Paris mayor quitting ‘global sewer’ platform X as city gears up for Olympics

27 November 2023, 14:54

Anne Hidalgo
France Paris Olympics Mayor Quits X. Picture: PA

Anne Hidalgo referred to ‘an utterly clear political project to push aside democracy and its values’.

The mayor of future Olympic host city Paris has said she is quitting X, accusing Elon Musk’s social media platform of spreading disinformation and hatred and becoming a “gigantic global sewer” that is toxic for democracy and constructive debate.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a long post: “With its thousands of anonymous accounts and its troll farms, life on Twitter is the exact opposite of democratic life.

“I refuse to endorse this evil scheme.”

Ms Hidalgo’s office said posts in French and English that announced her departure from X would be the Socialist mayor’s last, and that she will then close her account – which has 1.5 million followers – at the end of the week.

Her office said that Paris City Hall is keeping its own separate account on X, formerly Twitter.

Ms Hidalgo’s withdrawal from X follows a fractious period for the mayor. She has faced criticism from political opponents over the expense and necessity of a trip she made in October to the French South Pacific territories of New Caledonia and Tahiti.

The Olympic surfing competition next July is being held on Tahiti’s world-famous Teahupo’o wave.

She also locked horns last week with government ministers over the French capital’s readiness for the 2024 Summer Games. Ms Hidalgo said some transport options will not be ready for the July 26-August 11 Olympics.

Firing back, transport minister Clement Beaune said the mayor’s comments were a “shameful” attempt to divert attention from her Pacific voyage.

Ms Hidalgo’s office said her decision to leave X was not in response to the recent criticism but was thought-out over time. Mr Musk took control of Twitter in October 2022 and has dismantled some of its core features.

“We are dealing here with an utterly clear political project to push aside democracy and its values in favour of powerful private interests,” Ms Hidalgo wrote.

“This medium has become a gigantic global sewer, and we should continue to wade into it?”

By Press Association

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