Elon Musk’s critics are reluctant to leave Twitter after the acquisition is complete

Elon Musk’s critics have said they will remain on Twitter even as the tech billionaire completes its takeover of the social media platform.

Musk took over Twitter Thursday night, just hours before a Friday deadline for purchases. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and General Counsel Vijaya Gadde were reportedly fired after the acquisition was completed. Further personnel and operational changes to the platform are likely in the coming weeks.

“The bird is free,” Musk tweeted late Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Musk a expression to Twitter advertisers who appeared to be trying to allay concerns that his advocacy of “free speech” and desire to relax moderation policies could result in the platform becoming a haven for right-wing trolls and hate speech. The Tesla CEO said the platform would not become “a hellscape for everyone” under his leadership.

Elon Musk's critics are reluctant to leave Twitter
Elon Musk carries a sink to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, California on October 26, 2022. Musk completed his purchase of the social media platform Thursday night.
Elon Musk/AFP/Getty Images Twitter account

Several notable critics of Musk vowed to leave Twitter after news of plans to buy the company was first announced in April. Most either stayed on the platform or briefly deleted their accounts, only to return later. Few appeared ready to leave on Thursday, despite expressing displeasure with the new owner.

“You are now at the whim of a narcissistic kid whose ego is inflated by dictators. What could go wrong.” tweeted Activist and author Amy Siskind, who told her followers she was considering leaving when the deal was first announced.

Others who said they would be leaving the platform in April but have kept their accounts active include activist Shaun King and former professional wrestler Mick Foley, neither of whom had commented on Musk’s completed purchase at the time of publication.

A small number of new pledges to leave the platform were shared by accounts that were online at the time of publication.

“Okay, that’s it,” ex-reporter Santiago Melli-Huber tweeted. “I go. I am deleting this account tomorrow but would like to give you the opportunity to keep in touch on another platform.” Melli-Huber then provided handles to his other social media accounts and ended the tweet by saying the social media platform and used the hashtag #ElonMusk.

Others said they lost followers after news of Musk’s acquisition broke, speculating that it was either a sign people were leaving the platform or that a purge of fake “bot” accounts was underway.

“My Twitter following is pretty solid on the left, and I’m noticing that (some) people are serious about leaving Twitter after Musk’s purchase,” said Democratic strategist Max Burns tweeted. “Decline of ~200 followers over the past day, with a surge after Musk’s messages.”

“Either Twitter is deleting bots or are people really leaving Twitter?” tweeted Robert Maguire, director of research at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

A larger number of Musk critics vowed to remain on Twitter despite the change in ownership, with many citing either a lack of viable alternatives or a desire to remain on the platform unless forced to withdraw.

“I encourage you not to leave Twitter, but to block freely and wisely use tools that allow you to limit responses and your audience.” tweeted Author and activist Leah McElrath. “However, it’s always a good idea to have a second or third platform, and I’m currently exploring those options myself.”

“Some people are leaving Twitter in droves today, but it’s IMPERATIVE that Liberals stand together,” said Democratic fundraiser Jon Cooper tweeted.

“I’m not leaving until the platform becomes essentially unusable or until I get banned, whichever comes first.” tweeted Journalist Dave Cousin. “But if he does what he says he wants to do, I don’t see how Twitter will continue to work.”

“On leaving Twitter: I’ve tried to leave Facebook several times since joining – every time people made noise that they were *really* leaving this time! — but no other social network I’ve tried has resonated,” wrote T. Thorn Coyle tweeted. “My solution? I kept my public page there.”

“If a new network emerges into which the critical mass migrates? I’ll probably go with it,” says Coyle added. “Until then: There are people I connect with here. Even by the fascist creep. If I’m willing to put up with the evil that is FB, I’ll put up with Twitter for now.”

“I probably didn’t leave Twitter, just like I didn’t move to Canada,” said writer and University of Augsburg religion and philosophy professor Chris Stedman tweeted. “I’m used to living in hell…”

“Don’t leave/quit twitter until I get kicked out” tweeted Journalist Erna Mahyuni. “There are no good alternatives. The people behind Tribel cannot be trusted. (Neither does Twitter, but that’s another story).

“I’m not leaving Twitter” tweeted Anne V. Clark, Multimedia Editor at vulture. “I refuse to let these people fend for themselves. If Elon Musk wants to get rid of me, he has to KILL ME.”

“I’m not leaving Twitter, I’m going to watch this place turn into a coke den,” said comedian Rachel Wolfson tweeted.

“Don’t leave Twitter to tease my haters” tweeted Columnist Marisa Kabas.

Some seemed reluctant to leave unless there was a mass exodus from the platform.

“So are we all leaving Twitter or what?” author Ella Morton tweeted.

“Are we leaving Twitter?” asked Influencer Michell C. Clark. “Where are you going?”

news week has reached out to Twitter for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/elon-musks-critics-are-reluctant-leave-twitter-after-takeover-finalized-1755298 Elon Musk’s critics are reluctant to leave Twitter after the acquisition is complete

Rick Schindler

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