Farewell, Fail Whale
I think I am done posting on Twitter. It’s kind of sad to say because for the most part, it was a good experience (especially in the earlier years). I met many people through it and several are now good friends. The jokes were top-notch, the main characters were wild, and of course there were the important debates about the color of a dress (it’s still blue and black).
Unfortunately, the site grew worse over the years, allowing more bigoted content, or at least moderating it very poorly and inconsistently. I think it was 2018 when I first expressed a desire to no longer contribute to the platform, though that didn’t stick. I didn’t have the things in place that I wanted before leaving. Then a pandemic happened, depression hit harder, and I lost a lot of motivation to work on my site or even write. Thankfully that motivation has been coming back over the last year.
Then Elon Musk bought Twitter and started making a mixture of dumb, funny, and awful decisions. There was an explosion of hate speech and he allowed previously-banned accounts back on the site, including antisemites and outright Nazis, like the editor of The Daily Stormer (Wikipedia link). Elon has boosted misinformation, COVID conspiracy theories, and used anti-trans language. More on twitterisgoinggreat.com.
That was enough for me. I’m in a place where I don’t need to be on Twitter for work or anything, so I’m able to step away. I have a new How to Follow Me page which I am promoting in my bio and pinned tweet. I have no plans to post again unless there are massive improvements. I find that really unlikely, though. Even if it did happen, I think Twitter’s moment will be done by that point and we should just move on. I am keeping the account for now because I don’t want it squatted by someone else and I am going to be archiving the tweets (here is my very first one).
To be clear, I don’t judge anyone for deciding to stay on the site. I know for some people it is a vital way to network, promote their work, and get work. If you are able, I would suggest checking into an alternative like Mastodon. Also, if you are interested in taking more control over your online presence, check out the IndieWeb community, which I am a part of. It is a very welcoming group with an active chat and regular virtual events to discuss getting set up on the independent web and improving the experience for everyone.
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