Twitter: Occupied Territory
Twitter is now fully committed to silencing anyone using its service to voice “problematic” opinions. The details are everywhere; no reason to cover them here. Your local college will need to update the syllabus for their Dictators 101 class; Twitter’s censorship techniques are must-study material for any wanna-be Authoritarian.
In every single article I’ve read, a commentator (or dozen) points out how they never used it, never understood it, what a waste of time it was, and how arguing in 140 characters or less was for imbeciles. That last one is my personal favorite. So, where’s the harm? Let it die an ignoble death. Stick a fork in it and roast a marshmallow over the corpse as it burns.
There are a long line of people in history who share your opinion, silly commentators.
Where was the harm when Marxists started getting hired as professors? Where was the harm when Marxists started getting hired in news rooms? As reporters? As movie producers? How about when Marxist authors were the only ones invited to television shows and placed on bestseller lists, even if those lists had to be fudged a little? Where was the harm when the news became so slanted that Russian KGB agents were awed by the power of the government to control the thoughts of an entire “free” people? How about when Marxists started booting any non-Marxist out of the organization? Even better: manning the gates so that wrong-thinkers could never get in at all?
I’m using the word Marxist in these examples. Substitute your own name for Authoritarians-thru-the-twentieth-century. They changed names frequently.
Yep, there was harm. Our forebears surrendered our culture in their day. We’re partly in the cultural mess we’re in because the long march through our institutions was free to proceed. It doesn’t affect me, so why should I care?
Welcome to the cheap seats, folks. Pull out your popcorn and let’s watch as we surrender the culture once again.
Whether you or I like it or not, social media is an integral part of the culture today. Bumper-sticker communication? Argument via Emoji? Annoying status updates and vapid content? Check, check, and mate. Just because idiots use a hammer to fix their phone doesn’t mean either the phone or the hammer lack value.
The culture war is upon us. Tweets are bullets.
When the British took New York did the Colonials say, “Ew, bad luck, boys. That’s okay, we’ll build Newer New York across the river, and it’ll be better than ever!” When the British marched to Lexington and Concord did the Colonials say, “Sorry, men. The King has ordered all access to guns and ammunition blocked. Just leave your musket in the city square so they can come pick it up.” They did not.
We face the same choice with our culture today. It hardly compares. My apologies to any American Revolutionary still kicking around, berating us for our timidity.
Those of you who don’t understand Twitter and denigrate it don’t know how to use your muskets, and therefore think they are worthless. Back in my day we used swords, dagnabit, and we stabbed each other for fun!
Yeah? Now we point this big metal tube at the enemy and it fires off an idea. The idea isn’t even aimed at the target, it’s for the benefit of onlookers or those who’ve only been presented with one prejudiced side of the argument. It can also send up a smoke signal to notify onlookers that new content is available, or that you’ve discovered an article worth reading, or an argument worth knowing, or a picture that is funny, pithy, or both. There even exist collections of pictures, played rapidly in a series, used to make excellent points in a whole new medium called video. It’s like television, but educational.
Replacements are coming. Twitter, Facebook, and others will surely undergo the creative-destruction process just like their predecessors. Hopefully those successors will be more robust, more useful, and have safeguards built in so SJWs can’t destroy them like everything else they appropriate.
In the meantime, Twitter Lists are block-free and you can see all the Tweets of those you follow. Apparently some third-party apps are available that do the same thing. Meanwhile, hashtags remain toast and forget about making anything trend. The Twitter Safety Committee will make sure that wrong thoughts can’t gain traction. We’re in Valley Forge; we’ll just have to hang in until Christmas. Metaphorically speaking.
For those of you leaving, can you at least go out on your shield? In the coming days, “Banned by Twitter” and “Banned by Facebook” badges will be all the rage. Think of them as medals. You’ll want one. They don’t give them to people who take themselves out, even in frustration. In Digital Valhalla, we’ll all be arguing over who got banned the most, and when it comes down to Milo and Vox Day, Vox Day will win because he is way more stubborn.
Everyone will still think Milo is prettier, though.
For those of you who never signed up, sign up! It’s free. Follow someone. Retweet something. Forget that feeling of shame or stupidity for participating in the madness. This is Culture War, dammit, and that illusion you harbor as being “intellectually superior” is helping to get us killed. Get banned. Proudly display your badge. We are helping the Twitter Safety Committee in their important task, and if that task involves blocking and banning and inconveniencing even more people, who are we to interfere?
