Well-known conservative figures have seen enormous leaps in Twitter followers since Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media site.
Prominent right-wing images like Donald Trump Jr. and Tucker Carlson saw a major hit in their follower counts since Musk took over, while left-leaning figures such as Barack Obama and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suffered huge slumps. The former President’s son, who brags 7.7 million followers on the platform, saw a surge of 87,296 followers on Tuesday, April 26, and suggested the uptick was possibly due to the cleaning of algorithms targeting well-known conserved voices before the takeover of the founder of SpaceX.
Donald Trump Jr, son of former 45th president of the United States Donald Trump led the way in questioning the colossus spike, which saw him gain 87,296 new followers by Tuesday — and another 119,022 by early Wednesday, after weeks of averaging only a few thousand each day.
“While I’m awesome and totally deserving of 87,000 new followers a day it seems that someone took the shackles off my account,” former President Donald Trump’s son Don Jr wrote in a tweet on Tuesday adding, “Wonder if they’re burning the evidence before new management comes in?” The post came after his account had grown by between 5,000 to 10,000 followers a day in the weeks leading up to Musk’s accession.
He asked of intrigue spread online that Twitter’s advanced staffers were wiping out shadow bans on accounts.
“Seems Shadow Banning is yet another ‘right-wing conspiracy theory’ that was 100% true,” he said.
Conservatives who saw a hike in their Twitter followers
According to SocialBlade, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also relished a 141,566 hit in followers on Tuesday, a considerable increase from the 5,000-or-so followers he normally increased every day. The popular Republican governor praised Musk’s proposal for Twitter, saying it was “a good deal for shareholders” and “raises the prospect that the platform will be a place where free speech can thrive, not a tool for narrative enforcement.”
He was far from isolated, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis glanced at as a possible future Republican presidential nominee getting more than 205,000 followers in the last few days.
Fox News favourite Tucker Carlson rejoiced in the lifting of his Twitter ban on Monday with a simple “We’re back” gaining more than 141,000, after a run of largely losing followers.
“It really is something how conservative accounts are getting massive follower increases today….” tweeted Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who saw more than 61,000 new followers since Musk’s takeover.
Meanwhile, conservative talk show host Dana Loesch also documented a rise of 9,000 followers on Tuesday, compared to the few hundred followers a day she gained previously. The prominent gun-rights activist echoed Don Jr.’s assumption. “Noticing an increase in followers and engagement after losing huge chunks (or static follower count for weeks on end) for the past few years,” she tweeted. “Also seeing tweets from people whose accounts I never see and am not having to refollow other conservatives repeatedly. It’s too soon for Musk to have done this but I’m wondering if something was changed by those seeking to minimize their fingerprint ahead of potential transparency.”
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene celebrated a 41,181 rise in followers on Tuesday, while her pal Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz went up by 24,929. “It really is something how conservative accounts are getting massive follower increases today….” the Republican firebrand tweeted on Tuesday.
Marjorie Taylor’s Tweet
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted, “Bring back President Trump. Bring back my personal account. Bring back, Dr Robert Malone. Bring back Alex Jones. Bring back Milo Yiannopoulos. Bring back the cancelled nation. Bring back freedom of speech. Bring back America!”
What has Josh Hawley requested from Elon Musk?
Senator Josh Hawley sent a formal letter to the Senate requesting Musk to examine the shadowbanning as well as “who was responsible for deliberately suppressing the New York Post’s now-vindicated reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop and business dealings.”
“Here’s an idea for [email protected] Open the books on who Twitter has shadow banned, who Twitter has suspended, who they’ve throttled, and who was responsible for the egregious censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop reporting. Make it all public,” he tweeted along with the letter.
Twitter rejected the fraud, however, urging NBC News that the shifts were “organic.”
Democrats who are losing followers
On the one hand, right-wing notable figures saw a hike in their followers while on the other hand, left-wing figures saw their followers’ counts take a nosedive in the wake of Musk’s takeover.
New York Rep. Ocasio Cortez, who boasts to have more than 12.9 million followers, lost 20,725 of them on Tuesday. She reportedly garnered around 1,000 new followers each day before Musk bought Twitter.
AOC’s fellow progressive “squad” member Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar lost 10,097 followers on Tuesday.
Even former President of the United States of America Barack Obama, who has the most-followed account on Twitter at 131.7 million, lost 5,063 followers in one day, a major difference from the 15,000-20,000 new followers he previously gained on a daily basis.
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, a darling of the left, suffered a loss of 18,648 followers on Tuesday, while her Fox News rival Tucker Carlson reported a surge of 129,873.
Even on the international level, right-wing figures made jumps while those on the opposite side of the passage noted major slumps. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro won 65,268 followers to cross 7.7 million, while Canada’s Justin Trudeau lost 2,833 followers to around six million.
Statement of Twitter over sudden hike in conservatives’ followers
In a statement, Twitter said the fluctuations were organic, especially after many liberals agreed to quit the platform over Musk’s “free speech absolutist” stance while conservatives rushed to open new accounts in the wake of the declaration.
“While we continue to take action on accounts that violate our spam policy which can affect follower counts, these fluctuations appear to largely be a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation,” the statement read.
In the meantime, A Twitter spokesperson told NBC News that “high profile accounts” were mostly overwhelmed.
The exodus of liberals from Twitter also ensued from their apprehension that Musk, 50, could return former President Donald J. Trump’s account and publicized hate speech, especially after the world’s richest man promised to make it a more open outlet for speech and discussion.