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First Fortune 500 company pauses ads on Twitter after Elon Musk’s acquisition

Elon Musk shrugging on a background with the Twitter logo
Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

General Motors has temporarily halted advertising on Twitter after Tesla CEO Elon
Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition
of the social network on Friday (via
). The automaker says it’s pausing paid advertising on Twitter to evaluate “the direction of the
platform” under Musk’s leadership, but will continue to use the network to interact with customers.

“We are engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership,”
an emailed statement provided to The Verge by GM spokesperson Dan Flores says. “As is normal course of
business with a significant change in a media platform, we have temporarily paused our paid advertising. Our
customer care interactions on Twitter will continue.”

It’s unclear whether GM’s decision to temporarily pull ads from Twitter stems from the company’s
rivalry with Tesla, Musk’s
vision of making Twitter a “free speech” platform
, or both. On Thursday, a
report from the Wall Street Journal
highlighted advertisers’ concerns with the future of
content moderation on the Musk-owned version of Twitter, as Musk has
previously hinted
at reversing former
President Donald Trump’s ban
. Musk attempted to reassure advertisers by posting a tweet saying he will
let Twitter become a “free-for-all hellscape
,” but reiterated his goal of creating “a digital town
square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.”

Twitter’s new owner has also said he would establish
a “content moderation council”
with members who have “widely diverse viewpoints,” and won’t make any
major decisions to take down content or reinstate a user’s account without the council’s approval. Musk says he
still has yet to make any changes to
Twitter’s content moderation policies, but he
promptly fired Twitter’s policy chief, Vijaya Gadde
, after he assumed ownership of the company.

GM has doubled down on its efforts to compete with electric vehicle (EV) rivals like Tesla, increasing
its investment in electric and autonomous vehicles
to $35 billion through 2025, This past July, GM CEO
Mary Barra told the
Associated Press
that she believes GM’s EVs will outsell Tesla by the middle of the decade, and
earlier this month, the automaker announced plans
to take over Tesla on the energy front
as well, creating a new division to sell solar panels and


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