If you really want to have fun, contact the advertisers that show up and ask them why they are supporting a platform that is censoring and banning so many people because they disagree with them politically. Be sure and Tweet their response. You know, for irony and entertainment value.
Lastly, if you have time to leave a comment on an article discussing social media censorship that criticizes social media users, you have time to Tweet your comment with a link to the article, too. If you can’t be bothered, then please stop commenting.
Quizzer: Twitter Hypocrite
Yep, I’m a Dewberry because, although I’ve had a Twitter account for 5 years, I’ve never Tweeted on it. I’m not only a Twitter Hypocrite but a Twitter Neophyte as well. That changes, starting tomorrow.
I dusted off my account today, made my “blocked people I’m following” list (I named mine Disavowed) and actually kept checking for Tweets throughout the day. I’m hoping to make my first Tweet tomorrow. It will probably be a link to this post. Shameless baby steps, but I have to start somewhere.
Otherwise, Tweets are pretty much like comic strip dialog or the brief comments I sometimes leave using my Disqus account. Yay!
I doubt they’ll ban me. I’m hopeful, though, and started out with the best chance by following @voxday and @nero. Maybe that will be enough, but it’s hardly something to brag about. In case you care, my Twitter name is @QuizzerW. I don’t know if case matters. Heck, I don’t know if my account will still exist tomorrow.
The Spork Speaks – Tempest in a Teardrop – Quizzer
“It’s very concerning!” he said breathily. ;o)
That’s a lot of work to learn a new platform that will muzzle you as soon as you figure out how to speak. You have a point though. 140 characters or less is just about the only way to convince an imbecile of anything. Endless repetition is the key.
I’m a pretty quick study. Besides, it’s practice for whatever replacement comes along. I intend to be using that replacement on day 1.
Now, can anyone explain Tumblr to me? Because I just don’t get the appeal.
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Don’t ask me. I can barely muster the enthusiasm to work WP.
The velocity of censorship
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Interesting concept. I agree with the conclusion, though: more work is needed.
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JP Kalishek said:
conflicted. Mad at them over this, but if everyone I know leaves, they, being in the fine shape they are right now, will collapse like a origami crane in a 10,000 ton drop forge.
Maybe. It depends on how good an alternative is. The “we don’t censor our users” is a selling point to some, but not that many. There are shills out today completely denying that any kind of censorship is taking place. It isn’t like the wider culture is taking any notice.
Banning Donald Trump would make instant headlines. Shadowbanning him? Possibly the same. Making sure no hashtag with “Trump” in it trends? Yeah, that’s genius. People nearly always miss what isn’t there.
The feature bar, however, is very low. The native Twitter interface is even worse, since they decided to mess with timelines. Twitter has blown up the oven trying to squish pesky cockroach badthinkers. What can we do so they destroy the entire kitchen? House? Maybe even the neighborhood?
Not sure. Giving up and silently walking away does nothing but help them, though.
JP Kalishek said:
that’s what I mean though, as shaky as they are, a whole lot, silently wandering away, is not going to help them at all. heck, even a few walking away is something they really do not need. But then one tends to find these leftois type companies go full turnip “Marx was too rightwing for us” screaming leftward the closer they get to destruction.
I really don’t spend much time there any longer … not totally because they are leftoid tools, or some folks in my timeline are going full trumpettes and are acting like fools, but they keep futzing the interface and making it worse, he aps I used to use no longer work, the ones that do are not worth it to me.
As an outside look though, it is a fine case study of how not to do that which got you where you are.
An example of what not to do indeed. Those are usually the most important lessons, I find.
Orvan Taurus said:
This, amongst other things, inspired me to re-watch Why We Fight: Prelude to War this morning. Will *this* be a casus belli? No. But it is a symptom of things.
I remember seeing that many moons ago. Might have to look it up myself… time, time, time. Ug.
Can I plead mitigating circumstances?
I don’t have a twitter account. I don’t have one of those mini-portable computers (aka smartphone/leashes) and already have enough problems keeping up on FB. I’m pretty sure twitter would kill what is left of my sanity. (cats are crazy enough, it isn’t pretty if you take away what little sanity we do have.)
No condemnation from me. I just got fed up with those on the sidelines who can leave a short comment belittling something they admittedly don’t understand, when they can do the same thing and help out in the culture war which they supposedly care about. Otherwise they would not have left a comment in the first place.
You are way ahead of us on Facebook. I was concerned primarily about copyright messiness: is the stuff you post there yours or not? Puts us in a bit of a quandary. Especially when they can boot us for account name violations, to say nothing of our content.
