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ULB leaves Twitter over changes to platform

15:11 26/11/2023

The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) has ceased its activities on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, the university has announced.

“The editorial changes, the dismantling of the moderation service, the modification of data access rules and the withdrawal of the European code of good practice against online disinformation compromise the quality, credibility and reliability of the information shared on the X platform,” ULB said.

The university said these actions have increased “the risk of disinformation and the sharing of hateful, illegal or violent content on a global scale”.

The changes have taken place in the wake of Twitter’s takeover by Tesla chief executive Elon Musk in 2022.

“The Université Libre de Bruxelles, which is committed to combating all forms of violence and discrimination, has decided to suspend its institutional activities on the social network,” the university said in a statement.

"We believe it is imperative to stop using a platform that contradicts our humanist values and our scientific approach.

"The development of X is in every way detrimental, not only to our research and teaching missions, but also to our culture of debate and respect for others.

"ULB's decision to suspend its activities on X reflects its ongoing commitment to tolerance, critical thinking and the transmission of knowledge, and its fight against all forms of hatred and discrimination."

The university has invited people to instead follow its activities on other social networks and on its official website. The university continues to be active on LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok, among others.

ULB is not the first to abandon the platform. Companies, organisations and advertisers have also fled after Musk replied with “you have said the actual truth” to a tweet in which a user gave a rendition of the "great replacement theory", a racist allegation that Jews are secretly conspiring with immigrants to destroy White culture.

That theory was the inspiration for the terrorist attack in America at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 that left 11 people dead.

Numerous advertisers, including Disney, IBM and the European Commission, decided to suspend advertising campaigns on X following the incident, while the US White House and Tesla investors, among others, voiced disapproval.

Written by Helen Lyons