Twitter Users Share Responsibility for Creating a Cesspool

created May 29, 2019

Twitter has been nicknamed the "Cesspool of the Internet." From what little I have experienced with Twitter, and from what I have read about Twitter's problems, it's a well-earned moniker.

Using Twitter to bitch about Twitter not doing more to reduce the service's toxicity approaches insanity. These Twitter whiners are partly to blame for Twitter vermin being allowed to run roughshod over users.

If the Twitter complainers wanted real change with Twitter, then they should delete their Twitter accounts and say goodbye to their narcissistic following counts.

Taking a sabbatical won't accomplish anything. Real activism involves users deleting their Twitter accounts and embracing the open internet: personal websites, feeds, and email.

If tens of millions of Twitter users deleted their accounts in dramatic fashion by announcing their intentions and informing users where to find their content, then this might get the attention of Wall Street, which would get the attention of Twitter's board of directors, which might get the attention of Twitter's management.

If Twitter miraculously changed for the better, then the people who deleted their Twitter accounts might rejoin and use Twitter along with their own websites. Or maybe these former Twitter users would realize that the open internet works better for their needs, and they wouldn't need Twitter v2.0.

Twitter is in the outrage business. If decent people continue to waste their time complaining about Twitter ignoring the harassers, then that complaining is a form of engagement that benefits Twitter's bottom line.

Twitter finally made a profit over the past year. Twitter won't make drastic changes to improve the "health" of the service because major changes could decrease overall engagement, which would ultimately upset Wall Street.

As along as Wall Street is satisfied, then Twitter's changes will be small scale, token-like modifications that accomplish little.


May 29, 2019 - vice.com - Twitter Has Started Researching Whether White Supremacists Belong on Twitter

Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's head of trust and safety, legal and public policy, said:

"Is it the right approach to deplatform these individuals? Is the right approach to try and engage with these individuals? How should we be thinking about this? What actually works?"

Mediagazer link for the vice.com story.

Twitter management feels the need to research how purveyors of hate and violence use Twitter.

These were some of the reactions, attached to the Mediagazer link.

Tweet

Here's something that Twitter doesn't seem to understand: There's vast financial incentive for extremists to become more extreme on these platforms, by the very nature of interaction-based algorithmic growth. There's no financial incentive for humanity.

But I'm certain that Twitter understands the financial incentive for Twitter to permit engagement of all kinds.

Tweet

Moving the Overton Window and having the most unique/outrageous/contrarian take is the very backbone of YouTube political personalities. Directing blame at specific characters/caricatures and going against the grain of the mainstream at every turn is the best way to monetize.

Tweet

When the strategy for dealing with hate speech is "counterspeech", you're putting the onus of producing counterspeech on the people most affected by hate speech.

A tweet by Mike Monteiro appeared with the Mediagazer discussion. I thought of him when I saw this story on Mediagazer. Mike's tweet was a response to the vice.com headline: "Twitter Has Started Researching Whether White Supremacists Belong on Twitter".

Mike's tweet:

Weird, because Twitter users have NEVER mentioned wanting this.

The above comments and many more attached to the Mediagazer link were good observations, but many or all of the individual reactions were posted at Twitter. How is that good?

Recently, I finished reading Mike's entertaining, informative, and enraging 2019 book, titled Ruined by Design.

In his book, Mike wants employees to change websites, services, and products for the better from within, but if that's impossible, then Mike advises the employees to leave their companies for ethical reasons.

But for two companies, Mike said that it's better to leave and not try to change the businesses for the better. From page 10 of Mike's book with my emphasis added:

The goal of this book is to help you do the right thing in environments designed to make it easier to do the wrong thing. (If you work at Uber or Twitter, just quit. We'll also be talking about when to walk away later in this book.)

But in my opinion, Twitter users, like Mike, are not blameless. If enough people quit Twitter, especially journalists, then in my opinion, that would shake Twitter's management awake to "fix" the service by erecting barriers, such as charging a monthly or yearly fee. Twitter should add more opt-in features for users, instead of always making content producers block people.

People can find anything useful. Plenty of Twitter users view Twitter as a great utility. If Twitter users don't care or are clueless about Twitter's cesspool qualities, then those users probably never complain about Twitter's problems, and this post is not about those people.

But in my opinion, using Twitter to bitch about Twitter is asinine. And all of these Twitter users are responsible for Twitter being the cesspool. It's highly probable that these Twitter users have been aware of Twitter's toxicity for many years, yet they continue to use Twitter. Their Twitter engagement helps Twitter to earn revenue. Their usage encourages Twitter to do nothing serious. These Twitter users have become part of the problem, not only for enabling Twitter's cesspool reputation but also by hastening the demise of the open web/internet.

Obviously, Twitter users have failed to get drastic changes made with Twitter during Twitter's 13 years of existence. 13 years. How much more time do users like Mike need to realize that they failed? The next solution is for concerned Twitter users to delete their accounts.

Migrate to their own websites, hosted at the their domain names, and interop with micro.blog and/or with other services, not owned by ad-based silos.

Jun 5, 2019

Twitter users contribute to Twitter being a misinformation machine.

https://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/twitterbots-propaganda-disinformation

Jun 16, 2019

Mediagazer headline ...

David Neiwert remains suspended by Twitter for his header image of KKK hoods from his book cover; he says Twitter punishes the fight against white supremacism

... for this story:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/6/14/1864834/-Twitter-is-showing-that-it-won-t-even-try-to-distinguish-hate-speech-from-the-efforts-to-oppose-it

Journalists use the same platform, Twitter, that is used by white supremacists who apparently have Twitter's blessing. It's all about engagement. Anybody using Twitter is partly to blame for this behavior by Twitter.

Naturally, the reactions to that Mediagazer link were tweets.

Ashton Pittman / @ashtonpittman: KKK Grand Wizard David Duke still has an active @Twitter account, but Twitter, which allows actual white supremacists to thrive, suspended journalist @DavidNeiwert because of the illustration on the cover of his book about American white supremacists. Trash,

Forget everything else about this story. The real question is why does user Ashton Pittman continue to use Twitter? He's a journalist. Ashton Pittman gets some of the blame for Twitter's cesspool nature, especially since he's whining about Twitter management's behavior.