TraCe leaves Twitter/X

Why the research center is suspending its activities on the social media platform

The Directorate of the Research Center “Transformations of Political Violence” (TraCe) has de­cided to leave the social network X (formerly Twitter). TraCe, among other things, pro­motes the scientific search for peace. Since the takeover by Elon Musk, the social net­work has moved in the opposite direction.

The BMBF-funded inter­disciplinary research center has been investigating trans­formations of political violence since 2022. The center aims to identify the con­sequences of political violence for peace within society and between nations, and seeks to de­velop strategies to contain political violence under changing con­ditions. Twitter/X, on the other hand, “is currently res­ponsible for so many fake news and for fueling violence that a center for violence re­search in particular should no longer be involved with this platform,” says TraCe co-spokesperson Prof. Dr Astrid Erll from Goethe University Frankfurt. 

Since registering on Twitter in August 2022, TraCe has gained almost 650 followers from various communities and countries. TraCe wants to communi­cate its content beyond the “familiar” circle of in­stitutions and individuals and thus engage in a public dialogue, for which Twitter/X at the moment still offers the greatest reach. However, the arguments against the social network pre­vail: “How public communi­cation regarding political violence is shaped is also our responsibility as researchers. The space that X has created is in­creasingly counterproductive,” adds TraCe co-spokesperson Prof. Dr Jonas Wolff from PRIF - Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. In addition, the TraCe know­ledge transfer team has ob­served that new followers have often turned out to be bots and that the reach of posts with ex­ternal links is decreasing. Last but not least, many TraCe members have left X with their per­sonal accounts.

TraCe has been active on the X alternative Bluesky since October 2023 and also posts regularly on LinkedIn. Our videos and live­streams can still be found on YouTube.