This past Sunday, a lead advertising executive spoke out about Elon Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, blocking him on the massive social media platform in the wake of a phone call with many other industry leaders after the executive put forth a series of concerns that businesses now have with the changes to the platform.
Sporting a number of years of experience being an executive in the banking industry, Lou Paskalis explained to Semafor that he had been a supporter of the platform for quite some time but that many investors and other companies need to have some serious questions answered about just how Twitter is being run due to it seeming like it will increase their risk with customers.
“In my own individual experience in the last 48 hours, I’ve gone from wanting to dislike him for the way that he treated some of my good friends at Twitter, to being charmed by him on an influence council meeting on Thursday and recognizing that his intentions were noble and then watching him hack away at the foundation he established the previous day by being petulant and thoughtless,” explained Paskalis to the outlet.
The man went on to state that it was something he publically tweeted out to Musk that ended up seeing him on the block list of the world’s richest man.
“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,” stated Musk. “Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”
A response to this was issued on Friday with Paskalis claiming, “Elon, Great chat yesterday, As you heard overwhelmingly from senior advertisers on the call, the issue concerning us all is content moderation and its impact on BRAND SAFETY/SUITABILITY. You say you’re committed to moderation, but you just laid off 75% of the moderation team!”
“Advertisers are not being manipulated by activist groups, they are being compelled by established principles around the types of companies they can do business with,” he stated. “These principles include an assessment of the platforms commitment to brand safety and suitability. That includes the trustworthiness of the leadership team and the behavior of the CEO. You claimed yesterday that you are deeply committed to Content Moderation, yet today you’ve eliminated the vast majority of people who did that work for Twitter. How do we reconcile these?”
“So for all the replies I received that content moderation = denial of freedom of speech (it doesn’t), what do you say about the fact that the ‘chief twit’ just blocked me for exercising mine?” continued the man. “Yesterday, @elonmusk solicited ?s from marketers, today he’s blocking those who ask them.”
Quite a few hours later, Paskalis stated that overt pressure from various people in the industry, journalists, and people still working for Twitter managed to convince Musk to pull a 190 in his choice to block the high-profile executive.