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Celebrities are beginning to quit Twitter — or claim they are, at least — now that Elon Musk has taken over the popular social media platform.
“Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye,” tweeted Grey’s Anatomy creator and producer mogul Shonda Rhimes to her 1.9 million followers on Saturday.
Singer Sara Bareilles tweeted to her 2.8 million followers, “Welp. It’s been fun Twitter. I’m out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one’s just not for me.”
“I’m out of here,” declared This Is Us executive producer Ken Olin to his 300,000 followers on Friday after previously pledging, “The day @elonmusk takes ownership of Twitter, I’m out.” “No judgement,” he added. “Let’s keep the faith. Let’s protect our democracy. Let’s try to be kinder. Let’s try to save the planet. Let’s try to be more generous. Let’s look to find peace in the world.” He noted he was going to try Tribel social instead.
Billions showrunner Brian Koppelman similarly tweeted, “Y’all’s, for real, come find me over on instagram and the tok. Gonna really try to take a breather from here for a minute or a month come deal close time.” The Rounders writer previously tweeted, “I can see the logic in taking a long twitter hiatus when EM takes it over.”
Bill & Ted star Alex Winter likewise apparently quit the platform. He scrubbed his tweet history, left behind a Linktree address and posted a meme about Musk taking over the platform that portrayed Twitter’s new chief as a Three Musketeer along with former President Donald Trump and Kanye West.
Yet others on the Left are encouraging people to stay on the platform to keep expressing their views – at least, until the upcoming midterm elections. Director and activist Rob Reiner — who previously expressed concern about Musk taking over the platform — tweeted: “For those who are fighting to preserve our Constitutional Democracy, now is not the time to leave Twitter. Now is the time to VOTE BLUE!”
Some progressives on the platform suggest that they’re staying for now, but they will definitely quit the moment Trump’s Twitter account is restored — something that Musk has indicated he’ll likely do.
While others are reacting to an unconfirmed report that Musk may begin charging $20 per month to users who want to keep their verified (blue checkmark) accounts. Wrote Stephen King: “$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.”
On Thursday night, Musk closed his deal to take command of the social media platform and declared himself “Chief Twit.” The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO has vowed to make Twitter more open to a wider range of speech. Many have criticized his plan as a move that will make Twitter a more hostile environment that fosters hate speech. Musk has stated in an open letter to Twitter advertisers he bought the platform to “help humanity” and assured it won’t become a “free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences.” He also wrote late Friday that he’s forming a “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints” and said that “no major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”
There are a couple famous figures who pledged to quit Twitter back when Musk first made his bid to take over the company in April, but have since changed their tune.
Mia Farrow, for example, said she would flee the platform if it became more toxic under Musk, then deleted the tweet and instead wrote to Musk: “You gave us Tesla ♥️ and Space X♥️👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽. Thank you! Hope you can keep Twitter worthy of your previous achievements and of lawful people everywhere.”
The Good Place and She-Hulk actress Jameela Jamil quit Twitter on April 25, according to People, and declared, “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.” She later deleted the tweet and returned to the platform.
Some on the platform are comparing the protests to celebrities who declared they were leaving the United States if Trump was elected, but then ended up staying anyway.
If some celebrities do quit Twitter, they will be part of a larger trend that preceded Musk’s takeover. According to a recent Reuters report, the platform has been quietly shedding its most active users — the 10 percent of heavy tweeting subscribers who account for 90 percent of tweets.
Updates to come…
Oct. 29, 10:46 a.m. Updated with Shonda Rhimes’ tweet.
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