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A Twitter User Turned Down Offers to Sell His Popular Account. Elon Musk's X Just 'Ripped It Away' — Here's How He's Striking Back. Jeremy Vaught, director of engineering at the nonprofit Life Happens, created his @music handle more than a decade ago.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • Vaught started his account to promote independent live music on "Second Life."
  • He amassed about 450,000 followers and turned down $5,000 offers to sell the handle.
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Last week, veteran Twitter user Gene X. Hwang lost his @X handle to Elon Musk's X — and he's not alone.

Although it's unclear exactly how many former Twitter users might have had coveted accounts taken from them, Jeremy Vaught, director of engineering at the nonprofit Life Happens, joined them when X "ripped away" his 16-year-old @music handle, Ars Technica reported.

Related: Bright X Sign at Twitter HQ Reportedly Went Up Without Permits

Vaught started the @music account in 2007 to promote independent music being performed live in the video game Second Life, but he ultimately transitioned to posting about music in general and amassed roughly 450,000 followers, per the outlet.

Vaught said perks with the account were few (he'd receive headphones in exchange for a promotion, for example), but he turned down offers to purchase it — the highest to the tune of $5,000 — because selling was against Twitter policy and "he figured there was more value in keeping the account."

Earlier this year, Twitter toyed with the idea of auctioning off usernames to generate revenue after Musk said he wanted to remove inactive accounts and free up 1.5 billion handles, some of which might have value depending on their popularity, The New York Times reported.

But it appears that the auction never moved forward — and now X is taking matters into its own hands.

Vaught's @music account is now affiliated with X Corp and boasts 11 million followers; he was given the new handle @musicman, which he called "probably the least worst" of the options X offered to him, per Ars Technica.

Related: Elon Musk Goes Live, Lifts Weights in Bizarre Video | Entrepreneur

Vaught also told the outlet Twitter is still his "preferred social media," but he did exact some revenge: He canceled his Twitter Blue Subscription to avoid "paying [Elon Musk] 11 bucks a month."

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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