Well, that’s awkward!
Upon Elon Musk’s decision to rebrand Twitter to “X,” what he claims will be the “everything app,” Twitter’s (er… X’s) owner immediately changed the @Twitter handle to @X, naturally.
Except there was one problem — the @x handle already belonged to someone named Gene X Hwang, who was promptly booted from his account without any warning or permission, he says, and instead given a new handle of @x12345678998765.
“Some amount of money or compensation doesn’t seem like it would be too big a deal for them,” Hwang told Insider. “I definitely would have accepted something for it, but I also wasn’t trying to extort money or anything like that.”
Hwang’s followers and Tweets were automatically transferred to the new account.
X then reached out to him via email and told him that he would have access to “a selection of X merch” and was even offered an “exclusive visit” to X’s HQ in San Francisco (where Hwang resides) to meet members of the executive team.
“We appreciate your loyalty and want to minimize any inconvenience this may cause,” the email read. “You may choose any unclaimed or inactive user handle as a replacement.”
The account @Twitter remains inactive and is set to private. The bio for that account encourages users to go visit the @X handle for updates.
“When it all started happening, I thought maybe something cool would come out of it,” Hwang told Insider. “In a way, it was kind of like the fantasy of a winning lottery ticket.”
Musk’s rebranding of X officially happened on Monday after revealing the brand’s new logo and shining it on both the app and over the social platform formerly known as Twitter’s HQ.
X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, penned a lengthy post about what she hoped the new X app would become and teased much more than a simple rebranding.
For years, fans and critics alike have pushed Twitter to dream bigger, to innovate faster, and to fulfill our great potential. X will do that and more. We’ve already started to see X take shape over the past 8 months through our rapid feature launches, but we’re just getting…
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) July 23, 2023
As for Hwang, it seems as though he’s found a sense of peace with getting booted based on his most recent Tweet from Tuesday.
Alls well that ends well
— x (@x12345678998765) July 26, 2023