Elon Musk’s Twitter will make £15m a year from advertising next to reinstated hateful accounts

Twitter will reportedly make up to £15 million ($19 million) a year from advertising next to hateful accounts that have been reinstated by Elon Musk.

Since announcing his policy of a “general amnesty” for banned Twitter users in November, Musk has allowed tens of thousands of accounts to return to the social media platform, including misogynists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis and spreaders of conspiracy theories.

New research by non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has estimated the value of these reinstatements to Twitter, which the organisation believes to be part of a ‘desperate drive for revenues’.

The news comes a month after it was revealed that over 500 advertisers have paused their advertising on Twitter. In December, ad research firm Standard Media Index also found that advertising spend for the platform had plummeted by 71%.

To prove the idea that Twitter is ‘cashing in on hate’, the CCDH recently analysed the tweet impressions of ten reinstated accounts ‘renowned for publishing hateful content and dangerous conspiracies’. Since Elon Musk introduced the publicly visible impression-count feature, these ten accounts have already garnered 2.5 billion tweet impressions.

Using social media analytics firm Brandwatch’s research, the CCDH has assumed that Twitter ads cost an average of $6.46 per 1,000 impressions. For these ten hateful accounts the estimated annual figure of ad revenue sits at £15 million ($19 million).

Topping the list is Andrew Tate – renowned for posting ‘extreme misogynistic videos’ – with an estimated annual ad revenue of £9 million ($12 million). Next on the list is Robert Malone – a doctor who has amassed followers by posting ‘falsehoods’ about Covid vaccines – who could reportedly bring in £1.6 million ($2 million) a year for Twitter. According to the research, lawyer turned far-right conspiracy theorist Rogan O’Handley would also make £1.1 million ($1.4 million) a year in ads for Twitter, and American neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin could garner £101,772 ($123,499) for the app.

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The top ten most hateful accounts on Twitter according to the CCDH also include antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ poster Ronnie Steven Islam, disinformation media outlet Gateway Pundit, white supremacist Anthime Gionet and Covid 19 conspirators Emerald Robinson, Peter McCullough and Stew Peters.

According to Sky News, CCDH chief Imran Ahmed accused Musk of reinstating the accounts because “it’s highly profitable”.

“Just 10 of these reinstated bad actors will generate billions of Twitter views, which Elon Musk sells to household brands and advertisers, such as Apple, Amazon, and the NFL,” he said. “We are calling on the world’s leading brands to show leadership, stop their Twitter advertising immediately, and stop directly funding hate and misinformation.”

NewsResearch and DataSocial Media

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