Twitter now looks like a burning garbage can rolling down a steep hill toward a nuclear power plant, but I went ahead and signed off: it’s a great tool.
Posted at 5:00 am
I say Twitter now looks like a burning garbage can because the place smells worse. The virulence of trolls – anonymous or not – makes the air there more unbreathable every day. It’s like the waiting room of a mental asylum.
Uninhibited Trumpism has multiplied the number of aggressive accounts that exist only to insult the ideological “enemies” of a modern far-right nebula. Even here, at our latitude. Then came the pandemic, which created hordes of anti-health rabid people who made Twitter the site of all their fights, of all their obsessions.
I’ve always said that to exist on Twitter, you have to block intruders. So, before the pandemic, in February 2020, I blocked 1600 accounts in 11 years. A year ago, after 20 months of the pandemic: 5257 blocked accounts.
I just checked: I blocked 8181 accounts. There is inflation even in Twitter blocks. At this rate, I should reach the plateau of 10,000 blocked accounts by 2023.
I’m not complaining about anything, I see. I don’t believe I blocked 8181 people in flesh, I believe that on Twitter many people have multiple accounts that they deploy in a way to make it look like they have more.
Some have ideological, political or commercial goals. Others have no life and thus give themselves a kind of artificial importance: the power of the nuisance is a stump of power, but the power in their head is the same.
Twitter is a game of shadows and mirrors: we don’t always know who is who, we often don’t know who is hiding behind an account. Just as we learned that the Russians were manipulating Facebook in 2016 to help Donald Trump, we recently learned that Twitter accounts are being run by China to destabilize the United States.
Similarly, Twitter is a small player, numerically more modest than Instagram and Facebook. But Twitter is popular with politicians, journalists, activists of all kinds. People who speak loudly, who shine. But a boss of The Pressa few years ago, it was explained to me that Bing generated more visitors to lapresse.ca than Twitter…
Do you know what Bing is, without Googling that name?
Answer: this is Microsoft’s search engine…
I’m telling you about Twitter because the richest man on the planet, Elon Musk, bought the platform. A hyperactive user of the platform, Tesla’s CEO made a purchase offer of 44 billion US dollars, an offer he withdrew before being forced to honor it.
Paying $44 billion for Twitter is like paying $100 million for the corner store.
Musk is a libertarian. Libertarianism is as strict an ideology as Maoism, except that this ideology now controls the Republican Party in the USA. For libertarians, we should be able to say anything, somehow, to anyone. Example of saying anything: Musk once compared Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler, in support of Ottawa’s “freedom” convoy, no less.
I point out that Musk has already said he’s looking for Twitter, too woke up and that he wants to “restore the balance” by buying it. The far right celebrated when Musk took over Twitter: I thought they recognized the tweeter-in-chief (his expression) as sympathetic to their views. Racists have even started chanting the word that starts with an N on Twitter, just to see if they get banned…
Less than 72 hours since Elon Musk the boss of Twitter he expressed an absolutely ridiculous conspiracy theory about the assassination attempt against Nancy Pelosi (number 3 of the American government) at the hands of a drunk demented to far right disinformation. .
Here, Musk is in line with Twitter, which has been the Tesla of global disinformation for several years.
Many are wondering if they will stay at Twitter with Elon Musk’s arrival. Musk has already said he will charge $8 a month to those with the small hook of a “verified” account, which is my case. I won’t pay, on principle.
On the other hand, I’d pay $20 a month if everyone paid to open an account: losers who run 30 accounts to harass their targets from the comfort of their mom’s basement wouldn’t pay $600 US per month to do that , they can find other hobbies…
Like what ?
I suggest replicating the Olympic Stadium on popsicle sticks, to begin with.
I persisted and signed: Twitter is a great tool, part of my daily diet of information.
Since 2009, I have discovered voices, ideas, perspectives and media that I would not have discovered otherwise. It’s like injecting yourself intravenously in real time. For a journalist, it’s like heroin: it’s addictive.
I explained to you my analogy of Twitter as a burning garbage can. Here’s why I think this container is headed for a metaphorical nuclear power plant: With Musk, God knows what will become of Twitter as a conduit for misinformation and conspiracy theories, as the leading fact-digger in the world.
I’m holding my nose, I’m staying on Twitter, but I’m not optimistic.