In recent days more and more people have declared that they are no longer posting on X, or Twitter, as most of us still call it. The trigger was Elon Musk’s alleged endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory. The Twitter owner has since said he opposes antisemitism and that such behaviour is banned on his platform, but, well… there still seems to be quite a lot of it on there.
The post that really caught my eye was Casey Newton on Threads, who announced:
Btw as of today I (and Platformer) are done posting to the frighteningly antisemitic X, full stop. I’m also cutting X posts out of the newsletter and won’t be re-sharing them to Instagram any more. The funny people on X need to move on and I’m done promoting their work
It is hard to disagree with any of that. Indeed, I have already vastly reduced the amount I post and the time I spend on Twitter. The app has not been on my phone for ages and I will no longer be linking to posts from the site on The Addition. Recently, I have still gotten drawn into posting about sport or news there, but even that is decreasing, especially as Threads get better at news. I basically only publish there to promote my work (via Buffer) or send DMs.
The Twitter Dilemma
Yet here is the conflict. As a journalist/creator, it is pretty hard to totally disconnect 100% from a platform that gained such an outsize importance. If we all stopped posting it would lose that importance, but we’ve all built up audiences over the years which means we can’t quite give it up! Meta products like Threads and Instagram are great, but my following on Twitter is still considerably larger (for now). I also have a considerably smaller audience than the likes of Casey Newton and need to work hard to drive traffic to my newsletter, blog and other products.
I think we are probably in the death throes of Twitter. We should all help hasten its demise, and I will be continuing to reduce the amount of time I spend on there. The site doesn’t work very well and is full of bots and unpleasantness anyway. Using it it is not a good experience. However, for many of us simply deleting our account is not a viable option. Yet.