The Conservative Surge in Twitter Followers – The Elon Musk Effect?

This is what I wrote in January. USA Today The article was centered on a New York University study which allegedly disproved claims that Twitter and other social media platforms discriminate against conservatives.

USA Today said, “Despite repeated charges of anti-conservative bias from former President Donald Trump and other GOP critics, Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube are not slanted against right-leaning users.”

As to the study, Paul Barrett, deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, said: “Republicans, or more broadly conservatives, have been spreading a form of disinformation on how they’re treated on social media. They complain they’re censored and suppressed but, not only is there not evidence to support that, what evidence exists actually cuts in the other direction.”

I wrote: “Tell this to singer-songwriter John Ondrasik, to cite just one example, who on Jan. 2 posted his new music video critical of President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. YouTube attached an alert warning users that the videos’ images were in violation of the platform’s “graphic content policy”, making them inappropriate for younger viewers. YouTube deleted the video after it had been viewed 250,000 times and five days. YouTube removed it nine hours later after conservatives and others complained. YouTube added another warning that the video was ‘inappropriate’ or offensive for some viewers.

“About its abrupt takedown and restoration, YouTube explained: ‘This was our mistake and we’ve reinstated your video. This is very unfortunate. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we worked it out. Was there anything to “work out”? As Ondrasik pointed out, a number of videos on YouTube displaying ‘similar Taliban atrocities’ not only remain on the platform but are monetized, actually making money for whoever posted it.”

The international attention that attracted me to my campaign for the governorship of California ended on Sept. 14, 2021. Over the following weeks I lost more than 25,000 followers, and began losing hundreds of followers on Twitter every day. The erosion was gradual and continued for several months. On Instagram, Facebook and other platforms where I regularly post content, however I did not experience any erosion.

Others have shared similar stories of a sudden drop in Twitter followers, or suppressed material on the platform. These suspicions were dismissed by the NYU research.

Something strange took place shortly before, and just after Elon Musk purchased Twitter. Within a matter of 24 to 48 hours, I had nearly 9000 followers. Others also experienced a sudden spike in their number of followers. The Daily Mail reported: “Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump Jr. and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — three of America’s most forthright conservative mouthpieces — have experienced an influx of 175,960, 301,570 and 286,559 followers respectively since the news of Musk’s takeover broke earlier this week.”

Large-name liberals such as President Barack Obama or Joe Biden experienced sharp drops in Twitter followers. The Daily Mail wrote: “Alexandra (sic) Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Hillary Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres have witnessed an exodus of 26,072, 21,424 and 27,141 Twitter followers respectively in the past four days. Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris lost over 28,000 of her supporters and Michelle Obama dropped a dramatic 32,073.”

Twitter claimed that it stopped anyone in the company changing its algorithm to protect against internal sabotage. This was done because of concerns from employees who were unhappy with Musk’s acquisition. This could be a sign that Twitter employees may have covered up anticonservative tendencies in order to retain their jobs with the new, different management.

We may never know. The fact that Musk (a nonliberal) bought Twitter makes it seem strange. It suddenly appears to be more open-minded for conservatives. However, another study from New York University will provide an innocent and rational explanation.

Musk could be the next to purchase The New York TimesTurn it into a paper. You could also buy it Washington PostHire journalists. You can still hope.

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