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Mass Twitter deactivations accompanied by jump in new accounts

After Elon Musk sealed the deal on his acquisition of Twitter this week, the popular social media app encountered something curious: Mass account deactivations and creations. The former was expected, but not necessarily the latter and certainly not both of them at the same time.

But that’s what happened: On Tuesday, NBC News reported that after the news that Twitter accepted Musk’s offer to buy it was announced, some “high-profile” accounts lost thousands of followers while others gained thousands.

These include former President Barack Obama’s account, which reportedly lost over 300,000 followers post-announcement. Pop star Katy Perry, the third-most-followed profile on Twitter, also lost more than 200,000 after the announcement.

But the strangest thing about all of this isn’t the mass deactivations. That was expected. Not long after the Musk/Twitter deal was announced, many Twitter users were upset and tweeted that they were leaving for other apps. The influx of new account creation is the surprising bit.

But these losses and gains aren’t arbitrary — they seem to follow a trend: High-profile users known for conservative politics saw huge gains in followers after Musk’s acquisition of Twitter was announced. But high-profile accounts from the other side of the political ideology spectrum saw substantial losses in follower numbers. The President of Brazil, for example, gained nearly 90,000 followers, while Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene gained a similar bump.

In a statement to NBC News, Twitter attributed the changes in follower numbers to “organic” account closings and explained that while changes in follower counts can sometimes happen as they “take action on accounts that violate our spam policy,” these most recent changes “appear to largely be a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation.”

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Anita George
Anita has been a technology reporter since 2013 and currently writes for the Computing section at Digital Trends. She began…
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