Twitter could rake in £15 million a year from 10 ‘toxic’ accounts reinstated by Elon Musk
Twitter stands to make over £15 million a year from adverts on just 10 ‘toxic’ accounts reinstated by Elon Musk, a report has found.
The profiles – which includes Andrew Tate, neo-Nazis and prominent anti-vaxxers – had previously been banned for publishing hateful content and dangerous conspiracies.
But they were restored in November after the social media giant’s billionaire new owner granted them an amnesty in the name of free speech.
A report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has found Twitter is set to generate millions of pounds in advertising revenue from just 10 high-profile reinstated accounts.
This includes Andrew Anglin, a neo-Nazi who founded the Daily Stormer website that advocates for a second genocide of Jews, and Ronnie Steven Islam, one of the most influential online anti-vaxxers.
Musk has said he will grant a reprieve to accounts that had not ‘broken the law or engaged in egregious spam’ as part of a pledge to increase free speech on the site
Twitter is reportedly in the process of reinstating around 62,000 banned accounts that each have more than 10,000 followers
Hundreds of global brands have paused or stopped their advertising on Twitter completely following Musk’s takeover due to brand safety concerns.
Twitter accounts that have already been ‘unbanned’
– Donald Trump
– Kanye West
– Andrew Tate
– Jordan Peterson
– Majorie Taylor Green
But the report found tech giants including Amazon and Apple were still advertising on the site — and were ‘now appearing alongside hate and misinformation from the reinstated accounts’.
In one example, an Amazon Prime Video ad appeared next to a tweet by the neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin in which he claims that the ‘only career that a woman is actually capable of on merit is prostitution’.
Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the CCD, said: ‘Our research shows that there is a depressingly banal answer to why Elon Musk would reinstate the accounts of self-professed Nazis, disinformation actors, misogynists and homophobes – it’s highly profitable.
He added: ‘We are calling on the world’s leading brands to show leadership, to stop their Twitter advertising immediately, and stop directly funding hate and misinformation.’
The CCDH report found the 10 accounts received a combined 2.5bn tweet impressions, in other words the amount they have appeared on timelines, over the past seven weeks.
Twitter stands to make over £15 million a year from adverts on just 10 ‘toxic’ accounts reinstated by Elon Musk, a report has found. The profiles belong to Andrew Tate (pictured), neo-Nazis and prominent anti-vaxxers
An advert appeared next to these on average once every 6.7 tweets.
Twitter is estimated to charge just over £5 for every 1,000 tweet impressions, meaning it is likely to earn just over £15.7m every year from the views generated from the accounts.
According to another report published last year, Twitter has been reinstating around 62,000 banned accounts that each have more than 10,000 followers.
This total includes one Twitter account that has more than 5 million followers, and 75 accounts that have more than 1 million followers, Platformer found.
Musk said in November he would grant a reprieve to accounts that have not ‘broken the law or engaged in egregious spam’ as part of a pledge to increase free speech on the site.
He said the goal is ‘a trusted digital town square’ where a wide range of views are ‘tolerated provided people don’t break the law or spam’.
He conducted a Twitter poll that asked: ‘Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?’
Among those already unbanned on Twitter is Donald Trump (pictured), although the former US president is yet to use the platform again since he was booted off in 2021
The poll received more than three million votes, with 72.4 per cent voting ‘yes’.
Following the results, Musk tweeted ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei’ – a Latin phrase meaning ‘voice of the people’ – adding: ‘The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week.’
One account that has been unbanned is @realDonaldTrump, although the former US president is yet to use it again.
Trump was banned for incitement to violence leading up to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol building last year.
Trump said he will stick with his new platform Truth Social, which has better user engagement than Twitter and is doing ‘phenomenally well’.
10 ‘TOXIC’ ACCOUNTS TWITTER STANDS TO MAKE MONEY FROM
● Andrew Tate, the influencer and former kickboxer known for posting extreme misogynistic videos. He has said that rape victims ‘bear some responsibility’ for being raped and that he would threaten women who accuse him of cheating with a machete.
● Robert Malone, a doctor who has built up a following by pushing falsehoods about Covid vaccines, while also claiming to have played a key role in their development. He has claimed that the ‘science is settled’ that Covid vaccines ‘are not working’.
● Andrew Anglin, an American neo-Nazi who founded the Daily Stormer website, which takes its name from the Nazi propaganda sheet known as Der Stürmer.
● Gateway Pundit, an online media outlet notorious for its promotion of disinformation, including claims around vote tampering, climate denial and Covid misinformation.
● Emerald Robinson, the former Newsmax reporter who was sacked and suspended from Twitter in 2021 for claiming that the Covid vaccine contains a satanic marker.
● Rogan O’Handley, a Hollywood former entertainment lawyer turned far-right conspiracy theorist, who has been criticized for fanning the flames of vaccine conspiracies in the wake of the NFL athlete Damar Hamlin’s heart attack.
● Peter McCullough, a doctor known for pushing misinformation about Covid. He has claimed that health officials withheld treatments for Covid in the early days of the pandemic in order to spread fear and push people into taking a vaccine.
● Stew Peters, a former bounty hunter who produced the film ‘Died Suddenly’, which promotes false claims about Covid vaccines.
● Ronnie Steven Islam, known as ‘Rizza’ Islam, is an internet personality who regularly posts antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-vaccine rhetoric. He was named in CCDH’s ‘Disinformation Dozen’, listing twelve of the most influential online anti-vaxxers.
● Anthime Gionet, known as Baked Alaska, is a white supremacist internet personality who attended the 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally and has been sentenced for his role in the Capitol insurrection