Sir Elton John has announced he will no longer be using Twitter following a change in its policy which he says “will allow misinformation to flourish unchecked”.
The 75-year-old musician’s comments come after new Twitter owner Elon Musk said he is granting an “amnesty” for suspended accounts, which experts predict will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.
Sir Elton said on Twitter: “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.”
Tesla chief executive Mr Musk was recently warned by Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for digital policy, that he has to increase measures to protect users so Twitter avoids violating rules that threaten tech giants with big fines or even a ban in the 27-nation bloc.
Mr Musk was told he has to significantly increase efforts to comply with the new rules, known as the Digital Services Act, set to take effect next year.
Last weekend, French President Emmanuel Macron met with Mr Musk for what he called a “clear and honest discussion” amid mounting concerns over a rise in hate speech on Twitter.
While visiting the United States, the French leader posted a photo on Twitter of his encounter with the billionaire, showing the two men sitting across from each other at a table in an empty room.
Mr Macron had criticised Mr Musk’s relaxation of content moderation policies the day earlier, telling the television programme Good Morning America it was “a big issue”.
Their meeting came after online safety campaigners said hate speech on Twitter is rising under Mr Musk’s ownership, despite the billionaire’s claims that it has been declining.
The Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) said Mr Musk’s recent tweet suggesting that hate speech impressions are down by a third was “misleading” because it focused on how often tweets were seen, rather than how many containing hate speech were actually being posted to the site.