Musk’s Twitter takeover self-implodes

Vydalia Weatherly, Staff writer

Tesla CEO Elon Musk purchased the social media platform Twitter on Oct. 27 for $44 billion. Musk’s purchase has been controversial, resulting in many deleting the app from their phones. Between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1, Twitter lost over 1 million users due to Musk’s takeover. Celebrities have been deleting their accounts since the takeover, as well.

Just two days after Musk officially closed on his purchase of the social media platform, Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” tweeted out to her roughly two million Twitter followers that she was “not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned.”Gigi Hadid has also deactivated her Twitter account and shared the news with her 76.3 million Instagram followers. “For a long time, but especially with its new leadership, it’s becoming more and more of a cess-pool of hate & bigotry, and it’s not a place I want to be a part of,” Hadid wrote in part. Before deactivating his account, Ken Olin, the executive producer for the NBC show ‘This is Us,” tweeted out to his approximately 293,000 followers a plea for kindness and peace. “Hey all- I’m out of here. No judgment. Let’s keep the faith. Let’s protect our democracy. Let’s try to be kinder. Let’s try to save the planet. Let’s try to be more generous. Let’s look to find peace in the world,” Olin tweeted, including a blue heart at the end of his message.

Since Musk’s takeover, there has been an uptake of hate speech on the app. Grammy-winning R&B star Toni Braxton tweeted about this issue to her nearly 2 million fans. “I’m shocked and appalled at some of the ‘free speech’ I’ve seen on this platform since its acquisition. Hate speech under the veil of ‘free speech’ is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC,” wrote Braxton.

Despite the controversy surrounding the purchase, some users have found some humor in Musk’s current dilemma. Musk has come under fire for his plan to charge monthly for users to attain or keep their blue check mark verification status on the platform. “$20 a month to keep my blue check?” horror novelist Stephen King tweeted to his 6.8 million followers. “F— that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.” With real celebrities leaving the platform and the new ability to pay for verification, there has been an increase in people creating accounts using fake identities, including those of celebrities and politicians. An account pretending to be NBA star Lebron James tweeted out that he was requesting a trade to the Lakers. The tweet received thousands of retweets before finally being taken down. An account pretending to be Nintendo tweeted a photo of the beloved character Mario giving the middle finger.

Even celebrities have taken part in the impersonations. Actress Sarah Silverman and former NFL punter Chris Kluwe are among those suspended from Twitter for impersonating Elon Musk. Both changed their profile picture and name to Musk’s before sending out tweets that impersonated him. “I am a freedom of speech absolutist and I eat doody for breakfast everyday,” tweeted out Silverman under the guise of Musk. There is nothing better than waking up and enjoying a fresh, steaming cup of my own urine,” tweeted Kluwe. “Such a tangy way to start the day, and it’s scientifically proven to help brain cells grow. If you want to be like me, drink your pee.” These bans come just nine days after Musk announced that “comedy is now legal on Twitter.” It appears the multi-billionaire is no longer laughing.