Elton John has announced he is quitting Twitter in a new tweet, citing changes in the social media platform’s policy allowing “misinformation to flourish unchecked”.
The long-running social networking site was taken over by Elon Musk in October. After he bought the company, a spike in hate speech on the site was reported.
John has now become the latest high-profile star to announce their departure from Twitter. In a tweet shared earlier today (December 9), the pop icon wrote: “All my life I’ve tried to use music to bring people together. Yet it saddens me to see how misinformation is now being used to divide our world.”
He continued: “I’ve decided to no longer use Twitter, given their recent change in policy which will allow misinformation to flourish unchecked.”
All my life I’ve 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’ve decided to no longer use Twitter, given their recent change in policy which will allow misinformation to flourish unchecked.
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) December 9, 2022
The British star joins the likes of Jack White, Trent Reznor and Jim Carrey in leaving Twitter since Musk’s takeover was confirmed. Last month, Reznor called the billionaire buying the site an “embarrassment”.
“We don’t need the arrogance of the billionaire class to feel like they can just come in and solve everything,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Even without him involved, I just find that it has become such a toxic environment. For my mental health, I need to tune out. I don’t feel good being there anymore.”
A day later, White pulled his Third Man Records account from the platform after former US president Donald Trump was re-instated on the site by Musk. Trump was formally banned following his supporters violently storming the US Capitol building in January 2021. He had long been criticised for using Twitter as a platform for extremist far-right views and hate speech; in the wake of his ban, it was reported that misinformation on the platform had ebbed dramatically.
Moby also joined the ranks of stars leaving the site at the end of last month. “This will be my last tweet,” he told fans. “Last night @elonmusk posted an alt-right anti-Semitic meme, a fake @cnn story, and an image of guns on his bedside table. @Twitter has become a cesspool of racism, antisemitism, disinformation, and dimwitted alt-right hate, and it’s time to leave.”
Since Musk bought Twitter, the platform has ended its COVID-19 misinformation policy, while Musk himself immediately fired numerous top executives at the company, spent weeks wrestling with a paid verification system and banning people for impersonating him. The site was rumoured to be on the brink of collapse following the firings and Musk allegedly telling the remaining staff they must “work long hours at high intensity” or leave the company.
Meanwhile, John has added another date to his ongoing farewell tour. The star has been confirmed as the first headliner for Glastonbury 2023, marking his first time performing at the festival.