Did the Musk takeover boost contentious actors on Twitter?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

After his acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk pledged to overhaul verification and moderation policies. These events sparked fears of a rise in influence of contentious actors—notably from the political right. I investigated whether these actors did receive increased engagement over this period by gathering tweet data for accounts that purchased blue-tick verification before and after the Musk takeover. Following the takeover, there was a large increase in post engagement for all users, but tweet engagement for accounts active in far-right networks outstripped any increased engagement for general user accounts. There is no obvious evidence that blue-tick verification conferred an additional engagement boost.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalHarvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2023


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