In the wake of Elon Musk’s successful bid to purchase Twitter, some of the platform’s most prominent left-leaning accounts – including that of former President Barack Obama — have shed many thousands of followers, and while the company itself claims, according to NBC News, that the fluctuations are “organic” in nature, others are not so sure.
After Monday’s blockbuster announcement that Musk would indeed take the reins at the social media powerhouse, Obama’s account – the most-followed of any user on Twitter – lost in excess of 300,000 followers, a staggering development, considering that the handle had continued gaining followers each and every day throughout the month of April.
Pop star Katy Perry, also known for having a massive base of followers on Twitter, lost approximately 200,000 amid the news of Musk’s moves, leading some to wonder how such major shifts could occur so rapidly.
Further stoking curiosity was the fact that while a number of prominent progressives suffered substantial follower losses over the course of the week, Twitter users on the other side of the political aisle had the exact opposite experience.
Donald Trump Jr., for example, gained more than 87,000 followers on Tuesday alone, according to the Daily Mail, with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis adding a staggering 141,566 on the same day.
It was not just political figures who experienced the dramatic changes in fortune on Twitter, with far-left MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow losing well over 18,000 followers in the wake of the Musk developments and Fox News host Tucker Carlson gaining a startling 128,873.
Though Twitter itself indicated that it was investigating the “recent fluctuations in follower counts,” the company asserted that “these fluctuations appear to largely be a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation,” as NBC News noted.
It appears as though Twitter’s current leadership wants to foster the narrative that these very noticeable adjustments are the natural consequence of liberals fleeing the platform due to Musk’s impending control and conservatives rushing back onto it as a means of showing support for free speech.
Trump Jr, for his part, seemed to suspect something was afoot at Twitter HQ, aptly musing, “While I’m awesome and totally deserving of 87,000 new followers a day it seems that someone took the shackles off my account. Wonder if they’re burning the evidence before new mgmt comes in?”