It has hardly been a week since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, the internet’s favorite and most controversial microblogging website. As tends to be the case when people are upset with the platform, many have turned their attention to the open source and decentralized alternative Mastodon, while others have simply deleted their accounts in favor of other mainstream alternatives — ones that aren’t owned by Musk, that is. The billionaire’s brief time as overlord of Twitter has been chaotic, with features appearing and then disappearing, overworked employees trying to hit goals under burdensome deadlines, and insiders claiming the company is considering extreme measures to cut costs.
Amid all of that hoopla comes an unusual rumor, one that seems both improbable and entirely possible, and that would, if it proved true, no doubt fuel the already massive flames. Some Twitter users claim Musk has been unblocking and unmuting himself on users’ profiles. Thus far, those reports are unconfirmed and this remains little more than a conspiracy theory circulating on Twitter at the moment, as the company hasn’t commented on the speculation at this time. Why do Twitter users think Musk is reversing those blocks?
The unblocking rumor is spreading quickly, but remains unverified
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Several users have tweeted that Musk’s account was mysteriously unblocked or unmuted on their accounts after they had ejected the new Twitter CEO from their digital feed, and the frequency with which this rumor has surfaced is bringing it more attention. It seems the rumor, which remains entirely unverified, has already become fact among some Twitter users, highlighting the speed at which speculation can quickly become misinformation — assuming, of course, that Musk isn’t ordering Twitter to make his account universally visible.
Did musk like, unblock himself for folks who have him blocked? Because I swear i had blocked him years ago and all of a sudden I started seeing all of his posts again and had to RE-block that chud
— JUM🅱️O (@bromojumbo) November 4, 2022
For example, one user who goes by the handle “endlesshizzie” said in a tweet, “Could’ve sworn I had elon musk blocked and I was just like why tf is he still on my tl but no apparently he’s been making people unblock him lmao.” However, other users have been quick to note that they’ve blocked or muted Musk on their accounts and that he remains that way even now, making it unclear whether some users are merely mistaken or if some sort of limited change is being tested.
i blocked elon musk three or four months ago and ive been seeing his tweets EVERYWHERE (from his actual account), did he unblock himself from people’s accounts or somethin??
— ☀️🇱🇧 (@ReemAbouchleih) November 8, 2022
Regardless, while having the company’s remaining employees mass unblock and unmute him across Twitter would likely be permissible under the company’s Terms of Service, it would represent a major violation of the privacy and autonomy that its users have come to expect. Musk has repeatedly made it clear that he intends to challenge Twitter norms, but has said nothing about potentially increasing executive access to private accounts. Indeed, according to Musk, his goal in acquiring Twitter was to reduce rather than increase executive and moderator power. Again, these claims are unconfirmed. The fact that they’re even being treated as a possibility, however, reflects the chaos on Twitter in the wake of Musk’s acquisition of the platform.