Twitter Bans Ads That Defy Climate Change Science, On Earth Day, Twitter made the statement as it seeks to fend off a hostile takeover proposal from billionaire Elon Musk, who has stated that individuals should be allowed to say whatever they want on the network.
In a blog post, Twitter global sustainability manager Casey Junod wrote, “Misleading advertising on Twitter that denies the scientific consensus on climate change is prohibited, in accordance with our inappropriate content policy.”
“We feel that climate denial should not be made profitable on Twitter, and that misleading advertisement should not interfere with essential discussions about the global problem.”
Last year, Twitter launched a Topic feature to assist users access conversations about climate change, as well as centers of “reliable, authoritative” information on a variety of high-profile issues, such as climate change research.
“We recognize that misleading information about climate change can undermine efforts to protect the planet,” Junod said.
“Now more than ever, meaningful climate action, from all of us, is critical.”
As appealing as access to Musk’s cash may sound, Twitter does not want to be dominated by a billionaire who is renowned for acting without thinking about the ramifications of his actions.
The worldwide one-to-many communications network is taking steps to prevent Musk from acquiring all of Twitter’s outstanding shares, indicating that concerns about his leadership style outweigh the potential payout.
Musk, the world’s richest man and a controversial and regular Twitter user, made an unsolicited $43 billion offer for the social media network earlier this month, citing improved freedom of speech as a motivator.
Musk favours a hands-off approach to content enforcement, which may be difficult in high-profile cases like that of former US President Donald Trump, who was banned following his supporters’ attack on the Capitol in an attempt to reverse the US election outcome last year.
However, the polarising Tesla CEO’s campaign has alarmed technology and free-speech experts, who refer to Musk’s erratic outbursts and history of intimidating opponents as contradicting his claimed goals.
The board of Twitter decided to use a “poison pill” defence, in which any acquisition of more than 15% of the company’s stock without its approval would activate a plan to flood the market with shares, making a takeover much more difficult.