It’s been a newsworthy week for the controversial CEO of Twitter. And that’s not counting his SpaceX Starship rocket exploding mid-launch.
Twitter announced a new content moderation policy on Monday dubbed “Freedom of Speech, Not Freedom of Reach,” which aims to restrict the visibility of tweets that violate its rules against “hateful conduct.” The following day, billionaire owner Elon Musk talked up Twitter’s recent efforts to promote transparency to a crowd of advertisers, marketers and media folks—this editor included—at MMA Global’s inaugural POSSIBLE conference in Miami.
Though extremely attentive to the CEO’s remarks, we’re not convinced all in the crowd were receptive—despite outburst of cheers from some in attendance. Many advertisers fled the platform after Musk took over the company in October and began making moves that prioritize his views on free speech—“the bedrock of democracy,” in his words—over content moderation, from reinstating formerly banned users to a new paid verification service for accounts with blue check marks.
The new enforcement policy, according to Musk, will make tweets that potentially violate its rules less discoverable on the platform. “If somebody has something hateful to say, it doesn’t mean you should give them a megaphone. They should still be able to say it, but it needs to be not then pushed on people,” he said. “So, if somebody wants to say something that’s technically legal, but that is by most definitions hateful, we’re not going to promote that. We’re not going to recommend hateful content to people. We’ll put it behind a warning label.”
But will advertisers consider the platform safe enough to reinvest? Moderator Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Global Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal, summed up advertisers’ concerns with this: “Have you de-risked the opportunity or chance of their campaigns landing in these awful hateful places?”
Check out our coverage of the conversation, and stay tuned for additional conference highlights from sessions with CMOs and top-ranking marketers hailing from Walmart, Google, Tinder, DoorDash and others.
Until next week,
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