Elon Musk’s Creator Payout Scheme Is a Foreign Influence Operation

Elon Musk’s new creator payouts need to be investigated as foreign interference in a federal election. Musk hand-picked several Twitter creators as recipients of thousands of dollars in earnings in what Twitter calls a “monetization” scheme for creators.

Most of Musk’s recipients were “far-right” creators espousing views Musk himself holds. But regardless of their political leanings, the scheme needs to be investigated as a way for foreign intelligence operatives to launder money into the hands of political influencers who align with their views and interests.

There are no publicly available criteria for inclusion into this lucrative club, and the final recipients are selected by human screening for inclusion (the identity of the human screener is unknown).

Twitter claims the payouts are determined by the number of replies and influencer receives on their Twitter posts. This is an imprecise and uneven criteria because Twitter is awash with armies of paid trolls and bots who reply to content they want boosted. These trolls are often paid for by foreign intelligence operations.

Where is Musk getting the money? If reports are true that he is haemorrhaging millions of dollars in ad spend and that he has failed to pay Google and Amazon for their services, this politically motivated creator slush fund must have non-traditional origins.

Musk’s takeover of Twitter was largely funded by Saudis and other businesses aligned with the enemies of democracy. This means that in an election, foreign-backed influencers are able to thrive and be boosted on a foreign-owned social media network like Twitter, while reasonable fact-based voices are being starved.

Musk previously failed to include non-aligned independent voices from Twitter’s subscription service and explicitly banned me for broadcasting live on Twitter.

The only way to meaningfully oppose this undue influence is for advertisers to boycott Twitter and for the FEC and Department of Justice to launch investigations into this malign influence operation.

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