NEW YORK, USA — Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion last year, announced on Monday, May 8, 2023, that the platform will be canceling accounts that have not been used for an extended period of time.
This move is part of Musk’s efforts to increase user engagement and monetize the online platform.
“We’re purging accounts that have had no activity at all for several years, so you will probably see follower count drop,” Musk stated in a tweet.
We’re purging accounts that have had no activity at all for several years, so you will probably see follower count drop
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 8, 2023
Since taking the reins at Twitter, Musk has implemented several changes, including cutting staff and eliminating free verification checkmarks, traditionally seen as stamps of authenticity. These decisions have driven away users and advertisers alike.
In late April, Twitter reinstated the blue verification ticks on select media, celebrity, and high-profile accounts, despite protests from recipients. Elon Musk addressed this issue by tweeting, “paying for a few (subscriptions) personally.”
However, this move failed to win back US public radio NPR, which had suspended activity on its accounts in mid-April. The broadcaster was among those objecting to the “state-affiliated” and “government-funded” labels Twitter had attached to them, labels previously reserved for non-independent media funded by autocratic governments.
Twitter’s moderation of content has also become more lenient since Musk’s acquisition, allowing many users previously banned for inciting hatred or spreading misinformation to return to the platform.
Market analysts report that Twitter’s revenues have taken a hit as advertisers steer clear of the platform in light of these controversial changes.