Research: Conservatives Gained 17K Twitter Followers on Average After Musk Takeover, Leftists Lost 6K

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According to a recent report, prominent conservative accounts on Twitter enjoyed an increase in followers following news of Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform, while prominent leftists suffered a decline in followers. According to research that looked at 100 prominent conservatives and leftists, conservatives gained an average of 17,229 followers after Musk’s takeover, while leftists lost an average of 6,062 followers.

The Verge reports that followers counts on Twitter have been shifting following news that Elon Musk has made a successful bid to purchase the social media platform. According to data compiled by the Verge, in just two days since the deal was completed prominent conservative accounts have increased their follower count by approximately ten times the average daily rate for the month leading up to the acquisition.

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA - JUNE 14: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives to speak during a press conference at the Shul of Bal Harbour on June 14, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. The governor spoke about the two bills he signed, HB 529 and HB 805. HB 805 ensures that volunteer ambulance services, including Hatzalah, can operate. HB 529 requires Florida schools to hold a daily moment of silence.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris makes statements during a press conference with the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, March 11, 2022. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday embraced calls for an international war crimes investigation of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, citing the "atrocities" of bombing civilians, including a maternity hospital. (AP Photo/Alexandru Dobre)

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (AP Photo/Alexandru Dobre)

In comparison, popular left-leaning accounts collectively lost hundreds of thousands of followers on April 25 and 26. The Verge alleges that the move is most likely an organic reaction to the news of Musk’s takeover rather than a change in the platform. The research is based on a list of 100 influential Twitter accounts including 50 right-leaning accounts, and 50 left-leaning accounts, all with a minimum of 100,000 followers.

The Verge writes:

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. 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. 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.

Based on our limited sample, the change seemed to be a net gain for Twitter in terms of users. Follower increases for conservative accounts outweighed losses from liberal accounts by 3:1, with a net increase of 638,000 followers when losses between April 25th and April 26th are subtracted from gains. The exact number of new accounts is hard to quantify since there are undoubtedly significant overlaps between the new followers of many accounts in the dataset, but there’s strong evidence that account gains outweighed losses.

Twitter told NBC News that the fluctuation in follower count was “a result of an increase in new account creation and deactiviation,” which would represent a shift of hundreds of thousands of users over a single day.

Read more at the Verge here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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