SAN FRANCISCO, April 28 ― Key figures on the American left, including Barack Obama, have lost thousands of followers since the emergence of Elon Musk’s plan to buy Twitter, while the numbers have soared for politicians of right.
Musk, the world’s richest man, reached a deal on Monday to buy the US-based social media platform for $44 billion (RM191.7 billion).
The news was greeted with enthusiasm by fans of Musk, who calls himself a free speech absolutist, and with horror by supporters of strong moderation of misinformation and hate speech.
Pledges to leave the trending platform under hashtags such as #LeaveTwitter. Within hours, many seemed to follow.
Former US President Obama, the most popular person on Twitter with more than 131 million followers, lost 300,000 almost overnight, according to news outlet NBC.
Controversial Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, on the other hand, gained nearly 100,000 on her official Congressional Twitter account in just 24 hours.
Greene, a vocal ally of former President Donald Trump whose personal profile was banned by the platform, welcomed the acquisition.
“Prepare for full-scale blue tick collapse after @elonmusk completes deal & I should restore my personal Twitter account,” she tweeted, referring to the site’s system to verify details. users.
“It’s really something to see how conservative accounts are getting massive increases in subscribers today,” Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, another Trump ally, said Tuesday.
Twitter told AFP on Tuesday that while they monitored the situation, the fluctuations appeared to be organic and largely due to the creation of new accounts and the deactivation of existing ones.
The exodus extended beyond political accounts.
“It’s strange to see a loss of some 35,000 followers overnight,” the Auschwitz Memorial report published on Tuesday. The profile, which has 1.3 million followers, tweets photos and stories of concentration camp victims.
Musk said he wanted to build trust in Twitter, which he sees as a digital public square for free speech and debate.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted on Monday that “Elon’s goal of creating a ‘maximum trust and broadly inclusive’ platform is the right one.”
He thanked Musk and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal “for getting the company out of an impossible situation.
“This is the right path…I believe it with all my heart.” -AFP