Green leader Habeck quits Twitter and Facebook

Robert Habeck, leader of The Greens in Germany, has deleted his Facebook and Twitter accounts. He explained the decision saying that Twitter made him "more aggressive, louder, more polemic and more exaggerated" than he cares to be. He also said he wanted to better protect his data, as he had also been a victim of the recent major hacker attack. Commentators discuss his move.

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Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

A tearful withdrawal

Tages-Anzeiger sees this step by the leader of the Greens as misguided:

“In the eyes of Habeck it is not Habeck, the man, the citizen, the politician, who is to blame. In his eyes it is others who are to blame for the malaise that is driving him away: Twitter, hackers, trolls, critics who may have used the wrong tone. One wonders: Who ever stopped Habeck from thinking before posting? Who forces him to engage in polemics? And who prevents him from simply ignoring inappropriate attacks? No, this is not a consistent move but a tearful withdrawal. Digital media are a fact, they are useful, and all of us, politicians or not, are responsible for how we handle them.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Twitter is a ghastly platform

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung, on the other hand, can entirely understand Habeck's decision:

“In fact much of what Habeck writes is true. Twitter is a nasty medium. The reflexive reactions which the leader of the Greens describes and observes in himself should be nothing new to anyone using the service: the joy when people agree with you, the anger over unfair opposition. And the impulse to respond to critics swiftly and in the same tone. In fact, Twitter triggers anger like no other platform, and it encourages the formation of opposing camps. The reduction of political content to so-called social media tiles - crisp statements that are consumed and distributed within seconds - is just one consequence. Another is the tendency of some politicians (and journalists) to limit themselves to the tile format.”