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Twitter may have lost over one million accounts since Elon Musk takeover, report suggests OLD

Twitter may have lost more than a million accounts since Tesla chief Elon Musk closed his deal to buy the microblogging platform for $44bn and took over the company, a new analysis suggests.

Since the Tesla titan took over Twitter on 27 October, over 850,000 accounts were deactivated and nearly 500,000 likely suspended, according to Bot Sentinel, a firm that tracks inauthentic behavior on Twitter, MIT Technology Review first reported.

“Based on our internal data, we estimate 877,000 Twitter accounts were deactivated, and a further 497,000 were suspended between October 27 and November 1. That’s more than double the usual number,” Bot Sentinel’s founder Christopher Bouzy tweeted, sharing a list of some of the accounts that were suspended or deactivated.

The company analysed over 3.1 million accounts and their daily activity and found the proportion of them that were deactivated or suspended after Mr Musk’s takeover.

This number was then extended to Twitter’s overall user base of about 237 million “monetizable daily active users” to arrive at the figure of about 1 million users.

The new analysis suggests there was about a 200 per cent increase in account losses on the microblogging platform since the multibillionaire closed the deal and bought the social media company.

“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,” Mr Bouzy said, according to MIT Technology Review.

Twitter did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

While the new analysis suggests Twitter may be losing users in the last week, reports have highlighted that even before the Tesla titan’s deal went through, the platform was losing many of its most prominent users.

Reuters reported recently, citing internal company documents, that “Twitter is struggling to keep its most active users – who are vital to the business – engaged.”

“These ‘heavy tweeters’ account for less than 10 per cent of monthly overall users but generate 90 per cent of all tweets and half of global revenue,” the report noted.

The Tesla chief also acknowledged in April that some of the platform’s top verified accounts with millions of followers rarely posted tweets.

“Most of these ‘top’ accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. Is Twitter dying?,” Musk had tweeted.

The report also found that the number of ‘heavy’ users on the platform interested in not safe for work (NSFW) and cryptocurrency content continued to grow, with the company estimating that adult content constituted over 10 per cent of Twitter at the time.

With reports surfacing that Twitter has started to layoff employees, concerns also abound on whether the platform can enforce content moderation protocols that previously helped it combat misinformation, threats and other “problematic” speech.

The company’s new boss has also claimed to be a free-speech absolutist, vowing to do away with lifetime bans from the platform, such as the one banning former US president Donald Trump after the Jan 6 US Capitol riots.

“That said, Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences,” he said in a message to Twitter’s advertisers.

As the company continues to make changes to the platform, it remains to be seen if there will be more waves of users leaving Twitter.