Some 26 NGOs, including ones funded by European governments and billionaire financier George Soros, have called on Twitter’s top advertisers to boycott the platform if Musk restores banned accounts and lifts its speech restrictions. Musk’s stated commitment to free speech, they argued, will lead to “disinformation, hate, and harassment.”
“Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized,” the groups wrote in a letter on Tuesday.
Praising Twitter’s content moderation policies, which critics have described as censorship, the liberal organizations warned that “Musk intends to steamroll those safeguards and provide a megaphone to extremists who traffic in disinformation, hate, and harassment.”
“Under the guise of ‘free speech,’ his vision will silence and endanger marginalized communities, and tear at the fraying fabric of democracy,” they continued.
Among the groups opposing Musk’s vision are the Black Lives Matter Global Network, Media Matters for America, Women’s March, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, and Access Now.
Powerful donors are behind these groups. Access Now, which says it fights against internet censorship but supports “content moderation,” has taken more than a million dollars from Soros’s Open Society Foundations since last March, as well as funding from the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.