General Motors Suspends Twitter Ads As Carmakers React To Elon Musk's Takeover

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The Tesla CEO's ownership has caused various automakers to reconsider advertising on the platform.

Back in April, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that he wanted to buy social media platform Twitter. He ummed and ahhed about the decision after announcing his intentions in an apparent attempt to reduce the amount he would have to pay. After lawyers got involved, he was eventually forced to go ahead with his offer. He has now completed the deal and claims that he will turn the platform into a haven of free speech. But as the majority owner of the automaker that produces electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3, a number of rival automakers have raised eyebrows about the move, fearing that they will no longer be given a fair opportunity to advertise their wares.

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The cheeky tweet from Citroen embedded above is lighthearted, but others have been less than amused. Late on Friday, General Motors announced that it had temporarily halted paid advertising on Twitter, saying that it was "engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform" under its new ownership. GM said, "as is normal course of business with a significant change in a media platform, we have temporarily paused our paid advertising," but added that its "customer care interactions on Twitter will continue."

In the past, Musk has shown an aversion to advertising in almost any form but recently changed his tune.

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In an open-letter tweet, Musk wrote: "Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!... Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise." He also said that the platform will create a content moderation council "with widely diverse viewpoints," although it is unclear if this council will be made up of independent individuals or employees of Twitter.

It's still too soon to know how Musk's ownership will affect the way the platform operates exactly, but the concerns of unfair treatment are fair. How would rival automakers be able to advertise fairly if the Tesla CEO chose to use algorithms to suppress their advertisements or if Tesla's tweets and ads were given unfair exposure?

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We expect that we will see many announcements from various automakers in the coming days and weeks, and we're most interested to see how those leading the EV charge will react. Ford is working on numerous new electric products, and so are Stellantis, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and more. Assuming that Musk's intention of turning Twitter into the most respected advertising platform is realized, these automakers will have nothing to worry about. However, if Tesla's objectives are prioritized, Twitter will see a mass exodus that will surely impact how successful the platform can be in the future.

Ad sales accounted for more than 90% of Twitter's revenue in the second quarter of this year, according to Reuters, and Musk will want to protect that. We're living in interesting times, and if Musk's personal history is anything to go by, we expect a lot of drama to come from this development.

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