Desperate for advertising Musk resorts to threats and lawsuits

Musk's desire to platform all the nazis and other Q-reverent, racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, anti-semitic jerks, while attracting mainstream advertisers is a big fail. Musk is now threatening to sue the Center for Countering Digital Hate for exposing the amount of digital hate available on Twitter AND threatening to revoke some magical status indicators from companies he deems to not be advertising enough.


The New York Times reports that lawyers representing X recently sent a letter to the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which published papers last month arguing that hate speech was flourishing on Musk's platform, as it took no action against the vast majority of accounts that were flagged for tweeting out hate speech.

The lawyers accused the Center for Countering Digital Hate of making "a series of troubling and baseless claims that appear calculated to harm Twitter generally, and its digital advertising business specifically" and went on to accuse the organization of being funded by competitors "in support of an ulterior agenda."

Among other things, posts declaring that "Hitler was right" and that the LGBTQ community need to face "a firing squad" were kept up.

Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of Center for Countering Digital Hate, told the New York Times that "Elon Musk's actions represent a brazen attempt to silence honest criticism and independent research," which he said was motivated by Musk's desire to "stem the tide of negative stories and rebuild his relationship with advertisers."

While tantrums and behavior befitting a 4-year-old are frequent mainstays in Musk's management repertoire, they don't work. The amounts Musk is now trying to shakedown advertisers for are pathetic. Having tried to force $250k in spending, Musk desperately demands $1000. Advertisers won't and can't line up next to his grounded-in-nazism UGC farm.

Tech Dirt:

Of course, the WSJ article also notes that Twitter is, once again, drastically discounting ad buys:

"It is offering 50% off any new bookings of those ads until July 31, among other discounts. 'The goal of these discounts is to help our advertisers gain reach during crucial moments on Twitter such as the Women's World Cup,' one of the emails read."

As a separate point, I'll just note that, back in February, they were talking about 50% off ads for $250,000 spends. Now they're trying to cajole and coax companies into spending… $1,000.