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Media Matters Threatens Elon Musk With Advertiser Boycott of Twitter

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Media Matters has perfected the tactic of attacking media opponents by using advertisers as a pressure point, trying to defund and deplatform particularly conservatives.

It’s just a portion of the poisonous tactics of David Brock, who is never short on “dark” money or new ways to pollute our politics, something we recently explored, Dem Operative David Brock To Launch Attack On Republican Election Lawyers: “make them toxic in their communities and in their firms”.

We explored this tactic back in 2012, when Media Matters astroturfed the Limbaugh secondary boycott:

The secondary boycott of Rush Limbaugh advertisers is portrayed in the media as a reaction to a groundswell of public outrage.  In fact, the secondary boycott was initiated by and driven by Media Matters, which had a “Stop Limbaugh” campaign on the shelf waiting to be used, and was executed by Angelo Carusone, Director of Online Strategy for Media Matters.

Carusone was the person behind online efforts against Glenn Beck even before joining Media Matters in 2010, and also is behind Stop Fox News and Stop Limbaugh efforts.  His role appears to be going after advertisers, and getting others to do so via Twitter and other online media.

Carusone now is the President and CEO of Media Matters, and he’s still up to his favorite tactic, this time targeting Elon Musk and Twitter:

It’s part of a broader campaign led by Media Matters and some of the newer advertiser-pressure groups, as CNN reports, Brands should force Twitter to uphold content policies under Musk, advocacy groups say:

Some of the nation’s biggest brands including Coca-Cola (CCEP), Disney (DIS) and Kraft (KHC) are facing calls to boycott Twitter if the company’s soon-to-be owner, billionaire Elon Musk, rolls back content moderation policies limiting hate speech and election misinformation.

In a letter sent to brands Tuesday ahead of the 2022 NewFronts digital advertising conference, more than two dozen civil society groups said marketers should secure commitments from Twitter to retain its most critical policies, including on civic integrity and hateful conduct, and threaten to withdraw funding if Twitter does not comply.

“As top advertisers on Twitter (TWTR), your brand risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists,” the letter said, adding: “Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account.” …

Some of the nation’s biggest brands including Coca-Cola (CCEP), Disney (DIS) and Kraft (KHC) are facing calls to boycott Twitter if the company’s soon-to-be owner, billionaire Elon Musk, rolls back content moderation policies limiting hate speech and election misinformation.

As advertisers prepare to negotiate forward-looking contracts with Twitter this week during the NewFronts conference, they can preemptively protect themselves from any damage to their brands resulting from Musk’s eventual takeover, said Angelo Carusone, CEO of Media Matters for America, one of the organizations behind the letter.

“If Elon Musk comes in and gets rid of all the brand safety protections, I think Coca-Cola should be able to cancel their contract,” Carusone said. “It would be very revealing if Twitter refuses to or does not sign or does not give those cancellation options.”
Tuesday’s letter targeted other big-name advertisers, as well, including Apple, Best Buy and HBO — the last of which is owned by WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent. Spokespeople for the brands didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Other organizations spearheading the letter campaign include the technology advocacy organization Accountable Tech and the feminist group UltraViolet. Meanwhile, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the digital rights group Free Press also signed the letter in support of the effort.

The letter is a full frontal and personal attack on Musk:

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.

Many of the 25 groups on the list are funded by Soros-related entities and teachers unions:

Many of the groups that signed the letter have been financially backed by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and teachers’ unions, including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and National Education Association (NEA).

Musk is not amused and is calling for an investigation of who is funding the campaign:

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