Newsmax, Conservative Followers Spike on Twitter After Musk Announcement

Newsmax, Conservative Followers Spike on Twitter After Musk Announcement Newsmax, Conservative Followers Spike on Twitter After Musk Announcement Twitter logo. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty)

By Eric Mack | Wednesday, 27 April 2022 12:25 PM

Elon Musk's $44 billion buyout of Twitter has touched off chaos on the platform, including mass increases of conservative account followers and drops for notorious progressives, Newsmax analysis shows.

Newsmax was a big winner, gaining 6.3%, or 73,600 followers, to raise its total to 1.23 million followers on Twitter.

Twitter has acknowledged mass "fluctuations," but conservatives like Donald Trump Jr. and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., note the recent increases are with conservative accounts after news of Musk's acquisition, pointing to the long-held allegation of bias against and shadow banning of conservative voices on the platform.

"While we continue to take action on accounts that violate our spam policy which can affect follower counts, these fluctuations appear to largely be a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation," Twitter told NBC News in a statement.

Newsmax's analysis of Twitter account follower totals since Sunday show the Daily Wire gaining 6.17% (51,100 new followers) and The Blaze 2.4% (17,500 new followers). The most followed person on Twitter, former President Barack Obama, lost more than 300,000 followers overnight, while Shannon Watts, Neera Tanden, Mark Hamill and David Hogg have tweeted they, too, have lost hundreds of followers.

"While I'm awesome and totally deserving of 87,000 new followers a day it seems that someone took the shackles off my account," Trump Jr. tweeted Tuesday afternoon. "Wonder if they're burning the evidence before new mgmt comes in?"

Trump Jr. gained nearly 90,000 new followers by Tuesday and nearly another 119,000 early Wednesday — after weeks of averaging only a few thousand a day. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has gained nearly 100,000 to her official congressional account in about 24 hours.

"Seems Shadow Banning is yet another 'right-wing conspiracy theory' that was 100% true," Trump Jr. tweeted Tuesday night.

Hawley wants transparency, issuing a call for Musk to "open the books" on bias against conservatives, tweeting Tuesday night: "Here's an idea for @elonmusk. Open the books on who Twitter has shadow banned, who Twitter has suspended, who they've throttled, and who was responsible for the egregious censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop reporting. Make it all public."

Hawley's tweet links to a letter he wrote Tuesday to Musk, calling for the long overdue 2019 third-party audit he asked Twitter to conduct, which fell on deaf ears.

"In recent years, Twitter has intervened in American discourse with an increasingly heavy hand, attempting to shape the information environment for overtly partisan reasons," Hawley wrote. "Algorithms didn't make those calls; employees did. And at this point, the American people deserve to know the truth about what went on at Twitter for years behind closed doors.

"A public audit like this will prove essential, as you start to rebuild a culture of free speech and open discourse at Twitter, to determining where exactly things went wrong on the platform and who is principally responsible."

Original Article