Australian public broadcaster shuts down accounts on X

ABC said protecting journalists from “toxic interactions” on X was a factor behind the decision to cull most of its accounts on the platform.

The public broadcaster’s managing director David Anderson said ABC would abandon all but four high-value accounts it maintained on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

Anderson said the company will keep ABC News, which “drives the majority of the ABC’s impact on X,” in addition to ABC Sport, ABC Chinese, and ABC Australia, its corporate account.

“Starting from today, other ABC accounts will be discontinued. The accounts will have pinned posts informing users where they can access relevant content,” Anderson said in a statement released Wednesday (August 9th).

He said that closing several individual program accounts earlier this year had a positive effect and was one of the “multiple” reasons behind the decision. Staff harassment was another.

“Closing individual program accounts helps limit the exposure of team members to the toxic interactions that unfortunately are becoming more prevalent on X. Concerningly, X has reduced its trust and safety teams,” Anderson said.

He also noted that the platform was introducing charges that make it increasingly costly to use.

“The vast majority of ABC’s social media audience is located on official sites on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok… We want to focus our effort and resources on where our audiences are,” Anderson said.

According to ABC, the broadcaster was also considering increasing its presence on Threads, Meta’s rival to X.

Earlier this year, American broadcasters NPR and PBS stopped tweeting after the Elon Musk-owned platform incorrectly labeled them as “state-affiliated” and “government-funded.”