No Minister

Never go full Twitter

A couple of weeks ago I was rather saddened to learn that one of my co-bloggers had fallen into the world of Twitter during the Great Wuhan Lung Rot pandemic.

I’ve never used Twitter and never will. From what I’ve seen it reinforces the worst aspects of human communication. The restricted text space should encourage people to be concise but seems to lead to poorly thought out, stupid comments that blow up in their face because they lack context and nuance. That is compounded by its addictive quality that pushes people into hammering out Tweet after Tweet when time off for reflective thought would be a better response. The cherry on top is that it enables one of the worst aspects of humanity – abusive pack behaviour.

I’ve lost track of the number of activists, journalists and ordinary people who have found themselves having to delete Tweets or even their entire account because of something stupid they said. The most recent example was one Richard Taite, founder of a Biden PAC (Political Action Committee) who responded to an incident where a Chicago man and his wife were dragged out of their car in a Black neighbourhood and shot.

The man was Gyovanny Arzuaga and he died. His wife, Yasmin Perez is still in critical condition. They were with their two kids, aged one and three, and were celebrating in the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade that’s been a feature of the city for decades. The flag sticking out of their car was, naturally enough, a Puerto Rican flag. How the hell anybody could mistake it for the old Confederate flag I don’t know, but he makes it quite clear that he’s cool with murder as long as the victims deserved it. Yet again, Twitter enabled the worst, not the best, of a human being. Mr Taite’s Twitter account has gone dark.

Twitter is a cesspool.

Recently a US survey was done that might explain some of this: it should certainly be shown to any members of PR or HR sections of public departments, ministries, NGO’s, corporations and any group with a public face that thinks it needs to do something or change something because a meme is “trending” on Twitter.

It’s not really a surprise. In the wake of the British Labour’s disasterous 2020 general election result one of the criticisms made of Labour activists was that they were so buried in Twitter that they thought it reflected the general population. Then there’s the growing censorship of the platform.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 25, 2021 at 8:55 am

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