Elon Musk’s X is a social media platform that politicians are having a hard time stepping away from because of its addictive qualities and capacity to reach voters and journalists.
Influential figures such as CEO Sam Altman, President Greg Brockman, co-founder Ilya Sutskever, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella share news on X, turning it into a virtual town square for Washington’s discourse.
Due to its long history and sizeable political-interested user base, the platform has a significant first-mover advantage over more recent entrants such as BlueSky and Meta’s Threads. Politicians may use this tactic to generate hype around announcements when it’s harder to generate organic traffic elsewhere. Advertisers like Disney, IBM, and Apple have mostly pulled their support from X due to Musk’s antics. Musk said the self-proclaimed progressive research organization defamed X by manipulating the platform and filed a lawsuit against them.
Even while X didn’t address the politicians’ concerns, CEO Linda Yaccarino tweeted last week that “there’s simply no place” for antisemitism and prejudice on the platform, hoping to calm advertisers’ and activists’ fears.
According to POLITICO, Rep. Jamie Raskin expressed his possibility of stepping down from the platform: “There might be a breaking point if nothing changes.” He said he would reevaluate with his colleagues if there were a large flight of lawmakers and nothing changed.
To spread their bets, some politicians are gaining fans on sites other than X, such as Meta’s Threads, which debuted in July to compete head-on with X. Just days after denouncing Musk for his antisemitic remarks, Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden created Threads accounts on Monday.
Accounts on Threads had been planned for weeks before a White House official acknowledged the rise in hate speech on X. Threads will keep growing and being utilized more, according to Crystal Patterson, who has worked for many Democratic presidential campaigns and was Facebook’s director of global civic alliances.
Nevertheless, she emphasized that they also encounter several problems with Meta.