back to article Twitter tries to lure brands back with spend-matching scheme

Twitter is reportedly trying to plug its drop in advertising revenues by concocting a series of inducements to convince some brands that have paused spending on the platform to reopen their wallets. In one mailer that was dispatched to advertising agencies – seen by the Financial Times – the troubled social media biz said it …

  1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

    The left wing media hasn't reported on Musks Twitter post that Twitter has previously interfered in elections. I wonder if this goes beyond suppressing legitimate news stories harmful to Biden.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Because Musk is lying as usual, he's become a brainless Trumper who thinks elections have been stolen whenever their guy loses.

      With zero evidence provided, why should anyone believe him? Other than right wing media sites who think Russian interference was a hoax but take on faith ridiculous claims about Chinese bamboo fiber ballots or that Italian defense satellites zapped US voting machines to switch votes from Trump to Biden.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        > Italian defense satellites zapped US voting machines

        They got Catholic Space Lasers now !

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Of course

          If they can turn biscuits into flesh, they can turn flesh into crumbs.

          1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

            Re: Of course

            Get in line in that processional,

            Step into that small confessional.

            There the guy who's got religion'll

            Tell you if your sin's original.

            If it is, try playin' it safer,

            Drink the wine and chew the wafer,

            Two, four, six, eight,

            Time to transubstantiate!

            Tom Lehrer (Vatican Rag)

      2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

        He published the evidence over the weekend.

        We learned that Twitter even blocked private messages sharing the story - a system normally only used for the most heinous of material repurposed to prevent a negative but true story about Joe Biden from being spread,

    2. keithpeter Silver badge
      Windows

      @Disgusted

      UK perspective: examples of left wing media welcome.

      Icon: The Next Step was always, er, consistent in its reporting.

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
        Facepalm

        The Guardian, The Mirror, The Times.

        I unsubscribed from The Times recently after one bent-truth too many - they were pretending that currency movements of 0.001 USD ( ie: 1/10th of one US cent ) was indicative of "the markets" agreeing or disagreeing with what government was doing.

        They'd just helped force Truss out with similar lies and this particular article was telling us how "the markets" were relieved at Sunak taking over and look at the evidence - the pound is up by a tenth of a cent...

        The Times has been moving leftward for years. Unfortunately there are no other options so I've had to forgo a newspaper subscription.

      2. jollyboyspecial Silver badge

        "UK perspective: examples of left wing media welcome"

        In the UK you are now "lefty" (to use the approved Tory party vernacular) if you disagree with anything the government says. This is even the case after the government has (inevitably) performed a screeching U-turn and is now disagreeing with itself

        The only thing that can't be "lefty" is any Tory MP. Right up to the point when they whip is withdrawn that is, at which point they automatically become lefty.

        Unless of course the whip is restored.

    3. MrDamage Silver badge

      Has Musk provided any proof to his claims, or is it, once again, the deranged brain farts of an out of touch manbaby?

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Has Musk provided any proof to his claims, or is it, once again, the deranged brain farts of an out of touch manbaby?

        This is the strange part of the story, to me anyway. So-

        https://nypost.com/2022/12/02/elon-musk-releases-twitters-files-on-censorship-of-post/

        Musk tweeted a link to the account of independent journalist Matt Taibbi shortly after 6 p.m., who shed light on Twitter’s shady censorship decision by posting what appeared to be redacted emails between Twitter employees. 

        Which seems as though Musk is giving Taibbi an exclusive, rather than making the link public so we can see and decide. I can kind of see the reasoning behind this given Taibbi and the NYP were some of the most affected by Twitter's censorship. But it doesn't really help the wider world who are again seeing this news, or 'evidence' via filters.

        But it's interesting times. DNC used the courts to get Trump's tax filings, which Pelosi is now threatining to make public. If true, Biden skimmed 10% off Hunter's 'business' dealings, and made Hunter's companies pay personal expenses for the 'Big Man'. The IRS and regulators may take a dim view of undeclared income and comingling funds. But the DNC has opened the door by making private financial information public.

