(Mayor of Paris)
Why I am leaving Twitter.
I have made the decision to leave Twitter.
Twitter, far from being the groundbreaking medium that initially made information accessible to the greatest possible number of people, has in recent years become an impressive tool for destroying our democracies.
Whether it be manipulation, disinformation, the fostering of hatred, harassment, anti-Semitism and open racism, or vicious attacks on scientists, climatologists, women, environmentalists, liberals and all those of good will who wish to engage in peaceful political debate in an increasingly complex world, the range of abuses is endless. Not to mention the daily external meddling in electoral processes, aimed at destabilizing our democracies and undermining their image and sovereignty.
Today, controversy, rumor and crude manipulation rule public debate, fueled by Twitter's algorithm, where the only thing that counts is the number of "likes". Facts are irrelevant.
This platform and its owner intentionally exacerbates tensions and conflicts.
Furthermore, it intentionally hinders the information needed to bring about the ecological and energy transformation we much need, in favor of climate protectionist arguments driven by fossil fuel interests and boundless greed for the planet. We can keep denying, clarifying and explaining, but the noise produced by a piece of misinformation will still dwarf the echo of a proven truth.
We must not deceive ourselves. We are dealing here with an utterly clear political project to push aside democracy and its values in favor of powerful private interests.
The latest transparency report on content control, released by Twitter itself, ranks France first in Europe for violent and illegal content.
This medium has become a gigantic global sewer, and we should continue to wade into it?
We see it every day: Twitter hinders debate, the quest for truth, and the serene and constructive dialogue needed between human beings. 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.
I believe deeply in democracy, which remains in the making.
I believe in exchanges, in these difficult times.
We should never accept the bullying of vile attacks.
We should not allow the "engineers of chaos" to seize control of our destinies.
We should not accept the daily disintegration of our democracies on our screens.
In March 2009, I was one of the first French women in politics to join this network, which today counts a community of over 1,500,000 subscribers worldwide.
To remain true to my convictions and my commitment, I am leaving Twitter today.
I will remain on other social media networks in which respectful exchanges can still take place: http://linktr.ee/anne_hidalgo
We need more than ever to keep real democracy alive, whether it be through town councils, town meetings, referendums, conferences or get-togethers. These are places where people see each other, argue, build together and simply live together.
When all is dark, we need to reach for the light and those great spirits who, at certain times in our history, have shown us the way. "We must learn to live together as brothers, or we will all die together as idiots", Martin Luther King told us in the early 1960s.
We can trust each other and find our way back to democracy, peace and fraternity. It is in our hands.