Twitter has rarely offered me anything of great value. I signed up to it when my blog was over at the Times Union, in that I was encouraged by the TU higher-ups to have a larger social media presence to help promote my blog. Or, in true-speak, to help promote people to visit my blog so that the necessary click-throughs would benefit the TU’s bottom line.
I kept the Twitter account after I left the TU platform in 2017. And in truth, It has allowed me to connect with people I never previously believed I could contact. So I’m definitely good on that front. And I also have many blogreaders who also keep in contact with me through the Twitter platform.
But there’s something that’s bothered me about Twitter. Big time.
The garbage – and the algorithms that force garbage upon me.
Example. I think Congresswoman Lauren Boebert is a piece of shit. However, for some reason, Twitter keeps sending me her posts because some of the people in my personal Twitter network also follow her, so Twitter MUST think I want to see Lauren Boebert’s vulgarities and idiocy on a daily basis. No I do not.
Another example. Some of my Twitter interactors follow a TV series called The Wheel of Time. I understand it’s quite a popular fantasy show. I’m not interested in it. Even after I’ve clicked on Twitter’s little pull-down menu asking to not see so many posts about it. Yeesh.
A third example. I get a regular stream of blog followers whose Twitter handle is a short name and a long string of numbers, along with a photo of some girl almost wearing a bikini. Yeah, no. Chuck’s BASIC rule is he doesn’t do bots.
Or let me put it to you in BASIC terms.
10 CLS 20 PRINT "CHUCK DOES NOT DO BOTS" 30 GOTO 10 40 END
Clear enough for you?
But now comes the big deal-breaker for me. Elon Musk just bought Twitter, and now people who have been permanently banned for violating Twitter’s Terms of Service are now allowed back on the platform – with other people gleefully cheering those members’ returns. Ugh. Straight-up ugh.
With that, I could have completely shut down and removed my Twitter account from existence. Or I could have just sat there and ignored all the garbage that came through the Twitter pipeline.
Yesterday, I chose a different response.
I made my Twitter account private.
And I’m okay with that.
This way, I can control the feed that I see, and not have Twitter shove disinformation and propaganda and other assorted crapola down my throat.
Honestly, I need to take this step for my own personal mental health. I don’t want to leave Twitter, but I also don’t want to deal with Twitter horseshit.
I then took another step. I opened an account on the newly-formed social network Tribel. Both my Twitter and Tribel accounts are clickable on my blogroll, so if you want to visit me on Tribel, you can. If you want to visit me on Twitter, you can – just realize that you’ll have to be vetted before you can join my Twitter network.
Trust me on this. I’ve been caught on the short stick of too many abusive and detrimental relationships. I have to protect my personal mental health.
And to do this, I have to change my approach with Twitter.
I won’t apologize for this action. I need to do this.
And just as a bonus … you can still visit my blog here. And you can comment on my blog here. Just don’t act like a bully or like a knuckle-dragger, and all will be fine.
Are we square?
Okay. We’re square.
UPDATE: After further research … and discovering that Tribel’s terms of service with respect to post ownership and copyright … were too onerous and far-reaching for my taste. And the more I read, the more uncomfortable I felt.
So I actually deleted that Tribel account. I think I was on Tribel for maybe four days.
And that might be five days too long for that platform.