The federal government recommended pausing ads on Twitter after mass layoffs at the company
A media and marketing agency responsible for buying and planning much of the government’s advertising has advised federal departments to shut down Twitter, citing mass layoffs at the company.
Cossett, which is the government’s “media agency of record”, issued instructions on Friday to “immediately suspend operations and monitor the situation over the weekend” due to “unknown continuity plans for moderation” and an “increased risk to brand safety”. Internal document seen by CBC News.
Cossette “contributes to media planning and strategy, media buying, ad sourcing and traffic, ad verification, reporting and reconciliation services to support various government initiatives.” It works with a wide range of government agencies and departments.
Twitter recently laid off 50 percent of its workforce after being taken over by Elon Musk, who, as head of electric vehicle maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, has become the world’s richest man.
Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, tweeted Friday that only 15 percent of the team responsible for moderation and safety was affected and that “our core moderation capabilities remain intact.”
Musk also stated that “our strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged.” Twitter did not respond to CBC News’ request for comment.
Cossette’s policy said the firings raised concerns about the effectiveness of Twitter’s moderation and brand safety, which essentially means ensuring that advertising placed next to content does not negatively impact the advertiser’s reputation.
Cossette also noted that the US midterm elections will be held on Tuesday, which will result in “a lot of focus on the platform of abuse.”
The federal government spent more than $3 million on Twitter ads through Cossette from 2020 to 2021, according to him. last annual report.
With early voting underway in the U.S., our election integrity efforts—including countering harmful disinformation that can suppress votes and state-sponsored information operations—remain a top priority.
Many large companies have suspended advertising on Twitter, including General Mills, General Motors, Pfizer and Volkswagen.
Musk hit back at what he described as “activist groups” pressuring advertisers to quit Twitter, accusing them of “trying to destroy free speech in America.”
Musk said Twitter has already seen a “tremendous drop in revenue” after saying the layoffs were necessary because Twitter was losing $4 million a day.
Public Service and Procurement Canada has not yet responded to CBC News’ request for comment.
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