Elon Musk says Twitter has suffered a ‘massive’ revenue drop

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SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk speaks during the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, DC, U.S., March 9, 2020.

Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Twitter has suffered a “massive drop in revenue” due to advertisers suspending advertising on the social media platform, Elon Musk, the company’s new owner, said on Friday.

In a tweet, Musk blamed “militant groups pressuring advertisers.” He said Twitter has not changed its content moderation policy and added that the company has done “everything we can to appease activists”.

Musk did not say how much revenue the company lost from the pullout, or how he attributed the loss to pressure from activist groups.

Musk reiterated his comments in an interview at the Baron Investment Conference on Friday.

“We haven’t made any changes to our operations,” Musk said onstage at the event. “And we’ve done our best to appease them and nothing is working. So that’s a major concern. And I think that’s frankly an attack on the First Amendment.”

In recent days, a number of companies have said that they will temporarily pausing their ad spending on Twitter to see how things would change there under Musk’s ownership. You’re here competitors General Engines and Audi, and titan of food General Mills are among the companies that suspended spending on Twitter after Musk completed its $44 billion acquisition on Oct. 28. Advertising giant IPG has also advised its clients to temporarily suspend their Twitter media plans.

Twitter notified employees late Thursday that it would begin laying off staff, according to communications obtained by CNBC. Twitter’s content moderation team is expected to be among those affected by the job cuts, Reuters reported, citing tweets from employees.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this story.

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