Reinstating the accounts of ten users previously banned for hate speech or promoting dangerous conspiracy theories will see Twitter earning millions of dollars in additional ad revenue, according to a new report today.
A separate report says that Twitter engineers have been placed in an impossible position: Musk demanding changes which they cannot implement due to code freezes …
Twitter earning millions from 10 unbanned users
Engadget reports that that the financial gain to Twitter could be almost $20M a year.
Twitter is making millions of dollars from just a handful of some of its most infamous users, according to a new report. New research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) estimates that Twitter “will generate up to $19 million a year in advertising revenue” from just 10 accounts that were once banned from the platform.
The report looked at the current engagement with 10 accounts that were previously banned for “ for “publishing hateful content and dangerous conspiracies.” The accounts were reinstated after Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter. The group includes a number of high-profile accounts associated with extremism and conspiracy theories, including those belonging to influencer Andrew Tate, Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin, prominent antivaxxer Robert Malone and the Gateway Pundit.
The estimate is based on analyzing the reach of almost 10,000 tweets from these accounts, combining it with ad analytics to estimate the total value of the ad revenue.
The move may, however, provide a short-term gain in return for a much larger long-term loss. Many high-profile advertisers fled the platform after Musk’s earlier antics, most notably slashing content moderation and safety teams. Major brands were concerned that this would result in their ads appearing alongside toxic content. Apple was one of the brands to mostly stop its ads on Twitter.
Engineers in Catch-22 position
FastCo reports that Twitter engineers have been placed in an impossible position by Musk.
The company needs to update its systems to enact the changes Elon Musk wants to make to the platform (things like extending the maximum tweet length and overhauling the algorithm that presents tweets to users).
But, following mass layoffs by Musk, Twitter is now short-staffed, according to former staff, some of whom have contacts still within Twitter, and has been forced to instigate frequent code freezes, preventing the deployment of iterative changes to the platform’s codebase.
Too few engineers means that things break when changes are made – like this week’s major outage – leading Musk to, once again, demand a code freeze. This creates a backlog of changes waiting to be pushed, and when lots of updates happen at once, it means engineers can’t identify the reason for new things breaking. Rinse and repeat.
The company recently made a partial U-turn on the decision to make developers pay for using its API, though third-party Twitter clients remain banned. Musk also appears to be pinning revenue hopes on Twitter Blue, this week extending it to more countries, and offering them new features. So far, however, it appears that less than 0.2% of Twitter users have signed-up.
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