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X, formerly Twitter, commandeers ‘@music’ handle from user with half a million followers

X, formerly Twitter, commandeers ‘@music’ handle from user with half a million followers

In a recent turn of events, the social networking platform Twitter, now rebranded as X, has sparked controversy by commandeering the handle “@music” from a long-time user, Jeremy Vaught, an open-source software developer who had created the account back in 2007. Over the years, he had managed to build a substantial community of around half a million followers around his account.

Unfortunately for Vaught, X left him with no choice but to surrender his highly desirable username on the platform. While the company did offer him an alternative, he had to settle for the handle “@musicfan,” which did not sit well with him. Despite his disappointment, X managed to transfer his followers to the new account, making the transition a bit more manageable for him.

This move by the social media giant has raised questions about the value of a username or handle on its platform. The X terms of service, last updated in May, include provisions that allow the company to reclaim usernames without any liability to the user. Such a threat of losing a handle can make it challenging for content creators and influencers like Vaught to trust the platform for long-term investments.

Vaught had not monetized his “@music” account, but he did occasionally review consumer hardware, particularly headphones, earbuds, and other accessories. His influential status within the social media space provided an opportunity for brands to seek his opinion. Unfortunately, his concerns about Twitter’s prior management trying to take over his handle years ago have now become a reality with X’s recent actions.

Interestingly, before Elon Musk acquired Twitter and took on a prominent role within the company, the platform had decided to leave “@music” alone and instead established its own “@twittermusic” brand. This decision has now been overturned under Musk’s leadership, leaving Vaught to deal with the consequences.

As of now, it remains unclear what X plans to do with the “@music” account. A recent post on the handle featured musician Ed Sheeran holding a copy of his album “x,” but no further details were provided. Representatives for Sheeran, X, and Musk have not yet responded to media inquiries seeking clarification on the matter.

Vaught’s relationship with Musk-led companies is not limited to Twitter. He had previously invested in Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer, although he currently holds no shares in the company. Additionally, he has placed a $100 refundable reservation fee for Tesla’s highly anticipated Cybertruck, although specific details about the vehicle’s specifications and pricing remain undisclosed.

Despite his disappointment with X’s actions, Vaught is still using the platform for now. However, he has set up accounts on Meta’s text-based competitor, Threads, and Mastodon as well. He explains that the software development community remains active on Twitter, making it the most interesting social platform for him in that regard.

Vaught’s disappointment with X’s decision stems from the fact that he invested 16 years into building his “@music” account, only to have it taken away without any personalized communication from the company. He compares this experience to a technical support help ticket, lacking the human touch that one might expect after such a long-term commitment.

Additionally, Vaught expresses concern that X may have taken the “@musicfan” handle away from another user to give it to him. The lack of a definitive answer from Musk’s company has left him uneasy about the ethics of the situation.

the situation involving X and its acquisition of the “@music” handle from Jeremy Vaught highlights the ongoing debates surrounding intellectual property and user rights on social media platforms. As these platforms continue to evolve and rebrand, it remains essential for users to be aware of the terms of service and the potential implications of investing time and effort into building their online presence. The dynamics between platform owners, content creators, and their audiences will likely continue to be a subject of interest and scrutiny in the ever-changing landscape of social media.


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