X taking Twitter usernames

todayAugust 6, 2023 24

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Twitter User Has @Music Handle ‘Ripped Away’ by Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s approach to persuade reticent customers to adopt his vision for a “everything app” has been more stick than carrot. Don’t like the new pay-to-verify system? Say good-by to some of X’s most useful features. Remember when your timeline didn’t consist entirely of tweets from Musk and his friends? Bye. You’re not sure you want to deal with all the white racists and spam bots any longer? Continue to deal with them. As if that wasn’t enough, the platform has recently begun removing some users’ long-held handles.

Late last month, the official @Twitter account redesigned as @X, displacing its 16-year owner, businessman Gene X. Hwang, whose account was abruptly moved to the less elegant @x12345678998765. He was not paid for it, but he was given business swag and the opportunity to meet with executives. The next day, Twitter/X took the @xAI handle from its owner, a Japanese user who’d held it since 2010, and gave him @xAI_ instead (albeit that handle was already taken, so they were left with @xAI_1). There was no previous notice, no choice or warning, no negotiating options—it was all just gone. The trend has continued this month, with long-standing accounts like @Sports, @TV, and @Movies succumbing to the X brand. If I were Bloomberg, I’d be worried about @markets, @climate, @tax, and other stocks.

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