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  • Why Celebrities Are Leaving Twitter Following Elon Musk Takeover – The National

 November 1

by Carolina

Shonda Rhimes is the latest celebrity to leave Twitter following Elon Musk’s controversial acquisition of the platform. Musk, the world’s richest person, is a self-declared “free speech absolutist” known for courting trouble with his outspoken and controversial tweets in the past.

He has vowed to make sweeping changes to the platform and pledged to reduce content moderation, even tweeting a conspiracy theory on Friday, a day after his $44 billion takeover. Musk has also teased his plans to lift permanent bans on users, which could pave the way for the return of former US president Donald Trump to the platform.

A tide of slurs and racist memes swelled on the platform hours after Musk’s takeover on Thursday, Bloomberg reported, leading to concerns that the site is entering an era of hateful speech.

Grey’s Anatomy creator Rhimes, who has more than 1.9 million followers on Twitter, posted on Saturday that she was “not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned”.

Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.

— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022

The producer and showrunner joins a number of celebrities who have decided to quit Twitter, including Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Sara Bareilles.

“It’s been fun Twitter. I’m out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one’s just not for me,” Bareilles posted to her more than 2.8 million followers on Sunday.

Welp. It’s been fun Twitter. I’m out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one’s just not for me. ❤️🙏🏼

— Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) October 30, 2022

Singer Toni Braxton, who has more than 1.8 million followers, said she was not comfortable with “hate speech under the veil of free speech”.

“I’m shocked and appalled at some of the ‘free speech’ I’ve seen on this platform since its acquisition. Hate speech under the veil of ‘free speech’ is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other people of colour,” she posted.

I’m shocked and appalled at some of the “free speech” I’ve seen on this platform since its acquisition. Hate speech under the veil of “free speech” is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC.

— Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) October 29, 2022

Musk, who turned up at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday with a kitchen sink, hours before a court-ordered deadline to close his Twitter purchase came into effect, has outlined his plans for the site.

“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,” he tweeted on Friday to his more than 110 million followers.

Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.

No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022

He also plans to lay off staff, with some managers at the social media company being asked to draft lists of employees to fire, the New York Times and Washington Post have reported, quoting sources.

Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal and finance chief Ned Segal left the company and will not be returning, CNBC reported on Thursday. Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal policy, trust and safety, was also fired, the Washington Post reported.

Ken Olin, the producer of Emmy-winning show This Is Us, had earlier said that he would leave Twitter should the Musk takeover, which has rumbled on since April, became official.

On Friday, Olin said he “was out” urging his followers to “protect our democracy”.

“Let’s keep the faith. Let’s try to be kinder. Let’s look to find peace in the world,” he said.

Hey all –

I’m out of here. No judgement.

Let’s keep the faith.

Let’s protect our democracy.

Let’s try to be kinder.

Let’s try to save the planet.

Let’s try to be more generous.

Let’s look to find peace in the world.

💙

— Ken Olin (@kenolin1) October 28, 2022

The account of film maker Alex Winter, best known for playing Bill in the hit Bill & Ted movie franchise, has been deactivated.

The British-American actor had said he would leave the platform if Musk came to control it.

Comedian Josh Gad said he was still debating whether or not to stay on Twitter.

“Large exodus happening on this platform. Not sure if I stay or not. Leaning towards staying, but if today is a sign of things to come, not sure what the point is,” he tweeted on Saturday, following a surge in hate speech.

“Freedom of speech is great. Hate speech intended to incite harm, (with no consequences) ain’t what I signed up for.”

Large exodus happening on this platform. Not sure if I stay or not. Leaning toward staying, but if today is a sign of things to come, not sure what the point is. Freedom of speech is great. Hate speech intended to incite harm, (with no consequences) ain’t what I signed up for.

— Josh Gad (@joshgad) October 29, 2022

Acclaimed author Stephen King said he would leave if proposed plans to charge users $19.99 to keep their verified blue checkmarks came to fruition.

“$20 a month to keep my blue check? They should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” King tweeted.

On Tuesday, Musk appointed himself chief executive of Twitter and became the sole director, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Updated: November 01, 2022, 8:11 AM

Original posted at news.google.com

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