Elon Musk asks: Who is funding organizations pressuring Twitter advertisers to stop?

Britta Pedersen/Pool via AP

There is an coordinated organized effort in play by George Soros, Clinton and Obama staffers and European governments to pressure advertisers to stop advertising on Twitter. The reason, of course, is because it will soon be under the control of Elon Musk if the deal is officially completed. Leftists are so nervous about voices other than their own being given free reign on the social media platform that they are trying to suppress the support of advertisers on Twitter.

Democrats are a desperate group these days. Even with a Democrat in the White House and Democrat control of the House and the Senate, they are in very bad shape. Now Elon Musk is buying Twitter and one of their favorite platforms to push out their talking points and fabrications may not be so friendly to them. They are worried that Twitter may become as fair to conservative-leaning users as it is to liberal-leaning users. They can’t have that. Democrats rely on an obedience to groupthink to survive. Freedom of speech only goes one way for them and that’s their way.

Unfortunately for the haters, Elon Musk is very savvy about using Twitter. He’s exhibited a superpower level of using Twitter to clap back on critics and the nastiness aimed at him personally as well as his financial success. Musk has 90.7 million followers on Twitter. For comparison, Joe Biden has 21.8 million followers, George Soros has 349,000 followers, Jesse Lehrich has 59,000. Why did I include Soros and Lehrich? Because they are linked with the push against Musk. Lehrich is a former foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton. He interned for the Obama campaign in 2008 and worked for the anti-Trump American Bridge PAC. So, when Musk began to ask questions about dark money and who is funding the pressure on corporate advertisers on Twitter, eyebrows were raised.

Some of the most high-profile liberal figures have joined together to encourage advertisers to boycott Twitter if Elon Musk brings in his promised policy of unfettered ‘free speech.’

Twenty six NGOs and advocacy groups signed a letter expressing concern about the world’s richest man’s plan.

Musk himself responded to the letter asking who funded them: the answer being an assortment of ‘dark money groups’ like George Soros’s Open Society Foundation; NGOs founded by former Clinton and Obama administration staffers; wealthy Democrat donors and their family foundations; labor unions; and the governments of European nations.

The letter makes clear with the first demand that it’s really all about their fear that Trump will be reinstated on Twitter. Trump has said he’s not interested in returning to Twitter but that could change. The left cannot let the former president go, he consumes their thoughts 24/7 and they are crippled by that weakness. The signers of the letter claim that 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.”

Twitter has outsized influence in shaping both public discourse and industrywide platform governance standards. 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. Under the guise of ‘free speech,’ his vision will silence and endanger marginalized
communities, and tear at the fraying fabric of democracy. The undersigned organizations believe that Twitter should continue to uphold the
practices that serve as guideposts for other Big Tech platforms. We call on you – Twitter’s top advertisers – to commit to these standards as non-negotiable requirements for advertising on the platform:

1. Keep accounts including those of public figures and politicians that were removed for egregious violations of Twitter Rules – such as harassment,
violence, and hateful conduct – off the platform and continue to enforce the civic integrity policy along with the hateful conduct policy. Since 2020,
Twitter has applied its civic integrity policy to all users, including elected officials. Musk’s statements at Ted2022 last week indicate that he will
roll-back permanent bans and err on the side of allowing harmful content to remain on the platform under the guise of ‘free speech.’ A reversal of
Twitter’s content moderation policies including its recently released climate commitments, its protections for transgender people, and its restrictions on other forms of hate, harassment, and violence would be toxic not just for those targeted, but also for businesses advertising on the platform.

2. Beyond algorithmic transparency, ensure algorithmic accountability, preserve people’s privacy, and commit to depolarizing the algorithm.
Consider the implications of full-scale public visibility into Twitter’s algorithm and put protections in place to prevent bad actors from gaming the system. Listen to privacy experts and others whose expertise includes protecting communities that are discriminated against in speaking truth to power. Continue the work of its in-house research team called Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency and Accountability that looks at potential biases in its algorithms including published research, for instance, on whether the algorithms that automatically crop profile photos contained inadvertent bias.

3. Continue Twitter’s commitment to transparency and researcher access. Twitter stands out for its support of researchers – both internal and external to the company. From its API for academic research to its willingness to publish critique and its internal learnings, Twitter has demonstrated a commitment to transparency and access for researchers that sets an example for other Big Tech companies and allows for accountability. As top advertisers on Twitter, your brand risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists. 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. 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.

Musk questioned who funds these groups coming out against him and then reminds his followers that sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Besides Open Society Foundation (Soros) and Accountable Tech (Lehrich), other groups who signed on to the letter are Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Friends of the Earth, GLAAD, Media Matters for America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Women’s March. As mentioned above, there are 26 in total. All progressive groups and what conservatives would label mostly extremist groups themselves.

Keep the popcorn handy. Musk isn’t the kind of guy who backs down and he seems to enjoy poking fun at his critics. He’s asking all the right questions and that scares his opponents. It’s refreshing.