To stay on Twitter or not? Elon Musk is sowing doubt in these French politicians

OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP These French politicians have been wondering if they’re going to leave Twitter, ever since Elon Musk took it over


These French politicians have been wondering if they’re going to leave Twitter, ever since Elon Musk took it over

POLITICS – The bird is ” Free. “But he’s not the only one. Because the billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter for ” release “, in his words, many users question their presence on the social network. In question: the brutal methods of the new boss, who dismissed half of the company’s employees, without warning, and his vision of the platform, drawn by startling announcements for a “total freedom of expression. »

What sows doubt about Twitter’s future. After associations and advertisers, fearing the increase of hate speech and misinformation, the United Nations urged Elon Musk to implement human rights in the social network.

Freedom of speech “doesn’t pass”so warned the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Saturday, October 5, in an open letter, stressing that the spread of misinformation, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, is causing harm in the real world.

In this context, in France, many leading politicians are voicing their concerns. Quit Twitter? And to abandon a tool that has become a flagship in their public communication strategy?

For Jadot, “Twitter is killing democracy”

One of the first to react in this direction was undoubtedly Jérôme Guedj, the socialist representative of Essonne with a laconic message… on Twitter. “ The question of whether or not to stay on Twitter is a serious one “The elected official wrote on Saturday, November 5, the day after confirmation of the layoff of nearly half of the company’s 7,500 employees worldwide.

Since then, the positions have followed each other, with more or less momentum. The guest of France 3, Sunday November 6, Olivier Véran, also expressed timid reservations about his future presence on the network. sure” a way of acquiring knowledge and informing, of communication “, recognized the former Minister of Health, active on the platform.

but” the fact that this major, global tool is owned by someone who shows ambitions, which worries me a little for some of them, means that I remain vigilant “, he explained, after answering “ I will see on whether or not he will continue tweeting. In any case, he will not pay for the certification of his account, because Elon Musk wants to impose an eight-dollar monthly subscription.

More offensively, Yannick Jadot, for his part, delivers a legal accusation against the social network, “the latest avatar of a system that wants to destroy everything”, this Monday on franceinfo. According to the ecologist candidate for the 2022 presidential election, “ Twitter is killing democracy, killing politics “by attack” complex thinking “and” everything that makes a democracy”: “a little time, a little reflection, arguments instead of invectives, talking to others, building compromises. » This is why he claims that, on his own, his speech on the social network is limited, as you can see below (from 22’30).

One question remains: is there an alternative to Twitter? If he wants to further reduce his presence on the platform now run by the richest man in the world, the MEP can follow the example of some of his colleagues… By switching to another social network, Mastodon.

A Mastodon leak?

According to the British daily The watchmanthe enemy “nice” of Twitter, which prides itself on not being bought and owned by any billionaire because it is decentralized, would have gained thousands of new users, including more than 70,000 the day after Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition announcement .

In France, among them: the local elected EELV Marine Tondelier, one of the candidates to take the leader of the Greens, or the former minister Cécile Duflot.

I opened an account with Mastodon. Come on, we are entitled to more than 280 characters “Wrote the first, Sunday, in the address of his community on Twitter, explaining that he read” the messages of twitter employees recounting their brutal layoffs, even entire teams…”. All with the hashtag “#mastodonmigration”.

The second, the director general of Oxfam France, also collapsed. On Twitter, he sent his advice for starting on the platform with the elephant – the logo, or the mascot of Mastodon – and with unclear contours.

Created in 2016 by a young German, Eugen Rochko, Mastodon, a decentralized social network that operates based on registration on the server of your choice, appears today as one of the most serious alternatives to Twitter. But currently it has only 4.5 million users, according to Time, who interviewed the creator after the recent influx of new users – and he promised them that his network has innovative moderation solutions against hate speech. What is attraction?

It should be noted, at this moment, that the positions taken against the blue bird remain marginal in the field of French politics, which is very inclined to communicate through tweets. So we have to wait a little longer to read theirs “creaks”, the name given to Mastodon messages.

See also at The HuffPost:

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