Zille says bye to 'haters & bots' on old Twitter account, opens private one
Helen Zille took to her account to announce she would be closing it after the "grotesque treatment" of her granddaughter on the weekend.
JOHANNESBURG - After years of stirring controversy, being embroiled in public twars and sparking fierce debates, Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille is saying goodbye to her current Twitter account.
Zille took to her account on Monday to announce she would be closing it after the "grotesque treatment" of her granddaughter over the weekend.
She shared an image of her toddler grandchild making a meal during load shedding, which some people poked fun at.
She said her new Twitter account would be open to "people interested in rational debate only" - specifically people she either knows personally or through past Twitter interactions.
A thread 1) After the grotesque treatment of my grand-daughter on Twitter ydy, I am closing this account. I say goodbye to some of my followers, and good riddance to the haters, bots and sock-puppets that constitute such a large percentage of my 1,4-million plus followers.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) February 17, 2020
2) Twitter has degenerated into a platform for irrationality and mob-lynching. Everything that can be distorted and twisted for a hate-filled agenda, is used for the purpose of manufacturing outrage and inflicting maximum damage.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) February 17, 2020
3) For a long time I have sought to promote Twitter as a platform for rational and civil debate, but it clearly is not possible. It has degenerated into a space of distortion, de-contextualisation, demonization, de-legitimation and double standards.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) February 17, 2020
4) Instead of democratising debate, it has severely curtailed freedom of speech and discussion. It emboldens your enemies and silences your friends. It is a space where the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity, as Yeats so aptly put it.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) February 17, 2020
5) The only thing I would miss if I went off the platform entirely, are the posts of the rational and interesting people I follow. So I am opening a new, private account called @ZilleTweets. That will be for people interested in rational debate only.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) February 17, 2020
6) Of course, I would only know if someone is interested in rational debate if I know them either personally, or through past Twitter interactions. This means I may reject many who are interested in rational debate, but who I do not know.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) February 17, 2020
7) I apologise for that. But this evil platform, that can find no effective way of filtering out fake accounts, and dealing with hate speech (as constitutionally defined) offers no alternative. Go well if you mean well. I'm out of here.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) February 17, 2020