November 26, 2018

"Twitter's gone crazy banning people on the right, so I’ve deactivated my Twitter account."

Blogs Glenn Reynolds, at Instapundit.

With this update:
People seem to want more, and although there’s nothing duller than posting a screed on why you’re quitting a platform, here’s the gist: I’ve never liked Twitter even though I’ve used it. I was a late adopter, and with good reason. It’s the crystal meth of social media — addictive and destructive, yet simultaneously unsatisfying. When I’m off it I’m happier than when I’m on it. That it’s also being run by crappy SJW types who break their promises, to users, shareholders, and the government, of free speech is just the final reason. Why should I provide free content to people I don’t like, who hate me? I’m currently working on a book on social media, and I keep coming back to the point that Twitter is far and away the most socially destructive of the various platforms. So I decided to suspend them, as they are suspending others. At least I’m giving my reasons, which is more than they’ve done usually.
But Twitter is Trump's drug of choice. He loves that "crystal meth."

"Why should I provide free content to people I don’t like, who hate me?" You could just ask "Why should I provide free content...?" If you have a blog that thousands of people visit, you have much less motivation to use Twitter. It's much nicer to have your own place, but most people can't — or don't believe they can — establish a flow of visitors to their own freestanding site. They might prefer it if they could get it, but it doesn't seem possible to most people and to any newcomers. And Twitter does not seem to work as a way to capture and drive traffic to your site. That means if you use it, you're caught in their game of competing for attention, attention that is always only fixed on Twitter.

73 comments:

David Begley said...

“When I’m off it I’m happier than when I’m on it.”

Short Twitter.

rhhardin said...

Sites are subject to Zipf's law; the top few sites get all the traffic because everybody goes where everybody else goes. Thousands get very little traffic.

It's somewhat about how good the site is but even a much better site can't easily break in against Zipf's law.

A top site loses position only by making some horrible mistake.

Leland said...

I think for celebrities of the Movie and Music type, and even the President; a webpage wouldn't have as great an audience. Most of the ones people can name do have such a site, including WhiteHouse.gov, but who goes there routinely? Twitter is like an RSS feed for dummies.

That's my view from outside Twitter. I've never had an account.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

But Twitter is Trump's drug of choice. He loves that "crystal meth."

Twitter allows him to bypass the gatekeepers. I'm sure that if he wasn't the president that the PTB at Twitter would have banned him long ago. Trump is a new media guy. The MSM gave him all that air time during the campaign because they thought he was digging his own grave. The coverage was just as negative as it is now. But, because of alternate media, and the FNC, he was able to create an alternative to the establishment narrative. Twitter is starting to go crazy banning anyone to the right of Pol Pot and the "beautiful people" are turning on Facebook because they are starting to understand that social media is being used by dissidents as the modern samizdat. Not that they have any idea what the hell samizdat was.

rhhardin said...

I use twitter to follow people by just going to their twitter feed, e.g. Iowahawk. No account of my own.

rhhardin said...

In particular I don't see responses to people I follow.

rhhardin said...

The young have a self-awareness problem. Getting laid is more important to them.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Twitter is where you can use death threats against anyone not leftwing.

rhhardin said...

I mean who under age 40 sees the value of a misogynistic or racist rant. They're blind to the comedy of social taboos to the point of tyranny.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The crack down on free speech in America is all for the glory of the corrupt Clintons.

rehajm said...

I keep coming back to the point that Twitter is far and away the most socially destructive of the various platforms.

It makes lefties fight each other. Creative destruction in those cases...

