Twitter, angel or devil in the new world of Musk.
As a profession, one of the biggest challenges we have is persuading our target audience to believe the information we present across all channels. There has long been an amount of “creative licence” used across the profession and this will always continue as brands and businesses look to create positive messages for themselves.
However, over the past few decades we have come to recognise that consumers do not want to be misled and whilst you can put a certain amount of spin on most messages, they all have to ultimately be based on facts and able to be justified. In the UK the ASA polices the industry and ensures we are all kept on the straight and narrow and long may this continue. If we are doing it right, we have nothing to fear.
So, when one of the major marketing channels takes the decision to allow people to publish “fake information” on their channel, under the banner of allowing “freedom of speech”, it undermines the whole industry. This will make the market place more cynical and less open to being influenced by good marketing communications, ultimately reducing the ROI for marketing and having a negative impact on sales, not something any of us want to see.
This is, in my opinion, what Twitter has now done. Elon Musk has long been a supporter of “free speech” much as most people in the west are. However, he also seems to lack the fundamental intelligence to recognise that allowing false information to be freely published only has one affect, it means no information will be believed, wherever it is published. This may be his objective, but in taking this approach it looks as though he is crippling Twitter as more and more major brands pull away from the channel.
I am a massive supporter of free speech, just like I am a supporter of allowing businesses to be creative in how they present their information to their target market, but I am also a passionate believer that communications have to be realistic and not misleading and we should not seek success at any cost.
As businesses we have to take responsibility for the influence we have on the public and how our marketing can change the behaviour of the population. If we do take this role seriously, we can help ensure that society evolves sensibly. If we are irresponsible, we will end up in chaos, some might say that the US is already heading in that direction.
This is only my view and I am interested in what everyone else thinks so let me know.
I for one will not be using Twitter anymore and will be recommending my clients do the same.