It certainly seems like a bunch of users have left Twitter, through both deactivation or suspension, in the wake of Elon Musk‘s Emperor Palpatine-vibe takeover.
More than one million users may have left the site according to research by a company called Bot Sentinel.
Bot Sentinal tracks the activity of around 3.1 million Twitter accounts and their daily activity. As reported by the MIT Technology Review, the company figured out how many users in that 3.1 million pool deactivated or were suspended between October 27 and November 1. It then applied that percentage of deactivated and suspended users to the total number of Twitter users, which clocks in at roughly 237 million.
According to the maths, Bot Sentinal estimated 877,000 Twitter accounts were deactivated and 497,000 were suspended — which is apparently more than double the usual number of users leaving the site.
The company’s founder Christopher Bouzy told MIT Technology Review he thought some of the suspended accounts might come from users “purposely violating Twitter’s rules to see if they can push the limit of ‘free speech’”. Ugh.
ICYMI: after Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, a bunch of trolls started tweeting slurs and hate-speech. Musk has been very vocal about making Twitter less regulated and embracing “freedom of speech”. It’s objectively a pretty fkn terrible idea, particularly for marginalised groups already subject to bullying and abuse online.
Bouzy also thought the increased number of deactivations were ‘cos of Musk. Why am I not shocked!
“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,” he said.
The absolute mess at Twitter right now is also reflected in the company’s decision to fire a bunch of its staff via email. Twitter is expected to reduce its workforce by about half — which is around 3,700 jobs.
In some truly unhinged decision-making, it was reported that employees would find out on Friday whether they’d been fired based on which email address they received a message on.
NBC News reporter Ben Collins Tweeted these were “slot machine-style layoffs”.
“Those who are staying will get a note tomorrow in the work email. Those who are let go will get an email sent to their personal address,” he said.
Employees in Twitter just got an email from their bosses saying layoffs are coming tomorrow.
Those who are staying will get a note tomorrow in their work email. Those who are let go will get an email sent to their personal address.
Slot machine-style layoffs.
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 4, 2022
He then posted a follow up Tweet a few hours later.
“Talking to a couple of Twitter employees just now who learned they don’t work there anymore when their email stopped working,” he said.
“I have never talked to people more excited to get laid off in my entire life.”
According to Bloomberg, some employees have now filed a class-action lawsuit in San Francisco federal court over the job losses. The employees are alleging Twitter hasn’t given them enough notice, per Californian and federal law.
In short: abject chaos.