Well, Elon Musk finally did it, buying Twitter in a $44 billion agreement last Thursday, and now many people—some you may even have heard of—say they are fleeing the social media platform for fear of a what a Musk lordship might mean.
Throughout Musk’s tangled bid, his promises/ideas/threats about what Twitter could and would be under his reign loomed large. There would be no ads on Twitter! Free speech rules would be relaxed, banned users could come back (though 10 percent might be forever banished)… And so on. On Wednesday, Musk tweeted that he would not be allowing anyone who was “de-platformed for violating Twitter rules back on platform until we have a clear process for doing so, which will take at least a few more weeks.”
Over the weekend, #TrumpiIsDead trended and Musk held steady. The uncertainty, however, and the freewheeling nature of the Musk transition on the platform that people—namely, celebrities and public figures—have enjoyed as their own free platform has proven to be too much, and that element is fleeing the platform, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Singer Toni Braxton framed the issue of leaving Twitter as a matter of the platform no longer being a safe space for people of color. “I’m shocked and appalled at some of the ‘free speech’ I’ve seen on this platform since its acquisition… I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC,” she tweeted last week.
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.
— Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) October 29, 2022
Hollywood heavy Brian Koppelman, who is the showrunner for “Billions,” decided to take a break, tweeting “Gonna really try to take a breather from here for a minute or a month come deal close time,” via the WSJ. (His Tweets are protected). Plus, there’s always Instagram and TikTok, where he urged his followers to find him.
“Hey all — I’m out of here,” Ken Olin, actor and producer of shows including This Is Us tweeted last week. “Let’s keep the faith. Let’s protect our democracy.”
Hey all –
I’m out of here. No judgement.
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.
— Ken Olin (@kenolin1) October 28, 2022
Mega showrunner and producer Shonda Rhimes put it simply, tweeting “Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.”
Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022
Josh Gad, and actor who voiced Olaf in the Frozen movies, said he’ll probably stay on Twitter but that he had seen some things he didn’t like. “Hate speech intended to incite harm, (with no consequences) ain’t what I signed up for,” he tweeted last week.
Large exodus happening on this platform. Not sure if I stay or not. Leaning toward staying, but if today is a sign of things to come, not sure what the point is. Freedom of speech is great. Hate speech intended to incite harm, (with no consequences) ain’t what I signed up for.
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) October 29, 2022
Musk has already ruffled the feathers of a horror master Stephen King, when he held up on Tuesday his scheme to charge Twitter users $20 month to keep their super-prestigious blue verification checks after horror maestro Stephen King, who tweeted to his 6.9 million followers: “$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.”
$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
King is still tweeting. Twitter is a powerful drug, especially for celebrities. For those who claim to have bounced, it’s worth watching whether or not they’ll stay gone. And Elon Musk’s man-of-the-people routine makes it seem that he might not be too sad to see them go—publicly, anyway.
For his part, Musk responded to a tweet about high-wattage users leaving Twitter with both a laughing emoji and a ghost emoji.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022