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GÉANT is ceasing activities on X (FKA Twitter)

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Today we announce our decision to stop activities on the main GÉANT profiles on the X social media platform (Formerly Known As Twitter) as of 2 May 2024.

Our announcement follows thorough considerations and discussions within the organisation, consultations with the community and particularly with Marcomms teams across NRENs, as well as almost two years of surveying and analysing the social media landscape and of our place in it.

X doesn’t mark the spot

Our decision to X-it is not made lightly. Since the rise of social media, Twitter stood out as the preferred platform of our Research and Education community and as a fitting solution for GÉANT – one mixing insightful content with lighter tones and personal elements, representing the official voice of organisations, policy makers and influential figures, often sparking meaningful discussions among news, chatter, memes and the usual funny videos of cats and dogs.

However, not much of this is left now. In the past two years, we have seen Twitter go through radical transformations, changed ownership, morphing into X and into a completely different platform which increasingly amplifies hate speech, fake news, scams, extreme views, and illegal content. Verification badges that were once a symbol of trust have lost all meaning, essential features were dropped or limited to paying users, and costs seem to have been cut at the expense of security, privacy, and content moderation. We have closely observed these developments with growing concern and concluded that the X platform is now irreparably misaligned with our values.

The X-it of the R&E community

We are not the only organisation in our community to have noticed this drift either. In a parallel analysis, the Dutch NREN SURF came to similar conclusions and is also set to leave X/Twitter on 2 May 2024. You can find their official announcement here:

Among European NRENs, the Norwegian Sikt had also announced their X-it in November 2023, the Luxembourgish Restena pointed their followers towards other social media platforms, while other NRENs have consistently decreased or ceased their activities on X. Many more are the research infrastructures, e-infrastructures, universities, and libraries that recently announced their X-its, such as the German National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), the University of Innsbruck, the Université libre de Bruxelles, Rennes 2 University, the Helmholtz Open Science Office, to name a few. Researchers largely reduced their use of X/Twitter as well, as reported in a survey published by Nature on 16 August 2023, leaving the communities once known as “Science Twitter” and “Academic Twitter” scattered across different social media platforms.

Observed from the perspective of GÉANT profiles, this ongoing exodus of users and of community members and organisations has also been evident and showing signs of acceleration, as is a consistent decrease of engagement with GÉANT content. With both our community and potential audience mostly out of X already, there is now little value left in using the platform for GÉANT’s activities altogether.

Our X-it strategy

Our decision to X-it will take effect on the main GÉANT profiles as GEANTnews and TNC_GEANT, while for X profiles related to our projects, we will discuss with partners in order to take joint decisions on the way forward.

To prevent theft and misuse of our X handles and identities, we will not shut down GÉANT profiles but simply cease all activities, with the exception of occasional posts driving followers towards our social media accounts on other platforms, also aimed at keeping our accounts active and avoiding their removal.

GÉANT will of course keep being active on other social media channels, in particular LinkedIn (currently our primary social media channel), and Mastodon (the rising decentralised social media part of the Fediverse, where GÉANT is active together with SURF, DFN, NORDUnet, RENATER, SUNET, Restena).

Follow us there, if you aren’t already doing it:

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