Germany's anti-discrimination agency quits X over anti-minority posts

BERLIN — Germany’s Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency said it would close its account on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, because of increasing intolerance of minorities expressed by users on the site, and urged other bodies to follow suit.

The rapid spread of misleading claims and doctored images in the aftermath of a deadly rampage by Hamas gunmen in Israel over the weekend has put renewed focus on Elon Musk’s platform, which most recently drew the ire of the European Union.

Due to a surge in racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, trans and queer hostility and other misanthropic content, “X is no longer a sustainable environment for a public agency”, the agency’s commissioner, Ferda Ataman, said in a statement.

German government officials have so far resisted calls to quit X, saying there was no substitute channel at present through which leaders like Chancellor Olaf Scholz are able to reach a broad swathe of the public online.

X officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on the Germany agency’s decision.

X said on Tuesday it had taken steps to curb the spread of inappropriate posts over the past few days, and removed newly created Hamas-affiliated accounts as part of efforts to “prevent terrorist content from being distributed online.”

The German anti-discrimination agency could only deal with the massive rise in hate comments by throwing more staff at the problem, which was a questionable use of tax money, Ataman said.

Other state agencies and government ministries should ask themselves whether it made sense to remain on a platform that has “become a disinformation network,” she said.


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