Activists urge ad boycott if Musk turns Twitter toxic

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Activists urge ad boycott if Musk turns Twitter toxic

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Activists urge ad boycott if Musk turns Twitter toxic


Activist groups called on Twitter advertisers Tuesday to boycott the service if it opens the gates to abusive and misinformative posts with billionaire Elon Musk as its owner.

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The Tesla chief's US$44 billion deal to buy the global messaging platform must still get the backing of shareholders and regulators, but he has voiced enthusiasm for dialing back content moderation to a legal minimum and no longer banning people for using the platform to instigate real-world harm.

"Your brand risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists," said an open letter signed by more than two dozen groups including Media Matters, Access Now and Ultraviolet.

"Under Musk's management, Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached."

The groups urged advertisers to require that Twitter maintain its content moderation policies as a non-negotiable term of doing business with the platform.

Twitter makes most of its revenue from ads, and that could be jeopardized by advertisers' reaction to content posted on the platform, the San Francisco-based tech firm said in a filing with US regulators.