Elon Musk’s acquisition of influential social media platform Twitter has led to widespread corporate media disruption. Since his hostile takeover in late October, Elon Musk has undertaken a number of actions that have led Woke corporations to engage in a coordinated revolt.
One of Musk’s most controversial actions was disbanding a ‘content moderation council’ opposed to free speech and diversity of political opinion on Twitter.
As Musk explained on one of my Twitter threads on Tuesday, the disbanding of the council came after social activists broke their deal with him.
A large coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenue if I agreed to this condition.
They broke the deal.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 22, 2022
“A large coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenue if I agreed to this condition,” Musk said. “They broke the deal.”
Now, it has come out who is backing a concerted effort to starve Twitter of advertising revenue: A Clinton-linked dark money group named “Accountable Tech.”
As liberal attorney Jonathan Turley pointed out on his blog, the Clinton-backed group has been targeting advertisers to get them to protest Musk’s free speech measures on Twitter.
In the shift of the left against free speech principles, there is no figure more actively or openly pushing for censorship than Hillary Clinton. Now, reports indicate that Clinton has unleashed her allies in the corporate world to coerce Musk to restore censorship policies or face bankruptcy. The effort of the Clinton-linked “Accountable Tech” reveals the level of panic in Democratic circles that free speech could be restored on one social media platform. The group was open about how losing control over Twitter could result in a loss of control over social media generally. For Clinton, it is an “all-hands on deck” call for censorship. She previously called upon foreign governments to crackdown on the free speech of Americans on Twitter.
We have been discussing how Clinton and others have called on foreign countries to pass censorship laws to prevent Elon Musk from restoring free speech protections on Twitter. It seems that, after years of using censorship-by-surrogates in social media companies, Democratic leaders seem to have rediscovered good old-fashioned state censorship.
Accountable Tech led an effort to send a letter to top Twitter advertisers to force Musk to accept “non-negotiable” requirements for censorship.
General Motors was one of the first to pull its advertising funds to stop free speech restoration on the site.
Turley then provides an overview and analysis of the warning letter:
The letter is open about the potential cascading effect if free speech is restored on one platform: “While the company is hardly a poster-child for healthy social media, it has taken welcome steps in recent years to mitigate systemic risks, ratcheting up pressure on the likes of Facebook and YouTube to follow suit.”
The letter insists that free speech will only invite “disinformation, hate, and harassment” and that “[u]nder the guise of ‘free speech,’ [Musk’s] vision will silence and endanger marginalized communities, and tear at the fraying fabric of democracy.”
Among other things, the letter demands “algorithmic accountability,” a notable inclusion in light of Democratic politicians demanding enlightened algorithms to protect citizens from their own bad choices or thoughts.
The letter was removed from Scribd after Turley posted it in his story but can be read in full there.
Turley adds that “in addition to Accountable Tech, twenty-five other groups signed the letter to demand the restoration of censorship policies, including Media Matters and the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. Accountable Tech has partnered in the past with Hillary Clinton’s Onward Together nonprofit group.”
The Clinton-backed campaign against free speech on Twitter has been fairly successful thus far, as a Washington Post analysis revealed this week.
“More than a third of Twitter’s top 100 marketers have not advertised on the social media network in the past two weeks, a Washington Post analysis of marketing data found — an indication of the extent of skittishness among advertisers about billionaire Elon Musk’s control of the company,” the Post said.
“Dozens of top Twitter advertisers, including 14 of the top 50, have stopped advertising in the few weeks since Musk’s chaotic acquisition of the social media company, according to The Post’s analysis of data from Pathmatics, which offers brand analysis on digital marketing trends,” the analysis continued.
“Ads for blue-chip brands including Jeep and Mars candy, whose corporate parents were among the top 100 U.S. advertisers on the site in the six months before Musk’s purchase, haven’t appeared there since at least Nov. 7, the analysis found. Musk assumed ownership of the site Oct. 27,” the Post added.
“Pharmaceutical company Merck, cereal maker Kellogg, Verizon and Samuel Adams brewer Boston Beer also have stopped their advertising in recent weeks, the Pathmatics data shows,” the story went on. “The companies didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Post.”
Elon Musk in recent weeks has taken his $44 billion investment in Twitter and transformed the website into one based more on free speech and transparency. Musk has restored former President Donald Trump’s once-banned Twitter account, granted a blanket amnesty to suspended conservative Twitter accounts, and even said that he would support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis if he ran for president in 2024.
The key point about the Twitter advertiser boycott is there is no credible evidence to support it is about “hate speech.” As Elon Musk recently pointed out, the metrics that Twitter used to track such alleged “hate speech” are down by one-third after his takeover.
No, this isn’t about “hate speech.” It’s about “free speech.” And Elon Musk is spending billions of dollars of his own money to support the last vestiges of it on social media.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.