So, I quit Twitter this morning. It sucks because I’ve really enjoyed the platform over the years and will miss the folks I followed, some of whom used to participate here but no longer do for whatever reason. For all its many flaws, I’ve found the platform useful for following breaking news, listening to underrepresented voices, finding long-form content, capturing news summaries with links and clips, touching base with friends, following sports with fellow fans, etc.
But this morning, a Musk meme tweet landed in my timeline. It featured Biden’s face photoshopped onto King Theoden from Lord of the Rings and Dr. Fauci’s face on Wormtongue with a caption like, “Just one more lockdown.” Relatively inoffensive by Musk standards since he routinely amplifies antisemites and sundry other vile scumbags, but for me, it was the last straw.
I realized I could no longer contribute, however insignificantly, to boosting engagement stats on a platform owned by a malevolent, far-right oligarch who’s building Info Wars II on a site with limited reach but massive cultural influence. I make absolutely no judgment on folks who are sticking it out there — we all use platforms for our own purposes and draw the line in different places.
I find myself surprisingly depressed by the whole thing. It says something about our present moment that an overhyped conman like Musk could find $44B under his sofa cushions and use it to effect a hard-right takeover of a major communication platform to churn out sewer-grade disinformation. Will keep my account open in case things change, i.e., a literal or figurative meteor takes out Apartheid Clyde and a bumbling, flawed but non-fascist executive team takes the reins. Here’s hoping.