Mondelez International, the company making Oreos, has pulled its ads off Twitter after Tesla CEO Elon Musk acquired the social media site.
In an interview with Reuters, Dirk Van de Put, CEO of Mondelez International, said the significant rise in hate speech on the platform following the takeover has led the company to make the decision.
“What we’ve seen recently since the change on Twitter has been announced, is the amount of hate speech increase significantly,” Van de Put said. “We felt there is a risk our advertising would appear next to the wrong messages.”
This makes Oreo only one of many brands pulling its advertising from Twitter following Musk’s takeover. Automakers, General Mills and United Airlines Holdings also halted advertising on the site for the same reason.
There is also mounting fear that Musk’s layoffs and his plans to turn the former social media giant into a “free speech" platform where moderation won’t be at sufficiently high levels will create an online hellscape.
While Musk has said that he plans to avoid creating a hate speech echo chamber, facts beg to differ. The situation seems to be spiraling out of control, and there’s plenty of doubt regarding Twitter’s ability to handle the rise in hate speech on the platform.
As if that wasn’t enough, meme accounts are sprouting left and right and are taking advantage of the flawed “Twitter Blue” verification model to mimic celebrities, mock Elon Musk and have unparalleled amounts of fun while they’re at it.
“As a consequence, we have decided to take a pause and a break until that risk is as low as possible,” added Van de Put.
Brand safety on Twitter is at a very high risk now, with brands backing out of advertising on the platform due to the potential of creating a negative association for the brand.
For Mondelez, which also makes Cadbury and Milka chocolates, the company will continue to focus on the European market, its largest and most profitable market, until the Twitter situation blows over.