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Elon Musk Takes Over @X Twitter Account Without Paying User

Elon Musk - Twitter bird (Getty)
Elon Musk/Twitter – (Getty)

*Twitter owner Elon Musk appears to have confiscated the official @X handle without paying the previous owner for the account.

The move is part of Musk’s “X” rebranding, as the tech giant tweeted Monday that X.com now directs visitors to Twitter.com.

As The Independent reports, the single-letter @X username was registered to Gene X. Hwang for more than 16 years before Musk’s takeover of the account on Wednesday.

Hwang, the co-founder of photo firm Orange Photography, said that neither Musk nor an X representative reached out to him about the takeover. 

“Alls well that ends well,” Hwang posted from a new account, @x12345678998765.

“I’m kind of waiting to see what might happen,” Hwang tells TechCrunch. “And I would be willing to part with the handle if they made an offer for it that made sense,” he adds.

We reported previously via CNN that Musk overhauled the social media platform after acquiring it for $44 billion in late October, then followed with mass layoffs, disputes over millions of dollars allegedly owed in severance, and Musk’s note to employees that remaining at the company would mean “working long hours at high intensity.” He wrote: “Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”

The upheaval prompted organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, Free Press, and GLAAD, to pressure brands to rethink advertising on Twitter.

As CNN reports, Musk previously explained his approach to free speech, saying: “Is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like? And if that is the case, then we have free speech.”

Twitter X logo (Costfoto-NurPhoto-Getty Images)
Twitter X logo (Costfoto-NurPhoto-Getty Images)

Meanwhile, as reported by The Independent, rival tech firms Meta and Microsoft have trademarked ‘X’ in different industries.

“There’s a 100 per cent chance that Twitter is going to get sued over this by somebody,” one US-based IP lawyer said on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Damn! He Actually Did it. Elon Musk Rebrands Twitter as X – Professor Thinks He Knows Why | WATCH

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