New research from the Pew Research Center shows that most Twitter users in the US have taken a break from using the app within the past year. Most people took breaks from Twitter after Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, announcing that his ownership of the platform contributed to users leaving the app.
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According to the study, 60% of the surveyed Americans left Twitter within a few weeks. Age and political affiliations are not important in determining whether a person takes a break from Twitter, but race is a significant factor.
Black Twitter users (67%) are more likely to take a break from Twitter than White (60%) or Hispanic people (54%). Under Elon Musk’s leadership, taunts against Black people appeared on the app triple the daily rate recorded before he was acquired.
Ever since Musk took the helm at Twitter, his efforts to protect “free speech” on the platform have left many marginalized users feeling unsafe. Musk has brought back the Twitter accounts of a number of controversial figures, including those banned for hate speech and spreading misinformation.
About two months after Musk became the owner of Twitter, he disbanded Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, an advisory board of approximately 100 independent civil and human rights organizations that address hate speech and other more problems with Twitter.
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Since the dissolution of the Council, the BBC reports that Twitter insiders have stated that the company does not have the resources to protect Twitter users from abuse, misinformation, or online trolling.
A quarter of participants in a Pew Research Center study said they would not use Twitter a year from now.