'Gigantic global sewer' - Paris mayor quits X platform

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Monday announced she was quitting the X platform formerly known as Twitter, calling it a "gigantic global sewer" that was "destroying our democracies" by spreading abuse and misinformation.

After buying Twitter in 2022, Elon Musk laid off thousands of employees, including many who moderated content on the platform. Rebranded as X, it has lost several major advertisers and was blasted by critics, including the White House, for not doing enough to curtail antisemitism.

"This platform and its owner intentionally exacerbates tensions and conflicts," Hidalgo said in lengthy posts in English and French, citing manipulation, disinformation, antisemitism and attacks on scientists, climatologists, women and liberals.

Hidalgo's campaign to transform Paris into a cycling capital has earned her both scorn and praise on social media over the years, with some users criticising the seemingly endless work and visually unappealing worksites under the #SaccageParis (WreckParis) hashtag.

"This medium has become a gigantic global sewer, and we should continue to wade into it?" asked the Socialist politician, whose failed bid for the French presidency garnered 1.7% of the vote in 2022.

"I refuse to endorse this evil scheme," she said.

More recently, she has come under fire for a trip to the French island of Tahiti purportedly to view a 2024 Olympics surfing site, but that opponents said did not fall under her remit and during which she visited her daughter who lives there.

X users and opposition politicians took to the #TahitiGate hashtag to lambast her over the partially taxpayer-funded trip.