The mayor of Paris said Monday she was quitting X, formerly known as Twitter, calling the social media platform a “gigantic global sewer” that is destroying democracies around the globe.
Anne Hidalgo, who has served in the role since 2014, wrote a long post announcing her decision, citing a documented surge in hate speech and disinformation on X since billionaire Elon Musk acquired the website.
“Today, controversy, rumor and crude manipulation rule public debate, fueled by Twitter’s algorithm, where the only thing that counts is the number of ‘likes,’” Hidalgo wrote. “Facts are irrelevant.”
“We must not deceive ourselves,” she continued. “We are dealing here with an utterly clear political project to push aside democracy and its values in favor of powerful private interests.”
Why I am leaving Twitter.
I have made the decision to leave Twitter.
Twitter, far from being the groundbreaking medium that initially made information accessible to the greatest possible number of people, has in recent years become an impressive tool for destroying our… pic.twitter.com/3CcHQVnz5p
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) November 27, 2023
X is under fierce scrutiny after Musk endorsed an antisemitic post on the website, prompting many of its major advertisers to suspend their business with the company. The New York Times recently reported the platform could lose as much as $75 million in ad revenue by the end of the year.
Musk has rejected calls that he is antisemitic, saying he only wants “the best for humanity.” He traveled to Israel this week to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allay any concerns, but the episode is part of a broader concern that X has shifted under his ownership to allow hate speech and misinformation to proliferate.
Hidalgo — who has drawn her own bout of criticism online — said she would remain on other social media platforms, but had taken a stand against X to protect democracy and “reach for the light.”
“We see it every day: Twitter hinders debate, the quest for truth, and the serene and constructive dialogue needed between human beings,” she wrote. “We should not allow the ‘engineers of chaos’ to seize control of our destinies.”