Elon Musk accused ABC of “censorship” after the public broadcaster announced it was shutting down all but a few of his Twitter accounts.
ABC will now operate just four accounts on the social media platform: ABC News, ABC Sport, ABC Chinese and ABC Australia.
The national broadcaster’s managing director, David Anderson, issued a statement on Wednesday blaming ‘toxic interactions’ on Twitter, now known as X, for the move.
But billionaire businessman Musk, who acquired X in October last year, criticized ABC for the decision.
“Well of course they prefer pro-censorship social media,” he wrote.
‘The Australian public doesn’t.’
Elon Musk accused ABC of “preferring censorship” after the public broadcaster announced it was dropping all but a few of its Twitter accounts.
The move comes after several ABC stars left Twitter, or X, after being targeted for abuse.
Leigh Sales and Lisa Millar have deleted their accounts in recent years, while radio host Patricia Karvelas has disabled her direct messages.
Announcing its decision to scale back its presence on X, ABC said the majority of its social media audience was on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Musk lashed out at ABC after it announced it was deleting all but four accounts on X
“We also found that closing individual program accounts helps limit team members’ exposure to toxic interactions that are, unfortunately, becoming more frequent on X,” a statement read.
“Worryingly, X has reduced its trust and security teams. In addition, it is introducing charges that make the use of the platform more and more expensive.
ABC had closed the X accounts for Insiders, News Breakfast and ABC Politics in February “and the results have been positive.”
While still posting to their main @abcnews account, their media teams aim to grow ABC’s TikTok audience, which is predicted to be more beneficial for growth.
This news follows Mr. Anderson sitting before a Senate Estimates hearing where he provided evidence against the security of X for users in May.
Twitter, as it was known at the time, had become a “cesspool” according to Anderson, who said he had to refer several trolling incidents to the police.
Stan Grant resigned as host of ABC’s Q+A after receiving racial abuse following coverage of the Coronation.
The director cited a review of whether the organization was doing enough to support its employees and said he was concerned about his front-facing staff.
“We are reaching a cliff here, particularly in the discussion of how we can protect our people,” he told the committee.
Things got especially bad during ABC’s 2023 coverage of the coronation, in the wake of which star Stan Grant walked away from his position as host of his quiz show.
During related broadcasts, Mr. Grant, a First Nations man, pointed out that the crown represents encroachment and theft of Aboriginal land.
The segment sparked about 1,800 complaints from the public, the Senate committee’s investigative hearing was told.
Hundreds of the complaints were racist in nature, Anderson said, while others noted that the coronation discussion was worthwhile but not at the right time.
“Some of it was in good faith, a lot of it was not in good faith,” he said.
“I believe that the moment of dignified silence is over, I believe that for our people we must show more public solidarity with them, as well as with what we do internally.”