Helen Zille Closes Her Twitter Account

Helen Zille Quits Twitter
CAPE TOWN. Helen Zille addresses the DA presser 14 July on SABC COO.Pic: Trevor Samson/ Business Day

Federal Council Chairperson and Former Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille announced on Monday that she’s quitting Twitter. Zille said on a statement.

Helen who has been on Twitter since 2009 said the decision comes after a grotesque treatment of her grand-daughter on Twitter on Sunday,

“I am closing this account,”

The former DA leader says she will open another account called @ZilleTweets. She says the account will be private and only for “people interested in rational debate only”,

Full Statement: Helen Zille Says Good-Bye To Twitter

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.