It looks like I made the right decision in jumping off Twitter when I did. This weekend, the site cracked down on a number of right-leaning people, and even feminists who boldly made statements such as “men are different than women”.
The platform has gone full crazy, even deactivating the account of Julian Assange — who doesn’t even have internet access.
As a response, popular blogger, Glenn Reynolds took down Instapundit’s Twitter account, no longer going to be using the site. Instapundit has been extremely valuable for disseminating information in the culture war from articles on interesting topics (such as Twitter censorship) to promoting the books of your favorite Hispanic author (me). With Instapundit off twitter, the site again becomes a duller place just for alt-left shrieking at the president and for trolls to harass people. There’s no other point to the site at this point and it’s best to declare it dead.
I recommend anyone get off twitter. It’s enemy territory. It’s just for angry mobs and its “like” function actually does addict you via producing dopamine in your brain when you see something’s getting traction on that level. It’s useless for selling, it’s useless for conversing.
Note that last sentence. Mind you, Del Arroz is a published author with multiple books to his name. If anyone would understand how Twitter doesn’t help drive sales, it’s him. Nick Cole has come to a similar conclusion.
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.
Glenn, my friend . . . you sound like me!
. . . This isn’t about Alex Jones per se, or it is only to the extent that he is perceived as a threat to big tech who tried to swing the 2016 election the other way.
This is the difference between a sporting goods store or a sandwich shop and platforms like YouTube and Facebook and so on. The big tech companies have the money and power to swing elections. We knew that for a fact in 2012, we knew it in 2016, we know it is the plan for the midterms this year, and it will be the plan for 2020 and beyond. A few elections swung by silencing effective and influential voices on the other side, no matter how distasteful you personally find them, and all the market correction in the world won’t fix the problem because Uncle Sam will be putting its thumb on the scales. This is why I find the coordinated banning distressing. We’re not talking about mom and pop, salt-of-the-Earth type business who just want to compete fairly. We’re taking about corporations with more power and money than some countries.
Get off these platforms. Or at least, find alternative platforms that aren’t openly hostile to you and everything you stand for. After all, you don’t own your content. You’re a digital tenant. Pour years into building a product and earning a living on one of these platforms, and it can be over in a snap.
If you want to keep in touch with people, start an email list. Or text or call them.
[Twitter] seemed to consists of several specific types of tweets:
- Random, sub-literate drivel that gets hundreds of thousands of retweets for some reason.
- Self-styled commentators and humorists providing the exact same obvious SCORCHING HOT TAKES as everybody else.
- Self-styled above-it-all cynics offering the exact same obvious I TOTALLY DON’T REALLY CARE MOCKERY of these scorching hot takes as everybody else.
- Low-IQ blathering whereby people completely miss the point of something you said.
- Fitness types, men and women, who seem motivational but really want you to just see how awesome their bodies are.
- Tweets about how awesome the tweeter is, while also trying to sound humble.
- Motivational or hyper-serious and really intense tweets from people who may or may not have actually accomplished all of the stuff they’d lead you to believe they’ve accomplished.
- A corollary: “Look how awesome my life is!” types, who spend a lot of time tweeting about how awesome their life is instead of living it.
- Another corollary: People tweeting in general about what they’re doing instead of doing it. Writers seem to do this a lot.
- Blue-check idiots spewing some of the most skull-crushingly stupid, overly pedantic, and downright mean commentary.
- Really nasty racist, sexist, and just about every other kind of -ist stuff you could imagine, condoned or banned based upon who was doing the hating and against whom it was directed.
Me on August 26, 2018 (incidentally, reacting to a piece by Jesse Kelly):
Rigid adherence to free market principles (that aren’t really followed by government or big business), First Amendment jurisprudence (which is a thing until a five unelected people in black robes decide otherwise), and free speech (which can’t even be appropriately defined or defended) don’t matter when you accept your own silencing. As Kelly puts it, perfectly in my opinion, “Yesterday it was Jones. Today, YouTube censored human vanilla Dennis Prager.”
For God’s sake, these tech giants call themselves The Masters of the Universe. And not the awesome, benevolent He-Man kind.
Me on August 27, 2018 (emphasis mine):
- My decision to quit social media was pretty much personal; this other overt and blatant political stuff happened to occur at the same time.
- I am not “yielding the field to the left,” as there is more to life and the culture wars, as it were, than Twitter.
