Elon Musk Swipes Control of Another Twitter Account, This Time @Music

For 16 years, Jeremy Vaught had control of the @music account on Twitter. But no more. 

On Thursday, Elon Musk’s company seized the @music account out of the blue, offering no advanced warning to Vaught or any compensation. 

“Super pissed,” he wrote on his own personal Twitter account while sharing a screenshot officially notifying him about the account takeover. 

The account is the latest casualty in Musk’s ongoing effort to rebrand Twitter into X. Last week, the company did the same with the @X account, seizing it from a San Francisco man named Gene X. Hwang, who originally registered the account 16 years ago. 

In Vaught’s case, Twitter previously used the @TwitterMusic account to promote new tunes and artists. But the account has since been shut down(Opens in a new window). Instead, someone at the newly renamed X decided to migrate all the content and followers on @TwitterMusic to the @music handle. Following the seizure, the new @Music account posted an image of singer Ed Sheeran holding up a sign that contains the letter X. 

The change suggests Musk’s company might be working on a new music-streaming service for X, which is being overhauled to become a “super app.” But in the meantime, Vaught’s own posts on @music have been offloaded to his new handle, @musicfan. 

In an interview, Vaught tells PCMag he’s well-aware he had “no inherent rights” to the @music handle. “Everybody knows that building on somebody else’s platform, there is a potential for them to take it away,” he said. “But after creating [the @music account] in 2007 and keeping it going all this time, it is shocking to just have it ripped from me.”

Vaught, who lives in Ohio and works as the director of engineering at a nonprofit(Opens in a new window), said he’s a music lover. And so he originally registered the @music account to promote independent musicians who were performing in the virtual world Second Life. 

“So how do you get that message to the outside world? Twitter was pretty new at the time, and it seemed like the right solution,” he said. Since then, Vaught had used the @music account to promote all kinds of tunes, which helped him reach over 450,000 followers and connect with friends on social media.

X did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in the email to Vaught, the company noted he can change his handle to @musiclover, @musicmusic, or @music123 if he isn’t satisfied with the current handle @musicfan. 

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The only problem? All of those accounts already belong to other users, although the accounts have long been idle. Vaught doesn’t want to steal access to anyone else’s account, but he is thinking about getting X to change the the current handle to @music1234568998765, a reference to the placeholder account the company gave to Gene X. Hwang when he lost access to the @X handle last week. 

“In solidarity of stolen Twitter handles,” Vaught says.

Vaught adds that losing the @music account prompted him to cancel his subscription to Twitter Blue. But despite his anger toward X, the Ohio resident doesn’t plan on quitting the social media platform. 

“I don’t see any other alternative to Twitter right now. I’m on Mastodon, but there doesn’t seem to be any traction. I signed up for Threads, and I’m one of those that never went back after,” he said, later adding: “So while this is very disappointing, as long as my community is there, I’ll be there as well.”

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