Data Suggests That Conservative Twitter Accounts Gained Followers, and Liberal Accounts Lost, After Musk Acquisition Was Announced

Corin Faife, writing for The Verge:

Data compiled by The Verge from social media statistics site Social Blade shows that in the two days since the deal was completed, influential conservative accounts have increased their follower counts at roughly ten times the average daily rate for the month leading up to the acquisition. Meanwhile, popular liberal accounts have suffered, collectively losing hundreds of thousands of followers on April 25th and 26th after a month of gains. [...]

Out of the 50 conservative accounts in our dataset, 48 made unusually large follower gains on April 25th and 26th, while only two accounts lost followers. On April 26th, the conservative accounts in our dataset gained 17,229 followers on average. The single largest gain went to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who gained 141,556 followers.

All 50 of the liberal accounts in our dataset lost followers across the same two days. On average, each account lost 6,062 followers on April 26th, with the single largest loss from the account of Vice President Kamala Harris, whose follower count decreased by 22,453.

To put this in perspective, it’s worth noting that Vice President Harris has 19.6 million followers, so losing 22,500 is about one-tenth of a percent. Not precipitous. But, still, I find this interesting.

Conservative-leaning users joining (or re-joining) Twitter in anticipation that under Musk’s ownership, Twitter will be more to their liking makes some sense. I don’t really get why liberal-leaning users are deleting or deactivating their accounts now, though. Nothing has changed. We don’t know what will change. It seems so defeatist, which, alas, is on-brand for the active-on-Twitter left.

I also don’t get deleting your account. Why not just stop using Twitter for now, but keep your account in case you change your mind down the road?

Thursday, 28 April 2022