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A hot potato: It's unlikely that anyone would believe 99.99% of the content posted on Twitter could be described as "healthy," unless you work for Elon Musk's company, of course. The bold claim was in response to a damning article highlighting the surge of harmful posts appearing on the platform.
Bloomberg's piece, titled "Twitter Surge In Harmful Content a Barrier To Advertiser Return," details the well-documented advertising problem Twitter has faced since Musk took over. The world's richest person laid off the majority of Twitter employees following his $44 billion acquisition of the company, including those who moderate posts. There has also been an official loosening of its content rules, and several users who were banned for violating Twitter policies have had their accounts reinstated. It's led to hateful, violent, and inaccurate posts on the platform, claims the publication.
The Twitter Business account rebuked the story in a tweet addressed to advertisers. It claims that Bloomberg's assertion of harmful content on Twitter increasing over the past six months is false, and that 99.99% of tweet impressions are healthy.
To our partners, we want to address a recent Bloomberg article which claims that harmful content viewed on Twitter has gone up over the past six months. This is an absolutely false assertion. 99.99% of Tweet impressions are healthy. Which means only a tiny amount of content…– Twitter Business (@TwitterBusiness) July 19, 2023
"Bloomberg created this article using outdated research that contains incorrect or misleading metrics. The article does not properly provide the right context or new updates to the remediations we have made since the third party research was conducted," the tweet states.
I agree with the Bloomberg article, I get hate on here everyday.– David Weissman âÂ¡ï¸Â (@davidmweissman) July 19, 2023
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise to learn that the tweet was met with the kind of mockery one would expect from such a claim. Even New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined in the criticism, calling out the fact that users can now pay the $8 per month fee for a verified blue tick.
"I have never experienced more harassment on this platform than I do now. People now pay to give their harassment more visibility," she tweeted.
lololol I have never experienced more harassment on this platform than I do now. People now pay to give their harassment more visibility.– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 19, 2023
The de-verification of journalists, civic orgs, and figures has made it impossible to follow conversations. I wish it could be usable again https://t.co/a7tiGAoAKl
As PCMag notes, Twitter is likely defining healthy as anything that doesn't break its rules, including porn, hardline political views, ads for edibles, false statements, etc., all things that spook advertisers.
It was reported in June that Twitter's US advertising revenue for the five weeks between April 1 and the first week of May was $88 million, down 59% from a year earlier. Musk said half the company's advertising had disappeared due to advertisers in Europe and North America putting extreme pressure on the company. "They are trying to drive Twitter bankrupt," he said. It's a worrying statistic for a firm that makes 90% of its revenue from ads, though the Twitter Blue program is designed to offset some of the advertising revenue loss.