Advertisement

Germany's Anti-Discrimination Agency quits X

Germany's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Ferda Ataman announced Wednesday the agency was quitting Elon Musk's X due to "intolerable" levels of hate content on the platform targeting the LGBT+ community, minorities, women and Jewish people. Photo by Steffen Kugler/German Federal Press Office
Germany's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Ferda Ataman announced Wednesday the agency was quitting Elon Musk's X due to "intolerable" levels of hate content on the platform targeting the LGBT+ community, minorities, women and Jewish people. Photo by Steffen Kugler/German Federal Press Office

Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Germany's Anti-Discrimination Agency announced Wednesday that it was quitting Elon Musk's X due to "intolerable" levels of hate content on the platform targeting the LGBTQ community, minorities, women and Jewish people.

The decision to close the federal agency's account was taken because of an "enormous increase" in recent weeks in disinformation and trans and queer hostility, racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism and other misanthropic content on the site formerly known as Twitter, the agency said in a news release.

Advertisement

ADA Commissioner Ferda Ataman also cited Musk's withdrawal in May from a voluntary European Union code of practice aimed at combating disinformation on the Internet and complaints from Jewish religious and civic leaders.

"X is no longer a tolerable environment for a public body," she said.

"Ministries and government agencies have a role model function and should ask themselves whether it is still acceptable to remain on a platform that has become a disinformation network and whose owner spreads anti-Semitic, racist and populist content."

Ataman said it was now also right to question the efficacy of X in reaching the target groups her agency sought to influence. She also warned that the only way the agency could combat the "massive increase" in the number of hate comments was to divert an equally large number of its staff to monitoring them and getting X to take them down.

Advertisement

"It is questionable whether this can still be justified with taxpayers' money," said Ataman.

Ataman said 160 rabbis and representatives of Jewish organizations had called for a boycott of X last week alleging the platform had become a "breeding ground for anti-Semitism" and represented one of the greatest threats to Jews in decades.

"If something doesn't change, we know what will happen: hate speech and radicalization are always the precursor to violence," their statement read.

The decision comes one day after the EU wrote to Musk over disseminating disinformation about the Israel-Hamas war, threatening the company with fines that could amount to as much as 6% of its revenue if it does not clean up its act.

Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner responsible for the 27-member-country bloc's Digital Services Act which came into force in August, reminded Musk of his legal obligation to mitigate the spread of disinformation.

Musk also sparked anger in Germany over his public backing on X of the country's far-right AfD Party in which he suggested voters kick out the government of Olaf Scholz because it subsidized NGOs involved in rescuing migrants crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa and the Middle East.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines