New Twitter owner, Elon Musk is considering suing activist groups after they compelled advertisers to cancel the advertisement budget for the social media company in protest against the billionaire’s plan to allow “free speech”.
Musk had acquired Twitter for $44 billion to take the company private, enabling him to make certain changes in the firm, such as reviewing the content policy of the platform.
The billionaire had been critical with previous management of Twitter over their handling of users’ contents, stating that their content policy is was against freedom of speech.
With Twitter now relaxing its clampdown on controversial contents on the platform under Musk, about 40 activist organisations have written to 20 Chief Executive Officers of Fortune 500 firms to vow to stop advertising on Twitter.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that the activists, led by co-founder and executive director of digital rights group, Accountable Tech, Nicole Gill, said, “Elon Musk is an erratic billionaire who has promised to roll back critical safeguards Twitter has put in place and replatform extremists who have repeatedly spewed hate, incited violence, and undermined our democracy.”
They also stated that, “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.”
Advertisers have now been cutting ties with Twitter, with GM, General Mills, and Volkswagen Group, owner of VW, Seat, Cupra, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Ducati and Porsche brands, suspending ads on the platform.
The Tesla majority investor has now hinted that he is taking action against the activists for tortious interference after President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, asked, “I wonder if @ElonMusk’s @Twitter has tortious interference claims against the Left activist groups which are causing damaging advertiser boycotts of the platform?”
Musk responded on Monday with “We do,” reflecting a possible lawsuit. Note that tortious interference means an intentional interference with contractual relations, thereby damaging someone else’s contractual or business relationships with a third party.
This causes economic harm, as it leads to the earnings of the firm or persons to depreciate. Last week, Musk had admitted that “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. Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”
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