November 28, 2022

The Left’s Two-Front War on Twitter

Twitter’s Elon Musk is committed to free speech, and the Left is equally committed to stopping him.

There’s a two-front war being waged against Twitter, and it confirms everything we’ve long suspected about the Left and its hostility toward free speech.

One battlefront revolves around advertising, the revenue from which is the life’s blood of a social media platform. The other front involves Twitter’s users, who the Left hopes to chase away to an alternative platform by making Twitter seem socially unacceptable.

Earlier this month, we got a sense of how that advertising war is being waged, and by whom. As NBC News reported: “A group comprised of 60 civil rights and civil society groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, launched the website, StopToxicTwitter.com, urging major brands to halt advertising on Twitter.”

It didn’t take long.

The Washington Post, NPR, Media Matters, and other reliably left-wing organs are now gleefully reporting on the exodus of major advertisers from Twitter. According to the Post: “More than a third of Twitter’s top 100 marketers have not advertised on the social media network in the past two weeks, a Washington Post analysis of marketing data found — an indication of the extent of skittishness among advertisers about billionaire Elon Musk’s control of the company.”

Media Matters was even more enthusiastic about this advertising attrition: “Fifty of the top 100 advertisers have either announced or seemingly stopped advertising on Twitter,” they report. “These advertisers have accounted for nearly $2 billion in spending on the platform since 2020, and over $750 million in advertising in 2022 alone.”

The Soros-funded, Fox-News-deranged Media Matters goes on to list the advertisers that have either publicly announced that they’ve stopped advertising on Twitter or are “quiet quitters.” Those publicly quitting include Chevrolet, Chipotle, Ford, Jeep, Kyndryl, Merck, and Novartis. The quiet quitters include Abbott Labs, Allstate, American Express, AT&T, BlackRock, Citigroup, CNN, Fidelity, and plenty more.

All this is based on data from a company called Pathmatics, which, we’re told, “offers brand analysis on digital marketing trends.”

How serious is the threat to Twitter’s advertising pipeline? Very serious. “If it becomes an essential street fight around hate speech, advertisers are going to run for the hills,” said Wedbush Securities managing director Dan Ives. “That fundamentally is the problem. You’re trying to bring advertisers back on while loosening content moderation. Those go exactly against each other. And no advertiser is going to jump in the deep end until they know the rules of the game. And Musk goes to the beat of a different drummer.”

Thus, with corporate advertisers being naturally averse to controversy, and with an activist group of “civil rights” organizations chirping in their ears, it’s not hard to see how this works — and how it’ll hurt Twitter’s bottom line regardless of wherever else it might be cutting costs and streamlining its operations.

Then there’s the alternative platform push — in this case to a micro-blogging site called Mastodon. Fox News reports: “As Twitter users chatter about the platform’s potential impending demise amid mass layoffs and resignations and reports that the app for employees had begun to slow, some users have turned to Mastodon as a potential alternative.”

Mastodon, which fancies itself as “radically different social media, back in the hands of the people,” was founded in 2016 by German software developer Eugen Rochko. Remarkably, he’s the project’s only full-time employee, and the decentralized, open-source social network is a nonprofit.

At this point, Mastodon doesn’t pose a numerical threat to Twitter. The platform currently has more than a million users, nearly half of whom Rochko said signed up after Elon Musk took over Twitter in October. Twitter, by comparison, reported 238 million daily active users at the end of the second quarter of 2022.

But while Twitter is still the dominant force in the micro-blogging space, those who appreciate free speech shouldn’t underestimate the Left’s hatred of it, nor the lengths to which it will go to control the marketplace of ideas.

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