        1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
          FAIL

          No

          "DNC used the courts to get Trump's tax filings"

          Er, no. Try learning some US Civics. The full Supreme Court, on Nov 22, despite being packed with Trump appointees and Conservatives, upheld that Congress was exercising it's Constitutional Powers when the bipartisan Congressional Committee demanded the Treasury Department (of which the IRS is a part) hand over Trumps tax returns.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: No

            Er, no. Try learning some US Civics.

            Are they like Hondas?

            The full Supreme Court, on Nov 22, despite being packed with Trump appointees and Conservatives..

            So as I said, DNC went to court. And despite your accusations of being stacked against the Dems, the Court ruled against Trump's interests. So now any Congressional Committee can demand any President's tax returns. So a potentially useful precedent that could be used in any investigation of the Biden's tax and business affairs.

            1. theAltoid

              Re: No

              You really do need to learn some US civics.

              Congress, and we the people have had access to every modern presidents tax returns, until Trump. Trump was the first president not to release his returns, and to fight to prevent their release despite promising to. No lawsuit needed, 23 years of Biden's tax returns are here.

              https://www.taxnotes.com/presidential-tax-returns

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: No

                You really do need to learn some US civics.

                I.. don't think I do. I do think the Democrats might need a refresher on the Constitution though. That thing that they're sworn to uphold and defend..

                Congress, and we the people have had access to every modern presidents tax returns, until Trump.

                That's nice. You even provided a handy link, which says-

                Individual income tax returns — including those of public figures — are private information, protected by law from unauthorized disclosure. Indeed, the Internal Revenue Service is barred from releasing any taxpayer information whatsoever, except to authorized agencies and individuals.

                Like all other citizens, U.S. presidents enjoy this protection of their privacy. Since the early 1970s, however, most presidents and some vice presidents have chosen to release their returns publicly.

                So it was voluntary. Now, thanks to the Democrats, it's become compulsory. Or can be compelled. And then leaked, or just published, in contravention of the law(s) your site mentioned. Plus there'll be some civics to determine if Congress privilege protects against 'unauthorised' disclosure, or leaking. Or if future President's employment contracts will need to be modified so it becomes mandatory for Biden's successor to disclose all tax and investment records.

                But like I said, the Democrats have opened a potentially very large door. So if/when there's a Congressional investigation into the Biden families business dealings, they can subpoena any family member, or any person or business connected to those deals. It can compare those records to Biden's IRS filings, and if there's undeclared income or benefits in kind.. That may be a problem.

                And the whole Twitter thing potentially gets worse. Tucker Carlson had an interview with James Woods, who appears to have been McCarthy'd on the instructions of the 'Biden Team'. He's said he's going to sue the DNC, which could be interesting given the damages awarded in other 'misinformation' cases recently, like $1.5bn against Alex Jones. That could end up rather expensive for the DNC. I guess there's also the potential for more fun, if it becomes a class action, and if demands to censor individuals or businesses came from the Whitehouse. On the civics point, I don't know how 'sovereign immunity' might apply, or exactly how blatant violations of the US Constitution could be punished though.

                Oh, and I think Musk really needs to flog a range of popcorn, because this has a whole host of implications from trust in politics to trust in media. I''ve noticed that despite this appearing to big a big story, the Bbc and other pro-censorship parts of the MSM are studiously ignoring it. Strangely, the same media waste outlets that were swift to push the 'Russian disinformation' meme when the laptop(s) surfaced. It doesn't say much for their credibility or journalistic integrity when they're discovered to have been promoting so much fake news..

                https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/help-41670342

                The BBC is recognised by audiences in the UK and around the world as a provider of news that you can trust. Our website, like our TV and radio services, strives for journalism that is accurate, impartial, independent and fair.

