Over two-dozen activist organizations and NGOs signed a letter advising companies who advertise on Twitter to reconsider their financial support of the company.
The 26 groups, led by activist organization Media Matters for America (MMFA), called on Twitter's corporate advertisers to commit to a set of standards and practices currently in place by the platform to limit so-called “toxicity” by its users.
“Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized,” the letter began.
“Twitter has outsized influence in shaping both public discourse and industrywide platform governance standards,” it continued. “While the company is hardly a posterchild for healthy social media, it has taken welcome steps in recent years to mitigate systemic risks, ratcheting up pressure on the likes of Facebook and YouTube to follow suit.”
“Musk intends to steamroll those safeguards and provide a megaphone to extremists who traffic in disinformation, hate, and harassment,” stated the organizations, alluding to Elon Musk’s drive to make Twitter compliant with the free speech principles of the First Amendment. “Under the guise of ‘free speech,’ his vision will silence and endanger marginalized communities, and tear at the fraying fabric of democracy.”
The letter continued: “Under Musk's management, Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low.”
“Your ad dollars can either fund Musk's vanity project or hold him to account,” the authors stated. “We call on you to demand Musk uphold these basic standards of community trust and safety, and to pull your advertising spending from Twitter if they are not.”
Among the high-profile organizations and liberal figures to sign the letter are George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, several NGOs founded by former Clinton and Obama administration officials, Black Lives Matter, GLAAD, Women’s March, and numerous labour unions' lobby groups.
The list also includes the governments of several European nations, including Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada, which donated to Access Now, one of the main signatories — as reported by the Daily Mail.
Since the letter went public, Elon Musk publicly responded on Twitter to ask who funded the groups. Many of the responses pointed out that the list consists of “dark money groups” like George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, prompting Musk to directly tweet at the organization's Twitter account to ask for a private audience with George Soros.
“Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate,” wrote Musk, linking to a CNN article that reported on the open letter.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” he added.
“I will call him and ask,” said Musk in response to a suggestion that George Soros’ organization was one of the names on the list.
“George, please slide into my DMs!” Musk wrote in direct response to Open Society Foundations and George Soros on Twitter.