SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In the wake of his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, Elon Musk has called for an investigation into reports of left-wing groups that are exerting pressure on the social media platform’s advertisers to cut their financial ties if the Tesla CEO makes good on his promise to relax the social media platform’s content moderation policies.
Reportedly, numerous organizations – including Black Lives Matter Network Foundation, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Women’s March, Media Matters for America, and GLAAD – have petitioned major companies such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Disney to withdraw their advertising dollars from Twitter in light of Musk’s pledge to do away with most forms of censorship on the microblogging website.
“Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized,” a letter sent to the advertisers read. “As top advertisers on Twitter, your brand risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists. Under Musk’s management, Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low.”
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The protest from the organizations began within a week of Musk’s April 25 purchase, despite the fact that he has not yet released any specifics on how exactly he plans to modify Twitter’s content moderation policies. However, the South African tech mogul has taken exception to the attempts to essentially “cancel” Twitter, and has called for an investigation.
“Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …” Musk tweeted on Tuesday. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Musk, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” has been critical of what he calls censorship on Twitter, and said that he would be making changes – including taking the publicly-traded company private – once he officially takes over the platform, which could still take several months as the details of the purchase are still being ironed out.
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk said.