Since Musk’s acquisition of Twitter closed in October 2022, the social network has endured constant upheaval and chaos as Musk set about dismantling its structure and remaking it in his own image. During the whole time since then, there has been strong and growing criticism of the platform and Musk in particular over its stance on extremism, disinformation, fake news and more unsavoury characteristics now prevalent on X.
FUD for users and advertisers reigns supreme.
So what has changed? Has there been a shift in the space-time continuum?
Actually, I don’t think X has changed. Everything going on is just a continuation of what’s been going on ever since Musk came on board.
I think what has changed is me.
I’m no longer willing to actively use, promote and support a social network that I no longer trust or believe in. There hasn’t been a sudden tipping point, it’s more a slow burn of alarm, concern and disillusionment in a place I joined in December 2006, almost 17 years ago, as may be apparent from many of my posts here during this year.
This decision was made a little easier when I came to the realisation that what we have now is not Twitter at all. Twitter disappeared in July. Now it’s just X, a place at the whim of its capricious proprietor and his manipulating algorithms to do with what he wishes no matter the consequences or effects on anyone else.
Some recent events have had a strong impact on my thinking, notably the role of X as an amplifier, promoter and monetiser of hate and vileness in the grim experience described by Dave Lee last week.
There’s also a long list of relatively smaller but troubling things that collectively add up to my saying “Enough!” And there’s even more.
Out with X, In with Peace of Mind
As of last Thursday, October 12, I stopped sharing content on X in the form of original posts (previously known as tweets). No more.
I’m now focused on developing my presence on Pebble and Threads, two new social networks that offer different but good alternative choices for connecting and engaging with others in a pleasant environment. I’ve written about Pebble before when it was known as T2; I’ll post some opinions about Threads soon.
I’m not closing my accounts on X (I have three handles there) as I do need to access that network from a business perspective that will continue until I don’t need to do that. But I will not be posting any original content there, concentrating instead on Pebble and Threads along with other places I like to visit (here’s my list of connections: https://linktr.ee/nevillehobson).
I’ll keep to this plan unless something prompts me to change or stop it. A new owner, perhaps, one who believes in Twitter’s original purpose to serve the public conversation on a platform for free-flowing discussions among users. Maybe it’s too late for that now, though.
And what of the community I’ve built up over the years, now comprising over 13,200 followers? I have met some amazing people over the years and developed some good friendships. In the early days, Twitter brought me consulting business. And I learned a lot about online engagement and influence. Now, many of the people I closely followed on Twitter – influential voices, journalists, business leaders – have gone. I will miss all the positive aspects of my Twitter experience, there is no doubt.
Making this move proved less difficult than I had thought once I’d arrived at the conclusion I mentioned earlier – Twitter ended in July, it’s all X now. And that’s not a good place.
- X, Moral Bankruptcy, and the Business of Hate – October 8, 2023
(The AI-generated image at top was created by Bing Image Creator and customised with Microsoft Designer to my simple prompt, “Create a dark feature image for a blog post with a large menacing-looking X. Use black and red colours to make it more ominous. Add the text ‘Out with X, in with Peace of Mind'”.)