Largest US automaker pulls ads from Twitter after Elon Musk’s takeover

US

The largest automaker in the US has pulled paid advertising on Twitter after Elon Musk completed his takeover of the social media company.

Musk’s $44bn (£38bn) deal to buy Twitter completed on Thursday and he reportedly sacked the company’s chief executive and two other top bosses.

The world’s richest man tweeted “the bird is freed” and “let the good times roll” before a tweet on Friday announcing the setting up of the content moderation council.

Late on Friday, GM Motors Co said in a statement it had temporarily halted paid ads on the platform as a “normal course of business” after a significant change in a media platform.

The Detroit automaker said it was “engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership”, adding its “customer care interactions on Twitter will continue”.

Ad sales made up more than 90% of Twitter’s revenue in the second quarter.

Some ad agencies and brands had expressed scepticism and concern over Twitter’s future at a presentation back in May.

More on Elon Musk

Tesla and SpaceX boss Musk, who has described himself as a “free-speech absolutist”, appealed directly to advertisers in an open-letter tweet on the eve of the deal’s closing.

He said: “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!… Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise.”

Musk then tweeted on Friday saying the social media platform will form a moderation council “with widely diverse viewpoints” and that “no major content decisions or account reinstatements” will be made before it meets.

In a later tweet, he said the company had “not yet” made any changes to its content moderation policies.

Musk previously promised to overhaul the service by getting rid of fake accounts and ensuring it’s a place where a “range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner”.

Donald Trump – arguably once Twitter’s most famous user – is among those who could have their account reinstated.

The former president was banned after the siege on the US Capitol in January 2021 for allegedly inciting violence with two of his posts.

However, Musk earlier this year called the ban a “mistake” and “morally wrong”.

Read more:
Super app or Wild West? The future of Twitter under Elon Musk

Musk’s purchase of Twitter was completed a day before the 28 October deadline to avoid the deal going to court. The company had taken legal action to force the deal through after Musk backed out in July over the number of fake and spam accounts.

Earlier this week, Musk posted a bizarre video of himself entering Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters carrying a sink alongside the message: “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in”.

Musk, who has updated his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit”, said on Thursday he did not buy the social media platform to make more money but “to try to help humanity, whom I love.”

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