The social media platform, formerly known by the acronym SMPFKAT (SMPFKAT), has taken the username "URL", from a man that had spent 16 years creating a fan base of roughly 500,000.
Elon Musk seems to have his own ideas for the handle. He grabbed it without regard for the original owner who had it since the beginning of the platform. Jeremy Vaught is an open-source software developer. The "callous disregard" refers not only to the theft, but also to how Musk and his team carried it out.
Since 16 years ago I have run URL. Twitter / X has just ripped the URL away.
Super pissed pic.twitter.com/ctacWKY9js -- Jeremy Vaught (URL) August 3, 2023
Vaught was surprised to receive a message that we are now supposed call "X." The platform spoke in a voice so chillingly detached that it could have been HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The account URL associated with the user handle URL is affiliated with X Corp. Your user handle will then be changed.
Imagine yourself in Vaught's position and hearing those news. The worst is yet to come. Vaught's handle had changed to URL in the message signed simply by "X". X offered three more utterly lame options: URL, URL, and URL.
According to the latest terms of service for X, any user could have their handle taken by the platform.
We may also refuse to distribute or remove any content on the services, limit the distribution or visibility, terminate or suspend users and reclaim user names without any liability.
Many were happy to see the addition of the provision on reclaiming usernames. They thought that the power was only to be used for releasing inactive names into the wild. X has aggressively used it to further its agenda, at the expense innocent users.
Elon taking URL's one OG at a time pic.twitter.com/xbLibKHgje -- Games (URL) August 4, 2023
This is the second time that a seizure has made headlines. Musk, upon his decision to ditch the established Twitter brand and switch over to X, seized URL, a handle that had been held by a user since 2007, i.e. the year following Twitter's inception. It's not a joke. X pushed San Francisco photographer Gene Hwang into the handle URL. He's still got it.
X offered Hwang some modest perks for committing this particular act of legal plunder: "You will be given a selection X merch, and you will have an exclusive opportunity to visit X's HQ in order to meet our team," it said.
Musk's efforts to make X a platform where content creators can generate revenue for both themselves and X are being undermined by these actions. Musk could seize a carefully chosen handle at any time, damaging the brand of the creator and diverting traffic to existing references.
The interest in ad revenue share from content creators is far greater than we expected. It will take us a few days longer to process.
Soon, there will be major payouts! Elon Musk's (URL_) August 5, 2020
I was thinking of what I could do to capitalize on this audience.
Vaught has the ability to create monetized content on X. However, his brand is significantly inferior. Vaught, however, is much more than just a potential exemplar of Musk’s vision for X. He has become the central character, and a deeply sympathetic one, in a cautionary story for anyone thinking about building a career there.