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Thursday, August 09, 2018

What To Do About Twitter?


I've belonged to Twitter for years but I've seldom paid much attention to it. I think my blogs do appear on my Twitter account but I'm not really sure. When I checked in recently after quite a long time, I had forgotten my password and had to request a new one.

As a column writer, I'm used to editing to make a piece precise and compact but even with the increased characters Twitter now allows, small darting statements just aren't my cup of tea. I know you can link and click onto articles but then why is that any different than any other social media platform?

I've learned to dislike Twitter even more now that so many, including our president, have weaponized it.

Recently, some social media has taken at least a lukewarm stand against the malevolence of the flat out lies of Alex Jones and his InfoWars site. I consider Jones to be a source of slander and dishonesty, part of what is dividing Americans, stoking hate. and promoting violence. Twitter has basically decided that anything goes on its platform. It isn't up to them to monitor the information they deliver to so many believers. If is is untruthful, well, that's part of free speech. They say Jones doesn't violate their standards but how lax must those standards be if InfoWars' vileness fits within them?  What in the hell would you have to do or say to be rejected?

I have been an anti-censorship proponent all my life but even in our no-limits society there have to be some lines which are too far to cross. Even the First Amendment doesn't allow you to cry fire in a crowded theater and that's essentially what Jones does. Denying that the murder of 21 first-graders at Sandy Hook ever happened crosses that line. So does the declaration that Hillary Clinton was involved in a child trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza shop (which resulted into a Jones supporter taking a gun into that shop looking for a basement that doesn't exist). So does stating  that 911 was an inside job on the part of our government. Those are all simply untruths but it is amazing how many people follow and believe this loony conspiracy theorist.

So my question to myself is what to do? Should I simply write off Twitter and delete my account or should I engage and become more active  to use my, admittedly minuscule, voice to join the fray and pit my principles against Jones and Trump?

Retreat goes against my grain so I'll probably stand and fight with no hope of making much of an impact. 

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