musk twitter content moderation
© NewsweekElon Musk
Since Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter last week, at least six major companies have stopped advertising on the platform over concerns about how the billionaire will affect content moderation policies on the app.

During the rocky process of acquiring the platform, marked by U-turns, controversies, and lawsuits, Musk pledged to make Twitter a champion of free speech. This promise led many right-wingers to see Musk's takeover as a victory for conservatives over political correctness, though the Tesla CEO is yet to implement any changes to the way the platform moderates content.

But where right-wingers saw potential, many companies appear to have spotted a risk of damage to their business, especially after a sudden surge of slurs and hateful comments were reported on the platform immediately following Musk's takeover.

This could be a problem for Musk's Twitter: before his takeover, the company reported making 90 percent of its revenue from advertisers. Now that Twitter is set to charge its blue-tick users $8 per month to keep their verified badge, it's unclear whether this could make up for lost revenues from advertising.

Automaker Ford Motor Company told CNBC last week that it won't be promoting its products on Twitter. It had not been doing so even before Musk's takeover.

Citing concerns over what changes Musk will implement on the platform, Said Deep, Ford's spokesperson, told CNBC that the company "will continue to evaluate the direction of the platform under the new ownership."

These are the companies that have stopped advertising on Twitter since Musk's takeover:


Audi of America, the Virginia-based unit of the German luxury automaker owned by the Volkswagen group, is among the latest companies to halt advertising on Twitter.

The company's spokesperson Whaewon Choi-Wiles said on Thursday that Audi was going to suspend advertising on the platform but "will continue to evaluate the situation."

General Mills

Minnesota-based General Mills — which produces Cheerios, Trix, Lucky Charms, and Cocoa Puffs cereals, among many others — was one of the latest companies to pause advertising on Twitter.

General Mills confirmed the move to the Associated Press on Thursday, with spokesperson Kelsey Roemhildt saying: "As always, we will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend."

General Motors

Detroit automaker General Motors (GM) announced that it was going to pause advertising on Twitter last week, as it said it's trying to "understand the direction of the platform."

In a press statement last week, GM said that it is currently "engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership" and "as is the normal course of business with a significant change in a media platform, we have temporarily paused our paid advertising. Our customer care interactions on Twitter will continue."

Mondelez International

Mondelez International, the makers of the popular Oreo sandwich cookies, also halted advertising on Twitter, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company has not yet released an official statement acknowledging the ad pause or responded to media requests for comment.


Citing anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal wrote on Thursday that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has also suspended advertising on Twitter.


The Wall Street Journal reported that Volkswagen — one of the biggest automakers in the world, second only to Toyota — is among the latest companies to halt advertising on Twitter.

There's reason to believe more companies might soon follow this trend.

Advertising companies Interpublic Group — with clients like CVS and Nintendo — and Havas Media — whose clients include O2, Hyundai, and Domino's Pizza — have recommended to their clients to pause paid advertising on Twitter, Forbes reported.

Newsweek has reached out to Twitter for comment. Since Musk's takeover, Twitter has reportedly stopped responding to press requests, while the new app's owner is now the primary source of information about changes taking place in the company.