Remember when Jack Dorsey said something deemed sexist by the misogyny police. Some Silicon Valley 'journalist' declared Dorsey should be fired. The next day she was on CNBC at lunch time screeching Yesterday I demanded he be fired and today at noon he's still there!!!! Twitter certainly contributed to some people's addiction to instant gratification.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I got off Twitter a few months ago and my screen time is way down. My agitation is way down, as well. I miss not having instant updates on breaking news, which is my favorite thing about Twitter, but it was not good for my mental health. I also took Drudgereport off my favorites bar although I have visited it 2-3 times a week. I'm trying to be more creative and detached from political drama. It's generally working. For instance, I've been reading Just Kids, by Patti Smith, this morning and didn't open my laptop for the first hour and a half of my morning. I completed the 12 week Artist's Way exercise last week and I opened my Writing folder for the first time in a year or so. My political positions are solid; I know where I stand on almost all issues. There is not much significant being talked about in any form of media and rarely any policy debate. It's just toxic identity politics gotcha and while it's seductive, when I indulge I feel used.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The assumption, in the pre-modern era when ARPANET transitioned into the Internet, was that the free flow of information would usher in a borderless utopia because citizens would inform themselves using bias free sources and therefore would make the "correct" decisions. Stop laughing, I was there, I saw it with my own eyes. Oh, and a lot of people thought that ads should be banned too. Damn it! Stop laughing!

rhhardin said...

California should require at least 90% of corporate boards of directors are old white men.

AllenS said...

I dropped Twitter long before I quit Facebook. I'm a trend setter.

rhhardin said...

The first thing ARPANET supported was sharing porn.

Browndog said...

I don't have a twitter account, but I read twitter feeds more than websites and blogs. I discovered that all the "news" from "reporters" is generated on twitter, so I decided to go the source.

This tweet I read this morning is particularly relevant:

Carpe Donktum
��
‏ @Carpedonktum
8h8 hours ago

Once upon a time there was a mega monopoly in the tech industry. Conservabros were all like, "Relax dude, free market capitalism will fix it."—It did not and liberals took over the world.

The End.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

It was a pretty stupid assumption even back then. People used to get into what were called "Flame Wars" about which Operating System was better, UNIX or Windows. FYI, its UNIX. And which version of UNIX was best, System V or BSD. Definitely System V.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The first thing ARPANET supported was sharing porn.

True. I was a USENET admin and desktop support tech, among other things, at a US Government facility. Back in the day when you had to really work at getting a computer virus.

Balfegor said...

But Twitter is Trump's drug of choice. He loves that "crystal meth."

He also calls Diet Coke "garbage" and has commented that he has never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke, but it's still his primary source of hydration.

Temujin said...

I've done a handful of correct things in my life, one of them being getting off of Twitter almost as soon as I started up (early on). I realized almost immediately how bad this was going to be for me and everyone in my way...I deleted my account after about a day. I could see it was (a) a time suck, (b) a place where I was sure to say something stupid or regretful, that would be floating out there forever, (c) an emotional shouting hall where much is put out based on instant emotional pushes and not much is actually thought out. Later on- well after I had dropped out of Twitter, it became clear it was being run by that same group of black framed glasses wearing folks who seem to appear at all of the censoring/lecturing vortexes.

I now fill my few addictions with Althouse and a few other sites instead. At least I can read some thoughtful responses and mostly interesting topics that run the gamut. Though it does turn into a shouting hall from time to time (and I don't help it...from time to time).

Earnest Prole said...

twitter = mob

Temujin said...

As for Trump's usage, he's actually using it to his advantage, and to my dismay. I can't help but think that the public would be much more focused on his actual accomplishments than on his verbiage and bad thought processes if he kept those to himself. That said, he would have to live with the media translating his moves and portraying him as they will (as they would any Republican) without a means of getting out his own view and pummeling them in a way that leaves them sputtering.

As much as I hate Trump's twitter usage, it's created a highly entertaining format for me: watching the media's heads blow up weekly. I find that fun at this point. So sad!

tim in vermont said...

I gave up when I heard that sites where sharing lists of right leaning commenters so if you made a conservative comment on one, you got blocked from many. Also, as the number of followers started to climb, I noticed that I was writing tweets to keep them, which I didn’t like. So for a while I blocked anybody who followed me, shadow banning was the reason I wouldn’t go back. Little tricks that they do like making it all but impossible to find conservative voices unless you typed in their complete name accurately...

