While many people steer clear of Twitter for various reasons, some of which are due to the mainstream media’s constant whining about how it is a ‘sewer’. This is mainly because there are some people on Twitter who consume the mainstream media intently, and they are so experienced that they can spot bullshit very easily, and are not afraid to call it out, often directly to the journalists who spout the said bullshit. As so many of these journalists seem to have fragile egos they often characterise this criticism as ‘abuse’. It is female journalists and others who receive most of the real abuse. That sort of thing doesn’t happen to me to anything like the same degree, presumably because I am a male and all sorts of innuendo and name calling has no effect on me, except to make me realise the limitations of the name caller (something I have also had to deal with on this blog).
However, Twitter has gone downhill since the idiot billionaire Elon ‘Elmo’ Musk took over the platform. He has allowed the Mango Mussolini back on the platform (although Trump seems less than enthusiastic about returning), and is planning to allow other deranged right-wing nut jobs back on the platform. These include people such as the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. The re-enrolment of the Mango Mussolini was a step too far for some of the old hands who have left the platform and allowing hate speech to return will turn away more, as it has turned away many of Twitter’s advertisers.
I am staying for the time being, just to see what happens, and just to stick in my two bob’s worth among all the Murdoch-run anti-progressive propaganda1. There has already been one instance of hate speech that I have seen and despite it being reported, this person continued for quite a while, but has now been banned. This tardiness was presumably because Elmo initially sacked all the moderators, who would have removed this moron’s account immediately, just as they did with the idiots Trump and Duke. If hate speech like this continues then even more advertisers will dump Twitter, and it will start losing even more money than it is now. Some big advertisers have already left. These include: General Motors, Balenciaga, Eli Lilly, Playbill, United Airlines, Audi, Volkswagen2, Pfizer, Mondelez, REI, General Mills, IPG, Carlsberg, and Group M3. Many of these companies spend millions per annum on the platform.
You can imagine what an advertiser would make of it if their ads appeared adjacent to a rant about how the 2020 election was stolen from the petulant toddler Trump, or adjacent to advocates of a second instalment of the January 6th insurrection. It would not do much for their bottom line, I suspect.
So, where are people going? I tried a couple of places early in November. These two were Mastodon4 and Tribel5. I have been active on both, and have found Mastodon to be the most dynamic, with Tribel being fairly quiet and its users mostly comprising Americans. This relative quiescence could be because there are more users on Mastodon than on Tribel. The latter is rumoured to have hundreds of thousands of users, whereas Mastodon has had a massive rise in the number of users, many of whom are ‘Twitter refugees’. Because of the decentralised nature of Mastodon, the people on it are from all over the world, whereas Trible seems to be America-centric. When Musk was first mooted as the likely new owner of Twitter, there were something like 600,000 users on Mastodon. In the last few days the number of users is reputed to have reached 7,700,000, a massive rise by anyone’s standards. In among this massive increase in numbers, are many of the people I used to follow on Twitter.
Those I now follow on Mastodon include climate scientists, biologists, epidemiologists, journalists, writers, environmentalists, comedians, and sundry others, many of whom I used to follow on Twitter and who have now jumped off the bird. So, I suspect Mastodon will be the platform for me when Musk drives Twitter into the mire of bigotry, neofascism and Trumpian stupidity.