Balenciaga just said “thanks, but no thanks” to Elon Musk’s Twitter. The label has left the social media platform, becoming the first major fashion brand to eschew the site following Musk’s controversial takeover.
Balenciaga declined to elaborate on its reason for leaving Twitter — but given growing concerns over Musk’s plans for the platform, it seems the brand’s exit has to do with a certain billionaire troll.
On November 9, the platform launched Twitter Blue, a $7.99/month service allowing anyone and everyone to pay for a verification check mark. Netizens quickly began using the service to impersonate companies and brands, resulting in mostly funny but occasionally disastrous consequences.
We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account. Our official Twitter account is @LillyPad.
There’s good reason for brands such as Balenciaga to be concerned. With Musk’s emphasis on free speech and lax approach to content moderation and misinformation, companies may feel it’s in their best interest to distance themselves from Twitter before it devolves into Parler 2.0. (In fact, Musk himself recently tweeted and deleted a link promoting a right-wing conspiracy theory regarding the attack on Paul Pelosi.)
A sampling of companies that have pulled ads from Twitter in the wake of Musk’s acquisition: Chipotle, United Airlines, Pfizer, Audi, and General Motors.
With Balenciaga’s former ties to Kanye West still fresh in everyone’s mind, the luxury house’s decision to quit Twitter may be an attempt to preemptively quash another PR debacle. Either that, or Demna really doesn’t like Elon.