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Why PragerU is ‘taking over’ X on Thursday

The nonprofit founded by talk-show host Dennis Prager will highlight a video about gender detransitioning

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The opening page of X is displayed on a computer and phone on Oct. 16, 2023.

The opening page of X is displayed on a computer and phone on Oct. 16, 2023. A nonprofit founded by talk show host Dennis Prager plans to highlight a video about gender detransitioning on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Rick Rycroft, Associated Press

PragerU, the controversial educational platform founded by talk-show host Dennis Prager, announced on Monday that it is spending $1 million for an advertising campaign that includes a “takeover” of the social media platform X on Thursday in order to promote its short film about gender detransitioning.

“DETRANS: The Dangers of Gender-Affirming Care” will be promoted to everyone who uses X that day, through the “timeline takeover” program instituted after Elon Musk took over Twitter a year ago.

In a news release calling X “one of the least censored social media platforms,” PragerU said that YouTube had rejected a takeover-style advertising campaign. It described the 21-minute film as a documentary that “features young Americans who were manipulated by the transgender movement and pushed by medical professionals to take hormones and undergo surgery.”

The ad buy is surely welcome news for X, which lost half of its advertising revenue under Musk’s ownership. According to the company, a “timeline takeover” allows companies to put their brand “at the top of the conversation.”

“Don’t just be a part of what’s happening, be what’s happening with Timeline Takeover,” the X website says, adding that the strategy is good for companies that seek a “massive audience through an immersive visual story using video.”

The “immersive visual story” is becoming a strategy in itself for conservative brands seeking to make a splash. PragerU’s “DETRANS” follows on the heels of Matt Walsh’s short film, “What is a Woman?” released last year by The Daily Wire.

Such offerings are part of conservatives’ efforts to build media companies that compete with Hollywood, left-leaning news organizations and even public schools. PragerU’s social studies videos, for example, have been approved for use in Florida schools as well as in Oklahoma, and its financial literacy course was approved for schools in New Hampshire, though not without controversy.

The film that PragerU will promote Thursday on X features interviews with two young adults who underwent gender-change procedures and then regretted their decision, “detransitioners” Daisy Strongin and Abel Garcia, as well as Manhattan Institute fellow Leor Sapir and attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who represents people suing health care providers for performing gender-change surgery on minors. A trailer is available on YouTube and the full video is on the PragerU app.

And for users of X who’d rather not see promotion of the PragerU video, their only option may be to stay off X on Thursday.

The platform allows users to limit “interest-based ads,” but says, “Please note that while opting out limits X’s collection of information to serve you ads based on your inferred interests, it does not prevent you from receiving ads from X, it affiliates, or third parties.”

Correction: PragerU is spending $1 million on an advertising campaign to market “DETRANS.” A previous version of this article said that PragerU is spending $1 million solely on the X takeover.