It goes on and on. Twitter is a graveyard for conservative content, not because there is no audience, but because they smother it with a blanket. I am glad Glenn dumped them. I am sure it had a much higher impact than when I did it.

Mr Wibble said...

Most people don't want to write a blog, they just want to comment on a blog, or any forum really.

tim in vermont said...

Drudge seems to be just mailing it in lately.

Ann Althouse said...

"He also calls Diet Coke "garbage" and has commented that he has never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke, but it's still his primary source of hydration."

I've been wondering why we never see him burping.

How do you drink all that soda and not end up looking awful by needing to burp continually? I think if you over-suppress burping, you have other problems....

Marcus said...

Twitter's main purpose for me is breaking news and updates on such. I resist producing any "original" content or retweeting/liking other tweets. I've been following Iowahawk since he made the switch from his blog to Twitter.

THEOLDMAN

tim in vermont said...

I remember Iowahawk when he was a commenter on Lucianne.com He was funny then and that place was interesting, until it got the blog version of hardening of the arteries, it became an echo chamber of the tri-corner hat, Mark Levin crowd. I still go there, but never comment there anymore, I just like the constant churn of stories.

rhhardin said...

Back in the day when you had to really work at getting a computer virus.

The viruses started with the Morris worm, exploiting a vulnerability in gets(3), which had no field for the buffer length allocated to the string it fetched from the input stream. Then people started for looking for that and similar vulnerablities, either to use them or fix them.

Birches said...

Twitter needs Instapundit more than Instapundit needs Twitter. If a few more people jump ship, they're done.

tim maguire said...

I never formally swear off twitter, but I sometimes forget it's there for long periods of time.

tim in vermont said...

The Sentinelese normally attack anyone who goes to the island and Mr Pathak said the police are monitoring to see if there is a repeat of an incident after two fishermen who strayed onto the island were killed in 2006.

One week after their deaths, the bodies of the two Indian fishermen were hooked on bamboo stakes facing out to sea.
. - AFP

Twitter moderators are drawing on instincts that go back to neolithic times. My advice is to stay off of their island and respect their privacy.

Virgil Hilts said...

I joined Twitter when Iowahawk went there (1st person I followed); I remember liking Iowahawk's prior "blog" or whatever it was a lot better, and thought he was more creative pre-Twitter (but Twitter is a master canvas for him). Drudge has been my home page years, but getting depressed by waves of bad news blasts first thing each morning. If anyone has a recommendation for a "good news" version of Drudge, I would consider it.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@rhhardin

There were viruses before the Morris worm. The two main vectors were floppy disks and USENET. USENET was used to distribute binaries. You used a program to convert the binary file to a hex code which you posted to USENET. The end user would then cut and past the hex code into a file and convert the hex code back into binary. You would then run the program, and quite often install a virus. Thus my comment about having to work to get a virus.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Floppies were infected in the MBR and if left in the floppy drive when rebooting would then infect the hard drives MBR and the computer would start infecting any floppies inserted into the drive afterwards. This still happens with USB drives. So the first viruses were spread via social engineering. Leave a floppy lying around in an office setting or give it to someone. Lie about what a binary on USENET really does.

Birches said...

@Virgil

I follow Christian Daily Reporter now. He's the guy who started the Babylon Bee. I don't know how "good news" it is, but I like it.

rhhardin said...

We did self-installing shell files with <<!! here documents, an early version of a makefile in a way, to email stuff. An obvious virus vector except you only did it with people you trusted.

E.g. your compiler is broken here's a source file and its compilation and test result, all in one script. They guy can see the claimed mistake and test it again when he's fixed it, without a lot of overhead.

usenet wouldn't be a trusted source.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

usenet wouldn't be a trusted source

It shouldn't be, but end users don't even know about the concept of a trusted source. And USENET had whole groups dedicated to distributing binaries. Before there was such a thing as anti-malware software. Before the word malware was coined.