                Or just bullshit

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: No

                  Do you realise how bored everyone outside the USA are with your partisan political arguments? No one outside the USA cares about the Republicans or Democrats so can you take your squabbles elsewhere?

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: No

                    No one outside the USA cares about the Republicans or Democrats so can you take your squabbles elsewhere?

                    I'm outside the US, and I care. Mainly because this is a much bigger issue than just the US, because 'misinformation' is everywhere. And as I pointed out, the EU is about to make it illegal and punishable by large fines. Yet here we see just how information is managed, and misinformation replaces evidence of illegality.

                    Sure, many people around the world may not care how the media is manipulated, or whether their 'news' is true, or false.. But some people do.

                    1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. theAltoid

                  Re: No

                  (With apologies to be squabbling in public)

                  You know even less than I imagined.

                  "So it was voluntary. Now, thanks to the Democrats, it's become compulsory. "

                  No, thank to Trump, who took the case to the Supreme Court, who ruled against him.

                  "Or can be compelled. "

                  No, it can be inspected by the house Ways and Means Committee with legitimate reason.

                  "And then leaked, or just published..."

                  The Ways and Means Committee has broad legal powers, and they could, legally, publish Trump’s returns. No contravention of any laws, as ruled by SCOTUS.

                  "Or ... it becomes mandatory for Biden's successor to disclose all tax and investment records."

                  No, there are only two requirements for running for president, age and place of birth. Congress can't amend this by law, only through a constitutional amendment.

                  Civics 101.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: No

                    No, there are only two requirements for running for president, age and place of birth. Congress can't amend this by law, only through a constitutional amendment.

                    Civics 101.

                    Civics 101 would be based on the Constitution, the US being a Constitutional Republic rather than a Democratcy. And Rule #1 of the Constitution is...? Civics (and US law) also covers stuff like how election rigging is generally considered illegal, and undemocratic. I'm pretty certain civics (and US law) also requires neutrality in Federal agencies. But the dear'ol Dems do like to say their opponents are the biggest threat to democracy, which is classic projection.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: No

                      do hope that your spelling efforts ("Democratcy") were on purpose, in order to convey some sarcastic message, and not the effect of some inner flaw.

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: No

                        do hope that your spelling efforts ("Democratcy") were on purpose

                        Of course. I'm British, this it's my civic duty to be sarcastic. Something our civics 'expert' doesn't seem to understand is that civic derives from civicus which roughly translated means 'citizen'. So how the people should behave, not the state. In the US, that's pretty much codified as upholding the Constitution, which is pretty neat and simple. So Rule #1, Free Speech. Then Rule #2, the Right to Bear Arms.

                        Probably placed in that order because the US citizens had just transformed from being subjects, and recognised that citizens should have a way to hold tyranical governments to account and defennd the Constitution. civicus also gave us civil war, or 'citizen' war to differentiate it from plain'ol war, which is state v state. Again why it's important around the world, not just the US as states steadily erode rights and freedoms from their citizens, and consolidate their own power. Civics gets kinda fun. So there's Rule #3, No Quarter, or the way the Third Amendment prohibits government from forcing citizens to provide board & lodging to soldiers in peacetime. That doesn't get much attention these days, but was an issue at the time.

                        Or there are more vague ones, like the Ninth Amendment and it's unenumerated rights. Like the right to make decisions about health and body. That one has been in the news as a result of Roe v Wade and 'my body, my choice'.. but when it comes to selling vaccines or wearing masks, choice is removed and the State imposes it's will on people's bodies and freedoms. That one's getting a lot more court time as varies edicts are declared unlawful or unconsititutional.

                        But it's also what George Orwell wrote about. Rip up the Constitution, and replace it with posters stating "OBEY, CITIZEN". Civics then becomes so much simpler.

                3. Rgen

                  Re: No

                  Yes. Investigate Biden and trump. Everyone release their taxes. Why was trump so against it. Does he want to show the world what a great business man he is. I s he emperor with no clothes. Or the greatest con man in America.

