https://thehill.com/policy/technology/3719853-twitter-has-seen-massive-drop-in-revenue-amid-takeover-musk-says/

Twitter owner Elon Musk said on Friday that the company has seen a “massive drop” in revenue since he took its helm last week.

“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,” Musk wrote on the platform.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO closed his $44 billion deal with Twitter on Nov. 4 after months of back-and-forth, firing top executives at the company shortly after his takeover.

Musk also began working on a council that would make content moderation decisions and developing plans to lift lifelong Twitter bans, both controversial moves among site users.

There has been a surge of racist and other discriminatory tweets following Musk’s purchase of the social media platform.

While Musk had not made any official changes to content allowances at that time, users appeared to be emboldened by the ownership switch.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, said on Tuesday that many of the hundreds of staff members who previously had access to content moderation tools have now lost that capability, dwindling the moderation team down to 15 people.

The same day, a coalition of more than 40 civil society organizations addressed a letter to the top 20 Twitter advertisers urging them to suspend their partnerships with the company if Musk chose not to enforce the current community guidelines.

“We, the undersigned organizations, call on you to notify Musk and publicly commit that you will cease all advertising on Twitter globally if he follows through on his plans to undermine brand safety and community standards, including gutting content moderation,” the coalition wrote.

“This means that Musk must not roll back the basic moderation practices Twitter already has on the books now and must commit to actually enforcing those rules.”

Musk on Friday called the drop in revenue due to “pressure” on advertisers “extremely messed up.”

“They’re trying to destroy free speech in America,” the self-described “free speech absolutist” said of activist organizations opposing his vision for Twitter.

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