Twitter — known as X since Elon Musk took it over — is not a safe space.
I don’t mean “safe space” in the way we’ve come to know it; I’m not concerned about my sensitivities being offended by posts from blue-checked accounts or no-name users hiding behind unidentifiable avatars. I’m talking about actual safety — on two fronts: spiritually and physically.
Last year, just before Musk purchased it, Twitter released an internal review that found the site has, for many, become a go-to hub for pornography, with some 13% of the content on the platform being sexually explicit.
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Finding pornography on X is incredibly easy: the platform’s search bar is unrestricted, allowing users to search the site using explicit keywords as well as plenty of workaround terms to find what others might miss.
It’s not likely Musk will do anything to change the site’s trajectory, either.
In 2018, the microblogging site Tumblr went from being a veritable Wild West for pornographers to a platform with an outright and unflinching ban on all sexual content. When the blogging outlet implemented the change, it lost nearly 30% of its users.
That bold shift created a vacuum — one that wouldn’t be filled by Facebook or Instagram, because they ban sexually explicit videos and imagery. So where did all the pornographic content go? To the one platform that hasn’t restricted it: Twitter, now X.
From a purely financial perspective, it’s in the best interest of X to have as many users on the platform as possible, and the availability of pornography — even content that may violate its rules — serves that goal. The site formerly known as Twitter was struggling before Musk purchased and rebranded it. Now the situation at X is even more precarious, making it pretty unimaginable the tech CEO would want to risk a Tumblr-esque exodus at this point.
With that alone in mind, I made the decision to pull the plug on X.
Pornography is anathema to Scripture’s teachings on healthy sexual expression (Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 7:1-2), human dignity (Genesis 1:27), and the protection of our bodies from immorality and temptation (Romans 12:1-2).
With countless passages in the Bible warning Christians about avoiding sin, running from what tempts us, and establishing healthy boundaries, there were two verses in particular that led me to delete my X account, which I’d had since 2009.
Hebrews 12:1-3 has become somewhat of a life verse for me: a measuring stick to determine what’s worth indulging and what I ought to abandon. The writer doesn’t just encourage us to avoid sin; the author urges us to “throw off everything that hinders” us.
Then, in 2 Timothy 2:22, the Apostle Paul writes, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (NIV).
We shouldn’t dance on the line of temptation believing the lie we’d never cross it.
Spiritually, X was no longer a safe space.
The platform has — for years — had a problem with child sexual abuse material (CSAM), known colloquially as child pornography. In fact, the problem has become so pronounced that, last year, several major brands pulled their contracts with then-Twitter over concerns their ads were appearing next to accounts peddling CSAM.
To be fair, Musk did say last December that addressing child sexual exploitation on X would be a top priority. And the platform claimed in January of this year to have suspended some 400,000 accounts — think about that: nearly half a million users — that created, distributed, or engaged with CSAM.
Even if X pulled down every obviously illicit account, there’s still no way, with any pornography, to know what’s actually going on: Are those depicted of legal age? Are they sober? Does every person consent to what’s happening? Were they in any way coerced into appearing in front of the camera?
The truth of the matter is there is absolutely no way to definitively answer any of those questions. And even if there was a way to answer them with any degree of certainty, it doesn’t matter, because pornography is a sin that harms those who produce it, star in it, and consume it.
Pornography consumption changes the brain chemistry of those who view it, can lead to sexually violent behavior, often causes sexual dysfunction, encourages the objectification of women, and has profoundly negative effects on consumers’ self esteem.
Physically, X was no longer a safe space.
In the book of James, the author calls Christians to be “doers of the Word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22) and later offers this clear warning: “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17).
The spiritual and physical pitfalls looming on X became a greater threat than the benefit of staying on the platform. It was no longer a safe space for me convictionally, so I deleted my account.
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