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Following Ron DeSantis’s presidential launch with Elon Musk Wednesday and news that Tucker Carlson will relaunch his show on Twitter, the coalition is calling on advertisers to stop all spending on the platform

WASHINGTON — A coalition of more than 60 civil-society groups is ramping up pressure on companies to suspend their advertising on Twitter as Elon Musk continues to embrace right-wing extremism, standing alongside and allowing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to use the social network as a megaphone for his lies and authoritarian views. Despite previously stating that Twitter “must be politically neutral” and “humanity's public square,” Musk has reinstated and amplified reactionary political figures who have incited violence and rolled back safeguards against harassment and hate speech.

The #StopToxicTwitter coalition has led efforts to convince advertisers to stop buying placements on the platform. Since Musk took over, well more than half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers have joined the mass exodus, fearing that their brands weren’t safe in Twitter’s increasingly toxic environment. Musk recently named as CEO a veteran of the media marketing industry in an apparent attempt to woo advertisers back to the platform. 

According to recent Media Matters for America analysis, Musk is seeking to build a major media empire out of the ruins of Twitter. He is mobilizing a loyal following on the platform and using it to launch ever-escalating attacks on “wokeness,” a vaguely defined target that seems to include people of color, the media, colleges and universities, progressive politicians, librarians and the LGBTQ+ community, among others. Musk has won over many on the far right by unwinding Twitter’s policies on hate speech and disinformation and granting a “general amnesty” so that formerly banned white nationalists and other right-wing extremists could return to the platform.

“Elon Musk has already turned Twitter into a hellscape of hate and conspiracy. But his full-throated embrace of Ron DeSantis – only weeks after Tucker Carlson announced he would revive his Fox News show on Twitter – is a new low for what was once one of the world’s most important communication platforms,” said Accountable Tech Co-Founder and Executive Director Nicole Gill. “Despite Musk’s insistence that Twitter will be a neutral home for open discourse and ‘free speech,’ he has used it to boost his own opinions, pander to Putin, and help foreign governments censor critics. Now, Musk’s Twitter is officially a megaphone for one party’s extremism. Every single company still advertising on Twitter better be comfortable with banning books, whitewashing history, and threatening LGBTQ+ families, because as of today, companies giving ad money to Twitter might as well be cutting a check to the DeSantis campaign.”

“Giving airtime to Ron DeSantis is not about free speech on Twitter or making the platform a public square,” said Nora Benavidez, Free Press Action’s senior counsel and director of digital justice and civil rights. “Elon Musk is instead prioritizing voices like his that promote bigotry and hate. This latest Musk stunt merely showcases a man who has misused his power in Florida to attack every basic right Floridians have. From DeSantis' attacks on voting rights, protest rights and academic freedoms to denying basic protections for the LGBTQ+ community, his glitchy announcement on Wednesday showed us all what Twitter has become: a megaphone for right-wing reactionary views. A new CEO won't suddenly make Twitter less of a toxic cesspool, however much some ad companies want to believe it. With Musk as the chair, Twitter will only continue to falter and fail as its owner seeks to do anything to grab headlines and garner attention.”

“Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, his actions have turned the platform into a playground for the internet’s biggest hatemongers, including white supremacists, anti-LGBTQ+ extremists, antisemites, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing propagandists,” said Julie Millican, vice president of Media Matters for America. “Hate is Elon Musk’s business model. It’s no surprise that Musk welcomed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with open arms — albeit with a deeply botched rollout. His authoritarian brand of anti-LGBTQ+ and ‘anti-woke’ extremism aligns perfectly with Musk’s ideals. Make no mistake about it: If you advertise on Twitter, you’re paying for the hate, harassment, bigotry, lies, and violence that comes with it.”

The Stop Toxic Twitter coalition includes: Access Now, AI for the People Inc., Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), Azerbaijan Internet Watch, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, the Center for American Progress, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Change the Terms Coalition, Common Cause, the Dangerous Speech Project, Digital Africa Research Lab, Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR), Doctors In Politics, Equality Labs, Fair Vote UK, the Friends of the Earth, GLAAD, the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, Jewish Women International,, MediaJustice, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Numun Fund, PFLAG National, ProgressNow NM, Public Citizen, Public Knowledge, Ranking Digital Rights, the Real Facebook Oversight Board, Right To Be (formerly Hollaback!), the Sparrow Project, SumOfUs, The Tech Oversight Project, the Union of Concerned Scientists, UltraViolet, the United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry, United We Dream and #VOTEPROCHOICE.

Learn more about the coalition at

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