Social Media: Going Passive on Twitter

I’m going “passive” on Twitter, for the time being. I had thought about what to do with my Twitter account for quite some time because unlike Facebook (I deleted my account there early in 2020), it does have some value: it’s really useful to find news and information, especially locally – from our NWS office, the county, the fire department, and so on.

But at the same time, Twitter is giving a platform to despicable people and organizations who spread lies and hate, just like Facebook does. I do think that Twitter isn’t as much in denial about this as Facebook is, but they’re not doing nearly enough against it, either.

Last night, I stumbled upon yet another “co-co” (conservative-conspiracy) account tweeting ridiculous and already debunked falsehoods about the election (“there’s a guy in Pennsylvania that died in 1984 and he voted in 2020!”). That account has over one million followers.

On some accounts (not this one), Twitter adds an easily overlooked, light-blue text on white background banner underneath such posts that essentially says “uhm, this might not be true, maybe?” – and that’s not enough. Banners that call out lies should be bold red text and on a black background ideally… if they’d ask me… (which they don’t).

Joking aside – I think that social media platforms, Twitter included, need to take more responsibility for what they’re doing to society – and stop this. Implement a three-strikes rule or something for high profile accounts, and if they continue posting lies, shut them down. (or let them go to Parler, the new home for the deranged, financed by the Mercers… yeah, the people who also sponsor Trump and Breitbart 🙄)

Until that changes, I decided to not support that any longer with my own content. I’m not interested in helping Twitter be an attractive platform if they’re also allowing the destruction of society and reality by letting these people spread their hate and lies. For what? A few clicks to my website? Not worth it for me.

So I’m staying on Twitter, but I’m going “passive”. I will not share anything on Twitter anymore, I’ll just read. Once they decide to take a hard stance on the hate-mongers and reality-deniers, I might reconsider.

Even as a reader on Twitter, it’s tough: just reading the comments on any local authority (especially COVID-19 related ones) opens a trapdoor into the abyss of idiots.

In general, I find it hard to not get sucked in (following most trending topics quickly turns into doomscrolling). At least it’s still possible to avoid their algorithm – for now. And with my ad blocker, I’ve also clipped out the trending stuff and explore sections, and I am NOT using Twitter on my phone (the only somewhat ‘social’ app on my phone is WordPress).

Burned landscape after the Chariot Fire appears like an infrared false-color rendition; Laguna Mountains, California, July 2013.
Burned landscape after the Chariot Fire appears like an infrared false-color rendition; Laguna Mountains, California, July 2013.

2 thoughts on “Social Media: Going Passive on Twitter

  1. I’ve avoided Twitter but I have a FB account that I keep because I’m in touch with people there who I wouldn’t be in touch with any other way, except by writing emails. I usually enjoy what these old FB friends post and I don’t look at anything else. I don’t post there myself, except to sometimes put up a WP post. We each have to find what works for us. It’s a constantly changing landscape, isn’t it? My own struggle is more with trying to limit time at the computer – and look, here I am! 😉

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