Far-right figures gained thousands of new Twitter followers in the 24 hours before Elon Musk’s takeover, research company finds

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Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) speaks during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit held at the Tampa Convention Center on July 23, 2022.
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert gained greater than 18,000 followers in the 24 hours before Elon Musk took over Twitter.

  • Far-right figures gained thousands of new Twitter followers in the 24 hours before Musk took over.
  • Among these new followers, thousands have been new to the platform, researchers instructed The New York Times.
  • Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert gained virtually 18,700 followers, with half of these new to Twitter.

Far-right figures gained thousands of followers, together with many from newly created accounts, in the 24 hours main as much as Elon Musk’s takeover, based on a digital investigations company.

Memetica discovered that a number of far-right representatives gained a considerable quantity of new followers, together with thousands of accounts arrange the similar day Musk sealed the deal.

Former White House chief of employees, Dan Scavino, who served throughout the Trump administration, gained simply over 16,000 new followers from accounts created on or after October 27, per Memetica’s information.

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Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert gained virtually 18,700 new followers in the 24 hours main as much as Musk’s takeover, with practically half from new accounts. That was 1,200% larger than the regular price of new followers. 

Memetica CEO Ben Decker instructed Insider the findings have been alarming as a result of those that gained followers “are really well-known purveyors of disinformation, harassment, and hate.”

While clarification about Twitter’s moderation plans was wanted, he stated “Rome hasn’t officially burned to the ground yet.”

“The research shows us that the rapid follower growth of influential right-wing accounts, alongside calls on fringe platforms to try and go back to Twitter, is, at least in the short term, likely to create higher volumes of harassment, hate, and politically-motivated disinformation on the platform, as Twitter’s new management will be put to the ultimate test,” Decker stated.

 

Other Twitter accounts with a surge of new followers embrace Arizona Rep. Kari Lake with 18,000 followers, together with 3,100 new accounts; and conservative media character Candace Owens, who amassed 3,700 followers, 2,300 of which have been new.

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These individuals have pushed Donald Trump’s baseless claims about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential elections. “The more followers and wider reach these accounts have, the more distribution these ideas have,” Decker instructed The New York Times.

Twitter did not reply to Insider’s request for remark.

There isn’t any proof, nonetheless, that the phenomenon is straight linked to Musk turning into the new proprietor of the social media platform. The new accounts “could be an indication that far-right people are migrating back to Twitter as they see the potential for a more friendly environment,” Decker instructed The Times.

Meanwhile, Social Blade, a social media analytics firm, discovered that progressive politicians and celebrities have been shedding followers. The accounts with the largest losses embrace former president Barack Obama, Rep. Alexandria Ocazio-Cortez, and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

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Musk’s possession of Twitter is regarding some organizations. Paul Barrett, deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, instructed The Times: “The danger here is that in the name of ‘free speech,’ Musk will turn back the clock and make Twitter into a more potent engine of hatred, divisiveness and misinformation about elections, public health policy and international affairs.”

The self-described “free speech absolutist” billionaire addressed some of the issues in a Friday tweet, saying that he can be forming a “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.”

Musk added: “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

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