Less than a week after X snatched the “@X” handle from a user, it has reclaimed “@Music,” too. For the past 16 years, that handle belonged to Jeremy Vaught, director of engineering at the nonprofit Life Happens. “Just now, Twitter/X just ripped it away.” Vaught said in a post to X on Aug. 3. Now he’s, “Super pissed.”
In an interview with Ars Technica, Vaught said he created his @music Twitter account (with a lowercase M apparently) in 2007 and had organically built a following of more than 450,000 since then, first through Second Life-related content and then general music-related posts.
He never made any money from the account, with the exception of the occasional free product that companies sent him as a trade for promotion. The largest sum he was ever offered for the account was around $5,000. But Vaught tells Ars Technica that the account was more valuable to him than that, plus selling the handle would violate Twitter’s terms of service.
X did not pay Vaught for the account. In an email, it did offer Vaught a few alternative usernames to consider: @musicfan, @musicmusic, @music123, and @musiclover. Vaught didn’t want any of them, partially because he assumed the handles had been snatched from other users.
“Honestly, if it’s not @music, it’s really not that interesting.” Vaught told Ars Technica. “One of my initial reactions was just to close the whole thing down, right? Like I’m just so irritated and so mad.”
Somehow, Vaught remains a Musk fan. He told Ars Technica that he is interested in the billionaire’s electric cars and space developments, though someone should tell him that Musk has overstated his level of involvement in the technological developments of both endeavors.
“I did turn off the Twitter Blue,” Vaught told Ars Technica. “I don’t feel like I have the need to keep paying [Elon Musk] 11 bucks a month.”
“Twitter’s not dead to me at this point,” he continues, but “sixteen years is a long time to invest in something and then just have it ripped out from underneath you.”
@Music (now with an uppercase M) has been merged with @TwitterMusic, which is now defunct.