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Twitter Responds After Prominent Users Notice Huge Fluctuations In Followers After Musk Deal Accepted

Twitter Responds After Prominent Users Notice Huge Fluctuations In Followers After Musk Deal Accepted
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images; Theo Wargo/Getty Images; Tom Williams/Getty Images

On Monday, Twitter's board of directors unanimously accepted Elon Musk's buyout offer of $44 billion. Amid the likely prospect the privatization of the company will be unchallenged by regulators and shareholders, there has been drastic fluctuations in follower counts.

Users began following right-wing accounts and unfollowing liberal accounts in droves. The numbers fluctuated by the thousands overnight in wildly uncharacteristic ways.

In a statement provided to USA Today, Twitter reported:

"While we continue to take action on accounts that violate our spam policy which can affect follower counts, these fluctuations appear to largely have been a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation."

Christopher Bouzy, a software developer, gathered a list of statistics showing the trend.

He posted:

"Over the past 24 hours, Democrats have experienced a significant decrease in followers, while Republicans have experienced a significant increase in followers..."

Actor Mark Hamill tweeted:

" Weird."
"I just lost more than 8,000 followers in the last couple of hours."
"Was it something I said?"

The Republicans with some of the biggest gains include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Representative Jim Jordan, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul, Representative Matt Gaetz, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senator Marsha Blackburn and Representative Lauren Boebert.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also saw a dramatic increase, gaining nearly 100,000 followers on Tuesday alone.

Donald Trump, Jr. also gained a significant uptick in his numbers.

He wrote:

"While I’m awesome and totally deserving of 87,000 new followers a day it seems that someone took the shackles off my account."
"Wonder if they’re burning the evidence before new mgmt comes in?"

Hardly any Democratic lawmakers kept all of their followers since the announcement of the poison pill takeover.

Some accounts that lost the most followers were Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senator Elizabeth Warren, President Barack Obama, Representative Adam Schiff, Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Maxine Waters, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The extreme changes in numbers left many wondering why this was happening after Musk's takeover.

The overall assumption is many left-leaning users are abandoning the platform altogether which would explain the decline in followers of liberal accounts.

There is also speculation right-leaning users returned to the platform after leaving when Trump was banned, hoping there will be fewer restrictions under Musk's ownership.

Some are admitting Musk's buyout is impacting their decisions on the platform.

One person tweeted:

"I’ll be waiting to see if the purchase passes regulatory."
"If it does, I’ll leave. If the purchase is blocked, I’ll stay."
"Simple as that. And I’m not sure it’s 100% split on party lines."
"I consider myself independent, but I do see Elons appeal to right extremists."

Of course, there is a huge divide in how people feel about the takeover.

Some are skeptical of the sudden change in numbers.

Someone tweeted:

""Pretty clear that someone flipped a switch on some bot network somewhere to try to reinforce with the radical right that Supermusk was here to 'SAVE FREE SPEECH!!!'"
"Now I wonder who might have the resources and incentive to do something like that?"

There is still an opportunity for shareholders to challenge Musk's buyout.

Until then, follower lists are likely to continue to see dramatic changes.