Analysis: Conservatives Gain, Liberals Lose Twitter Followers After Musk’s Bid

Analysis: Conservatives Gain, Liberals Lose Twitter Followers After Musk's Bid Twitter Twitter. (Dreamstime)

By Luca Cacciatore | Friday, 29 April 2022 04:29 PM

Following Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's accepted bid to acquire Twitter on Monday, prominent conservative accounts have gained an average of 17,229 followers. In contrast, influential liberals have lost an average of 6,062, according to data compiled by The Verge.

The outlet said the shifts, which they measured from April 25 to 26 using Social Blade, were "unlikely" to be the result of changes in Twitter management, as the takeover will not be official for months while regulators review the $44 billion deal.

"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," The Verge's Corin Faife wrote. "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," he continued. "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.

In addition, Twitter received a net increase in users. The conservative follower gains outweighed losses from liberal accounts by a ratio of 3-to-1, with a net increase of 638,000 followers when considering all variables over the two days.

Twitter reportedly told NBC News that the radical fluctuations were "a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation," Breitbart reported.

Musk, for his part, has spoken about being committed to free speech, and to ensuring all voices are represented on Twitter. That has heartened some conservatives, who have long complained that Twitter and other major social media outlets have been hostile to their views and have barred leading figures on the right like former President Donald Trump.

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