Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

How Todd Akin Became a Moneymaker for Twitter

If your Twitterfeed is anything like mine, it’s chock-full of people who are amazed and/or angered by Todd Akin and his views on “legitimate rape” and pregnancy.

But the Missouri congressman isn’t just fodder for my fellow Twitterers. He’s a moneymaking opportunity for Twitter, too.

If you searched for “Akin” on Twitter earlier today, you would have seen that the first result on the service’s search page was a “Promoted Tweet,” paid for by Claire McCaskill, Akin’s Democratic opponent in the upcoming election for Missouri’s Senate seat.

This is noted with approval by Peter Greenberger, the guy Twitter brought in from Google last summer to head up its newly formed political ad unit.

But, while McCaskill’s campaign was an obvious candidate to buy space opposite her rival’s name, she’s not the only one who wants to leverage the controversy (she’s doing the same over at Google, as well).  If you search for Akin now, you’ll find a new Promoted Tweet sponsor: AMC Networks.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work