In the Battle for the ‘New Twitter’, I’m Rooting for Injuries

My HAWT TAEK on the Twitter Wars is that I’m rooting for injuries. Because we would all be better off if there wasn’t One Social Media App to Bind Them All.

One reason Twitter became so gross (even pre-Elongated Muskrat) is because it was important to ‘win Twitter’ since, as Dave Karpf notes (boldface mine):

Part of what has defined Twitter’s niche for years is that it functions as a quasi-assignment editor for journalists. Twitter has never been where the mass public hung out; Twitter was for elites and for slightly-too-online communities.

That’s a problem for Threads, because the relationship between Meta and the journalism industry is, well, fraught. Today’s journalism industry is full of people who lived through the 2015 “pivot to video,” and recall the 2018 revelations that it was all a lie and Facebook knew it was a lie.

News organizations have to be on Facebook to share their stories. Boomers are on Facebook. Boomers are big readers. (And they can afford to subscribe to your news site, because they were born into an era of cheap college and cheap housing.) But Facebook is where you place the outputs of your journalism. Twitter was uniquely, weirdly well-suited to shaping journalism’s inputs.

Twitter is (was?) very important for journalism’s inputs: how stories are made, which stories were thought to be important, finding new sources, and so on. But maybe if there isn’t One Social Media App to Bind Them All, we won’t have to fight for Twitter.

What I mean is ‘winning on Twitter’ is (was?) critical because it could potentially shape how reporters covered things and how a subset of policy makers (inside and outside of government) perceived the world. So there’s no choice but to run to ramparts on, well, nearly every political issue.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aggressively block Nazis and other sundry assholes (especially in places like Bluesky), but that’s just maintaining ‘social media hygiene’ (i.e., avoiding said assholes), not trying to win (a weird kind of) political battles. As multiple people have said, the left isn’t trying to ‘win Gab’ (a foul Nazi site) or 8chan, so we can let them have their, erm, lebensraum (SWIDT?). In other words, Gab is just something decent people avoid, not something they to try to conquer–or at least hold their own.

Maybe some fragmentation would be a good thing.

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1 Response to In the Battle for the ‘New Twitter’, I’m Rooting for Injuries

  1. Pingback: Some More Thoughts on ‘Winning Twitter’ | Mike the Mad Biologist

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