    4. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Haven't read the Morning Star so can't confirm or deny if they've reported on musk's twitter post, but i doubt it, because his post is a lie. Also, as it's the only example, wouldn't it be 'medium' rather than 'media' ?

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

        He released the evidence over the weekend. I suggest you read it rather than dismissing it because you don't want it to be true.

    5. Oglethorpe

      It's not interfering, it's trying to prevent interference. Even if elements were later found to be true, the whole laptop story looked a lot like Russian disinformation so it's quite reasonable that they would remove evidence of it until it's verified (which it was, after the election). Yes, this may have been effectively interference but it was done in good faith and for the greater good.

      It also wasn't an uninformed decision. The FBI contacted Twitter and warned them that the story was false (a sensible guess at the time) and Twitter agreed to block the story.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        It also wasn't an uninformed decision. The FBI contacted Twitter and warned them that the story was false (a sensible guess at the time) and Twitter agreed to block the story.

        Or created another problem. Like the FBI had the laptop, and could have verified it, but instead appeared to do nothing with it. Then there was the letter from '50 intelligence officers' claiming it was Russian disinformation.

        Yet if the laptop and contents were real, and later verified. What does that say about the FBI and those officers competence, or political motivations? If the US intelligence agencies have ended up becoming the PR wing of the DNC, it's really not a very good look for the state of US politics. Or perhaps they've just gone back to their traditional roots and following in the footsteps of Hoover, Watergate...

        1. Oglethorpe

          In the moment they had no way of knowing for certain. One course could risk another 4 years of someone who goes to Russia for help in an election, the other definitely works against Russian interests. That's not some dangerously political decision, it's just being sane and pragmatic when both decisions actively alter the outcome.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            In the moment they had no way of knowing for certain.

            Some of the parties did. Or should have-

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Biden_laptop_controversy

            Rudy Giuliani provided the materials to the New York Post after they were allegedly found on a water-damaged MacBook Pro left at a Delaware computer repair shop owned by John Paul Mac Isaac. Mac Isaac obtained the laptop in April 2019, and eventually brought the laptop to the attention of the FBI, who seized it in December 2019, under the authority of a subpoena issued by a Wilmington grand jury that had been investigating Hunter Biden for financial matters since 2018.

            So it appears the FBI may have had the original for almost a year before the NYP broke the story. Sure, it's wiki, but it's also amusing to watch the edit warring on 'controversial' topics like this. Their lede focuses on mudslinging around file creation/modification dates, and chain of custody issues.. But there's one obvious one there, namely the receipt the FBI gave Isaac when they seized the laptop.

            One course could risk another 4 years of someone who goes to Russia for help in an election.

            Or that meme could just be more misinformation. But such is the rabbit hole. See also-

            https://nypost.com/2020/06/16/twitter-hires-former-fbi-chief-counsel-as-deputy-lawyer/

            Twitter has tapped former FBI general counsel James Baker, a central player in the Russia collusion investigation, to serve as counsel to the tech giant.

            And has been mentioned a few times in the stuff Musk's put out about their censorship/disinformation. Oh, and in shades of Watergate. Musk as Deep Throat. Need moar mind bleach!

            1. Oglethorpe

              At the end of the day, even if everything you allege is true (not that I accept it is) why should any decent person be concerned if the FBI tips the scales away from Trump or someone like him?

            2. cray74

              Citing a Rupert Murdoch rag like the NY Post, notorious for leaving out details, does not make your case.

              Additional details, references, and analysis

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Musk recently tweeted that Pelosi's attacker was his prostitute - despite the fact that the police reported that the attacker broke in through the back door.

      The suspect, David DePape, told officers in a recorded interview that he broke through a glass door in the home using a hammer. The Los Angeles Times reports that body-camera footage from police showed a broken laminated glass door near the back porch of the home.

