In this file photo illustration taken on Aug 10, 2020, the Twitter account of US President Donald Trump is displayed on a mobile phone in Arlington, Virginia. (OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP)
A coalition of civil rights activists on Monday were urging Twitter's advertisers to issue statements about pulling their ads off the social media platform after its owner Elon Musk lifted the ban on tweets by former US president Donald Trump.
Trump's account, which Twitter had suspended after the US Capitol riot on Jan 6, 2021 citing the risk of further incitement of violence, was reinstated over the weekend. Some 90 percent of Twitter's revenue comes from selling digital ads.
The groups in the Stop Toxic Twitter coalition complained that Musk had vowed to advertisers that Twitter would take a considered approach to reinstating banned accounts and convene a new content moderation council. No such council has been created as of Monday.
The groups in the Stop Toxic Twitter coalition complained that Musk had vowed to advertisers that Twitter would take a considered approach to reinstating banned accounts and convene a new content moderation council. No such council has been created as of Monday
"It was a real breach," Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, a left-leaning media watchdog that is part of the coalition, said on Monday. He said Musk "was lying from the beginning."
"In less than three weeks Musk has gone back on every promise he made to civil-rights leaders and advertisers," said Jessica Gonzalez, co-chief executive of media and democracy group Free Press, which is also part of the Twitter coalition, in a press release.
ALSO READ: Trump snubs Twitter after Musk reverses ban
Twitter, which lost much of its communications team when Musk slashed the staff shortly after taking over, did not immediately respond to request for comment.
This month, Musk complained that pressure from the activists had already caused a "massive drop in revenue."
Twitter began reinstating banned or suspended accounts late last week including the comedian Kathy Griffin as well as Trump.
The platform also reinstated the personal Twitter account of US House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday.
Of Twitter's top 100 advertisers by total spending this year, 51 have paused ads according to private conversations with the coalition, public statements or spending data provided by ad measurement firm Pathmatics, Carusone said.
The coalition is asking brands that have not publicized their Twitter pause to issue public statements and help generate pressure on the other 49 advertisers that have taken no action, he said.
In this file photo taken on Oct 4, 2022, a phone screen displays a photo of Elon Musk with the Twitter logo shown in the background, in Washington, DC. (OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP)
Of Twitter's top 100 advertisers by total spending this year, 51 have paused ads according to private conversations with the coalition, public statements or spending data provided by ad measurement firm Pathmatics, Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, a left-leaning media watchdog that is part of the Stop Toxic Twitter coalition
"You need to take a stand and draw the line," Carusone said. "It's important for big spenders to say they have stopped."
The coalition will consider naming the companies later this week if they have not issued a public statement about pausing ads, he added.
ALSO READ: Trump sues FB, Twitter, Google over social media bans
Musk tweeted Saturday that Twitter would reinstate the former president's account after a slim majority voted yes on Musk's poll about the issue.
The names atop the list of Twitter's top advertisers have shifted from the week before Musk closed his deal to acquire the company. Major brands HBO and Mondelez were Twitter's top two advertisers in the week before the acquisition, according to data from Pathmatics.
But between Nov 10 and Nov 16, after Musk laid off half of Twitter's staff, the top two largest advertisers were FinanceBuzz.io, a personal finance website and Trendytowns, an ecommerce site based in Singapore.
Pathmatics data showed that the top 100 advertisers between Nov 10 to Nov 16 spent an estimated $23.6 million on Twitter, down from $24. 2 million spent between Oct 16 to Oct 22 before Musk became Twitter's owner.
Meanwhile, Twitter head of French operations, Damien Viel, said he was quitting the social media platform, as Musk recently fired top executives and enforced steep job cuts at the company.
"It's over," Viel tweeted on Sunday, thanking his team in France, which he led for the last seven years.
A sign is seen outside the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on April 25, 2022. (JED JACOBSON / AP)
Viel confirmed he was leaving Twitter in a separate message to Reuters.
ALSO READ: After Elon Musk's ultimatum, Twitter employees start exiting
He didn't elaborate on the circumstances of his departure and declined to say how many people Twitter employed in France either before or after Musk's takeover of the company last month.
Pathmatics data showed that the top 100 advertisers between Nov 10 to Nov 16 spent an estimated $23.6 million on Twitter, down from $24. 2 million spent between Oct 16 to Oct 22 before Musk became Twitter's owner
Labor laws in France prevent companies from firing permanent employees overnight. France-based companies have to formally tell staff they aim to dismiss about their plans ahead of time, typically via a letter with acknowledgement of receipt.
They also have to respect certain notice periods, depending on the nature of the dismissal and the seniority of the staff.
For dismissals affecting several employees within 30 days, companies must also follow certain procedures, which entail informing staff, staff representatives and the ministry of labor.
This means the whole process takes at least several weeks and up to several months.
A spokesperson for Twitter in France hasn't replied to messages seeking comment since Musk's takeover in October.
Twitter has had a bumpy ride since the world's richest person took charge. It has cut staff globally by about half, while Musk has raised the possibility of the social media platform going bankrupt.
READ MORE: Elon Musk says he will find a new leader for Twitter
He recently told employees to consider whether they wanted to stay on "working long hours at high intensity" or take a severance package of three months pay.