Geek News and events

Social media: Time to find another pub

TL;DR: I’m moving my focus off Twitter, onto Mastodon and FB.

Everyone who uses Twitter is likely to have their own view on this…

Twitter has been really good. A critical mass of interesting people, organisations, breaking news and everyday experiences. But the new owner seems determined to make it his personal plaything, and ruin it in the process.

It’s as if the pub you really like has let the troublemakers back in, started banning people at whim, and now they won’t even let you have a conversation about other pubs. And your patronage supports this pub.

On any social network, if you’re not paying to be on it, then you are the product. You and your content.

Every piece of the puzzle of the social network is trying to incentivize the people who create for you to make things that are good that you want, and then trying to show the user, the audience, the best stuff on the social network.

Nilay Patel, Decoder podcast

Good content gets eyeballs. Eyeballs get advertising revenue.

If you don’t like the pub anymore, and what the management is doing, maybe it’s time to move on.

Almost everything eventually passes its prime. In the past I’ve spent time hooked on IRC, Usenet, ICQ, but eventually moved off them.

I’m not deleting my Twitter account, but I will aim to focus more on other social networks. This may include not posting most material on Twitter, or posting some items there but delayed. (For better or worse, Twitter still – for now – reaches some influential audiences that the others don’t.)

Is it of any consequence if I shift away? Not really, but I’m not the only one.

I just hope that magical critical mass that made it so good emerges elsewhere.

Who knows, maybe without the distraction of the bird site, I might even get around to blogging more often.

  • Mastodon: – Mastodon has a lot of similarities to Twitter, but isn’t quite the same. Here’s a guide.
  • Facebook:
  • Lead image from The Goodies – “Stone Age” – I couldn’t resist this image of Tim leaving in a huff. Perhaps I should have found something fitting the pub analogy, though Melbourne does have a bar called Spleen.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

3 replies on “Social media: Time to find another pub”

Happy with Twitter now, but not previously. I don’t believe in suppressing different viewpoints. I’m quite capable of reaching my own conclusions and I don’t appreciate having information filtered by others making their own judgement on it before it reaches me. Now that all the facts about the previous shadow-banning and politicisation are coming out, it confirms how bad it was (and others like Facebook still are). Incidentally, Musk is holding a poll currently inviting users to say whether or not they want him to step down as head of Twitter. That doesn’t suggest that he regards it as his personal plaything. He’s undertaken to abide by the results of the survey. At the moment the votes are running against him remaining. Here’s your chance to kick him out of the playground! I don’t recall the previous owners inviting users to make a choice.

You had no issues when old management Twitter was shadow banning and suspending accounts based on political motivations.

@TonyP, banning (without warning) journalists and anybody linking to a competing social media service could easily be seen as “suppressing different viewpoints”.

@Roger Smith, you are correct – Twitter has never been perfect, but I have no problem with social media networks kicking out Nazis and the like.

Obviously free speech as a concept is good. But there are limits. As the Verge podcast I linked to goes into in some detail, content moderation is complicated and nuanced. Complete lack of moderation can have dangerous real world consequences. This article expands on that:

And I’m not sure the “Twitter Files” are the slam-dunk of proof of bias that some people think, given they seem to restrict themselves to only documenting a few accounts. (For anybody not familiar with the Twitter Files, this article talks about them: )

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