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Musk Blames Activists for Twitter’s Plummeting Revenue

Published: November 4, 2022
The Twitter logo is seen on a sign on the exterior of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California, on Oct. 28, 2022. Advertisers are reportedly fleeing the platform following Musk’s acquisition with Musk laying the blame for the exodus on ‘activists.’ (Image: CONSTANZA HEVIA/AFP via Getty Images)

On Nov. 4, Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, blamed activists for what he calls a “massive drop in revenue” as advertisers continue to sever ties with the platform in the days following his acquisition.

“Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists,” the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla tweeted Friday morning. 

Advertisers who have said they are leaving the platform include Audi, General Mills, General motors, Mondelez International, Pfizer and Volkswagen, among others. 

According to Forbes, advertising company Interpublic Group (IPG) is recommending to their clients to pause paid advertising on Twitter. 

IPG has a massive roster of blue-chip clients that includes Mattel, Coca-Cola, Amex, Nintendo and Spotify. IPG is considered one of the so-called Big Four agencies, which includes WPP, Omicron, and Publicis Groupe. 

The company has recommended a week long ad pause as it engages with Twitter on how it will move forward however it is not clear if its clients will heed their recommendation.

Twitter lights up

Twitter lit up following Musk’s Friday morning tweet attracting comment by several major accounts.

Tom Fitton, author of “A Republic Under Assault” told his 1.6 million followers on Twitter, “Our nation is in a revolutionary period in which the extremist Left would destroy those institutions it can not control.”

Catturd™, a popular right-wing parody account that has attracted nearly a million followers, tweeted in response to Musk, “Glad to see you finally realize how fascist the lunatic left is. Let the Conservatives back on Twitter, get rid of all algorithms and shadow bans, etc, on us – and we’ll bring our advertising dollars with us. Our spending power is enormous.”

Verified user and political commentator Ian Miles Cheong who has over 367 thousand followers on the platform tweeted at Musk, “It’s time to stop appeasing the activists because they will stop at nothing to hurt Twitter regardless of what you do.”

Occupy Democrats, an account with almost half a million followers entered the fray tweeting, “BREAKING: Elon Musk falls apart as Twitter starts to fail, whines that there’s been a ‘massive drop in revenue’ because activists are ‘pressuring advertisers’ to leave which is ‘extremely messed up’ because they want to ‘destroy free speech.’ RT IF YOU THINK IT’S ELON’S FAULT.”

Another popular account, Shaun, with over 300 thousand followers tweeted, “musk is lying about activists getting advertisers to jump ship (they hardly needed to be pushed) but whatever, i say we claim that win. That’s right, we did that, you can’t beat us, har har”

Layoffs looming

While users trade barbs over Musk’s claims, thousands of Twitter employees are facing the unemployment line.

Just a week after purchasing Twitter, Musk said he will begin implementing sweeping layoffs Friday morning. 

Several employees tweeted early Friday that they had already lost access to their work accounts. 

In an email, obtained by multiple media outlets, the company said, “In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday.”

Employees were told that they would find out by 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time if they had been laid off. The email did not disclose how many employees would be let go and the layoffs are not confined to Twitter’s American operations. 

Paul Burns, managing director of Twitter’s Canadian operations, and Michele Austin, Twitter’s director of public policy for the United States and Canada, announced they would be leaving the company on Twitter Friday morning.

“It’s been a wild last 4.5 years,” Burns Tweeted, adding that,”To the people, friends, partners, and tweeps that make this place so special. Thank you for all the adventures. Love you all so much.”