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KSNF/KODE — The number of people using Twitter in the U.S. has decreased almost 9% since Elon Musk took over, according to a recent study. In October 2022, just before Elon Musk took ownership, the study found 32.4% of Americans were using Twitter. In December and January, that figure had dropped to 29.5%. 

The survey of nearly 25,000 Americans was conducted by the COVID States Project, a joint research initiative by Northeastern University, Harvard University, Rutgers University, and Northwestern University, that publishes reports on public opinion polling, and social science. 

The drop in users was mostly from Democrats, who quit Twitter at higher rates than independents or Republicans. 38% of those identifying as Democrats used Twitter in October, but that had dropped to 32.9% by January. The change in Republicans and independent users was insignificant, the study found.

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Although Musk has described himself as an independent, he has tweeted things that align him with the right (such as a conspiracy theory about the attack on Paul Pelosi, and interacting with far-right accounts like “Libs of TikTok”).

It is possible that the survey would have a bias toward people who have social media accounts, since the poll itself was conducted online. For example, Pew Research found that roughly 23% of people in the U.S. say they use Twitter.