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Twitter didn’t properly compensate the owner of @x handle

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A couple of days ago, Twitter officially changed its handle from @twitter to @x. The thing is, the @x handle was already taken, and was not in Twitter’s possession. Twitter took the @x handle from that user in order to claim it, and we thought that the company did compensate the owner of it, but it turns out that’s not the case.

Twitter didn’t properly compensate the owner of @x handle, it seems

The details got revealed by The Telegraph and Business Insider. The owner of the handle was Gene X Hwang, a photographer from San Francisco. He had over 53,000 followers at the time. Twitter removed him from the handle, and assigned a new one to him, the @@x12345678998765 handle. Needless to say, a truly generic one.

Gene X Hwang said that he owned that handle since 2007. He also added that he would’ve been willing to trade the handle, but the company did not provide him with any financial compensation.

“When it all started happening, I thought maybe something cool would come out of it”, said Hwang. People were telling him that he could get a Tesla Model X, or a ride on a SpaceX rocket perhaps.

Hwang was expecting something meaningful in return, which is understandable

Either way, he did expect some sort of proper compensation, which is understandable. He said: “I definitely would have accepted something for it, but I also wasn’t trying to extort money or anything like that”.

What he got, however, is an email, which Business Insider did see, and you can too, as it’s included below this paragraph.

The email, as you can see, said that the handle is “affiliated with X Corp”, and the company simply gave Hwang a different handle. His followers, at least, were transferred to that new handle.

He was also told that he will be provided with “X merch and an exclusive visit to X’s HQ to meet members of our team”. He told the company that he already visited the company’s headquarters a while back, and that he would be more interested in Twitter-related merch, than X-related one.

What’s odd is that Hwang tweeted “all’s well that ends well” from his new handle, suggesting he did get properly compensated, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.


A couple of days ago, Twitter officially changed its handle from @twitter to @x. The thing is, the @x handle was already taken, and was not in Twitter’s possession. Twitter took the @x handle from that user in order to claim it, and we thought that the company did compensate the owner of it, but it turns out that’s not the case.

Twitter didn’t properly compensate the owner of @x handle, it seems

The details got revealed by The Telegraph and Business Insider. The owner of the handle was Gene X Hwang, a photographer from San Francisco. He had over 53,000 followers at the time. Twitter removed him from the handle, and assigned a new one to him, the @@x12345678998765 handle. Needless to say, a truly generic one.

Gene X Hwang said that he owned that handle since 2007. He also added that he would’ve been willing to trade the handle, but the company did not provide him with any financial compensation.

“When it all started happening, I thought maybe something cool would come out of it”, said Hwang. People were telling him that he could get a Tesla Model X, or a ride on a SpaceX rocket perhaps.

Hwang was expecting something meaningful in return, which is understandable

Either way, he did expect some sort of proper compensation, which is understandable. He said: “I definitely would have accepted something for it, but I also wasn’t trying to extort money or anything like that”.

What he got, however, is an email, which Business Insider did see, and you can too, as it’s included below this paragraph.

Twitter X Hwang message

The email, as you can see, said that the handle is “affiliated with X Corp”, and the company simply gave Hwang a different handle. His followers, at least, were transferred to that new handle.

He was also told that he will be provided with “X merch and an exclusive visit to X’s HQ to meet members of our team”. He told the company that he already visited the company’s headquarters a while back, and that he would be more interested in Twitter-related merch, than X-related one.

What’s odd is that Hwang tweeted “all’s well that ends well” from his new handle, suggesting he did get properly compensated, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

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