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Less than a year after Twitter launched in 2006, Gene X Hwang secured the @X handle on Twitter and over the years attracted over 56,000 followers.
On 25th July 2023, his account vanished, replaced by a “Nothing to see here” message.
Today, @X is in the hand of Elon Musk, who simply took @X, deleted its contents and copied over @Twitter’s content and its 65.9 million followers.
The company reassigned Hwang’s existing content to @x12345678998765.
Mashable says there’s nothing Hwang can do about it:
Musk’s company is within its right to take the username. Barring trademark issues, users don’t have rights to specific handles according to most social media companies’ terms of service.
Shortly after X took control of the @x handle, Hwang tweeted from his new username.
“Alls well that ends well,” he posted, which might be where the speculation originated that he was happy with whatever deal that was made.
But, there was no deal. However, the company did offer Hwang some non-financial compensation.
“Some merch and to meet with management if I like,” Hwang told me, referring to what the company did offer him in its email.
It’s unclear if the swag would be Twitter or X related.
“Oh well – guess that’s how it goes,” Hwang said.