Twitter CEO Elon Musk responded directly to Elton John on Friday, after the singer/pianist released a statement announcing he was leaving Twitter because of letting misinformation run rampant.
John had given a statement about his decision by tweeting on the very first day. The renowned musician indicated that he is unhappy with Twitter as it has become divisive among people. John wrote that throughout my life I have tried to use music to bring people together. Yet it saddens me to see how misinformation is now being used to divide our world.
I have decided not to use Twitter due to a recent policy change that will allow misinformation to run rampant. Elon Musk asked. John is the latest in a string of celebrities who have left Twitter since Elon Musk took over ownership. The diverse list of stars includes Whoopi Goldberg, film producer Rob Reiner and former WWE wrestler Mick Foley.
Several members of the music world have also left the stage, including Trent Reznor, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles and Jack White. Reasons cited by celebrities for leaving social media platforms include an increase in misinformation as well as a perceived increase in hate speech. White has said he made his decision based on Musk reactivating former President Donald Trump’s account, a move Rock Star called “absolutely disgusting”.
Elon Musk, himself a “free-speech autocrat”, has said Twitter will become a more open platform for public debate with fewer restrictions under his control. However, critics have said that less moderation on the platform will contribute to the spread of misleading claims and hateful rhetoric, leaving vulnerable users less protected.
The news of John’s departure from Twitter comes at a time when Musk is stirring up a controversy over the so-called “Twitter Files”. Dubbed the “Twitter Files” after the company’s 2020 campaign to stop the sharing of a New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s alleged leaked laptop files between President-elect Trump and Hunter’s father, Joe Biden .
A new batch of internal Twitter communications became public that company employees claimed to be engaged in creating a “blacklist” and “preventing distorted tweets from trending”.