Elon Musk’s Plan For Luring Fleeing Advertisers Back To Twitter Appears To Be…To Threaten Them?

It’s just over a week since Elon Musk took over Twitter. How’s it going? Well, soon as he grabbed the reins, there was a massive uptick in racial and anti-Semitic slurs. He’s pissed off Stephen King and the Twitter user known as “@Catturd2.” There have been massive, possibly illegal layoffs. And advertisers have been fleeing. The last one may be the thing that really bugs Musk, as advertisers are the backbone of Twitter’s budget. But don’t worry, because it appears Musk has an outside-the-box solution on how to lure them back.

On Friday, Musk blamed the advertiser exodus not on controversial far right extremists or his own erratic behavior but on “activist groups” he claimed were “pressuring advertisers” to jump ship. His service’s own moderation team flagged that post, adding context that contradicts that claim. But he found a sympathetic ear from conservative operative Mike Davis, who gave him some (dubious) advice: “Name and shame the advertisers who are succumbing to the advertiser boycotts. So we can counter-boycott them.”

Musk, though, seemed to like the idea, writing, “A thermonuclear name & shame is exactly what will happen if this continues.”

To sum up, Musk’s plan to lure back advertisers — and attract new ones — is to agree with a MAGA head to threaten them with boycotts if they don’t return.

Mind you, Musk hadn’t announced this was his game plan. Earlier in the day, he seemed to be trying to mollify advertisers’ concerns over Twitter turning into a wild west of bigoted trolls. “Again, to be crystal clear, Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged,” he wrote. “In fact, we have actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline *below* our prior norms, contrary to what you may read in the press.”

Then again, by the end of the day he was trolling the many critics of his plan to charge for blue checkmarks.

That included Dan Rather.