#RIPTwitter

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.

Larry wrote:

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.

Author: Joe Vasicek

Joe Vasicek is the author of more than twenty science fiction books, including the Star Wanderers and Sons of the Starfarers series. As a young man, he studied Arabic and traveled across the Middle East and the Caucasus. He claims Utah as his home.

3 thoughts on “#RIPTwitter”

  1. I’d say I was going to miss you on Twitter,…. but I was never there myself! Too much PC drama in social media to make it worthwhile. As a trained historian, I shudder to think what future generations might glean from social media and infer onto our society! Yikes, they’ll think we were bigger boobs than we actually are! :/

  2. As someone who’s not an SF writer, I haven’t minded uncorking the lunacy that today has gripped the culture surrounding the Nebulas and Hugos, each of which used to be the benchmark for great SF literature. If one were to make a comparison from today to 50 years ago, it is the difference between a new house then and a ratty abandoned shack in the woods today.

    However, if I were an SF writer, I’d pretend those people simply don’t exist. In my opinion, at least a simple majority of them have mental health issues and the rest are so naive as to have the minds of children. How that occurred I have no idea, but it self evidently has. They delight in making inflammatory bullying remarks that racially or sexually defame either other authors who are harming no one or tens of millions of people at a time with irrational and hateful conspiracy theories about white privilege, misogyny or micro aggressions. The fact they claim to do that in the name of being against racial and sexual group defamation makes them seem all the more insane.

    In a country with twice as many fireman as transgender, they are obsessed with making transgender the heart of SF stories. Imagine how much of a lunatic I’d seem if I was always stumping for firemen or baseball players in SF stories just because I was a fireman or baseball player. Firemen and baseball players have boundaries and a sense of proportion for the simple reason they’re not nuts. These incredible narcissists don’t have any sense of boundaries whatsoever. If it’s not transgender it’s some other lunatic crusade about the disabled or complaints about feminists who’ve never been able to find a draft office or a war in real life should somehow translate into mighty warriors in epic fantasy or make a mysterious never explained transition into 25th century admirals. The only thing that’s ever kept feminists out of such myths is themselves. That’s reflected in the truth that they’ll whine for sexual diversity in tech to the exact extent they’ll never whine for that in 100% male freezer warehouses. Even that’s too tough for them. If I’m not going to put women in freezer warehouses in the 25th century, why would I put them in war? In 5,000 years of human history no gang of women have ever built great bridges, castles, cathedrals or monuments. That simple observation is misogyny? Changing that to the opposite is too fantastic even for future SF. Everyone is heartily sick of this whining and pretending what never happened did and will. Kameron Hurley gets two Hugos for a fraud called “We Have Always Fought” when she can’t even rightly claim “We Have Always Worked in Freezer Warehouses.” These people are delusional supremacists and batnuts.

    If I were an SF writer I’d follow Peter Hamilton’s lead. He Tweets virtually nothing and maintains a minimal blog presence and let’s his work speak for itself. He’s all about SF for the sake of SF, fun for fun and genre for genre. He’s simply shut these crusaders out, and that’s as much as they deserve. You hear dogs barking in the distance, just shut the window.

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