'Stop Toxic Twitter' activists pile pressure on brands

STORY: Dozens of civil rights activists and groups are ramping up pressure on Twitter’s advertisers to drop their ads from the platform – and make it public.

The so-called Stop Toxic Twitter coalition is taking action after Twitter owner Elon Musk lifted the suspension of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account, which was banned after the January 6th U.S. Capitol attack.

Susannah Streeter, a markets analyst with Hargreaves Lansdown, described Twitter’s future as “very murky waters”:

"Elon Musk wants Twitter to become the world's town hall where freedom of speech is allowed to run riot rally. The problem is it could turn into more of a social media boxing ring and an environment where many advertisers wouldn't want to hang around it. And that is the real danger going forward."

Stop Toxic Twitter complained that Musk had stated a new content moderation council would meet and discuss the matter before any ban was lifted.

But no such council had been created as of Monday.

Dozens of Twitters’ high spending advertisers have paused ads, according to sources.

Now, the coalition is asking brands that have not publicized their Twitter pause to issue public statements and help put pressure on other advertisers who have taken no action.

Musk recently complained that pressure from the activists had already caused a "massive drop in revenue."

Some 90% of Twitter's revenue comes from ads sales.

“Musk has had a track record of achieving what seemed to be unachievable, unattainable, like sending rockets into space. The problem is, a lot of what he has done has been fueled in an era of cheap money, fueled by cheap borrowing. And now we're moving away from that era. It may be much more difficult for Musk to finance his plans."

Twitter did not immediately respond to request for comment on the coalition’s moves.

The platform lost much of its communications team when Musk slashed staffing shortly after taking over.