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.