Civil rights groups ramped up their calls for an ad boycott over Elon Musk’s decision to reinstate former President Trump on Twitter, saying Musk broke promises to curb hate speech and misinformation on the platform.
“Any advertiser still funding Twitter should immediately pause all advertising now,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson tweeted over the weekend after Musk said Trump’s account would be reinstated.
Musk, who has made a number of controversial changes to the social media platform since his $44 billion acquisition, restored the former president’s account after a slim majority of Twitter users backed the move in a poll that Musk shared.
Activists met with Musk earlier this month after reports that racist and antisemitic tweets surged on the site after Musk’s takeover, and the Twitter CEO promised a content moderation council to help make decisions about the site.
The decision to reinstate Trump’s account was made without the conference of such a council, Bloomberg reports.
“We got a commitment he wouldn’t replatform anyone until he had a transparent process. It is pretty clear that doing a Twitter poll is not a transparent process, especially because there’s no information about who voted in the poll,” Anti-Defamation League vice president Yael Eisenstat told Bloomberg.
Trump had been banned in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, and his reinstatement has renewed concerns about content moderation on the Musk-led site — though Trump has said he doesn’t plan to return to the platform.
“This is not a game — these decisions affect people and they shouldn’t be up to @elonmusk’s personal whims or a random Twitter poll about whether or not Trump, who incited a violent insurrection when he was last on the platform, is allowed a free pass to spread more racist lies,” said Color of Change President Rashad Robinson.
Civil rights groups also slammed Musk after mass layoffs at Twitter earlier this month, raising concerns about the site’s operations and safety under a slashed staff.