Celebrities are leaving Twitter in the wake of billionaire Elon Musk taking over the social media platform, citing concerns about his leadership.
Not long after the Tesla founder took control of Twitter, trolls littered the site with hate speech and Nazi memes, raising fears that the social media platform could become a home for online hate.
One tweet, a racial slur in capital letters, was retweeted more than 700 times and liked more than 5,000 times. Other accounts have included swastikas as profile pictures, glorifying Nazi Germany, and tweets denouncing the LGBTQ+ community.
Screenwriter and Producer Shonda Rhimes was among the first to announce that she would be leaving the site, tweeting on Saturday that she’s “Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.”
Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022
In addition to Rhimes, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles also tweeted that she was leaving the social media platform Sunday, saying:
“Welp. It’s been fun Twitter. I’m out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one’s just not for me.”
Billions showrunner Brian Koppelman also deactivated his account, telling his fans to follow him on TikTok and Instagram.
“Y’all’s, for real, come find me over on Instagram and the tok. Gonna really try to take a breather from here for a minute or a month come deal close time,” Koppelman said.
Since Musk has taken over the social media platform, changes have been minimal, outside of Musk firing the CEO and CFO. One change planned for the platform is that it will begin charging $20 a month for its blue check verification.
The blue checkmark is typically used to verify that statements are coming from specific individuals and organizations. However, Musk seemingly wants to turn it into a status symbol. Author Stephen King is not receptive to the idea, tweeting that if the plan gets instituted, he is gone.
$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022