Ben & Jerry’s cuts ties with Twitter due to rise in hate speech and ‘dangerous’ Elon Musk

Elon Musk with his hand on his face next to the Twitter bird logo

Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s has ended all paid-for advertising on Twitter due to the alarming rise in hate speech on the platform – and called for other companies to do likewise.

It calls out attacks on people who are “Black, Brown, trans, gay, Jewish, Muslim”, “women” and “people with disabilities” specifically on the Elon Musk-owned platform.

In a statement on the Ben & Jerry’s website, the company calls Musk out personally for engaging in “dangerous” conversations online since his purchase of Twitter in October 2022.

In April 2023, Twitter dropped its protections for trans people from misgendering and deadnaming.

Ben & Jerry’s says the platform no longer aligns with its “progressive values”.

“We’ve watched with great concern the developments at Twitter following Elon Musk’s purchase of the social media platform,” the brand’s statement reads.

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“Hate speech is up dramatically while content moderation has become all but non-existent.

“In addition to the changes on the platform that have led to an increase in hate speech, Musk himself has doubled down on dangerous anti-democratic lies and white nationalist hate speech.”

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In the months that followed Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, hate speech on the site rocketed to new highs.

‘Free-for-all-hellscape’

“The platform has become a threatening and even dangerous space for people from so many backgrounds, including people who are Black, Brown, trans, gay, women, people with disabilities, Jewish, Muslim and the list goes on,” the Ben & Jerry’s statement continues.

“This is unconscionable in addition to being plain bad business.”

The beloved ice cream brand says its decision to stop paying to advertise with the site is “taking a stand against these harmful changes” and says other companies should do the same.

“Twitter must act today to end the extremist and violent content on the platform.

“Until that happens, Ben & Jerry’s will spend no money with Twitter and we call on all businesses and partners to do the same.”

But it seems many already have.

In March 2024, it was revealed more than half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers had also stopped spending money on the site.

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Sources from the advertising industry told Vox magazine it had become a “free-for-all-hellscape”.

Some estimates suggest Twitter’s advertising revenue fell by 89 per cent in the months after Musk took over.

Twitter currently charges individuals £115.20 per year for the Twitter Blue subscription service, which includes a blue tick, the ability to edit tweets and write longer tweets, fewer adverts and more exposure for subscribers’ tweets.

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