I had to learn how to use FB & Twitter (and MySpace! Remember MySpace?) for work and I can honestly say I loathed them from the get-go.
I’m only back on the latter (Twitsville) for #jesuismilo and my banned & censored list until I can earn my Banned by Twitter merit badge.
The trick is to do it whilst being 100% courteous: no potty talk, no death threats, just the pure quill unadulterated WrongThink.
I can’t wait!
“The trick is to do it whilst being 100% courteous: no potty talk, no death threats, just the pure quill unadulterated WrongThink.”
There is debate on that. Not the death threats, but the courteous/language thing. Both sides make good points. Ultimately it comes down to conscience. I agree with you, but would neither condemn or question the validity of someone who earned their badge because of the other reasons.
And if your conscience permits you to speak crassy and aggressively, the next question is style: does it work for you or not? Some people are good at crass offensive rhetoric, some are talented at genteel verbal fencing. Nero and Based Mom come to mind, respectively (and even Nero doesn’t really press the crassness the way chan culture does). Develop your rhetorical talents, and pursue the style that best fits them. I can switch between the two( without being particularly gifted at either), but since my public Twitter persona is a competitive gamer and ex-paratrooper, I tend to press harder on crass and edgy. In other settings, I do the opposite.
Check out #TorrentialDownpour. Right now it’s about game censorship, and of limited interest to non-gamers, but everyone using the hashtag is sympathetic to how much of a threat speech is under from the platform we’re using.
Will do so, thank you.
So how’s it going? Are we all-a-twitter?
I just looked at Codrea’s feed. Could not make heads nor tails. Lotsa links, looks like.
All that hopping around is irritating, I…….have………veryyyyy……..slowwwwwwww……internet.
I’m finding it hard to follow conversations, I’m not sure how to participate without being rude, and have yet to get into hashtags. On the other hand, I’ve mastered the art of skimming hundreds of tweets (more like practiced, already pretty good at skimming until amused), and got to see the conversation between Vox Day and Matt Walsh hours before he blogged them. Oh, I’ve also found an outlet to mention an article that I could be making fun of in a Tuesday/Thursday post, but not having enough meat to it.
So, overall, pretty lost 🙂
I’ll stick with it anyway.
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I wondered what the deal was with hashtags. Do they connect all the posts together?
They are sort of like a thread on reddit, or a conversation on a blog (like this one!) You can search for them and read the “comments” in the form of tweets. To post, you include the hashtag (#) and name, no spaces. Case doesn’t count I don’t think. I searched for #TorrentialDownpour and found the “thread” and saw Scholar-at-Arms tweets on it etc. Twitter called it #torrentialdownpour in their reader.
Do the hashtags count as some of your 140 characters like links do? No idea. Is there etiquette or protocol or anything? I’m not sure, but I don’t think so. Just try to be entertaining and add to the conversation, like when posting anywhere.
Twitter is also messing with them by not having them autocomplete (#gamergate is the notorious one for this) or autocompleting incorrectly. They have also nuked them outright if the wrong one “trends”. People were reporting that after the SC primary on Saturday all the Republican candidates were trending, except for Trump, who was mysteriously missing. I have no way to verify this, however.
If I’m wrong, someone please correct me!
I really should have thrown in the line “Twitter has the right to censor users the way Christians have the right to bake cakes.” I’ve seen more than one person chime in with the notion that “Twitter is a private company so they can do what they want.” Maybe. But maybe it is more like hanging a sign in your shop that says “No Colored People Served Here”.
Oh! I’ve also learned that studying the Tweets of @spacebunnyday is well worth doing. She has some choice way of phrasing things when talking to feminists. Very handy for my post tomorrow (hint, hint)… which I really need to get started on!
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Conversations are much harder to follow than they used to be – I’m losing track a lot. Hashtags are ways of grouping tweets and (for small fry like me) ways of socially engaging and calling attention to what you’re saying, by placing it in a group with other tweets.
For twitter etiquette, not much that I’m aware of? If someone who’s name is “tagged” into a group conversation requests an untag, it’s polite to remove their name from your next tweet into that convo (had to do that today when one guy kept derailing and everyone else kept following him). Using a hashtag is extremely public, and expect to engage with strangers if you do so. In fact, talking to strangers is most of what I use it for. Mostly I talked with people who tweeted a lot & had large followings(eg Daddy Warpig) or in hashtags that interested me. Follow interesting people – a lot of them like engaging with strangers too. *shrug* that’s about all I can say.