elon Musk takeover

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“Staff could be distracted, and their productivity could drop as a result, due to the uncertainty of the transaction”, she says. The CA also indicates that fake accounts and spam represent “less than 5% of monthly active users”. Elon Musk has indicated that his priority will be the fight against spam.

In the summer of 2020, a boycott organized by a coalition of NGOs, to ask Facebook to better fight against groups that incite hatred, was followed by hundreds of companies.



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