Twitter users are fleeing the nest

People abandon social media platform as Elon Musk takes over


Arfa Saad

Panic-stricken Twitter users, employees and advertisers take flight as Elon Musk gains control of their home and starts making changes.

Pranav Khosla, Staff Writer

Ah, Twitter. That wonderful place of political controversy, celebrity drama, and…a new owner?
Yes, that’s right. Elon Musk now owns a multi billion dollar social media company, and seems to have made some slight changes to the platform as part of his $44 billion deal in October. Great news, right?
Well, actually, things are not all sunshine and rainbows for Twitter these days. After firing several people who criticized Musk, thousands of other employees were fired from their jobs or just quit. Apparently firing these people was not enough. Musk deleted some of these people’s Twitter accounts as well.
Millions of angry users have deleted their accounts, recently leading to a really low moment in Twitter’s history, causing some to believe the social media giant may be on its last legs. Scary.
In fact, many of Twitter’s top advertisers have abandoned ship, which has begun to tighten Twitter’s financial strings, according to National Public Radio.
The most significant of these changes is to the user verification system. At $8 a month, any user can now pay to join the group of people with those highly sought-after tiny blue check marks next to their names.
Although as a Twitter user, I believe the price isn’t worth the product, but a handful of users did, as they pretended to be major companies and wreaked havoc by making false tweets and seemingly having a fun time. Someone pretended to be the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. and tweeted, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.”
One would think that user wouldn’t end up being suspended, considering a recent Musk tweet stated, “Comedy is now legal on Twitter.” These trolls may then have thought, “Hey, what’s the worst that could happen? After all, it’s only for parody!”
Not on Musk’s watch, as trolls were soon suspended, as were a lot of bot and spam accounts. No wonder the majority of my definitely not highly suspicious followers mysteriously vanished overnight.
And they are not the only ones who may have wound up finding their accounts missing in the middle of the night. So too has Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. The rapper’s account was, you guessed it, suspended after posting an antisemitic tweet and making more antisemitic comments during an interview with well-known right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Not only that, he did the interview while wearing a ski mask to hide his face, as if people couldn’t tell it was him from his voice. I guess he thought if you can’t see the man, you can’t hear him either.
That’s not all. Here’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Donald Trump is back on Twitter. After Musk reinstated the former President’s account in November, he seems to have regained about 88,000 of his followers.
Surprisingly, however, it seems Musk isn’t using the platform as a giant Tesla-SpaceX propaganda machine as I expected. He’s also not acting as dictatorial either if you disregard those critics who were swiftly silenced after the takeover and all those fired people.
Musk’s changes to the verification system, dealing with workplace troubles and celebrity accounts may be well-intentioned, but I find that many examples may or may not be a bit lackluster.
If the sinking ship can be saved, then all may be fine. But if just maybe it doesn’t, then it’s time to start sizing up alternatives.
And hey, any of you Cal High Twitter users who may be considering a new platform, why not try Schoology? I hear that it’s popular nowadays.