Elon Musk says Twitter has had a ‘massive’ drop in revenue

Elon Musk says Twitter has had a ‘massive’ drop in revenue

Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX, speaks during the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, DC, United States on March 9, 2020.

Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

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

In a tweet, Musk blamed “activist groups putting pressure on advertisers.” He said Twitter had not changed its content moderation strategy and added that the company had done “everything it could to appease activists”.

Musk did not specify how much revenue the company lost from the withdrawal, or how he could attribute that loss to pressure from activist groups.

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

“We haven’t made any changes to our operations at all,” Musk said on stage during the event. “And we’ve tried our best to calm them down and nothing’s working. So this is a big concern. And I think this is frankly an attack on the First Amendment.”

In recent days, a number of companies have said that they will temporarily are pausing their Twitter advertising to see how things change there under Musk’s ownership. Tesla competitors General Motors and Audi, and the food titan General Mills are among the companies that paused spending on Twitter after Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition on Oct. 28. Ad giant IPG advised clients to temporarily pause their Twitter media plans as well.

Twitter notified employees Thursday night that it will 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 reports, citing employee tweets.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this story.

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