Starting today I’m taking a one-month hiatus from Twitter, until February 21, 2021. After that I’ll reassess if I want to stop using it indefinitely or not. (I deleted my Facebook and barely-used Instagram accounts several years ago.)
The immediate reason I’m taking a break and potentially stopping using Twitter entirely is because of the likely effect Twitter and other social media companies had on permitting the spread of election misinformation and facilitating domestic terrorist coordination that led to the invasion of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The larger issue that this points to is these sites’ documented spread of other misinformation, including about the coronavirus.
The problem is not primarily that Twitter and other companies made poor decisions in preventing this, and should have made better decisions. The scarier problem is the likelihood that even if everyone at these companies intended the best, the incentives of algorithmic advertising companies are such that they cannot make better decisions.
As much as I enjoy Twitter, this is no big sacrifice since I don’t get my livelihood from it. But I’m hoping it’s a helpful month of reorienting how I get my information and interaction.
You can always find all the ways to reach me on the homepage of CodingItWrong.com. They include:
- I’ll be blogging here. If you’d like to follow my posts and aren’t already using RSS I put together a page of recommended RSS tools. I’ve added a comment system so you can reply to posts on the site, and I’ll be checking those comments and replying.
- I set up a personal Gitter chat room if anyone would like to chat more directly.
- You can always email me using my email address in the site footer.