Users who type “Balenciaga” into Twitter’s search bar will no longer see content from the luxury fashion house on the social network, now owned by Elon Musk. Following in the footsteps of so many celebrities, the brand is the latest to deactivate its account and suspend its advertising activity, giving up nearly a million followers.
Whether it’s a handbag in the shape of a packet of chips, a bag transformed into a speaker, kick-ass sneakers with an exorbitant price tag or a parka worthy of the best highway maintenance crews, many of Balenciaga’s creations have created a stir – and lots of discussions – on Twitter. Criticism or praise doesn’t matter, the luxury brand has never ceased to be talked about, and it still is today, even if for a completely different reason.
Without a word of explanation, Balenciaga broke ties with Twitter, deactivating his account. The luxury brand confirmed this information to media sites Vogue And The business of fashion, without giving any particular reason for the transfer. However, this departure comes just weeks after Elon Musk bought the social network for the sum of $44 billion. Mass layoffs, paid certifications, and a more relaxed approach to content moderation could all have played a part in convincing the luxury house to leave the social network.
Balenciaga is the first luxury brand of its caliber to leave Twitter, but it may not be the last. Fear of seeing its ads associated with hateful, banned content, or misinformation, may put off many more in the near future. This unexpected departure raises the question “who’s next?” — a question that comes up again and again in posts commenting on Balenciaga’s account deactivation.
Celebrities who left Twitter before Balenciaga
It may be the first fashion brand of this scale to ditch the social network, but Balenciaga is following a movement started by a myriad of celebrities. In the weeks following the Twitter sale, global stars like Shonda Rhimes, Whoopi Goldberg, David Simon and model Gigi Hadid all dropped out. Unequivocally, their motivations are all tied to the same person, Elon Musk, and what he intends to do with the social network.
“Don’t hang around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye,” Shonda Rhimes simply posted to explain her departure. “Leaving this for a week as a pinned tweet before locking the account. when this platform will not have a better and more honorable management, fuck it, no,” explained the American journalist and screenwriter, David Simon, creator of the cult show, The cable.
More recently, Gigi Hadid made the same decision: “I deactivated my Twitter account today. For a long time, but especially with its new leadership, it’s becoming more and more a cesspool of hatred and bigotry, and it’s not a place I want to be a part of,” she wrote, apologizing to her fans and reminding them that the social network it’s not “a safe place.” Meanwhile, major companies, such as General Motors and United Airlines, have announced they are temporarily suspending their ads on the social network.
Present — but not very active — on Instagram, where it is still followed by more than 14 million users, as well as on TikTok, with 3 million followers, the Balenciaga maison remains accessible on other social networks. Whether he’ll open an account on Mastodon anytime soon remains to be seen, which is now being touted as an alternative to Twitter.
This story was published via AFP Relaxnews
(Main and featured image: Stephane De Sakutin/ AFP)