• 31 May, 2023

What We're Reading | News4X

Elon Musk's restoration of 10 Twitter accounts that were banned under the platform's previous management has generated enough engagement since they returned.

Extremist Influencers Are Generating Millions For Twitter, Report Says…..  




The report highlights how valuable a small number of highly polarizing users can be for the platform.  


A new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) suggests that Twitter is making an estimated $19 million per year from just 10 banned accounts after they were reinstated following Elon Musk's takeover of the platform. The accounts include well-known influencers who promote extremist views and dangerous conspiracies. CCDH analyzed nearly 10,000 tweets from these accounts over 47 days and found that their posts received a combined 54 million impressions daily, resulting in up to 20 billion impressions over a year. Twitter earns this money by displaying ads alongside these posts, with Brandwatch estimating that they bring in $6.46 per 1,000 impressions.  


The report also reveals instances where major advertisers have unknowingly placed ads next to offensive content or false information. For example, an NFL ad was seen below a tweet that contained misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. CCDH stated: "This work confirms that Twitter has been displaying ads next to every one of the toxic accounts we have investigated, even though the individuals behind them are known to promote hateful views and falsehoods." With Twitter recently announcing plans for more previously banned users to appeal their suspensions, this could be a huge financial boon for the platform.  




CEO Elon Musk has announced that Twitter Blue subscribers will now receive a portion of the revenue from ads featured in their reply threads. However, the program starts today, and he still needs to divulge further details. Additionally, there needs to be more information on the Twitter Blue support page, and their comms department can't be reached for comment.   

Those in certain areas already see fewer ads on their timeline than other users. This new initiative could help keep users happy as it could lead to potential earnings from popular content. Other platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, Instagram, and Facebook already provide creators with a share of ad revenue.  



When Elon Musk took over Twitter, he promised to give "amnesty" to all previously banned and suspended accounts. Since then, he's restored dozens of high-profile controversial users, such as Donald Trump (who still hasn't rejoined the platform), comedian Kathy Griffin, and various white nationalists and far-right members. Therefore, Twitter has created a public appeals process that will allow anyone who had their account suspended to request its reactivation. To do so, people need to access an online form with an account previously locked or suspended.  

Earlier this week, the company announced a new appeals process to take "less severe actions" against rule-breaking accounts. "We're working to limit the impact of policy-breaking Tweets, or asking you to remove them before continuing, with the suspension being saved for more serious or recurring violations," they said. Appeals will be judged by their new criteria for reinstatement; however, the details of this or how long it might take are unknown. They anticipate high requests, and users must adhere to their rules if reinstated.  


Elon Musk's changes to Twitter have been rather drastic, and this time he's pulling the rug out from under developers. They announced they would no longer allow free access to their APIs come February 9th, and Musk has mentioned a $100/month cost requirement along with ID verification. However, there has been no clarification on this yet. This will affect thousands of apps, bots, and services, many of which you may use daily. So it's best to prepare for the worst now and change any logins you've used your Twitter credentials for. Before the API shutoff, consider deleting your tweets with services like TweetDeleter or TwitWipe. If you have 'mutuals' from Twitter, you should also check out Movetodon or Twitodon to find them on Mastodon before it's too late. Lastly, many research projects - from journalists and nonprofit organizations - use Twitter's API for analysis but may not be able to if they have to pay for it in the future, so it's still being determined what options they will have available if that happens.  



Change logins for apps where you've signed in with Twitter.  


If you've ever logged into any other service using your Twitter account, the upcoming API shutoff could stop you from accessing your account. Check which services use Twitter as a login, and update your account information while you still can. This might mean creating a new account with different details for some services.  

Nuke your tweets  

If you still need to delete your old tweets, you'd better do it quickly! Consider one of the many services such as TweetDelete, TwitWipe, or TweetDeleter. Note that there are a few subscription-based tweet deletion services out there. Before using one of them, you should check if they will still operate after the API changes come into effect.  

Find your mutuals on Mastodon.  


Whether new to the Fediverse or not, now is a great opportunity to locate all your Twitter mutuals on Mastodon. Movetodon and Twitodon are tremendous assets that make it easy to discover known accounts on the Mastodon platform. Reestablishing your following graph on a different platform can be challenging, so even if you have yet to decide if you want to switch, these resources are priceless and should be used while they're still available.  


Everything else  

Unfortunately, the consequences of ending the free API will be extensive, affecting mentioned services and the future of Twitter's bots. These automated accounts normally post weather updates, reminders, jokes, and more. Elon Musk suggested certain bots with "good" content may get access to Twitter API free of charge, although it's unclear how this will work or if Twitter Blue is necessary. Many bot developers want to avoid paying to use the API and are thus preparing to shut down their accounts on the 9th.