The purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk, in an attempt to recover freedom of expression in that social network, seems to be giving rise to certain changes.
Huge Follower Uploads Among Famous Conservative Users
This Tuesday, while Elon Musk's plans for the company were being spread online, Tyler Carditis published an interesting thread on Twitter analyzing strange oscillations of followers in accounts of some famous users. For example, Tucker Carlson, a well-known conservative Fox News commentator, went from having a few hundred followers a day and even losing them, to adding 62,083 new followers on April 26.
It has not been an isolated case. Joe Rogan, a comedian who has championed gun rights and family values, went from gaining a few thousand followers a day to gaining 49,430 followers in just 24 hours on April 25. Similar cases have happened with the personal accounts of Donald Trump Jr. (Donald Trump's first-born son, who suddenly gained 87,296 followers on Tuesday, after much more modest daily increases), Republican Senator Ted Cruz (with 51,405 new followers on Tuesday, when daily he did not reach 2,000 new followers), and Republican Senator Rand Paul (33,588 new followers on Tuesday, when before he was around 1,000 daily).
Well-known figueras of the left suddenly lose thousands of followers
In contrast, well-known figures on the American left are suddenly losing large numbers of followers. Rachel Maddow, a progressive commentator for MSNBC, has gone from gaining hundreds of followers a day to suddenly losing 18,648 followers on Tuesday. In turn, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper went from losing a few dozen followers a day to suddenly losing 10,383 followers on April 26. Worse still has been the case of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of the socialist wing of the Democratic Party, who has gone from gaining hundreds of followers a day (even more than 1,000) to suddenly losing 16,068 followers on Monday and 11,603 on Tuesday.
Similarly, Vice President Kamala Harris, also from the Democratic Party, has gone from gaining thousands of followers a day to suddenly losing 22,453 followers this Tuesday. Other public figures on the American left who have suddenly lost notable numbers of followers have been former Democratic White House candidate Hillary Clinton (down 17,630 on Tuesday) and Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Is the Twitter team cleaning up the algorithm before the arrival of Elon Musk?
Tyler Carditis explains these strange oscillations on Twitter in this way: "Definitely something bizarre happening with the Twitter algorithm impacting follower counts over the past 24-48 hours." It should be noted that Twitter's algorithm has long since given rise to complaints about ideological and political bias in the recommended accounts section and also in the trending section. Before the arrival of Elon Musk, it is possible the Twitter team has decided to erase these biases from the algorithm so that it is not revealed if what is pointed out by the new owner is fulfilled.
The possible movements of users and the elimination of bots and the 'shadow ban'
Another possible explanation is that many people on the right, who had gone to alternative social networks such as Truth Social, Gab, Parler and Telegram, especially after the suspension of Trump's Twitter account, have returned to this network upon learning of the plans of Musk to end his biases and restore freedom of expression. At the same time, it is also very possible that there is an exodus of users from the left, believing that they are going to lose the advantages that were granted to them with the biased policy of censorship that marginalized conservative users.
It is also possible that the mass removal of bots announced by Musk has begun, which would explain the sharp drop in followers of some well-known left-wing users, and that the "shadow ban" has also been suspended, a form of covert censorship that also it was especially penalizing conservative users.
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