Twitter is likely to have lost over a million users since new boss Elon Musk bought the company for $44 billion. According to Bot Sentinel, a data firm that tracks inauthentic Twitter behavior by analyzing over 3.1 million accounts and their daily activity, shows thousands of users have been suspended by the company over the past few days.
The firm also believes that thousands of other Twitter users may have deactivated their accounts over protest since Musk took charge of the company as the 'Chief twit'. This comes as Twitter announced via an email to its employees that the company will start its mass layoff beginning Friday morning.
Twitter in Doldrums
Bot Sentinel believes around 877,000 accounts have been deactivated and another 497,000 accounts were suspended between October 27 and November 1, more than twice as many accounts as normal, according to a Daily Mail report. "We have observed an uptick in people deactivating their accounts and also Twitter suspending accounts," said Christopher Bouzy, founder of Bot Sentinel.
The figures were calculated by Bouzy and Bot Sentinel by first examining their fraction of users to see how many were suspended or deactivated, and then by dividing that number by the overall number of Twitter users.
According to the firm, there are approximately 237 million "monetizable daily active users" on Twitter. Bot Sentinel found that 0.59 percent of the users they track had been suspended or deactivated, which indicated a spike in account losses of 208 percent when compared to the times just before Musk took over the reins.
Bouzy cited Twitter users' complaints over Musk's takeover to explain why many users may have permanently stopped using the service. "We believe the uptick in deactivations is a result of people upset with Elon Musk purchasing Twitter and deciding to deactivate their accounts in protest," he said.
He added that he believes many accounts were suspended because users tried to see what types of hate speech the platform's new leadership would tolerate.
"We also believe the increase in suspensions is from Twitter taking action on accounts purposely violating Twitter's rules to see if they can push the limits of free speech," he said.
According to security company VPNOverview, searches for "How to delete Twitter" increased by 500% globally between October 24 and October 31.
Another study by Network Contagion Research Institute revealed that in the 12 hours following Musk's announcement that the acquisition was closed, use of the N-word on Twitter spiked by about 500 percent, the outlet reported.
As part of the corporate transition, only 15 people presently have the ability to delete content on Twitter, according to Bloomberg.
Bouzy claimed that the platform may end up being used less and less as a result of the massive user exodus. "I believe if users continue to deactivate their accounts en masse, it will become a significant problem for the platform," said Bouzy.
"If left-leaning and marginalized people leave the platform, Twitter will not differ from Parler or Truth Social."
Mass Firing Begins
Since Elon took charge of Twitter, the social media platform has reduced several content monitoring features ahead of the midterm elections. Staff members' capacity to prevent false information may be hampered because they won't be able to manually alter or penalize accounts.
This comes as employees received an e-mail on Thursday announcing that the company will start its mass layoffs beginning Friday and introduce a controversial $8-a-month blue check-mark charge for verified users by Monday.
Since before Musk took control, there have been rumors of layoffs, with the most recent report claiming that half of the 7,500 workers will lose their employment.
In the email seen by New York Times, the employees were notified not to come to the office on Friday as the layoff process will take effect.
"In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global work force," the email reads. It has also been reported that Musk is revoking the work-from-anywhere policy that Twitter offers to its employees.
The email also mentioned that all employees will be informed of their employment status at 9 A.M. PT on Friday. The subject line of each email will read, "Your Role at Twitter." An employee will receive notification on their work email if they are retained; if they are fired, they will receive notification on a personal email address.
Musk is reportedly coordinating the layoff plans with close associates at Tesla and SpaceX, as well as enforcing the implementation of new features, such as modifications to Twitter Blue, which will enable verification by charging users $8 for a "blue tick," as well as the addition of a video paywall that could help content creators monetize their work.