General Motors Has Suspended Advertising On Twitter, Here's Why

Now that Elon Musk has finally followed through on his pledge to buy Twitter, sources are scrambling to anticipate the changes sure to follow on the social media giant. One of the most urgent questions is whether carmakers in competition with Musk's Tesla will continue to use a platform that, to some extent, belongs to a competitor.

CNBC has reported on an early sign of the possible future of carmakers and potentially other brands at odds with Musk. General Motors, in its own words, will be "pausing" its involvement with Twitter as it assesses what it means to engage with a platform under the new rules.

There's more happening here than GM simply taking their digital ball and going home, however. What the automaker is doing –- and other companies may well follow -– is a careful reappraisal of their engagement with Twitter as it relates to their business, their image, and the expectations of stakeholders.

Reassessment, not revolution

GM's move might seem extreme, especially given the pressure from many Twitter users to cast the deal with Musk in an ideological light. Certainly, relying on a service owned by the CEO of a competitor might set off alarm bells, especially given Twitter's largely unregulated status in the American market.

Crucially, however, GM itself doesn't consider the pause to be a drastic move. In an emailed statement to CNBC, GM described the decision in more nuanced terms, calling it "normal course of business with a significant change in a media platform." The statement goes on to clarify that, for the time being, GM will only pause paid advertisements on Twitter, leaving its customer care services on the platform active.

In short, GM is pausing its advertising on Twitter, but very much keeping its options open. Input from GM stakeholders and new players at Twitter will likely shape a more permanent policy decision in the coming days.