Elon Musk’s X rolls out plans to sell old, defunct Twitter handles

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Microblogging site X, formerly known as Twitter, is reportedly rolling out plans to sell old, unused social media handles, a move which was signalled by billionaire owner Elon Musk after he acquired the platform last year.

According to a report by Forbes, the @Handle Team within the organisation has started working on a handle marketplace where people can sell the account usernames that were left unused by the people who originally registered them. 

In some of the cases, the social media platform has requested the potential buyers a fee of $50,000, the report further added.

The emails obtained by Forbes were from the current employees of X which noted that the tech giant recently made updates to its @handle guidelines, process and fees.

There had been rumours about Musk planning to usher in such a programme in the ensuing days post his acquisition of Twitter, which he later renamed X, in November last year.

He, on his social media handle, had shared in November 2022 that a “vast number” of handles had been taken by “bots and trolls” which he planned to begin “freeing up next month.” 

By January 2023, Musk was reportedly working on plans to free up as many as 1.5 billion usernames.

In the month of May, the social media site began to purge such defunct accounts.

On Friday evening, X’s username registration policy still stated, “Unfortunately, we cannot release inactive usernames at this time,” said the Forbes report.

Microblogging site X’s “inactive account policy,” warns users to log in every 30 days to avoid being considered inactive. 

Musk announces new rule over revenue sharing arrangement with X users

In a bid to curb the spread of disinformation or blatantly false information on the platform, Musk, last week, announced a significant change to its platform’s community notes system.

He said that the users whose posts on X get amended by the platform’s “community notes” feature won’t be able to monetise those posts.

Musk said that the change is aimed at ensuring “accuracy over sensationalism.”

The community notes feature is a crowdsourced fact-checking programme that enables other users to add context or correct information below a post. ‘Community notes’ was initially introduced under former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2021 as a means to debunk misleading tweets.

(With inputs from agencies)

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