A recent report indicates that Twitter is profiting heavily from a select few controversial users.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has estimated that Twitter could generate an estimated yearly revenue of up to $19 million from just 10 accounts that have previously been banned from the platform, solely through advertising.
The study analyzed the involvement of 10 accounts that were banned for distributing hate speech and harmful conspiracies. These accounts were reactivated following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.
These include well-known figures linked to extremism and conspiracy theories, such as influencer Andrew Tate, Andrew Anglin of Daily Stormer, leading anti-vaxxer Robert Malone, and the Gateway Pundit.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) evaluated the impact and engagement of these accounts by examining nearly 10,000 tweets from them during a 47-day span from December to January.
Their analysis revealed that on a typical day, these ten accounts’ tweets received an aggregate of 54 million views. By extrapolating this average across a full year, the accounts are projected to attain close to 20 billion impressions annually.
To calculate the potential ad revenue that these impressions could generate for Twitter, CCDH created three additional Twitter accounts that exclusively followed the 10 accounts in question. The researchers discovered that advertisements appeared roughly once every 6.7 tweets.
Using data from analytics company Brandwatch, which estimates that the average cost of a Twitter ad is $6.46 per 1,000 impressions, CCDH arrived at an estimated annual ad revenue of up to $19 million for these accounts.
The estimates provided are not a definitive calculation of Twitter’s revenue from these accounts, but rather highlight the value of a small group of highly divisive accounts for the platform. This also highlights the potential for increased gains for Twitter by restoring more controversial users.