Twitter Faces User Exodus After Elon Musk Deal — But Some High-Profile Accounts Are Rapidly Gaining Followers

"These fluctuations appear to largely be a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation," Twitter said in a statement

A number of prominent Twitter users have lost — or gained — thousands of followers since the company announced Elon Musk's purchase of the platform for $44 billion.

"While we continue to take action on accounts that violate our spam policy which can affect follower counts, these fluctuations appear to largely be a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation," Twitter said in a statement to Business Insider.

NBC News, the first outlet to report on the activity, noted that while Twitter did not provide specific numbers, the company said they were looking into the "fluctuations in follower counts" and described the flurry of account closures as "organic."

A Twitter spokesperson who chose to remain anonymous told the outlet that "high-profile accounts" were the ones experiencing the biggest loss of followers.

Twitter did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Elon Musk. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Many of the accounts that saw the most pronounced decrease belonged to public figures with left-leaning political views, according to Business Insider.

President Joe Biden, who gains an average of around 15,000 followers a day, lost 5,610 followers on Tuesday, the outlet reported, citing statistics from SocialBlade. Meanwhile, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lost close to 37,000 followers by Tuesday.

Former President Barack Obama, who remains the Twitter user with the most followers, lost over 300,000 followers since Monday's announcement, per NBC News. As of Wednesday afternoon, he has around 131.7 million followers.

Actor Mark Hamill, a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump and his administration, also tweeted about losing 8,000 followers "in the last couple of hours" following the takeover announcement. "Was it something I said?" he wrote.

RELATED VIDEO: Elon Musk Wants to Buy Twitter for Over $40 Billion and Take the Company Private: 'Made an Offer'

On the flip side, both NBC News and Business Insider noted that a number of big accounts on the right have gotten a significant amount of new followers in the same time frame.

Controversial Georgia lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had 539,000 followers on Sunday, had 632,000 by Tuesday evening, per NBC. As of Wednesday afternoon, her count is up to over 669,000.

Citing data from SocialBlade, Business Insider reported that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gained over 141,000 new followers on Tuesday. The outlet reported he typically gains an average of just over 5,000 followers a day.

"It really is something how conservative accounts are getting massive follower increases today," Rep. Matt Gaetz wrote on Tuesday.

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News that Musk will buy Twitter has divided users, with many pointing towards Musk's repeated statements about supporting free speech on the platform.

While the move has been partly celebrated — with some Republicans hoping Trump will be allowed back on the platform, although Trump has claimed he would not return — others, including a number of Democrats, fear what a Musk takeover will mean for the company, which is set to become privately held.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren called the deal "dangerous for democracy," while actress Jameela Jamil said she would no longer be an active user.

"I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny," the Good Place alum wrote in what she has called her "last" tweet.

In a statement announcing the deal, Musk said that he wants "to make Twitter better than ever."

"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk said. "Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."

Expanding upon his remarks via Twitter on Tuesday, Musk wrote that "by 'free speech', I simply mean that which matches the law."

"I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law," he continued. "If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people."

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