We’re stepping back from the increasingly dangerous and dysfunctional ‘X’, and we’re sorry it’s taken this long
(Given that the ‘free speech absolutist’ mentioned below often threatens to sue those who criticize him, allow us to clarify that these words are a statement of opinion.)
Indivisible as a movement was born online. In 2016, our founders wrote a Google Doc on how to resist Trump’s fascist agenda and posted it on Twitter. There, it was shared by prominent progressive activists, enabling it to reach millions of people. Indivisible groups began popping up organically all over the country, and were able to grow and mobilize thanks in no small part to the reach that Twitter afforded them.
The Twitter we knew — which, despite its many problems over the years, allowed us to build this community and fight for a better world — is now largely gone. The platform has become a megaphone for a bigoted and conspiratorial billionaire, propped up by a subscription scheme that amplifies the voices of transphobes and white nationalists who agree with him and muzzles his critics.
Since purchasing Twitter/X, Musk has uplifted accounts that target LGBTQ+ people for harassment, spread transphobia and antisemitism, re-verified violent white supremacists, and dabbled with dangerous ‘Great Replacement’ rhetoric.
Musk’s outburst scapegoating Jews for the decline of X in September was an inflection point, accelerating internal discussions about our continued participation in a platform that not only allows such hate speech, but rewards it, amplifies it, issues it from its C-suite.
We didn’t like the message it sent — to the communities targeted by Musk and his minions or to the bigots celebrating his mainstreaming of hate — to continue on as normal. X is no longer a normal platform. And, absent a change of ownership, there’s little hope of it doing anything but becoming a more toxic, dangerous cesspool of hate and disinformation ill-suited for progressive organizing.
So, we made the decision to step back from X. We’re in the process of removing its icons from our website and emails. We’ll no longer ask supporters to follow us there, or run advocacy campaigns on the platform.* We’ll phase down original content to a minimum to prevent the X Corp (it feels stupid just typing that name) from seizing our account. And we’ll be creating migration guides to help Indivisible groups establish stronger presences on alternative platforms.
Belonging to any social media platform involves a cost/benefit analysis. There are reasons it took us so long to arrive at our decision and why others are choosing to remain on X (and note, we’ll continue to use our account to amplify Indivisible groups and partners — including fellow-members of the Stop Toxic Twitter Coalition).
X is still the primary platform people use to process major events in real-time. It’s the platform favored by politicians of both parties, an important consideration when you’re working in advocacy. And despite growing numbers of hard-right extremists on X, there are still some normies there thinking about how they’re going to vote in 2024.
These are all cited as reasons we can’t cede this space, and they’re compelling. But they’re also deeply discomforting given the reality of the site. However much effort we put into creating persuasive, informative content on X to contextualize those major events and inform voters ahead of elections, it’s all being downranked in favor of misinformation from purchased checkmarks and Elon Musk replying “accurate” to a tweet claiming George Soros is a Lizard God-King turning everything gay.
So perhaps those reasons cited for staying are really arguments for more of us leaving, and building community in alternative spaces elsewhere. When trusted voices begin to leave the platform en-masse, X will lose its appeal, its pull as a source of real-time information, and its remaining legitimacy with policymakers and regular users.
That is, at least, our conclusion. And with the rise of text-based social media platforms and existing networks, we’re not worried about our ability to reach voters and have meaningful conversations. It might be a bit more difficult, but it will be worth it.
You can now find Indivisible national accounts on Threads, Bluesky, and Mastodon. Each may have its own issues, however, ALL of them are far better, safer, and more viable platforms for the work we need to do now — and in the years ahead.
We look forward to building on these new spaces — and holding these emerging platforms accountable to fighting disinformation and hate with the same vigor as Musk has emboldened them.
* Indivisible Truth Brigade will also be focusing on emerging platforms, but may encourage posts on X occasionally for the explicit purpose of countering disinformation.