Numerous prominent liberals complained Monday evening that they were losing Twitter followers in the hours after it was announced that tycoon Elon Musk would buy the social-media service.
Neera Tanden, a failed Biden administration nominee and high-profile supporter of Hillary Clinton, started the ball rolling by saying that she had “just lost 2000 followers. Anyone else losing followers?”
Gun-control activist David Hogg quickly responded in agreement.
“Oh I thought it was just some really bad takes I posted but guess I’m not alone -3000 today,” he wrote.
“Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill quote-retweeted Ms. Tanden’s query and said that things felt “weird.”
“I just lost more than 8,000 followers in the last couple of hours. Was it something I said?” Mr. Hamill asked.
All three Twitter accounts are extremely popular and have so many followers that they lose and gain large numbers routinely. On Monday night, after their queries, Ms. Tanden’s account had almost 394,000 followers, Mr. Hogg had more than 1.1 million, and Mr. Hamill had 5 million.
None of the three blamed Mr. Musk or cited the acquisition, but one prominent liberal did.
“I’m down about the same (proportionately) – around 1800. Can’t tell if it’s dead bots or people afraid that Elon will find out they were following me,” said former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann.
Conservatives routinely complain about Twitter “shadow-banning” their accounts, purging their followers, and censoring their content under the pretext of “hate speech” and “harassment.”
In addition, numerous liberal accounts have reacted to the Musk acquisition, and/or the mere prospect of his doing so, by saying they would quit the platform, though conservatives mostly laughed at such threats as equivalent to liberals moving to Canada if Donald Trump or George W. Bush won the presidential election.