Watch CBS News

Santa Clara Co. DA to leave Twitter, says hate speech rising since Musk takeover

Chaos continues to reign at Twitter following Musk ultimatum, worker exodus
Chaos continues to reign at Twitter following Musk ultimatum, worker exodus 03:49

SAN JOSE – Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced Monday that he is deactivating his office's Twitter account, citing the hate speech that exploded on the platform following Elon Musk's takeover.

In a written statement, Rosen criticized the company's new owner over his recent actions, including allowing accounts that were previously banned back onto the platform.

"Some think that allowing hatred, encouraging it, and standing beside it equates with free speech and constitutional liberty. That is not a principled stand. That is complicity. That is what many Germans did in the 1930s and what many South Africans did in the 1980s. It is what Elon Musk is doing in the 2020s," the district attorney said.

#SCCDANews: DA Jeff Rosen Leaves Twitter to Protest Hatred, Bigotry, and Antisemitism

Posted by Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office - DA Jeff Rosen on Monday, December 5, 2022

"Anyone who uses Twitter has noticed the proliferation of extremist posts in their daily feed. Many of these handles were previously banned by Twitter because they spread hatred and bigotry. Now they are back. That is not free speech. It is a cynical marketing strategy," Rosen went on to say.

The district attorney also cited Musk's own use of Twitter to spread hatred, saying he used an anti-Semitic meme in a now-deleted post.

Rosen made his announcement to leave Twitter amid recent reports by watchdog groups that the volume of hate speech on Twitter has grown since the billionaire bought the platform in October.

A report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that daily use of the n-word and slurs against gay men and trans persons is up. Meanwhile, a separate report from the Anti-Defamation League found "both an increase in antisemitic content on the platform and a decrease in the moderation of antisemitic posts."

The district attorney concluded his statement by urging other prosecutors to drop their Twitter accounts.

"As American prosecutors, we speak with one voice – against crime, violence, greed, and hatred. We don't need 280 characters or a Billionaire's app to say, 'Bigotry has no home in the land of the free and the home of the brave,'" he said.

Rosen said the department's account would be deactivated as of Tuesday. The DA's office would continue to use its Facebook page and its own website for communications.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.