13 Dec 2023
Why We’re Leaving Twitter, or “X”
For some time, our team at Diversifying Group have been considering quitting Twitter.
We had a lot of concerns that were steadily growing.
Is Twitter for us and the communities we represent anymore?
Are we harming rather than helping by remaining active on it?
Are we supporting someone’s words and actions that we do not believe in?
We closely observed the platform's transformation from a flawed but often informative space hosting diverse communities into something entirely different.
It was purchased by Elon Musk in October 2022 and, in our view, has deteriorated since. He gutted large portions of the team, workers responsible for crucial upkeep of the platform – critical system engineers and much of the trust and safety policy team. The latter are responsible for essential safeguarding such as spotting misinformation, spam, fake accounts, and impersonation. Those left were reportedly working long hours, overwhelmed, and overworked. This is not something we would ever want to endorse.
Shortly after, several notorious banned users were welcomed back to the platform. Trump was re-instated, as was Kanye West, Jordan Peterson, Andrew Tate, Tommy Robinson, and Katie Hopkins. Originally banned for a range of harmful speech including inciting violence, antisemitism, transphobia and misogyny, these indiscretions were swept under the rug. The message this sends, that hate speech may be tolerated, caused us to seriously question whether we wanted to be connected with such a platform.
Despite welcoming these controversial figures back, and the hate speech they espouse, Musk chose to ban the explicitly harmless terms “cis” and “cisgender.” Changes in policy meant that deadnaming on the platform (referring to a trans person by their name pre-transitioning) was now allowed. Unsurprisingly, a marked rise in hate speech and anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiments followed. And with a severely reduced moderation and safety team, little action was taken to address this.
Anecdotally in our experience, the quality in content and functioning of algorithms have declined so drastically that it no longer feels like an effective and productive information-sharing platform. Twitter was far from perfect prior to this takeover, of course, but its redeeming factors of bringing communities together and shining a light on experiences lesser known and missing from the mainstream made it valuable to us. Unfortunately, this seems to be missing now.
What remains seems to prioritise profit generation by any means possible, often at the expense of human worth.
So, is now the time to leave Twitter?
We think yes, for now at least. Here’s a snippet from our full statement made on the platform:
“Our decision to leave X (Twitter) is rooted in our unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of diversity, inclusion, and a safe online community. We remain dedicated to connecting with you through alternative platforms where we can continue fostering meaningful conversations and spreading our positive message.”