Over the past 24 hours, a significant number of Twitter employees, including the head of trust and safety, have resigned from the company. These resignations followed accusations made by owner Elon Musk, who blamed his employees for enforcing Twitter’s advertiser hate speech policies against a prominent right-wing media company.
The turmoil at Twitter began on Thursday morning when Jeremy Boreing, co-founder of The Daily Wire, a conservative media outlet, tweeted about a potential deal that had allegedly gone wrong with Musk’s company. The Daily Wire employs several prominent right-wing influencers and pundits, such as Candace Owens, Jordan Peterson, and Matt Walsh.
This was a mistake by many people at Twitter. It is definitely allowed.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2023
Whether or not you agree with using someone’s preferred pronouns, not doing so is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws.
I should note that I do personally use someone’s preferred pronouns, just as I…
According to Boreing, The Daily Wire was in discussions with Twitter to run a paid advertising campaign for a documentary called “What is a Woman?” by Matt Walsh. The conservative outlet had planned to release the entire film in a tweet.
However, after reviewing the film, Twitter decided not to proceed with the sponsorship deal. Twitter also notified The Daily Wire that although they could still post the video on their own, it would be flagged as “hateful conduct” under Twitter’s policies, limiting its visibility on the platform.
Right-wing users, who consider Musk an ally due to his previous sharing of far-right content on Twitter, expressed their outrage over the situation and criticized Musk on the platform. In response, Musk publicly blamed the employees at Twitter, stating that the situation was a mistake on their part.
Despite Musk’s claims, clips of the film posted by Walsh were labeled with “Visibility limited: This tweet may violate Twitter’s rules against Hateful Conduct,” reducing their reach on the platform.
Musk reassured his right-wing user base that Twitter was addressing the issue and working on an update to remove the labels while still protecting advertisers who did not want their content associated with The Daily Wire’s video.
On Thursday at 8 pm ET, The Daily Wire released the full film as initially intended, but without Twitter’s sponsorship. Twitter applied the “visibility limited” label to the tweet, and users were unable to retweet or reply to it.
Musk continued to assure users throughout the early morning hours of Friday that he was actively working on a solution. He even suggested that this issue might generate more attention for The Daily Wire’s film, leading some to speculate that the entire “controversy” was deliberately manufactured.
Musk tweeted, “The Streisand Effect on this will set an all-time record!” indicating that he believed the controversy would drive viewership.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s parent company, X Corp., was facing its own challenges. Fortune reported that Twitter had deactivated the Slack messaging account of Ella Irwin, the head of trust and safety. Shortly after, Reuters confirmed that Irwin had resigned from the company. In her role, Irwin was responsible for shaping and enforcing Twitter’s rules and policies.
Irwin was not the only Twitter employee to resign. Maie Aiyed, the director of Twitter’s brand safety partnerships program, also announced her departure on Thursday. By Friday, A.J. Brown, the head of brand safety and ad quality, had also decided to leave the company.
On Friday morning, the “visibility” label and limited reach on The Daily Wire’s tweet were removed. To show his support for The Daily Wire, Musk shared the video himself, adding the comment, “Every parent should watch this.”
Prior to Musk’s promotion of the film, The Daily Wire’s tweet had approximately 2 million views or impressions, with the video itself receiving just over half of that number. After Musk shared the tweet from @realDailyWire, its reach significantly increased.
At the time of publication, the tweet containing the video has received more than 50 million views, while the video itself has around 10 million views. It’s worth noting that Twitter’s view metric counts any playtime, including autoplay, as a view, as long as at least two seconds of the video are played.
While supporters of the right-wing Twitter users and The Daily Wire are currently celebrating Musk’s endorsement of the film, several important questions remain unanswered.
During a Twitter Space discussion on Thursday night, Daily Wire CEO Boreing provided additional details about the collaboration with Twitter. He revealed that the sponsorship “package” was valued at a significant amount, in the mid-six figures.
Boreing also mentioned an intriguing note about Musk’s involvement, claiming that Musk himself was present when Twitter made the decision to cancel the partnership and limit the video’s visibility due to its content.
Since Musk appointed Linda Yaccarino, a former NBCUniversal ad executive, as the incoming CEO of Twitter, it has been evident that he aims to regain the attention of advertisers amidst declining ad sales and struggling subscription-based revenue models. Musk’s public statements strongly suggest that decisions were influenced by concerns for advertisers.
However, when faced with the situation, it seems that Twitter’s owner and CEO, Musk, shifted the blame onto his own employees and subsequently yielded to the demands of his right-wing fanbase, who expressed their dissatisfaction with the company’s decisions.
Information Source: Mashable
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