Dec 20, 2022

Twitter in 2022: The Medium Actually is the Message 

Authored by:

Maddie Michowski

Social Media & Marketing Manager at Perion

An Opinion Piece By Maddie Michowski, Social Media & Marketing Manager at Perion

Marshall McLuhan was a 20th century Canadian philosopher who is known for his work in media theory. In 1964, McLuhan wrote and published the book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. In the book’s first chapter, he coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” McLuhan’s theory explained that there is a true relationship between the medium presenting the message and how that message is received. 

So much has changed since 1964 and –– as the “Zillenial” that I am ––  I’d argue that much of it was for the better. But this phrase? It’s held up. 

One of the greatest recent examples I’ve seen of the theory are the happenings at social media giant Twitter. Advertisers are done with Twitter. And truthfully, they’re not the only ones. 

A Recent Timeline

Since that Thursday in late October, Elon Musk has used his platform to further amplify conspiracy theories, re-admit banned users back to the platform, and promote/engage with far-right accounts. The big kicker was his verification scheme –– allowing anyone to purchase a blue checkmark. For eight dollars.

A tweet from an account resembling pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. Eli Lilly’s stock price immediately dropped after the false message was posted.

And we won’t even get into how long it took for Musk to ban Kanye from the platform… 

So, how does this all relate to Marshall McLuhan’s theory? 

A Media Matters for America report concluded that in less than a month, Twitter has driven away 50 of its top 100 advertisers. Within those 50 advertisers, brands either announced the “break up” (Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Ford, Jeep, Kyndryl, Merck & Co. and Novartis AG) or just completely stopped advertising on Twitter altogether. 

These advertisers have accounted for nearly $2 billion in spending on the platform since 2020, and over $750 million in advertising in 2022 alone.

2022 has brought a lot of chaos to brands and advertising. We had Google’s privacy changes, to Netflix’s ad-supported tier, and Twitter’s recent transformation –– just to name a few. 

But 2022 has also brought a certain sort of accountability to both brands and consumers alike (Very recently: the Balenciaga campaign. ICYMI: a campaign featuring children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage). We want honesty, transparency, and humanity. As humans, we have an innate accountability to do the right thing and Twitter has not been held accountable for its inexplicable actions. 

Twitter has become untrustworthy, divisive, and an outlet of negativity. This is not a medium that advertisers deem appropriate for their messages, and the numbers prove it.

“Twitter in 2022: The Medium Actually is The Message” is an employee-written periodical submission. The piece was written by our self-proclaimed Zillenial Social Media & Marketing Manager, Maddie Michowski. All opinions are her own, as Maddie is providing her personal view on the Twitter crisis.

Interested in a rebuttal? Or a submission of your own? Email us at to publish.