'Is Twitter dying?': Elon Musk calls out Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift for rarely tweeting
Elon Musk became Twitter's majority shareholder with a 9.2 percent stake in the company on March 14. A few days later, on March 25, he shared a poll asking his followers the following question- "Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?" This was followed by cryptic posts where Musk decided to give 'serious thought' to entering the world of social media.
Musk who currently holds a $3 billion (£2.2bn) stake of Twitter with over 4.8 million shares seems to be upset that celebrities don't use the platform enough. On April 9, he asked "Is Twitter dying?" and called out most-followed celebrities like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift for not engaging and tweeting frequently.
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When the new majority stakeholder was talking about the changes he would like to implement, initially he pointed towards the possibility of bringing an 'edit' button for his tweets, but eventually, his focus shifted to the partially active accounts that are followed by a large number of netizens. Musk shared a list of the most followed accounts on Twitter and asked, "Most of these 'top' accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. Is Twitter dying?"
Most of these “top” accounts tweet rarely and post very little content.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2022
Is Twitter dying? https://t.co/lj9rRXfDHE
The list shows Barack Obama as the highest followed account with 131.4M followers. Next in line is Justin Bieber with 114.3M followers, Katy Perry with 108.8M followers followed by Rihanna at 105.9M, Cristiano with 98.8M, Taylor Swift with 90.3M, Lady Gaga with 84.5M, Elon Musk with 81M, moving towards Narendra Modi at 77.7M and The Ellen Show with 77.5M followers.
Musk replied to his tweet where he shared the frequency of tweets via some of these accounts. Musk said, "For example, @taylorswift13
hasn’t posted anything in 3 months." and "And @justinbieber only posted once this entire year"
For example, @taylorswift13 hasn’t posted anything in 3 months— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2022
And @justinbieber only posted once this entire year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2022
Songstress Swift's last tweet was to call out Damon Albarn who blatantly said that Swift does not write her own songs. Swift replied to this as she said, "@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really f-d up to try and discredit my writing. WOW."
@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW. https://t.co/t6GyXBU2Jd— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) January 24, 2022
She also added, "PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering" On the other hand, Justin Bieber only made one tweet this year in February. He showed his support for the Canadian women's hockey team.
Go for the Gold, Ladies!!!!!! Cannot wait to watch some of the best hockey ever!!! We are so proud of you! @HockeyCanada— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 16, 2022
The others he mentioned in the list have been fairly active this year. Katy Perry has been promoting 'American Idol', Katy Perry Collections and one in support of Ukraine. Rihanna posted only three times in March and nine each in February and January, mostly about Fenty Beauty, Savage X Fenty, climate justice and her pregnancy wardrobe. Obama was fairly active with 16 tweets each in April and March, 23 in February and 29 in January.
Musk's attention to Twitter's top followed celebrities comes amid news that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk abandoned his plans to join the board of Twitter. Throughout the weekend from April 5, Musk had even posted a number of ideas to transform the social media company and its products.