X Marks

After abruptly changing Twitter's name to "X," erstwhile CEO Elon Musk has also taken over the handle associated with the letter — without compensating the person who owned it before.

In an interview with Mashable, Gene X Hwang, the previous owner of the @X account, said that he wasn't paid a dime after the company seized the account he'd held for nearly 16 years.

Instead, he "got an email basically saying they are taking it."

A cofounder of the San Francisco-based event photography company Orange Photography, Hwang told Mashable in an earlier interview that he was among the earliest adopters of Twitter because, living in the Bay Area, he had friends who used or worked at the social network.

Back in the early aughts of 2006, it wasn't hard for him to register a single-letter username, so he took the letter "X" for his middle name and used it until, well, this week.

Consolation Prizes

Hwang told Mashable that after Musk announced that he was changing the site's name to X, he'd expected the account to be commandeered eventually, though he hoped he'd be offered some money once that inevitability occurred — especially since there had been some previous chatter that the company might auction off rare handles to the highest bidder.

Alas, there were no dice when the account was taken, though Twitter did offer him a few drab accouterments: some company swag, an offer to meet management, and "an alternative handle with the history of the @x account." It's unclear whether the swag will be X-branded or Twitter-branded, and whether the "management" Hwang was offered to be put in touch with includes Musk.

Hwang's new handle, @x12345678998765, is nowhere near as cool as the old one.

Nevertheless, the entrepreneur doesn't seem too concerned about the entire situation, tweeting from his random string of letters and numbers that "[all's] well that ends well."

More on New Twitter: It Turns Out Facebook Also Owns a Trademark to "X," Specifically for Social Media

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