Virgil Hilts said...

Birches, - thank you I will give it a try!

Fernandistein said...

USENET was used to distribute binaries.

As you sort-of imply, Usenet was actually all text; there were plenty of "[news]groups" full of discussions and arguments of all sorts before the advent of twitter/facebook/blogs, and binaries had to be converted to text ("uuencode").

First computer virus was probably in about 1970, based on a 1940's article by the amazing genius von Neumann.

Amadeus 48 said...

Cripes, Althouse. Instapundit sounds exactly like you in that explanation. Did you write it for him?

Carol said...

I live on Twitter. It's what the AP breaking news wire should be IMO. I used to read that from Drudge back in the last century. Very disappointing.

But I'm a nobody. I tried Gab but they hadn't reached critical mass yet for any fun to start, and every time I logged in it insisted I say something. To hell with that.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"uuencode"

Thanks, I was racking my brain trying to remember the name of the program used to convert the binary file to text. And uudecode to convert back to binary. According to wiki it was created in 1980 by Mary Ann Horton for transferring binary code via email. Which is slightly before my time. No email attachments back then.

Amadeus 48 said...

Okay, you would not have written "crappy SJW types", but everything else...

Francisco D said...

How do you drink all that soda and not end up looking awful by needing to burp continually? I think if you over-suppress burping, you have other problems....

Ah, the joy of retirement when you have time to uncover and contemplate life's trivial mysteries.

That seems a more productive enterprise than engaging in Twitter wars or Facebook feuds.

Tim said...

citizenfreepress.com for news

Chris N said...

I can’t really disagree with those statements.

Howard said...

Drama Queening to keep the Amazon clicks humming on Black Monday

Anonymous said...

I read Twitter because of Thoughts of Dog and We Rate Dogs.

Operaman said...

Glenn Reynolds complaining about a site that is destructive and oddly unsatisfying. Heh.

Leland said...

Glenn Reynolds complaining about a site that is destructive and oddly unsatisfying. Heh.

Indeed

Sacto_Dave said...

I almost never go on Twitter. I keep the account open for those rare times when something breaks out in the world that isn't getting much coverage on TV. I used it a lot during the Arab Spring and during the uprisings in Iran because it was the only source of information coming out. Otherwise I find it a bore. Mostly kids saying stupid things I don't even understand.

Sacto_Dave said...

A top site loses position only by making some horrible mistake.

Or when suddenly the blogger goes off the rails and makes a 180. I'm thinking of Charles at Little Green Footballs. He was huge when he proved Dan Rather's documents supposedly proving George Bush skipped his reserve meetings were fake. Then he became a rabid lefty, anti-religion, anti-vaxxer. Nobody goes there anymore.

TwoAndAHalfCents said...

I have to engage with Twitter because of work, but I despise it. After spending more than a minute on Twitter I frequently find myself rushing to Althouse, driven by a need to be reminded that there are still coherent, rational people out there.

narciso said...

I find some of my most interesting finds on twitter:

https://securitystudies.org/reaboi-in-al-riyadh-why-is-the-us-media-destroying-the-us-saudi-relationship/

robother said...

Going to a crack house to drum up traffic to your herbal teahouse probably not a good business plan.

Ann Althouse said...

"Cripes, Althouse. Instapundit sounds exactly like you in that explanation. Did you write it for him?"

Top 6 things in that explanation that don't sound like Althouse:

6. "So I decided to suspend them, as they are suspending others" — I just don't think I'm important enough not to be embarrassing announcing a 1-person boycott.

5. "I was a late adopter"... I was an immediate adopter. I just never used it much.

4. "It’s the crystal meth of social media" — not my style to use drug analogies

3. "it’s also being run by crappy SJW types" — I don't talk like that. Don't think I've ever used the term "SJW" let along "SJW types" and putting "crappy" into that is definitely not my style.

