Famed ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s is no longer spending money on paid advertising on Twitter, citing an uptick in hate speech as the reason for the move.
In the company’s statement, it clarifies it’s not only troubled by hate speech from the general masses across the social network, but also the speech of the site’s owner, Elon Musk.
“Hate speech is up dramatically while content moderation has become all but non-existent,” the statement reads. “In addition to the changes on the platform that have led to an increase in hate speech, Musk himself has doubled down on dangerous anti-democratic lies and white nationalist hate speech.”
B&J then says the platform is now a “threatening and even dangerous” place for women, the gay community, Jewish and Muslim people, racial minorities, and many other groups.
“Musk and Twitter’s toxicity and tacit endorsement of hate and violence goes against everything our company stands for,” the post concludes. “Twitter must act today to end the extremist and violent content on the platform. Until that happens, Ben & Jerry’s will spend no money with Twitter and we call on all businesses and partners to do the same.”
After that statement, the company makes it clear it plans to keep its Twitter profile intact for the sake of maintaining contact with its community but notes it may change that stance depending on how they perceive the Twitter toxicity problem to be evolving.
Ben & Jerry’s is the latest company to pull advertising on Twitter after Musk’s takeover. Media industry spending has been particularly volatile as HBO, NBCUniversal and Netflix were among the companies reducing spending, according to Sensor Tower, a market intelligence firm. Four of the top 15 media advertisers prior to Musk’s acquisition had stopped spending as of April, Sensor Tower said, and six had reduced spending by 75%.
All eyes are now on Linda Yaccarino, the former NBCU sales exec powerhouse who shockingly left the company to become Twitter’s new CEO.