His acquisition was completed in late October, so it has only been a short while since he’s taken on the CEO title. However, he has already laid off thousands of employees, banned remote working and revamped Twitter Blue, asking those who want the verification blue tick to pay $8 (£6.70) per month.
Previously, public figures and organisations had to go through a verification request process, proving that they were prominent enough to need the blue tick to avoid impersonation and similar fraud. Now, however, users are worried that the blue tick will no longer serve this purpose.
Additionally, Musk’s promise to restore free speech on Twitter has made many question whether he will allow those with extreme or prejudiced ideas to run free.
Explaining why she left, Hadid said: “For a long time, but especially with its new leadership, it’s becoming more and more of a cesspool of hate and bigotry, and it’s not a place I want to be part of.”
The ripple effect has made many brands decide to leave Twitter, too.
Prominent fashion brand Balenciaga deleted its account without a public explanation recently. The luxury brand had about a million followers.
Meanwhile, several major companies have suspended all of their Twitter advertisements for the time being.
These include car manufacturers such as Audi, Ford Motors and General Motors, along with food brands under General Mills such as Haagen-Dazs and Cheerios. The American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation Pfizer has done likewise.
An Audi spokesperson explained its decision thus: “We have currently paused paid support on Twitter and will continue to evaluate the situation.”
At first Musk poked fun at the advertisers who were reacting to the changes by pulling their ads. He posted a poll tweet that asked his followers whether advertisers should support “freedom of speech” or “political correctness”.
Advertisers should support:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
However, on November 4, he tweeted about his frustration, saying: “Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.
“Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”