Paris mayor quits ‘global sewer’ X
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced her intention to leave X, formerly known as Twitter, calling the microblogging site “an impressive tool for destroying of our democracies.”
In a lengthy statement posted on X, the Socialist mayor told her 1.5 million followers that she held Elon Musk responsible for the changes he’d made since he took over the company in October of last year, albeit without naming him directly.
She continued by saying that “controversy, rumor and crude manipulation” are ruling a public debate “fueled by Twitter’s algorithm, where the only thing that counts is the number of ‘likes’,” adding that “facts are irrelevant.”
Labeling the platform a “clear political project,” Hidalgo accused its owner of acting “deliberately to exacerbate tensions and conflicts,” saying it had become a “vast global sewer.”
X has repeatedly come under fire over Musk's changes to the platform from the mainstream media and the political left. According to the Twitter Files, under previous management, the microblogging site had helped block dissemination of a bombshell report alleging influence-peddling by Joe Biden’s family, just three weeks before he was elected president. When Musk arrived, he fired many of Twitter’s former staffers, and since then, the platform, rebranded as X, has been accused of poor content moderation and failing to remove hate speech and disinformation.
The situation became aggravated following the start of the Israel-Hamas war. Earlier the European Commission suspended publicity on X over a spike in disinformation and hate speech on the social media platform. Spokesman Johannes Bahrke said the Commission had “advised services to refrain from advertising at this stage.” The decision came after the US nonprofit organization Media Matters alleged that X had placed adverts for major brands such as Apple, IBM and Oracle next to pro-Nazi content. The report prompted tech giant IBM to halt all advertisements on X.
IBM’s move also came after Musk had publicly endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory in a post on X earlier in the week. On November, 15 the social media mogul agreed with a post on X that said Jewish people hold a “dialectical hatred” of white people, sparking a new round of criticism that he promotes antisemitic views. The billionaire responded to a user’s post with: “You have said the actual truth.”
On Monday, in an apparent bid to repair the damage, Elon Musk toured the site of the October 7 Hamas assault on Israel and declared his commitment to do whatever was necessary to stop the spread of hatred. Early on Monday, Musk posted on X: “Actions speak louder than words.”