I am not turtling, nor do I advocate the limp-wristed so-called “Benedict Option” advocated by the perpetually fainthearted Rod Dreher. I just choose to do my thing and fight my battles on a ground of my choosing.
I’m a firm advocate of establishing new social media platforms and using those that pop up, as well as quitting legacy social media in order to deny them of the user base they need to grow–remember, Facebook, Twitter, et al. need your information to sell to advertisers, need your eyeballs to view advertisements, and need your content, which you provide to them for free.
But as these tech behemoths can, and plan to, influence elections in a certain direction going forward, the likelihood of them conspiring to crush competition, absent any kind of action, grows stronger.
Gab, for all it’s faults, should not have been denied an app on Apple and Google’s app stores. Gab, if you recall, has been criticized as a hive of racist white-nationalism and neo-Nazi activity. How this is different from the anti-white racism prevalent and applauded on Twitter, Facebook, and so on is beyond me, save for (a) the direction the hate is spewing, and (b) which party the advocates of hate are useful to.
I tired of Gab when it became clear it was all politics–usually racially charged–all the time.
But if Twitter and other platforms aren’t responsible for the content their users post, why should Gab be? Or any other platform that specifically provides a forum for speech and nothing else?
Are these big tech companies just huge hypocrites? This is a non-rhetorical question.
We see it time and again across industries: Upstarts love the freewheeling American system until they become the top dog and suddenly decide free and fair competition isn’t cool anymore.
I remain utterly confounded by those who think those who control the flow of information, who have sort of assumed this power without the consent of the people, should be allowed to do this with impunity and giving the people of this country no recourse when their voices are silenced.
This isn’t Internet Service Providers (ISPs) being regulated. ISPs have so far shown no inclination to throttle the Internet access of those who disagree with them. But Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, et al. have sure shown their inclination to throttle access to information, and their platforms, through the use of nebulous codes of conduct unfairly applied.
When one side can dox, make death threats, and incite actual violence with impunity while the other gets deplatformed for the mere sin of disagreement, you don’t have a level playing field.
Think this will be sorted out by the market? Just wait until a few election cycles have been swung and see where that gets you.
I repeat: the only “consumer revolt” that makes a difference is a boycott. [extrapolate this from “not giving money to people who hate you” to “not giving your time, attention, content, and eyeballs to people who hate you.”]
Their children were already born on third base, and will gain even more of an advantage while the poison they produce is pushed on your kids through their schools.
This poison, of course, is technology . . .
Now we’re told that the best way to learn is with teachers and books? And that computers and other devices have no positive impact on learning, and indeed a negative one? And that this technology actually causes social and mental disorders?
And duped? I’m sorry, you fad-loving NPCs are only too happy to jump on every single bandwagon your masters pump into your head. Don’t act like innocent victims now.
It’s a tale as old as time: America’s ruling class hates us. They have nothing but contempt for us. We are nothing more than sources of income and votes for Big Government and Big Business.
Never forget this most true of truisms about life in 21st century America: America’s elite wants YOUR kids to be stupid and dependent and unable to think while THEIR kids take over the world.
They’re Brave New World-ing is to distract from them 1984-ing us, when you come to think of it. More and more entertainment and shiny baubles to distract from the fact that wrongthink is punished.
And it’s starting from the top. Every dystopian warning about big business colliding with big government to silence anything counter to the prevailing powers and mode of thought is punished. Not by jail (yet), but deplatforming, media smears, an inability to conduct business . . .
Any threatening ideas are squashed hard. So much for the “marketplace of ideas.”
Speaking of the marketplace, how about those free market alternatives to big tech that are supposed to magically pop up overnight when somebody wills them into existence. If I hear one more bland conservative state “The solution to on-line censorship and total blacklisting from basic services is being worked on in some seventeen-year-old’s garage right now!” I’m going to scream.
Soon will come the social media police, like in England. Maybe you won’t even be allowed to gas your car up if you expressed the wrong opinion somewhere . . .
This seems excessive, but I’m doing two things here:
- Establish my credibility
- Get all of my social media-related posts in one place.
Get off Twitter. Get off social media. Think of the children!
Update: Another friend of the blog, Alexandru Constantin of Barbarian Book Club, joins the exodus:
I took Alex’s advice. Twitter is toxic garbage that thrives on perpetual outrage. Trash.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Starve the Twitter beast!