eXit Hate Speech: 47 organisations cease activities on X

EuroNatur leaves Platform X, formerly Twitter, together with 46 other organisations. The eXit will be accompanied by an eXit week, during which the alliance partners will provide information about the dangers of hate speech on their social media channels.

Emblem for eXit

EuroNatur is part of the alliance of 47 organisations that is announcing its departure from the short message service X today.

© Bündnis eXit

Berlin, 18 June 2024. Forty-seven organisations from the fields of the environment, health, agriculture, human rights and social affairs (listed below) are jointly announcing the suspension of their activities on X on Tuesday. The "eXit" alliance sets an example for a democratic and respectful culture of debate on the International Day for Countering Hate Speech proclaimed by the United Nations.

The organisations will inform their more than 180,000 X followers about the topic of hate speech in several final posts under the hashtag #ByeByeElon as part of an "eXit week", which also starts on Tuesday. They will also publish posts on the topic on other social media platforms. Comprehensive information on "eXit" can now also be found at www.byebyeelon.de.

With their departure from X, the organisations are reacting to the increase in violent, discriminatory and misinforming content since Elon Musk took over the platform in October 2022. Elon Musk himself equates moderation with censorship and has, therefore, significantly reduced it. Under the guise of supposed freedom of expression, accounts that had already been blocked due to the dissemination of extremist content are being reactivated.

In a joint statement, the 47 eXit organisations commented: "Hate, incitement, calls for violence, disinformation: since Elon Musk's takeover, all of this has increasingly become part of everyday behaviour on X. Extremism and anti-democracy are increasingly dominating the debates there. The operator ignores much of this content. We want to oppose this brutalisation of the culture of debate. We are in favour of respectful, democratic exchange and appreciative communication. That's why we're saying #ByeByeElon and ceasing our activities on the platform."

According to a representative survey published in February [1] , around half of those surveyed stated that they had already experienced hate online. Around one in eight had already been affected by it themselves. "Almost one in two people have been insulted online, and a quarter of respondents have been threatened with physical violence," the authors of the study said.

Katja Diehl, bestselling author, mobility expert and podcaster, experienced hate speech on Twitter herself in early 2023. As a result, she deleted her account. Diehl comments: "I know that many people like to associate the 'poisoning' of Twitter with the figure of Elon Musk. But let's be honest: even before that, this platform failed to adequately protect those affected by hate speech, let alone put offenders in their place. However, Musk has exacerbated this trend in a way that makes it clear how wrong it is to allow such platforms to be privately owned. Unfortunately, the only option is to exit, because Twitter, now X, has become a disinformation and hate machine. I am therefore delighted that these organisations are taking a stand on this symbolic day."

The alliance partners discussed the departure from the platform in numerous rounds of dialogue and also examined their work on other social networks. The decision to eXit was made in light of the fact that a particularly brutal tone of behaviour can be seen on X that does not exist in this form on any other social media platform. The company's strategic direction shows that this is intentional or at least tolerated: according to the EU, there are now significantly fewer content moderators than on other platforms.

The eXit organisations will not delete their accounts, but will shut them down, as otherwise there is a risk that their profiles will be hijacked. Some eXit organisations have already shut down their X accounts in recent months or deliberately reduced their activity there. It would only be conceivable for the eXit partners to rejoin if moderation practice and debate culture on X were to return to democratic rules.

The "eXit" alliance includes: ANU Hessen e.V., Ärzte der WeltAWO InternationalB.A.U.M. - Netzwerk für nachhaltiges WirtschaftenBergwaldprojekt e.V., Bioland e.V., Bits & BäumeBundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement (BBE)Changing Cities e.V., Centre for Planetary Health PolicyDas Hunger Projekt e.V., Demeter e.V., Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit e.V. (KLUG)German Sustainability CodeDeutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)Difäm WeltweitDon Bosco Mondo e.V., EIRENE Internationaler Christlicher Friedensdienst e.V., Engineers for FutureEntwicklungspolitisches Netzwerk Sachsen e.V., EuroNatur StiftungEWS Elektrizitätswerke SchönauFairtrade Deutschland e.V., Farmers for FutureFIAN Deutschland e.V., Gemeinschaftswerk NachhaltigkeitGerman Doctors e.V., Germanwatch e.V., Green Planet EnergyGreifswald Moor CentrumHelp - Hilfe zur SelbsthilfeIJM Deutschland e.V., Kindernothilfe e.V., Klimadelegation e.V., LAG 21 NRWNaturland e.V.naturstromOroVerde - Die TropenwaldstiftungPlant-for-the-Planet FoundationRat für Nachhaltige EntwicklungRENN-NetzwerkRomero Initiative (CIR)terre des hommes Deutschlandurgewald e.V., Weltfriedensdienst e.V.

Press contacts:

Moritz Schröder-Therre
Press spokesman urgewald e.V.
+49 152 21579977

Leon Mohr
Deputy Press Spokesman Bioland e.V.
+49 6131 23979-25

Wolf-Christian Ramm
Press spokesman terre des hommes Germany
+49 171 6729748

[1] Hate online competence network: "Loud hate - quiet retreat. How online hate threatens democratic discourse", February 2024, https://kompetenznetzwerk-hass-im-netz.de/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Studie_Lauter-Hass-leiser-Rueckzug.pdfhttps://kompetenznetzwerk-hass-im-netz.de/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Studie_Lauter-Hass-leiser-Rueckzug.pdf


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