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How brands and agencies are reacting to Elon Musk’s radical changes at Twitter

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How brands and agencies are reacting to Elon Musk’s radical changes at Twitter -
November 2, 2022
(Search Engine Land)

As brand safety risks increase, some advertisers are waiting to see whether Twitter will be a respected platform or a free-for-all hellscape.

Elon Musk Twitter


By Nicole Farley

Last week, Twitter’s new chief twit, Elon Musk told advertisers he was buying Twitter because human civilization needed a town square, “where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.”


It seems like he’s getting what he wanted.

A brand safety risk

Not all agencies and brands are on board with Musk’s new outlook.

Due to trust and safety concerns under Musk’s leadership, some agencies are advising that their clients suspend their ads on Twitter, at least for now.

One of those advertising companies is IPG’s Mediabrands.

The automaker, and Tesla competitor GM temporarily paused their ads, but stated that its decision was consistent with its “normal course of business” to “temporarily pause our paid advertising.” The automaker added, it is not abandoning Twitter entirely, as its “customer care interactions on Twitter will continue.”

Musk’s words state that he’s committed to safety, posting recently, “Twitter’s commitment to brand safety is unchanged,” but his actions seem to say otherwise.

Some advertisers aren’t concerned, though, as 58% of the marketers we polled thought the change could be a good thing for brands, marketers, and users.

A chaotic and confused approach to free speech

Last week, Musk promoted a baseless conspiracy theory about the recent violent attack on Paul Pelosi. “There might be more to this story than meets the eye,” Musk said, in response to a tweet from Hillary Clinton. A few hours later the tweet was deleted.

Musk also said he disagrees with Twitter’s practice of permanent bans for those who repeatedly violate its rules, raising the possibility that a number of previously banned, controversial users could reemerge on the platform. Many of us will be watching to see if he lets former President Trump back on the platform in time for the U.S. midterm elections.

Musk has a history of outrageous behavior as we saw in 2018 when he called a British caver “Pedo guy” during the Thai boys’ soccer team rescue. The diver sued Musk for his comments and Musk later told a jury that his insult wasn’t meant to be taken literally.

Bloomberg points out that there are other examples of more concerning tweets directed toward Musk, such as ones from commentators in China lobbying to have their “Chinese state-affiliated media” label removed.


It’s also concerning that since Musk’s takeover, there has been a noticeable uptick in racial and Nazi slurs on the platform.

“Musk’s Twitter takeover has shown us some unfortunate outcomes thus far, one of the clearest signals being the immediate increase in hate speech on the platform. A study from the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University found that in the hours after Musk’s acquisition, Twitter became a more “vulgar and hostile” environment, with it experiencing an “immediate, visible, and measurable spike” in hate speech. Social media acts as a gathering space for billions, and it becoming more hostile will have real-world impacts. Words matter, they have power; there have been countless studies showing how hate speech directly correlates with a rise in hate crimes.”

Eric Yaverbaum, CEO of Ericho Communications

*click here for full article


Social Media

Greg Tingle

SEL with an interesting and thought stimulating article from Nicole. In my view Twitter has always been a mixed bag and somewhat toxic - yes, from the very beginning. There's so many bots and spam accounts on there its almost unbelievable. Many moons ago I even lost an account for typing a "honk honk honk" of support for supporting the peaceful Canadian and Canberra, Australia protests. I'm not kidding. The platform is a solid business model and useful platform, but some former management, staff and "moderators" (or A.I systems - I still don't know), lost the plot. Numerous experts said the former algorithm was also rigged. I don't work there, but smart people and insiders who got out and turned into whistleblowers and spilling the tea. In my view things can only get much better under Elon Musk management. An accountable and smart businessman who is touch with the real world by all accounts. Now that's a breath of fresh air. Additional balance added I trust. Cheers from the Sydney Nest. Tweet Honk Tweet!