Oreo maker Mondelez pulls ads from Twitter over concerns about hate speech following Musk takeover

Oreo maker Mondelez said Tuesday it is pulling company ads from Twitter over concerns about hate speech following the platform’s acquisition by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

In an interview with Reuters, Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put said was concerned about the optics of an advertisement from his company appearing next to hate speech.

FILE: Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO, Mondelez International, speaks during the Milken Institute’s 22nd annual Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. (REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo/Reuters Photos)

“What we’ve seen recently since the change on Twitter has been announced, is the amount of hate speech increase significantly,” he said. “We felt there is a risk our advertising would appear next to the wrong messages.”

He added: “As a consequence, we have decided to take a pause and a break until that risk is as low as possible.”

TWITTER ADDS ‘OFFICIAL’ LABELS TO SELECT VERIFIED ACCOUNTS – THEN REVERSES COURSE

His comments come after Twitter laid off half its workforce and as advertisers pulled spending amid concerns about content moderation. Automakers, General Mills and United Airlines, among others, are companies that have pulled ads from the platform.

Musk, meanwhile, sought to reassure big companies that advertise on Twitter on Wednesday that his chaotic takeover of the company won’t harm their brands, acknowledging that some “dumb things” might happen on his way to creating what he says will be a better , safer user experience.

The latest erratic move on the minds of major advertisers who the company depends on for revenue was Musk’s decision to abolish a new “official” label on high-profile Twitter accounts just hours after introducing it.

Twitter's blue verification check

A blue verification check on the page of Twitter Inc. on a smartphone arranged in the Brooklyn borough of New York, US, on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. (Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Twitter began adding the gray labels to some prominent Wednesday accounts, including brands like Coca-Cola, Nike and Apple, to indicate that they are authentic. A few hours later, the labels started disappearing.

“Apart from being an aesthetic nightmare when looking at the Twitter feed, it was simply another way of creating a two-class system,” the billionaire Tesla CEO told advertisers in an hour-long conversation broadcast live on Twitter. “It wasn’t addressing the core problem.”

Elon Musk

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk’s photo is seen through a Twitter logo in this illustration taken October 28, 2022. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters Photos)

Musk’s comments were his most expansive about Twitter’s future since he closed a $44 billion deal to buy the company late last month, dismissed its top executives almost immediately and, on Friday, fired roughly half of its workforce..

Musk had earlier threatened by tweet a “thermonuclear name & shame” on advertisers that quit Twitter. But he took a more measured approach Wednesday, asking them to “give it a minute and kind of see how things are evolving.”

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“The best way to understand what’s going on with Twitter is use Twitter,” he told the group, which was represented mostly by the head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade association.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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