Takeover by Elon Musk results in mass deactivation of Twitter

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27 Apr 2022
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Elon Musk's $44 billion buyouts of Twitter triggered widespread "organic" deactivations and massive changes in follower counts for some of the platform's most prominent users.

Twitter's most popular users, including former President Barack Obama and pop stars Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, have seen their follower counts plummet, as reported by NBC News on Tuesday. 

Since Monday, Obama's follower count has dropped by 300,000, making him Twitter's most-followed user with 131.7 million followers. His 108.8 million followers fell by 200,000.

According to Twitter, the recent declines in follower numbers were "organic" and not caused by the automatic elimination of bots, implying that hundreds of thousands of people are willingly canceling their Twitter accounts.

In contrast, since the Musk takeover news broke, the number of followers for major right-wing politicians and individuals has skyrocketed.

As of Monday, Marjorie Taylor Greene acquired 100,000 followers while Jair Bolsonaro gained 90,000 followers, according to NBC News reporting.

In light of the concerns expressed by Twitter users, Twitter has deactivated the accounts of several users who had been suspended for violating the site's rules, including those who had previously been banned for violating the site's terms of service.

On April 14, during the TED conference in Vancouver, Elon Musk said, 

"My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization; I don't care about the economics at all."

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