2. " I’m currently working on a book on social media"... I've never written a book, other than an unpublished novel, and if I ever wrote about social media it would be a memoir of my own personal experience, not "a book on social media" generally.

1. "free speech is just the final reason" — free speech would be my first reason.

narciso said...

Nothing to see here:

https://pjmedia.com/trending/report-uks-american-duchess-meghan-markle-promotes-london-mosque-that-spawned-19-terrorists/

mccullough said...

It is funny that Trump would be banned by Twitter if he weren’t president. They can ban a million conservatives but while Trump is POTUS it doesn’t matter.

Personally, I think conservatives should set up their own social media platforms. And start boycotting the military. Don’t join or re-enlist. Conservatives don’t understand where they have power and where they don’t have power. Joining the military is the number one area conservatives have power.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

Never had Facebook and never look at anyone else's Facebook. Ditto for Instagram. I do enjoy some Twitter accounts though--very funny.

And I'm all for Trump tweeting hither and yon.

Yancey Ward said...

Twitter's executives would love to be able to ban Trump, but Trump is just too much of an actual threat for them to do so. In short, Twitter is run by a bunch of cowards.

n.n said...

To mock a bird.

bleh said...

I would absolutely love it if Trump deactivated his Twitter account to protest Twitter's practices & policies. Some federal judge in Hawaii would issue an injunction restraining Trump from deactivating his account, and Trump would be forced to use his account every day because his failure to do so would frustrate Twitter's and the general public's settled expectations.

Rabel said...

But he still runs that "Twitchy" crap on his site. Money talks, Bullshit walks.

William Chadwick said...

"Glenn Reynolds complaining about a site that is destructive and oddly unsatisfying. Heh."

Are you saying his blog "Instapundit" is destructive? If so what is it destroying? Statism? If only. . . . (Now that WOULD be satisfying!)

Amadeus 48 said...

My comments on

Top 6 things in that explanation that don't sound like Althouse:

6. "So I decided to suspend them, as they are suspending others" — I just don't think I'm important enough not to be embarrassing announcing a 1-person boycott.

Amadeus: Don't sell yourself short. You perhaps are establishing a new category of Influencer. Also, you often play tit-for tat in mockery.

5. "I was a late adopter"... I was an immediate adopter. I just never used it much.

Amadeus: As I recall, you found it uncongenial to your desire to look at things closely, and never really adopted it at all.

4. "It’s the crystal meth of social media" — not my style to use drug analogies.

Amadeus: Fair enough, but you might use drug analogies for something you dislike and find harmful for many people.

3. "it’s also being run by crappy SJW types" — I don't talk like that. Don't think I've ever used the term "SJW" let along "SJW types" and putting "crappy" into that is definitely not my style.

Amadeus: I agree. See my follow-on comment at 9:14.

2. " I’m currently working on a book on social media"... I've never written a book, other than an unpublished novel, and if I ever wrote about social media it would be a memoir of my own personal experience, not "a book on social media" generally.

Amadeus: I can imagine your writing a memoir of your personal experience on social media (Meade!). You are a Woman of Mystery. Many would buy it.

1. "free speech is just the final reason" — free speech would be my first reason.

Amadeus: Yes, I understand that, but you might have drawn us forward as a device to your final and best reason.

Amadeus 48 said...

You might have drawn us forward as a device to your final and best reason, as you did with the countdown mode. We saw what you did there.

DavidD said...

I enjoy Twitchy.

Qwinn said...

I just want to know.... is the Robert Cook that posted on Sean Spicier's parody twitter account, totally not realizing it *is* a parody account, OUR Robert Cook?

https://twitter.com/sean_spicier/status/1067038356012523520/photo/1

narciso said...

well stop acting stupidly:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/11/26/macron-warns-war-scenes-champs-elysees-damaging-frances-reputation/

Douglas said...

@midlifelawyer-Ibid.

Big Mike said...

I enjoyed what Ed Driscoll posted on Instapundit regarding Twitter. He quoted the famous line from the 1983 movie “War Games”: “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.“