The loans Elon Musk took out to buy Twitter (now called X) was about $13 billion and the social media company has to pay about $1.2 billion in interest payments every year.
After 26 activist organisations and NGOs signed a letter to Twitter advertisers asking them to boycott the platform if Elon Musk makes content moderation changes, it has been revealed that some of these groups are funded or tied to billionaire philanthropist George Soros, former US presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
After Musk tweeted about “who funds these organisations that want to control your access to information,” the reports surfaced late on Wednesday that the groups behind the anti-Musk campaign belong to wealthy Democrat donors and their family foundations, labour unions and the governments of European nations.
“Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalised,” the groups wrote to advertisers.
“Under Musk’s management, Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low,” the groups wrote.
The Daily Mail first revealed the people behind the 26 groups.
One of the groups, Accountable Tech, is a Washington DC-based group led by Nicole Gill, a political campaigner and founder of the 2017 Tax March, and Jesse Lehrich, a former foreign policy spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the nephew of David Axelrod, former senior adviser to Barack Obama.
Another group called ‘Media Matters for America’ began in May 2004 by David Brock – a former conservative journalist who turned liberal, and in 2017 was described by Politico as the ‘Democrats’ attack dog’.
“The Clinton enforcer, who raised tens of millions of dollars and created a far-reaching web of outside groups to push her presidential candidacy, is now training his sights on Trump,’ the report had said.
“UltraViolet” group is backed by numerous family foundations, including that founded by Warren Buffet’s son Peter, NoVo Foundation.
The ‘Access Now’ group has its largest donor in the Swedish government’s development agency, Sida, followed by Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
The governments of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have contributed large amounts, as well as Canada’s government, according to Daily Mail.
Musk on Thursday tweeted: “Interesting. I wonder if those funding these organisations are fully aware of what the organisations are doing.”
The groups warned that advertising on Twitter would see their company “risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists”.
“Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account. We call on you to demand Musk uphold these basic standards of community trust and safety, and to pull your advertising spending from Twitter if they are not”.