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Most say they would not buy from brands advertising on platforms that contain hate speech: poll

FILE – The Twitter splash page is seen on a digital device, Monday, April 25, 2022, in San Diego. Twitter is once again adding gray “official” labels to some prominent accounts, Thursday, Nov. 10. The company, in its second chaotic week after billionaire Elon Musk took over, had rolled out the labels earlier this week, only to kill them a few hours later. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Just over half of Americans say they would not purchase items sold by advertisers promoting themselves on platforms that contain hate speech, according to a Morning Consult poll released Thursday.

Fifty-two percent of respondents to the online poll said they wouldn’t purchase from advertisers that use such platforms for marketing, while the same proportion said they would feel “very unfavorable” toward such advertisers.

Nearly half, 49 percent, of the 2,209 Americans surveyed Nov. 9-14 said they would feel “very unfavorable” toward advertisers who use platforms where misinformation and bots are prominent.

Forty-five percent of respondents said they wouldn’t purchase from the advertisers using such sites.

The poll results come amid Elon Musk’s high-profile takeover of Twitter starting late last month, which has sparked concerns about hate speech and misinformation rising on the platform. Musk has said its content moderation policies have not changed, though roughly half of Twitter’s staff has been laid off and a number of advertisers have fled amid the takeover.

Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” has advocated for less content moderation on social media platforms in general and recently implemented an $8 charge for verification on Twitter that sparked widespread confusion when it was first proposed.

The Morning Consult poll found that nearly three-quarters of Americans, 74 percent, have heard “a lot” or “some” about Musk acquiring Twitter in late October.

Overall, Americans were most put off by advertisers marketing alongside “extremist content,” “hate speech,” “misinformation or conspiracy theories” and “large numbers of bots or fake accounts.”

The proportion of respondents who were “very unfavorable” toward advertisers decreased to approximately one-third when the companies were marketing on platforms with “little or no content moderation policies” or a “monthly fee for user verification.”

The poll contains a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

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