Stephen Fry has become the latest celebrity to quit Twitter, following Elon Musk’s disruptive arrival at the helm of the platform as its new owner, and reportedly joined the rising alternative social network Mastodon.
The UK actor, broadcaster, comedian, and writer signalled his departure on Tuesday evening (November 8) by posting a photo of Scrabble letters, spelling out “Goodbye”. He had 12.5m followers and was following 47,600 people himself.
Fry joins a raft of celebrities who have quit the platform since Musk officially took control on October 28, including Whoopi Goldberg, who announced her departure on her show last week and called Musk’s tenure a mess.
Controversial moves by the maverick business tycoon include mass firings, the introduction of an $8 blue tick fee, and banning comedian Kathy Griffin for using his name in a parody account.
Fry was one of the first celebrities to join Twitter in its early days of existence in 2008 but has had a turbulent relationship with the platform over the years. This marks the fifth time he has deleted his account,
His most notorious departure was in 2016 following a backlash against him over a “bag lady” joke about costume designer Jenny Beavan, after she received a Bafta for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road.
Beaven later defended Fry, saying they were good friends and that it was an in-joke between them.
Fry’s on-off relationship with Twitter means his latest departure has met with scepticism, and sparked speculation he will be back in the future in due course.
In the meantime, a Mastadon account under Stephen Fry’s name appeared on Monday, although it is not possible to verify whether it really belongs to the actor.
As per a piece on the new platform by Deadline Business Editor Dade Hayes earlier this week, joining Mastodon is not straightforward, due to its decentralized structure operating across 4,000 different interest-based servers.
Fry’s interaction with the platform appears to have gotten off to a rocky start, with the actor posting on Tuesday: “Is there a simple video or document that could explain to an idiot how this service works? #toot #mastodon #confused”.