Musk paid accused rapist and human trafficker Andrew Tate over $20,000 for posting to Twitter

Elon Musk announced an advertising revenue sharing scheme for selected high-profile Twitter users, most of whom are far-right influencers, reports Taylor Lorenz in The Washington Post.

Yesterday, incel influencer Andrew Tate, who is under house arrest in Romania on charges of rape, human trafficking and forming an organized crime group to sexually exploit women, posted a screenshot of a message from Twitter that said, "As your share of our ads revenue in replies, you're receiving $20,379. Your portion will be deposited into your Stripe-connected account within the next 72 hours. Thank you for being a creator on Twitter!"

Lorenz interviewed former Twitter employees who said the rev share program is simply a PR stunt:

Former Twitter staffers who worked on creator-focused products expressed skepticism over the rollout, with several calling it a PR stunt. One former Twitter executive who worked on creator partnerships and who asked to remain unnamed to avoid retaliation, said that, "any kind of content monetization we've done in the past was based on a revenue model. This just feels pulled out of thin air for a specific subset of creators that he wanted to placate."

The former Twitter executive also cast doubt on Twitter's revamped metrics, including impressions. "The numbers are totally and completely bogus," she said. "It's all completely made up. It really feels like they're arbitrarily writing checks to people they like, which is not a sustainable creator strategy."

In the meantime, Twitter was hit with a proposed class action in San Francisco federal court alleging that the company owes $500,000 in severance promised to laid-off workers.