Balenciaga removed its Twitter account, becoming the first major fashion brand to leave the social media platform amid mounting concern over new owner Elon Musk’s vision for the site.
Major corporations including General Motors and Dyson have already suspended advertising campaigns, and celebrities including Gigi Hadid have left Twitter following Musk’s acquisition of the company in late October.
Some companies and users have raised concerns that Musk’s plans for mass layoffs and a focus on promoting free speech will lead to looser content moderation on the site, which could make it more difficult for advertisers to avoid being linked with hate speech and misinformation. A September incident in which advertisements appeared on pages promoting links to child pornography highlighted the potential risks of Musk’s strategy, as did a slew of false accounts impersonating brands last week, which were allowed to purchase “verified” labels on the site.
While Twitter’s importance to the fashion industry has waned in recent years, the platform has been a significant source of online buzz for Kering-owned Balenciaga, as creative director Demna sparked conversation with designs including oversized sportswear, sculptural couture and divisive pieces like $1,790 leather trash bags and $950 Crocs. Balenciaga’s account recently had as many as 950,000 followers.
The Paris-based brand declined to comment on the move, but confirmed it had removed its page from the platform.
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