      Musk has willingly become a political tool - and paid billions for the privilege. A long fall for the man who rescued all those Thai boys from a peado.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Musk has willingly become a political tool..

        Or he's a fan of free speech, and has found another hammer. I'm not normally a fan of Musk, but I think he's right in the way he's been exposing political censorship and violations of the First Amendment. Especially as the EU's also threatening Musk, because they're planning to pass a Diktat that can fine companies large amounts of money for allowing 'misinformation'.

    7. prh99

      It's funny, for all the complaints about Twitter censorship and election interference there was plenty of coverage of Twitter etc banning it and details around the NY Post story. They effectively Streisanded the story into prominence despite banning people from linking to it.

      I still new about it and I don't read right wing news sites or use Twitter or Facebook.

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

        The coverage was "Twitter blocks untrue story about our Lord and saviour. In other news, Trump, right?".

        Not "Democrats ask Twitter to block true but negative story about Biden, Twitter cooperates".

    8. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      FAIL

      You might want to read up on the term & conditions: they can reserve the right to "publish" whatever they want. Add to that that this was about unsubstantiated claims that, if not handled carefully, could lead to defamation suits.

    9. Mitoo Bobsworth

      Don't worry, the right wing media won't shut up about it - it's all fair & balanced.

  2. Detective Emil
    Facepalm

    What an attractive offer!

    If you pay to place one ad next to possibly-brand-destroying content, we'll place snother next to different possibly-brand-destroying content fo free!

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What an attractive offer!

      On a side note, I was once reading a column here about laser pointers harassing landing jets, and lo and behold, before I had a pi-hole, there was an ad here on Reg.com for laser pointers. I took a screen shot for posterity. Too bad Reg.com doesn't let us embed photos...

      1. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

        Re: What an attractive offer!

        Thumbs up for the pi hole. For a brief second I thought "before I had a pi-hole" was a new to say "before you could say Jack Robinson".

  3. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
    Mushroom

    With a cap of $1 million per company, Musk only needs 44 thousand advertisers to buy in.

    Alternatively, if he manages to convince half the world population to buy the blue check, he will be 70% there.

    How was our totally stable genius to recoup his "investment" on Twitter?

    1. Rgen

      Why would anyone pay to post? Just weird.

  4. katrinab Silver badge
    Megaphone

    There is one small problem

    Twitter is a very tiny proportion of most companies advertising budget, on average about 0.9%. The vast majority of it goes to Alphabet[Google] and Meta[Facebook].

    This really is not at all about the money, or it being too expensive. It is because they think advertising on Twitter will bring negative returns on investment.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: There is one small problem

      >they think advertising on Twitter will bring negative returns on investment.

      But now they can afford to make up for it with volume

  5. Excused Boots

    It does strike me that doing an effective ‘buy one get one free’ strategy might make sense for a new startup company, desperate to make some sort of mark in the industry, but a long-term established company like Twitter, seriously?

    Anyone else think that something might just have gone catastrophically wrong with Twitter’s management, assuming, of course that there is any functional management?

  6. aerogems Silver badge
    FAIL

    50% More Nazis Free!

    While this is probably the smartest thing Twitler has done since buying the company -- let that sink in, pun very much intentional -- it still doesn't do anything to address the underlying reason why so many advertisers are fleeing. They don't want their ads showing up next to hate speech. It's not a difficult concept to understand if you are not a racist, antisemite, or a child of Apartheid South Africa. (apparently)

    I'm sure it also doesn't help when you call up the CEOs to yell at them for pulling advertising and then attempt to blackmail them by claiming you'll go "thermonuclear" on them and release a lot of potentially damaging information you are sitting on atop Twitter Castle.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: 50% More Nazis Free!

      That's obviously not true. Twitter has a massive antisemitism problem and reporting it doesn't remove it either. That pre-dates Musk.

