Musk bumps @x username from the photographer who owned it

Jul 26, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Musk bumps @x username from the photographer who owned it

Jul 26, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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In the latest episode of How to Kill a Social Network¹ with Elon Musk, he’s rebranded Twitter to “X”. There are many aspects to this name change that are far beyond the scope of this post – or even the entire website. But there’s one part in particular that’s quite interesting.

The switch in name also suggests a switch in official account from @twitter to @x. The only problem is, @x is already owned by photographer Gene X Hwang, at Orange Photography. Or at least, it was.

According to a TechCrunch article posted yesterday, the company didn’t reach out to Gene, owner of the @x account, before they chose to rebrand from Twitter to X. As of yesterday, Hwang still owned the @x account and said he was happy to negotiate with the company for its use if they wanted it.

The @x account had been made private, still referenced by the Orange Photography account, listing its founders as @x and @jackhuynh. Now, though, it appears that Musk has taken control of the @x account. The original @Twitter account has now been closed, and its description tells people to follow @x instead.

In the TechCrunch article, it was discussed whether talks would happen or if the name would simply be acquired and taken over by the company. Given Hwang’s claim that he has had zero contact from the company thus far, we can probably assume that nothing has changed. So, I suspect it may be the latter.

Update: Mr Hwang has contacted us and told DIYP that his account has been taken and the company had offered him an alternative account in return. He says he’s found himself posting to Twitter less lately, although he still finds the lists feature extremely useful. He’s currently exploring other new social platforms, including Threads and Mastodon.

“X” has seen a lot of controversy since Musk’s takeover last October. It almost looks like he bought it to see just how fast he can cause it to burn. Shortly after becoming the new boss, he fired half the staff. A week later, the blue badge comes to everybody, sort of. And it comes with a price tag.

Musk banned a bunch of people he shouldn’t and unbanned a few people he probably shouldn’t have, too. They killed off third-party clients by killing off the free API, expanded tweets to 4,000 10,000 25,000 characters, had more layoffs, and relaunched the API with impossible pricing for many developers.

Then they turned Twitter into a non-public site. In order to read any tweets, you need to be logged in. And finally, it became X. There is a lot of other stuff in between, but oh boy.

If Musk isn’t on a downward self-destructive spiral, I’ll be really curious to see how his “strategies” ultimately play out. I’d also be curious to see if he settles up with any of those he (allegedly) screws over on the way.

¹ Not a real thing.

[via TechCrunch]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Musk bumps @x username from the photographer who owned it”

  1. jsm Avatar
    jsm

    “It almost looks like he bought it to see just how fast he can cause it to burn.”

    Why?
    Because he fired those people that were planed to be fired before he took the company over?
    Because some woke leftist uneducated people don’t like freedom of speach?
    Because Twitter is now more profitable than ever?

    I wonder how it feels to spread obvious bullshit, just because some very loud and edgy people say it would be true.