One major fashion brand has decided to log off.
Balenciaga deleted its Twitter account with nearly 1 million followers, the Business of Fashion has confirmed. It’s hard to blame them.
Since world’s richest man, Elon Musk, completed his $44 billion takeover of the social media platform chaos has ensued. While numerous brands have paused their ad spending on Twitter as the company roils, Balenciaga is the first luxury brand to head for the exits entirely.
Musk’s reign has been marked by mass layoffs, including contractors in charge of content moderation (hence, use of the n-word on the platform to increase by over 500 percent). And because the perpetually online Musk became obsessed with the grievances of people who resented users with verification badges on Twitter, he decided to put those blue check marks up for sale. Anyone willing to shell over $8 a month could have the imprimatur of being verified, effectively opening the floodgates for impersonations. A wave of fake accounts with check marks popped up on the site immediately, some parodying the very brands the site needs to court for its revenue.
It reached critical mass when a “verified” account impersonated pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to announce that it would provide free insulin. Soon after that fiasco, the company’s stock dropped more than four percent, wiping out billions in market cap. Eli Lilly has subsequently cut off its Twitter advertising.
Musk’s flailing has led to turmoil in the company and some backtracking, as some fired employees have been asked to return to their positions. The new CEO has also ended policies that the company once prided itself in offering its workers, like terminating the work-from-home policy. Instead Musk has demanded that employees must work in-office and told them that they should prepare for “difficult times ahead.”
“The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed,” Musk wrote in his message to employees, according to Fortune. Within two weeks of Musk taking control, more half of the workforce and most of the executive team had been let go or exited the company.
Balenciaga is following in the footsteps of celebrities like Shonda Rhimes and Gigi Hadid who have also walked away from Twitter, with Hadid calling it a “cesspool of hate.” Only time will tell if other big names and brands will join them.