      What's happened is the advertisers don't want to be associated with controversy. And with the left hating Musk for things like revealing Twitter's election interference, Twitter is currently controversial.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: 50% More Nazis Free!

        Advertisers have NEVER wanted their ads showing up next to any kind of hate speech. It creates a PR headache that they just don't want to deal with. While it's true hate speech has been on Twitter since its inception, since Twitler took over there's been at least a 4X increase. It's a combination effect of regular users fleeing to other services, like Mastadon, and people who hang out on 4Chan deciding that they're going to go test the limits of what they can get away with on Twitter. As the cherry on top, Twitler has been restoring the accounts of people who were banned for hate speech or harassment of some sort, and you know it has to be pretty bad if Twitter would ban you for it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The company you keep

    Lie down with Twits, get up with QAnon

  8. fxkeh

    now with bonus 50% extra brand damage!

    Sure, if I'm an brand who has pulled my advertising because I'm concerned it'll be next to Nazi memes, then I'll totally sign up for more of my brand next to Nazi memes!

  9. Trigun

    Good grief. The comment sections on these Elon Musk articles come across as a giant echo chamber. Almost like all the dissaffected twitter users have moved here.

  10. Ashto5

    Twitter

    Ha ha

    So much hate on here for Twitter and Musk.

    Really who cares ?

    Twitter falls who cares ?

    Musk falls who cares ?

    Hard left hard right websites brands adverts end up on them anyway

    This all seems to be a way to try and bring Musk down

    Seriously who cares ?

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Twitter

      I think there's a widespread attempt to enjoy as much schadenfreude as possible

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
        Devil

        Re: Twitter

        Slice of cake, cup of coffee and a big helping of schadenfreude and I'm a happy bunny.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would anyone want their brand associated with the cesspool Musk's variation on "free speech" has engendered?

  12. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Distraction tactic?

    With all attention on Musk's antics at Twitter, what's happening at his other ventures?

    Anything interesting / something slip through without anyone noticing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Distraction tactic?

      Pay no attention to the Tesla crashes or Twitter stock; just be a "good boi" and stick this Neuralink in your brain...

  13. Trigun

    So... who?

    Out of interest: I'm interested in knowing which version of free speech which would be acceptable and who people think should be the arbiter?

    I.e. Who gets to decide when something is a joke or not, whether something is hate speech or not and who protects us from censorship along political partisan lines? Because clearly people seem to feel that someone must decide, but who in this incredibly (and depresingly) toxic, tribalised world that we now find ourselves is even-handed enough to do this?

    If many feel that the current version of twitter isn't good and an equal number of people think that the previous one wasn't good either, then who/what should be and how do you guard against corruption - particularly from your own biases?

    Or should we turn off the servers & wipe the backups (and do the same for facebook et al)?

  14. NonSSL-Login
    Stop

    Clinical echo bubbles

    Letting advertisers dictate what can be posted and what can't be posted on social media platforms can only harm free speech imo.

    Reddit has lost a lot of users simply because of huge over moderating and deletion of perfectly normal posts, that one person might have reported because they are a snowflake and instead of a mod looking at the post it seems auto-deleted from a report now.

    Normies forever complaining about every post on every platform because they have nothing better to do is creating sterile echo bubbles where no one wants to share an opposing opinion because of downvotes, the chance of account banning due to spurious reports etc.

    At least we always have IRC to fall back on to for free speech and opinion sharing because most normies can't figure that one out and even if they could, there is no one to complain too.

  15. 4d3fect

    Betting or beating?

    "Time to open that office betting pool."

    --the betting will continue until morale improves

  16. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Free Speech

    While the first amendment is admirable in it's concept, the reality of it is what a lot of people don't really consider - freedom of speech does include stupid speech, hateful speech, uninformed speech, untruthful speech - the list goes on. Digital platforms just make it more available. I think the real problem lies with peoples facility for critical thinking more than anything else. If someone hands you free kool-aid, you don't have to drink it.

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