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Twitter Slides Further into Irrelevancy
Twitter used to be interesting. I signed up a decade ago and quickly became addicted. You could meet smart people with similar interests, funny people with disturbing interests, and get breaking news a day before the cable nets got around to it.
A lot has changed in 10 years. Today, Twitter is mostly dumb people yelling at each other and self-appointed hall monitors trying to shut down accounts they don’t follow. On Saturday, feminist Meghan Murphy was permanently banned for stating that men aren’t women. Sunday, conservative commentator Jesse Kelly was permanently banned for … who knows? Twitter gave no explanation. In response, ur-blogger Instapundit deactivated his account and others are likely to follow.
With every dead account, Twitter gets a little less interesting. And since the social media site hasn’t been very interesting for years, that’s something CEO Jack Dorsey can little afford. There’s an obvious anti-conservative bias at play — most of the big names are booted for disagreeing with leftist narratives. Meanwhile, charmers like Louis Farrakhan say whatever they want.
Perhaps in a few years, everyone on the site can agree with each other about everything. Problem for Twitter is, there’ll only be a dozen members.
I’ve considered deleting my Twitter account a few times in the past year. Instead, I just spend less time there. I’ll tweet a joke or two, toss in a couple of links, then disappear for a few days. Sometimes, a few weeks. Then I enjoy real life, whether reading, writing, or hanging out with friends and family. (I also enjoy napping.)
Hopefully, Twitter will restore Murphy and Kelly’s accounts soon and Instapundit will return. But for their sakes, it might be better if they don’t. Real life is a lot more interesting than a dying social media service.
For those of us seeking intelligent conversation online, we know where to sign up.Published in Technology
Hey, I thought Twitter was getting better recently. For instance, I’m not seeing nearly as many ads for Beto.
What is this “real life” of which you speak? (And, damn it all, why haven’t I been suspended? Gotta work harder, I guess…)
I was on Twitter briefly when it first began, I think in 2005, but I didn’t stay long. Now I’m off Facebook too, and I don’t miss it at all. I agree with you that Twitter is digging its own grave. And Facebook is pretty much already there.
It hasn’t launched yet, but you can sign up early if you’re so inclined.
Retweeted to $TWTR.
Another ricochet user and I were a member of a mostly political forum that was about 90-95% anti-conservative. They put up with us since the George W. Bush administration. However, once Trump was elected, they immediately banned all the possible conservatives even though I don’t think any of us really supported Trump, even after the Republican convention.
The Cold Civil War on many technology-adjacent fronts regarding social media is really largely just white men versus other white men. Older and more rural white guys have been using technology created by younger urban white guys against them. White men supported Donal Trump for president 63%-31%. However, that percentage is reversed and extremely magnified in Silicone Valley and similar places. Probably 63% to 99% of these white men voted for Hillary Clinton. Look at certain fields which are filled with white men. Do the people at such gatherings and conventions automatically think that about 100% of the white guys in the room are Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders voters? What is the next most dominant group at certain gatherings? White women who supported Donald Trump by 10 percentage points, 53%-43%, which would be a landslide for a presidential election.
Leftism has been the dominant culture for decades, and dominant cultures can often feel threatened by free speech.
Twitter is a great website, but I don’t really believe that anyone should be banned forever or very long from most social media sites.
Coming out of the basic roots of MySpace, Facebook at least has the option for people to be non-political in their postings and networking (though of course there are at least 1-2 members of every family who don’t seem to be able to post a thing if it doesn’t have something to do with politics). It also skews older and is seen by many of the trendy as being hopelessly backwards, in terms of grandma posting pictures of the grandkids or other people putting up memes or videos of kittens and puppies.
Twitter is 140-240 characters, which means it’s short, to the point and leans more towards quick hits that make snark and cynicism have far more currency there, as well as feeding attacks on users from angry virtue-signaling digital mobs. The redeeming characteristics it has for providing quick updates for news, sports or other public information recedes into the background by the damage Twitter causes to public dialogue.
But at the same time, the outrageous outrage the left currently has towards Facebook is nowhere to be seen when it comes to Twitter, probably because they see the majority of the angry Twitter mobs as being their base voters, and they’d be going after their base if they were to call for Twitter to reform its policies. Combine that with Twitter’s own left leanings, and you get a company more and more willing to put the ban hammer down on the right, while allowing similar violations on the left to go unpunished.
