Around, like, 2013, I stopped eating meat. First I just cut out pork, then meat altogether, and eventually I was consistent about it. The meat industry is unfathomably horrible, and its horribleness extends in many dimensions. I didn’t want any part in it, and I still don’t. I still eat dairy, so I’m not perfect, but I’ve picked my battle and drawn my line. I stand by it. It is worth it to me to not cross that line.
In the same vein, I used to like Twitter. There’s a lot of cool stuff on there, like good jokes. There’s also a lot of amazing political activists who have done so much work to educate people about vital and critical issues. For example, I credit people I followed on Twitter with teaching me about trans rights, or the concepts of prison and police abolition. Women and nonbinary techies on Twitter became my unwitting mentors and exemplars. They did a lot to broaden my world. Also I read many many jokes about dogs. It was fun and useful.
Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of Nazis. There are an unjustifiable amount of Nazis.
Many other people have done very good jobs of explaining how Twitter is a bad website, but I really like Mike Monteiro’s blog post here. Twitter is sad, and it makes me sad. In that way it is a microcosm of entire tech industry. It could be, and very nearly is, so much more than the cesspool that it has consciously allowed itself to become.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, though, was that Twitter recently posted profit for the first time. So that means, in the shallowest and most cynical of use of the term, Jack Dorsey’s artificial controversy engine is “working”. I am aghast. I am revolted. And I am leaving.
I didn’t have a lot of followers. Just 159 at the time of this writing, and very few ever engaged with me, so I know I was never making @jack as much money the POTUS. Here’s my most successful tweet ever. @jack won’t notice, I think, another small account shutting off its lights in response to the sustained and unaddressed harassment encouraged by his platform.
So, folks, consider not being on Twitter anymore.