And no, actor Edward Norton isn’t that worried about the possible demise of the social network under Elon Musk’s leadership.
“If a lot of that stuff went away,” Norton said, “I think we’d be better off.”
In a similar vein, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a four-time NFL MVP with 4.5 million followers, said, “I look forward to the day when I don’t have any social media, which may come sooner rather than later.” Yes, athletes and entertainment celebrities are just like us: They’ve been monitoring the chaos and uncertainty surrounding Twitter since its new owner took over. They’re not necessarily sure how to proceed — and they’re not necessarily sure that the disappearance of the bird microblogging app would be the disaster some are making it out to be.
“I just look at it like, you know, Twitter is, has been, and always will be a dumpster fire,” said actor Ryan Reynolds, surely echoing the sentiments of many, famous and otherwise.
“But who knows? We have to play it by ear. I mean, we’ll see where it all goes,” said Reynolds, who has 20 million followers. “I was around when MySpace and Friendster were a thing and…I feel like Twitter and TikTok are everything now. But all these things come and go, like anything in life.”
Launched in 2006, Twitter created a space where celebrities could bypass traditional media and communicate directly with fans to push them news or products while increasing the site’s popularity among the hoi polloi. It now has more than 230 million users.
Questions about Twitter’s future arose as Musk completed a $44 billion takeover in late October. It has shed half its full-time staff, forced hundreds of engineers and others to leave last week, and is now expected to cut jobs related to content moderation.
Concerns about fraudulent accounts and misinformation (which Musk himself has spread) are not new.
But recently they are increasing.
“It’s scary right now,” said Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, who has more than 85,000 fans. He said he gets “most of my messages” through Twitter and uses it to connect with friends, interact with fans and promote companies.
He likened the site’s current state to “Wikipedia when I was growing up: You always have to check the facts because it wasn’t always right.”
Timelines were full of posts telling people to find accounts on Instagram or Mastodon or whatever place might become popular if — when? – Twitter is out of the question.
“If you want to get your voice out, there are other ways,” said Charles Leno Jr., a Washington Commanders offensive lineman with more than 25,000 followers. “That might sound wrong, because I feel like everyone should have a voice, but it’s not true when it comes to Twitter: It’s given to the voiceless — to people who shouldn’t be saying anything. You don’t have to talk about someone else.” work, their relationship, their business. Support them or just shut up. Twitter has positives, we just need to focus more on that aspect so it can be a more engaging place.”
Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, who has nearly 8 million followers, also sees both sides. He explained how the app can “pollute your mind” but also praised it as a “really powerful tool for connecting with people”.
Ian Poulter, a professional golfer with 2.2 million followers, would like to see Twitter evolve into “a forum for open discussion without any form of bullying, swearing and bots”.
In fact, toxicity is inevitable—though certainly not limited to—many public figures.
“It’s a lot. I’m not sure what you can do,” said Jessica Pegula, the world No. 3 professional tennis player. “If you’re going to be on social media, you have to deal with it to some extent.”
Some in fun said goodbye.
Shonda Rhimes, creator of TV hits “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson of “Modern Family” fame, and singer Sara Bareilles are just some of those who have said “re done” with Twitter – and he did so, of course, via Twitter.
Those who advise — and in some cases tweet for — entertainers and athletes don’t know what to do, even though they’ve long had a direct line to Twitter staff to resolve issues.
“Everybody who’s on Twitter is doing everything they can to ride the wave,” said George Atallah, assistant executive director of external affairs for the NFL Players’ Association, one of several sports unions that are in this things in contact with each other. “Everybody – agents, governing bodies, athletes, marketing representatives, unions – are all in the same boat and adjusting based on the whims of the new owner.”
Jennie Smythe, founder of Girlilla Marketing, a digital marketing firm in Nashville, Tenn., said changes to the verification process have caused problems for entertainment clients, including country star Darius Rucker, who suddenly lost his blue check without warning. She said many of her clients, including musicians, actors and non-profit organizations, deal with scammers all the time.
“It’s not vanity,” Smythe said. “It’s more like a protective measure for the followers.
Drew Rosenhaus, an agent whose firm represents about 100 active NFL players, said he longs for the days “when you could just look at the blue tag and know it’s real.”
“We’re living in a new world on Twitter. It’s going to take a little more due diligence,” Rosenhaus said, adding that he doesn’t expect a “mass exodus” of his clients from the app because “there’s a lot of value in it.”
Benito Perez-Barbadillo, a publicist whose clients include Rafael Nadal, likes the 22-time Grand Slam champion to easily reach his 15 million fans — for now.
“We have our verified account. If it’s taken away, we might consider not using Twitter anymore. I don’t know,” Perez-Barbadillo said. “If we’re not official anymore, we might just say, ‘Well, bye, Twitter.’