06.08.20

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Going Write-Only in Twitter (One Step Away From Deleting Twitter)

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 10:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I’m done.

Goodbye, Twitter

Summary: Goodbye, Twitter (sort of); you’ve wasted weeks of my life, but not anymore… I’m moving on, leaving just a shadow of myself in that increasingly hostile site which rewards liars, uncloseted fascists, lynch mobs and privileged trolls

TWITTER is generally very bad (getting worse over time) and exceptionally toxic. There are two recent incidents/examples that prove this and that we’ve covered here [1, 2] (there are several more today and it’s not worth getting down to the finer details). Cults, corporate cults, or cults leveraged by corporations are the ‘new Internet trolls’. They’re a total waste of time to deal with… they’re less likely to do their trolling in blog comments because they lack the presence of their fellow ‘social network’ trolls (what makes up so-called ‘lynch mobs’). Together with their “friends” and “followers” they ‘gang up’ on people to dominate with some narrative, oftentimes a false one (albeit amplified by groupthink). In the Digg.com days (around 2006) we used to speak of “bury brigades”; now there’s stuff like ‘cancel culture’ (not my words; not even a term I want to associate with) and people out there sometimes liaise to mass-report (abuse reports) people for what they deem ‘wrongthink’ (also not a term that I fancy because of unwanted connotations).

“In the Digg.com days (around 2006) we used to speak of “bury brigades”; now there’s stuff like ‘cancel culture’…”Linus Torvalds was right about social control media. All of it. There’s no “good” social control media as the underlying concept is flawed (there’s also no censorship-resistant option). Stallman said something to that effect for years and Torvalds later agreed. Not too long afterwards (after his widely-covered remarks) Google+ shut down (it’s all to do with money, not security), so he lost his presence everywhere but the kernel mailing lists. Many Google+ refugees came to Diaspora (Pluspora).

We’ve often talked about the “Stallman was right” meme; I actually find myself, increasingly as I research some old stuff (for Techrights articles), thinking quite often that “Torvalds was right” too (on many subjects, including the GPL, Stallman and Torvalds do agree; the media contributes to their superficial rift/friction).

“Linus Torvalds was right about social control media.”Short of just deleting my Twitter account I’ve decided that, for the time being, I’ll make the account merely a shadow of Pleroma/Diaspora. I won’t respond to anything there (not just rude things; nothing at all). The account thus becomes merely a carbon copy — something that should be treated as such. I’ll continue to reply on networks that are Free/libre and mostly decentralised. But not in Twitter. It’s over. I’m done. I’ve wasted far too much time helping these charlatans sell ads in their toxic, divisive, Trump-boosting (megaphone) environment. All I receive is threats there; death threats, threats of termination of my account, lawsuit threats and so on.

Some people may misunderstand; they might mistake lack of reply for being rude. So I will update the profile there accordingly. They can speak and I’d speak back if they did so over a freedom-respecting platform such as Pleroma.site or JoinDiaspora. I’m active in both and I check those regularly.

“I’ve long told people that if they’re not on social control media, then it’s wise to not even start.”What about Techrights? Well, Techrights as a site was never on social control media and in hindsight/retrospect it was a fantastic decision. Lots of nuisance/time-wasting spared.

I’ve long told people that if they’re not on social control media, then it’s wise to not even start. Some of those networks are designed not just for censorship and spying; they’re designed to be addictive. That in its own right should be a warning label; like that which we find on cigarettes/cigarette packs.

So, in short, my Twitter account is now write-only (WO, not RO). It’ll have copies of what I post in Pleroma.site and JoinDiaspora. But that’s all. Nothing more. No replies, no “retweets”…

The only regret I am going to have is that I didn’t do this years ago…

“I am not doing this for attention but for purely practical reasons; I’ve long attempted to come up with a solution to the above problems.”I welcome others who have an active Twitter account to ‘join me’ in this kind of ‘protest’; no need to delete any accounts, at least not yet… so, in effect, nothing gets ‘lost’ (I posted nearly 800,000 tweets over the years).

I am not doing this for attention but for purely practical reasons; I’ve long attempted to come up with a solution to the above problems. I think this approach is the least harmful, at least from curators’ perspective. I don’t want everything I wrote to be purged and I don’t want the account terminated (obviously). Pragmatically speaking, I’d rather do more exercise and spend time with family than waste time on “Twitter fights” (no better than the Facebook nonsense).

Techrights will publish a lot more in the coming weeks/months. Getting rid of Twitter (except as a shadow) would help/contribute towards that.

Don’t forget to tell the kids, “if they’re not on social control media, then it’s wise to not even start!” Your online “friends” aren’t real friends or surrogates thereof. Just like “esports” aren’t actually sports.

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