I should give your comment a pity-flag.
Jon, I dropped off Twitter a month or so ago, and I’m happier. For the funny/interesting things it has (like David Burge), it has thousands of examples as to why maybe, just maybe, not all people should be allowed access to a computer. Actually, I’d like to hand most of those people a rake and get them to work on my yard. If you have that much free time, do something productive. For me.
Arguing with friends and family over politics is bad. Why put yourself through that with strangers? To what end?
Confirmation bias makes for a boring world. Too bad Gab attracted all the neo-Nazis and white supremacists. It could’ve been a nice Twitter alternative. I still have hope for it. We’ll see…
Thanks for providing me all the more reason to be glad I never signed up for Twitter in the first place.
I disappeared permanently about 2 weeks after I signed up. Just never seemed to be any point to it.
I love/hate Twitter. It’s so addictive, and I usually leave it angrier and more despairing about the state of the country/world. I need to give it up!
Facebook is a no-politics zone for me. I don’t post anything controversial, but it’s great for sharing those pithy capsules of wisdom or comedy scenes that seem to crop up in my life, like the time a lizard got into my car and I couldn’t find it to get it out and had to drive with the knowledge It Is Still In Here.
I proactively banned myself by deleting my account.
I don’t participate in any of this but I thought if you did that you connected with only those you selected to follow. Would you not be able on Gab, for instance, to avoid those alt-right groups?
Anticipate the market decline of the early entrants dominating for the last decade. There will be many new competitors. Then those who do choose to use these various social media will be able to choose what suits them, some of which will be very specialized in content.
Yes, people can avoid them. Just as the vilest racist has the right to speak, the rest of us have the right to refuse to listen.
Have we become so accustomed to speech being squelched that we are shocked when we see unpopular words? I don’t like White Supremacists any more than the next guy. But I’m old enough to remember when the ACLU got behind the right of the KKK to march in a Jewish suburb of Chicago. Freedom of speech isn’t worth anything if we give it only to speech we like. Any totalitarian despot does that. Freedom of speech is of value only when it covers Nazi skinheads.
It isn’t so much that Gab has attracted any of these groups, so much as being a refuge for people banned from Twitter. I’ve heard mention of thousands of people on Gab from Brazil banned from Twitter in connection with the recent elections there.
If it’s mostly the banned, you’re going to expect it to fall somewhere in between the island of misfit toys and a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
I never got the addiction. I formerly tweeted the occasional political tweet, but I unfollowing all political tweeters limiting myself to college football and board game fans.
I never had a Twitter account, but I do like to read several people on Twitter.
It’s weird how so many of the people I like to read keep getting banned. And I can never figure out what it was that got them banned.
I read this weekend that it is now forbidden to “deadname” on Twitter, and such a act will get you instantly banned.
This is yet another way how Twitter exists to serve SJWs mainly.
Thanks to Jon’s post on Twitter I discovered Ricochet.Thanks for the heads up. Presently learning my way around here.
Yes, Gab being a “refuge” is a better way to put it than I did. @RightAngles, I agree in principle, but the swastikas and N-words are tough to take. It’s the tension we always have between free speech and hate speech…a difficult issue. But as they say over there, maybe the cure for speech we don’t like is more free speech.
I agree it sure is tough to take. The toughest part for me is that the Left gleefully points to them as representing our party, which of course isn’t true. But I hate giving them ammo. I try to see it as proof of a strong society, one that can withstand such idiocy and not fall because of it. Nietszche wrote that the strongest society would be one with no laws because they weren’t needed.
Great commentary as usual. In other news, this is my first comment on Ricochet, even though I’ve had an account here for years. For what it’s worth, I’ve met and befriended a lot of people because of Twitter. However, all I do nowadays on Twitter is post music links and replies to some of my favorite accounts. I ignore the noise for the most part. But you’re right, Twitter is less interesting than it has been in the past, generally.
Jon Gabriel, Ed.
“With every dead account, Twitter gets a little less interesting. And since the social media site hasn’t been very interesting for years, that’s something CEO Jack Dorsey can little afford.”
A point well-made. Ricochet is poised here. Great piece.
Welcome to the RicoChatter class!