Twitter Shares Ad Revenue With Comedy Writers (If They Work for the ‘Babylon Bee’)

Twitter Shares Ad Revenue With Comedy Writers (If They Work for the ‘Babylon Bee’)

Elon Musk won’t pay rent. He won’t pay the money owed to former employees. He won’t pay tax bills. Alleged rape suspect Andrew Tate, on the other hand? He just got a check for $20,000, thanks to Musk’s new and seemingly random ad-sharing program. Tate is one of just a handful of popular Twitter users who got a check this week based on a metric that the social media company isn’t sharing.

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So what about comedians, those Twitter wits that helped make the service so popular in the first place with their 280-characters-or-less jokes? Looks like they’re out of luck — unless it’s Ashley St. Clair, a writer for the conservative comedy site Babylon Bee. Wannabe comic Musk, who once flirted with buying The Onion, belongs to something of a mutual admiration society with Babylon Bee, so hey, why not reward one of its writers? Especially with one that has pinned gems like this.

But even St. Clair ain’t getting rich. Her check, which represents all ‘earnings’ since February, was just over $7,000. For about six months’ worth of jokes, that’s not going to buy a lot of Chick-fil-A. 

Who gets paid and how the check is computed is another Twitter mystery. Most of the original check recipients, or at least the ones that Musk is talking about, march in line with Musk’s recent right-wing mindset. Tate was the big earner with just over 20 grand, conservative political commentator Benny Johnson cashed out for $9,546, and anonymously run account End Wokeness (wonder what that one’s about?) scratched up $10,419. 

But some liberals also got paid. Eric Krassenstein and his brother Brian both cashed in. 

Why this particular group? Musk isn’t saying. And where do the numbers come from? It’s not simply how many people are reading the tweets — it has to be the right people. “What matters," Musk tweeted, "is how many ads were shown to other verified users.” 

And that might be what all of this is about. If you want to get paid, you need to appeal to Twitter Blue users. Oh, and you need to pony up for Twitter Blue yourself. Consider it a case of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Think about it, comedy writers. Or jump over to Threads like everyone else.

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