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Twitter user who owned the @X account says the company took it from him without paying him

Twitter user who owned the @X account says the company took it from him without paying him

Gene X. Hwang was shocked after the rebrand and says the company offered him merchandise and a tour instead.

Twitter took its next step in rebranding into X this week.

The official Twitter account changed its handle from @Twitter to @X.

But to do so they kind of had to steal the @X handle from a long-time user.

Gene X. Hwang, co-founder of event photo company Orange Photography in San Francisco, has been using the handle for 16 years.

Hwang had previously said he would be willing to sell the @X account to Elon Musk as the rebrand appeared to be happening. But he received no such offer.

Instead, Hwang told Mashable that he received an email from the generic [email protected] email address telling him that they were taking the handle.

"[I] got an email basically saying they are taking it," he told the publication.

In the email, Twitter offered Hwang 'an alternative handle with the history of the @x account' so that his original account, with all its posts and followers, could live on.

The handle they offered was @x12345678998765. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

The company also said Hwang could chose any handle he wants, as long as it's available.

Twitter also offered Hwang some 'merch and to meet with management if I like', he told Mashable.

"Alls well that ends well," he later tweeted from his new handle.

This isn't the first time Musk has taken over a Twitter handle since buying the company last October.

Musk reportedly took over the username @e shortly after acquiring the company for $44 billion, despite the original owner of the account being unwilling to part with it.


The @e account remains inactive, and features the name John Utah, the same name of the protagonist in the 1991 film Point Break.

The account follows just three accounts: Elon Musk, LAist and NASA.

As part of the rebranding, X has also renamed its subscription @XBlue, changed @TwitterSupport to @Support, however we're yet to see Twitter Videos change to X Videos. Can't imagine why.

Hwang told Mashable he would still use the platform formally known as Twitter but he 'probably will not take them up on the offer to meet though'.

UNILAD has reached out to Twitter for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Twitter/Elon Musk

Topics: News, Twitter, Elon Musk, World News

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