A recent article claims that a small group of Twitter’s most infamous users are responsible for millions of dollars in revenue. According to recent research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), just 10 accounts that were previously banned from Twitter “will generate up to $19 million a year in advertising revenue.”
In the report, it was examined how 10 accounts that had previously been blocked for “posting harmful conspiracies and offensive information” were doing now. Following Twitter’s takeover by Elon Musk, the accounts were restored. Several well-known accounts linked to conspiracy theories and extremism are included in the group, including that of influencer Andrew Tate, Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin, well-known anti-vaxxer Robert Malone, and the Gateway Pundit.
CCDH examined approximately 10,000 tweets from these accounts over the course of a 47-day period in December and January in order to calculate their reach and engagement. An average day saw 54 million impressions on tweets from the ten accounts, according to their study, they wrote. If this average is extrapolated over a full year, the accounts should generate close to 20 billion impressions.
According to CCDH, it set up three new Twitter accounts and restricted their following to just the 10 people mentioned in the study in order to estimate how much advertising money those impressions may bring in for Twitter. According to the study, advertisements occurred roughly every 6.7 tweets.
Then, CCDH calculated “a total number of up to $19 million in expected annual ad sales across the accounts” using information from analytics company Brandwatch, which states that “Twitter advertising cost an average of $6.46 per 1,000 impressions.”
The figures show how lucrative a tiny number of intensely divisive accounts may be for the site, even though they aren’t an exact assessment of how much Twitter may be making from these users. Furthermore, it highlights how much more Twitter stands to gain by bringing back even more contentious individuals.
Since Musk promised to grant “universal amnesty” to users who hadn’t breached the law, all of the accounts mentioned in the report that had previously been permanently banned from Twitter have now been allowed to reactivate. Additionally, Twitter has disclosed plans to expand the number of users who can challenge their suspensions.
Additionally, since Musk’s takeover, Twitter’s advertising revenue has significantly decreased. According to Platformer’s research, a number of prominent advertisers have left the platform and income has decreased by as much as 40%.
The research also highlights multiple occasions where obnoxious and inflammatory postings from these users were accompanied by advertisements from well-known companies. An Andrew Anglin tweet, for instance, that claims “the only career a woman is genuinely capable of on merit is prostitution,” has a Prime Video advertisement immediately beneath it.
The investigation also draws attention to an NFL advertisement that was posted just beneath a false tweet regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
This research “confirms that Twitter has been showing adverts next to every single one of the toxic accounts we have looked into, despite the fact that the people behind them are known to spread hateful ideas and lies,” according to CCDH.
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