They’re threatening to jump social media ship.
Elon Musk’s divisive $44 billion dollar Twitter takeover has sparked threats of exodus by a pearl-clutching segment of Twitter users, who claim that the social media platform will become a cesspool of hate with the Tesla boss at the helm. The hashtags “#RIPTwitter” and “DeleteTwitter” were trending Monday — but so far there’s no proof self-proclaimed progressives are following through.
“Since Elon Musk is buying Twitter, we need a new social media site to go to that won’t sell out to right-wing nut jobs. Any suggestions?” proclaimed one alleged Twitter quitter — who was still actively posting for their 41,000 followers Monday morning.
The online backlash comes after Twitter’s board of directors announced that it accepted Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s massive offer to buy and privatize the company.
Musk, who will pay $54.20 per share for the firm, has long stated that he wanted to acquire Twitter in order to restore the platform’s status as a haven for free speech.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
However, many social media watchdogs barked at the seemingly benign acquisition as if it were a hostile takeover that would somehow drag online discourse back to the dark ages.
“I still think Elon Musk owning Twitter is a bad idea. He will amplify racists, bigots, and misinformation,” wrote former Trump supporter and Occupy Democrats opinion columnist David Weissman. “He is a bad-faith actor with his distorted views of free speech and censorship.”
“Elon Musk buying Twitter for 44 billion dollars as simply as me buying my weekly food shop at Aldi is actually terrifying,” said another dissenter.
WWE legend Mickey Foley also pledged to jump ship, writing: “I’ll be giving some serious thought to leaving @Twitter for good in the near future. I do not have a good feeling about where this platform is heading.”
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean also chimed in. “Hi Twitterverse. Many thanks for the knowledge and sharing over the past ten years or so,” Dean screamed on the platform. “If Musk takes over Twitter I will be off within a few hours. Might be just as well for my well being but I’ve learned a lot of valuable stuff from many of you. Thank you all. Howard.”
Note: Dean is still on the platform, tweeting frequently, nearly 24 hours later.
Actress-activist Jameela Jamil also announced her alleged departure.
“Ah, he got Twitter,” Jamil tweeted alongside four images of herself with her dog. “I would like this to be my what lies here as my last tweet. Just really any excuse to show pics of Barold.”
“I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny. Best of luck.”
However, as of Tuesday morning, the former “The Good Place” actress’s account was still up and running.
As some conservative pundits pointed out, the account of Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King was rumored to be deleted following Musk’s takeover. However, it was still live as of Monday morning — along with a foulmouthed missive for Musk.
The hesitant Twitter quitters were ripped mercilessly online, with one Musk supporter writing, “I can see you are leaving Twitter hasta la vista baby. Freedom of Speech to the moon and back.”
“Imagine #leavingtwitter not because you are being restricted or censored but because your political opponents are not!” seconded political commentator Dinesh D’souza. “This is the petty authoritarian mindset that now characterizes the Left in this country.”
“That’s it. I’m out. Deactivating my account today. I can’t in good conscience use a platform that’s run by an evil billionaire,” mocked Daily Wire contributor Matt Walsh. “That’s why I’m sticking with Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Standing on my principles.”
He continued his jibes in a follow-up Tweet, writing: “My 4-year-old pangender child, Stardust, just asked, ‘Matt, if Elon Musk takes control of Twitter, will hate speech be normalized? Is Democracy over? Will life even be worth living?’ I looked at them and replied, “Yes, yes, and no.” And we simply held each other and sobbed.”
Others compared Twitter users alleged exodus with liberals threatening to move to Canada — but not following through — after Donald Trump became president in 2016. Trump, meanwhile, said that he won’t return to Twitter even if the ban on him is lifted, pledging instead to stick to his own “much better” Truth Social app, which launched in February.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers also rejoiced over the social media regime change.
“Twitter openly censors speech based on political ideologies and makes a mockery of our Constitutional liberties,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted Monday morning.
“If Elon Musk can turn that around to actually protect free speech and encourage open discourse, Twitter’s full potential will be unlocked.”
New Twitter boss Elon Musk himself since weighed in on the subject writing, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
Meanwhile, on Monday night, Twitter co-founder called Musk’s acquisition the “right path” for the company.
“Elon’s goal of creating a platform that is ‘maximally trusted and broadly inclusive’ is the right one,” Dorsey tweeted.
Dorsey also thanked Musk and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal “for getting the company out of an impossible situation.”
“This is the right path…I believe it with all my heart,” wrote Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO of Twitter in November.