Two weeks ago, I decided that I was done with Twitter. This came after a long series of controversies, starting with gay conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos’s de-verification and culminating with Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council. For those of you unfamiliar with all of this Twitter-related internet drama, Sargon of Akkad does an excellent job explaining it:
I was originally going to blog about this a couple of weeks ago, but then Larry Correia came out and said that he had made the exact same decision, for much the same reasons I had. That surprised me, though, because Larry was one of the more active Twitter users I followed, with an impressively large following. To give that all up… wow.
You’ve probably heard about how Twitter is falling apart. Their stock price has been tanking.
Recently they created a Trust and Safety Council, to protect people from being triggered with hurtful dissenting ideas. Of course the council is made up of people like Anita Sarkesian, so you know how it is going to swing.
They’ve been unverifying conservatives, and outright banning conservative journalists. Then there were rumors of “shadow banning” where people would post, but their followers wouldn’t see it in their timelines. So it’s like you’re talking to a room that you think has 9,000 people in it, but when the lights come on you’ve been wasting time talking to an empty room.
In the last couple of months before I signed off, I saw this happening myself—not so much the shadow-banning, which is invisible by nature, but the fact that certain hashtags (like #GamerGate) fail to auto-complete. I also saw it in a double-standard applied to conservative Twitter users like Adam Baldwin, who had his account locked for tweeting that anti-GG people are unattractive, while around the same time a certain liberal journalist compared Ted Cruz to Hitler and received no disciplinary action whatsoever. Lots of little stuff like this, which over time builds up.
All of this probably sounds like a tempest in a teapot if you aren’t on Twitter. And yeah, it kind of is. In the last two weeks, I’ve learned that life is generally better without Twitter than it is with it. No more getting sucked into vapid tit-for-tat arguments in 140-character chunks. No more passive-aggressive blocking by people who are allergic to rational, intelligent debate. No more having to worry about being an obvious target for perpetually-offended SJW types who, in their constant efforts to outdo each other with their SJW virtue signaling, can spark an internet lynch mob faster than a California wildfire.
The one big thing that I miss about Twitter is the rapid way that news disseminates through the network. I can’t tell you how many major news stories I heard about through Twitter first—often while they were still unfolding. But if the #RIPTwitter controversy demonstrates anything, it’s that Twitter now has both the means and the motive to suppress major news stories that contradict their preferred political narrative. That puts them somewhere around Pravda as a source for news and information.
Am I going to delete my account the same way that I deleted my Facebook account? Probably not. I deleted my Facebook account because of privacy concerns and Facebook’s data mining. With Twitter, it’s more of an issue with the platform itself. I don’t need to delete my account to sign off and stop using it.
No more Facebook, no more Twitter… does this mean I’m no longer on any social media at all? Practically speaking, yes. For someone who makes their living on the internet, that may not be the smartest decision, but I do still have this blog, where I know I will never be un-verified or shadow-banned.
Blogging may seem like an old-fashioned relic of the late oughts or early teens, but I’ve always enjoyed it and have been doing it consistently (more or less) for the past ten years. That’s more than I can say for any social media site. For those of you who are active on social media, I do intend to keep the share links active on my blog posts and pages. However, the best place to find me online still is and always has been this blog.