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‘Toxic’: ABC shuts down most of its accounts on Elon Musk’s X

The ABC will only keep its most popular accounts on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

The ABC will only keep its most popular accounts on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. Photo: AAP/TND

The ABC is shutting down most of its social media accounts on Elon Musk’s X (formerly known as Twitter) while raising concerns about “toxic” interactions and increasing costs.

The ABC said it would only retain the accounts with the best value which were ABC News, ABC Sport, ABC Chinese and ABC Australia.

“All other ABC accounts will be discontinued starting from today (Wednesday),” said an ABC statement.

“There are multiple reasons for this decision.

“In February the ABC closed three program accounts and the results from that have been positive, with negligible reduction in referral traffic from Twitter to ABC content.

“The vast majority of the ABC’s social media audience is located on other platforms and we want to focus our effort and resources where our audiences are.

“X is introducing charges which are making the platform increasingly costly to use.

“Also, we have found that closing individual program accounts helps limit the exposure of team members to the sometimes toxic interactions that unfortunately are becoming more prevalent.

“Concerningly, X has reduced its trust and safety teams.”

Earlier this year, the ABC closed its Twitter accounts for programs Insiders and News Breakfast as well as its ABC Politics account.

High-profile ABC journalists have also left Twitter after being subjected to abuse, including News Breakfast host Lisa Millar and former 7.30 host Leigh Sales.

In March Lisa Millar hit back at “foul, disgusting personal abuse” that erupted on Twitter about her wardrobe.

Millar said many of the insults she “couldn’t and wouldn’t repeat” as she endured days of trolling over her choice of outfit.

ABC’s managing director David Anderson said most of the ABC’s social media audience was on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, with TikTok forecast to have the strongest growth over the next four years.

The ABC said its discontinued X accounts would have pinned posts informing users where they could access relevant content.

The ABC said its ABC News (@abcnews) handle drove most of the ABC’s impact on X and would continue to publish news.

ABC Sport (@abcsport) was popular with Australian sports fans engaging with sports content before, during and after games on the platform.

ABC Chinese (@abcchinese) reflected contemporary Australia for Australians with different backgrounds and interests.

And ABC Australia (@abcaustralia) was the ABC’s masterbrand account.

Topics: ABC
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