In the latest update to the Twitter fever dream we’re all living in, new CEO Elon Musk has tweeted a nostalgic photo of a Nazi and told his near-115 million followers to vote for the Republican party in the US midterm elections.
This morning, Musk tweeted a photo of a Nazi Wehrmacht soldier carrying messenger pigeons on his back with the caption “How times have changed,” before adding “back when birds were real.”
How times have changed pic.twitter.com/gCxUkZ4kZC
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 7, 2022
Last month, Musk declared himself a free speech “extremist” and tweeted a poll asking his followers whether advertisers should support freedom of speech or political ‘correctness.’
Other Twitter users were quick to point out the problem with Musk’s tweet.
“Hey, let’s use the carrier pigeons of the German Wehrmacht from World War II to illustrate technology development in an awesome way?” “But isn’t there a better example, Elon? Right now, in the ongoing debate around development here on Twitter?” “No, Wehrmacht imagery is best.”
— Mathias Richel (@mathiasrichel) November 7, 2022
Weird how you coincidentally keep retweeting Nazis and posting pictures of Nazis.
— Orbital Drop Spooky Ryan (@Spark898) November 7, 2022
Here is another shot from the same guy. Yes, is a Wehrmacht infantryman from the WW2. That’s the kind of images you’d expect to be post for a champion of freedom of speech, yep pic.twitter.com/WVoYKDITBS
— audiowanderer (@audiowanderer) November 7, 2022
However, Musk subsequently announced that any accounts pretending to be other people without clearly marking themselves as a parody would be banned for life.
Following the Nazi photo, Musk went onto tell his followers that “Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic.”
Aside from demonstrating a very limited knowledge of the US government’s separation of powers, it also directly contradicted what Musk said back in April.
For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 27, 2022
It’s unclear whether Musk still believes that his platform is politically neutral — though he did say that he had always voted Democrat until this year, which is convenient.
Back in Twitter Ads world, the news isn’t looking good for Musk. The Wall Street Journal has reported that a dozen high-end luxury brands who work with GroupM told the company to pull their ads from Twitter if the ex-president is allowed to rejoin. GroupM’s clients include LVMH, owner of Moët, Hennessy, and Louis Vuitton, as well as a number of other blue chip luxury goods companies.
Last week, IPG advised its list of clients, which includes American Express, CVS Pharmacies, Johnson & Johnson, and Spotify, to pause adverts on Twitter.
The Volkswagen Group has recommended that its subsidiary brands, including Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini, stop advertising on Twitter. So far, only Audi has done so.
Food and beverage company Mondelēz, which owns Cadbury, Oreo, Ritz, and Toblerone amongst others, has paused its ads on the site. It had been one of the platform’s top five advertisers.
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