Nearly one million Twitter users have deactivated their accounts since Elon Musk’s takeover
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Nearly one million people have deactivated their Twitter accounts since Elon Musk took over the company.
Data from the firm Bot Sentinel shows that 877,000 accounts were deactivated, and a further 497,000 were suspended between October 27 to November 1, which, according to the firm, is double the usual number.
“We have observed an uptick in people deactivating their accounts and also Twitter suspending accounts,” Bot Sentinel founder Christopher Bouzy said, as per MIT Technology Review.
Bot Sentinel analyses more than 3.1 million accounts to track inauthentic behaviour on Twitter.
They also discover that, from 27 October to 1 November, 11,535 accounts the firm had been tracking became deactivated.
A further 6,824 accounts were also suspended; however, these two numbers combined are only 0.5 per cent of the accounts that Bot Sentinel monitors.
Bouzy concluded: “We believe the uptick in deactivations is a result of people upset with Elon Musk purchasing Twitter and deciding to deactivate their accounts in protest.”
In April, Twitter announced its ‘definitive agreement’ with Musk to buy the platform for USD $44 billion (AUD $69.9b or £39b), leaving many users in an uproar.
Most famously, actor Jameela Jamil revealed that she would be saying sayonara to Twitter.
According to PEOPLE, her last tweet read: "I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny.
"Best of luck."
And Jamil (and many others) was on the money, as researchers found that hate speech had increased since Musk’s takeover.
CBS News reported that researchers at Montclair State University discovered that merely 12 hours after the SpaceX founder took ownership, Twitter became significantly more ‘hostile’, with 4,778 hate-filled tweets.
The team saw that harmful rhetoric, including posts with the ‘n-word’, ‘k-word’ or ‘f-work’ had an ‘immediate, visible, and measurable spike.’
They said that 67 per cent of these tweets had a ‘negative tone surrounding the use of hate terms’.
They said: “By sharing epithets, it suggests that certain users were celebrating a reduction in perceived speech constraints on the platform.
“Regardless, the data conclusively shows that there is correlation between Musk’s arrival and a broader perceived acceptability to posted hostile content on Twitter.”
They added: "Future research should continue to monitor Twitter to see if reduced moderation was actually a policy focus of Musk or, rather, a branding attempt to appeal to users who want to participate in a more rebellious social media space."