Sir Elton John has said that he will no longer use Twitter after a change in its policy that he says will allow “misinformation to flourish unchecked”.
The 75-year-old musician’s comments come after Elon Musk, who bought the social media outlet for $44bn (£35.9bn), said he was granting “general amnesty” for suspended accounts, which experts have said would lead to “superspreaders of hate” returning to the platform.
On Friday, John tweeted: “All my life I’ve tried to use music to bring people together. Yet it saddens me to see how misinformation is now being used to divide our world.
“I’ve decided to no longer use Twitter, given their recent change in policy which will allow misinformation to flourish unchecked.”
Accounts suspended on Twitter that would be able to return to the platform after Musk’s announcement include Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former adviser; the far-right UK commentator Katie Hopkins; and David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan “grand wizard”.
Earlier this month the rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was suspended from Twitter less than two weeks after he returned to the platform, after he tweeted an image of a swastika blended with the Jewish symbol of a Star of David.
Musk was recently told by the EU’s commissioner for digital policy, Thierry Breton, that he needed to protect users to ensure Twitter avoided violating rules that threatened tech giants with big fines or even a ban in the European Union.
He was told that he had to significantly increase efforts to comply with the new rules, known as the Digital Services Act, due to take effect next year.
The Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) said Musk’s recent tweet, which suggested that hate speech impressions were down by a third, was misleading because it focused on how often tweets were seen, rather than how many containing hate speech were actually being posted to the social media network.
Several other celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg, Gigi Hadid and Jim Carrey, have left Twitter since Musk’s takeover.