Under Elon Musk’s leadership, Twitter suspended a number of accounts including those controlled by high-profile journalists and social networking platform Mastodon.
Fran Finney, the wife of computer scientist Hal Finney — the recipient of the first transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain from Satoshi Nakamoto — reactivated her late husband’s Twitter account amid concerns Twitter CEO Elon Musk might purge the content from the social media platform due to inactivity.
Many Crypto Twitter users reported on Dec. 16 that Finney’s account registered activity for the first time in more than 12 years. Some speculated that a hacker might have taken control of the Bitcoin (BTC) pioneer’s account and it’s more than 71,000 followers, but Fran quickly stepped in to dispel rumors.
“I am tweeting for Hal […] to avoid his account being purged by Elon,” said Fran.
I want to keep Hal’s account active, and occasionally will be posting from his account. When I do post, I will continue to tag myself as the poster.
— Fran Finney (@franfinney) December 16, 2022
It’s unclear whether Fran Finney’s intervention may save the crypto pioneer’s social media presence. Amid Musk’s $44-billion purchase of Twitter which was completed in October, he claimed he backed free speech as “the bedrock of a functioning democracy.”
However, under Musk’s leadership, the social media platform on Dec. 15 purged a number of accounts controlled by high-profile journalists at institutions including CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Accounts tracking the movements of Musk’s private flights as well as promoting social networking platform Mastodon — which has attracted many Twitter users following the billionaire’s takeover — were also suspended. The Twitter CEO claimed the former “doxxed my exact location in real-time.”
Why have journalists had their Twitter accounts suspended? Please explain. And it had better be a GOOD explanation.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 16, 2022
Musk had a net worth of more than $300 billion in October 2021 before the acquisition of Twitter, and around the same time, the price of Tesla stock reached an all-time high of $407.36 in November 2021. In roughly a year, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index showed that the Tesla CEO had dropped to the second richest person on the planet, with a reported net worth of $169 billion at the time of publication.
As CEO, Musk oversaw a number of controversial decisions at Twitter that had many in the business world questioning his acumen. He fired many top executives, including many members of the platform’s content moderation team, and attempted to charge users for “verified” blue check marks — leading to many fake accounts with a veneer of legitimacy. The social media platform also saw a spike in tweets containing hate speech and vaccine misinformation, putting revenue from advertisers at risk.
Twitter users seemed to largely support Fran Finney’s efforts to show the account was still active and beneficial to the crypto community. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also chimed in on the platform to express his surprise over the account’s reactivation.
“There should be a way of safeguarding accounts of historical significance,” said Twitter user 0xAphelion on Hal Finney’s account. “But better to be safe.”
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Hal Finney was one of the most well known names in the crypto space, having been one of the first people to respond to Satoshi’s post on the cypherpunks mailing list. He passed away from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — in 2014 at the age of 58.