NY Times Economist Paul Krugman Faceplants In Bid To Flee Musk’s Twitter
Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press via Getty Images

New York Times economist Paul Krugman tried to join the exodus of blue-check liberal journalists fleeing Twitter following Elon Musk‘s takeover of the platform, but it did not go smoothly.

Worried about a “mass influx of crazy people” engaging with him on the platform, Krugman, who has 4.6 million followers, said in a Tweet that he opened up an account on the alternative social media platform Mastodon.

“So, I’ve opened a Mastodon account as a precaution against the possible Muskocalypse on this site,” Krugman wrote.

Mastodon, an open-source social media site founded in 2016 by Eugen Rochko, dubs itself as a “social networking that’s not for sale.” According to its website, Rochko founded the site because he “was dissatisfied with the state and direction of Twitter.”

Krugman was trying to set up a social media escape hatch, claiming “Musk’s apparently uncontrollable nastiness and childishness” would drive away his followers and collapse the platform. But the effort fell flat within 24 hours of testing Mastodon, with Krugman returning to Twitter only to gripe about his experience on Mastodon.

“Update: so far things not going well on Mastodon,” Krugman said. “After the initial post, nothing I try to post is showing up. And despite setting it *not* to send an email every time someone follows me, it’s sending them. I hope these are just teething problems.”

“I have no idea what will replace Twitter if and when that happens. But I’m doing what I can to retain an alternative social media foothold,” Krugman added.

Krugman, a former Princeton University professor who won the Nobel prize for economics in 2008, wrote the 2007 book “The Conscience of a Liberal,” a left-wing economics manifesto. He recently claimed America had low inflation, even as it rose more than 8% year over year. He also insisted the U.S. was not in a recession, even after the federal government’s own numbers showed two straight quarters of negative GDP growth, the classical definition. Earlier this year, he warned that lifting COVID mask mandates would lead to violence.

Musk reacted to Krugman on Monday in a tweet mocking the NY Times writer’s Mastodon activity, referring to the site as “Masterbatedone.”

The post has since been deleted.

Krugman’s temporary separation from Twitter happened on Sunday after Musk suspended left-wing comedian Kathy Griffin for violating the platform’s terms of service by impersonating other people.

Twitter has explicit rules prohibiting the impersonation of other people. “You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations to mislead, confuse, or deceive others, nor use a fake identity in a manner that disrupts the experience of others on Twitter,” the company’s terms of service says.

Musk warned that moving forward that the platform would permanently ban accounts without warning if they attempted to impersonate other users.

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