Ben & Jerry's Stops Twitter Ads Citing "Hate Speech" Spike Under Elon Musk's Control

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/03/2023
Ben & Jerry's, the famous ice cream company, announced this week that they will no longer be paying for advertising on Twitter. The reason, they claim, is due to an increase in "hate speech" on the site after tech billionaire Elon Musk took over control.
Although many might think that ice cream and Twitter have nothing to do with each other, Ben & Jerry's made it clear that they see a direct connection. With their decision to pause ads, they hope to send a message about their values and beliefs as a company and their commitment to social justice.

In a blog post, the self-described progressive firm stated that it has followed changes at Twitter since Musk purchased the social media behemoth last autumn "with great concern," adding that "hate speech is up dramatically while content moderation has become all but non-existent."

Added by Ben & Jerry's Musk has "doubled down on dangerous anti-democratic lies and white nationalist hate speech," and Twitter "has become a threatening and even dangerous space for people from so many backgrounds, including people who are Black, Brown, trans, gay, women, people with disabilities, Jewish, Muslim, and the list goes on."

The ice cream manufacturer declared that "Musk and Twitter's toxicity and tacit endorsement of hate and violence goes against everything our company stands for," adding that "Twitter must act today to end the extremist and violent content on the platform." 

Then, Ben & Jerry's threatened to stop investing in Twitter advertising until that happened and exhorted other companies to join its ad boycott. 

The business has garnered attention for its outspoken stance on liberal political issues. One notable instance was in 2021 when it announced it would cease selling ice cream in the "Occupied Palestinian Territory," comprising the Gaza Strip and West Bank, a decision that caused quite a stir. The move was largely seen as an endorsement of Palestinian rights by some and a controversial political position by others. Regardless of one's perspective, it's clear that the company is unafraid to take a stance on issues that it believes align with its values.

The social media behemoth has undergone substantial changes since Musk purchased the platform for $44 billion in October, though the business did not go into detail in its article about the changes Musk has made at Twitter that it thinks should be undone.

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and the richest man in the world, calls himself a "free speech absolutist." By relaxing several Twitter policies and enabling speech that was previously deemed "unsafe" under the previous administration, such as incorrectly identifying transgender individuals, he has infuriated many progressives.

Shortly after Musk bought the network, a number of big businesses stopped running Twitter ads, although many have subsequently resumed. Musk named Linda Yaccarino as his successor, and it is anticipated that this month, Musk would stand aside from his position as CEO of Twitter.

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