#WomenBoycottTwitter
October 13, 2017 4:11 AM   Subscribe

After the banning of Rose McGowan showed that nothing's changed at Twitter, a flood of users have decided to boycott Twitter today. The tweets that got McGowan temporarily banned were part of the conversation about sexual harassment in the film industry prompted by allegations against Harvey Weinstein (previously).
posted by clawsoon (285 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
just to say that I acknowledge & will support the feelings of some women who instead want to #amplifyWomen as we are silenced enough.
posted by Wilder at 4:32 AM on October 13 [20 favorites]


"Twitter told the Guardian that McGowan’s account was temporarily locked because one of her tweets included a private phone number, which violates the company’s terms of service.

“The tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked,” a spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:32 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


I'm one of the ones in the boycott, but was tempted to join the amplify. Maybe I'll do both by amplifying women tomorrow.

....I am also chuffed to report that the thing that tipped me over into boycotting today was to read a couple of posts from a couple men in my feed who said "you know what, women shouldn't be alone in this, I'm going to boycott for the day tomorrow too."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 AM on October 13 [25 favorites]


Worth adding the response of some women of color to the idea of a boycott. Eve Ewing/@wikipediabrown wrote a thread against it as a silencing move that's part of a history of white feminists ignoring the concerns of women of color, and April Reign, creator of the OscarsSoWhite hashtag, is organizing #WOCAffirmation today that seeks to highlight and amplify women of color's voices instead of silence them.
posted by mediareport at 4:35 AM on October 13 [23 favorites]


On the face of it, that rationale seems worthy. However, an absolute flood of people (mostly women) came forth to testify that they'd reported people doxxing them, and Twitter doing nothing.

When it's against a woman, they won't even delete the tweet. When it's against a man, they suspend the user.
posted by explosion at 4:36 AM on October 13 [139 favorites]


So many folks have also been tweeting examples of times their phone numbers and home addresses have been posted and Twitter replied to them that the posts did not violate Twitter's terms of service. Twitter execs are a bunch of craven liars.

Which makes this Buzzfeed piece particularly savage:

Twitter Would Like You To Know It Is Committed To Being More Transparent

Twitter wants everyone to know it is committed to transparency. It is also committed to committing to being committed to transparency.
posted by mediareport at 4:41 AM on October 13 [55 favorites]


Men are always asking how they can help, so here: if you aren't participating in the boycott, then spend the day tweeting about the issue, using #WomenBoycottTwitter or #WOCAffirmation or #amplifyWomen. Help make sure all three are trending.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 4:44 AM on October 13 [20 favorites]


I'm spending the day over at mastodon.social which is really interesting. Lots of sciency types, and CS ppl, very strict rules abt hate speech. A little like Metafilter come to think of it.
posted by emjaybee at 4:48 AM on October 13 [20 favorites]


A lot of men are also spending the day exclusively retweeting women rather than being like "My thoughts as a white man from California on why it's really important to listen and let these women's voices be heard! (1/347)", which is a good thing to see.
posted by Catseye at 4:48 AM on October 13 [15 favorites]


I'm boycotting. I use Twitter a lot, but its policies are beyond terrible, and to me the point is to show Twitter that its users have noticed and don't need it. Like they say, if you're not paying for a service, you're not the customer -- you're the product. The boycott is effectively a labor strike. Twitter needs to get its fucking act together. It's basically just AIM, right? It's extremely replaceable.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:50 AM on October 13 [26 favorites]


"Twitter told the Guardian that McGowan’s account was temporarily locked because one of her tweets included a private phone number, which violates the company’s terms of service.

“The tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked,” a spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:32 AM on October 13 [+] [!]


Oh hey look, there's always someone who drives by some gas-lighty bit of denial in one of these threads.

In response, I'm just going to quote IAmUnaware's excellent comment from the end of the politics thread:
Just so everyone's clear on where Twitter's priorities are: they already know who the Nazis on their platform are. They're required to flag Nazi accounts so that they do not appear when you use Twitter from a German or French IP address. That means that there's already an existing flag that they could use to trivially ban a huge portion of the fascist recruiting and propaganda effort from their service at any moment. Guess why they haven't.

The fastest way to get infracted on Twitter is still to yell at fascists or white supremacists. You can say back to them the same things that they're saying to you and you will get suspended while they will not. On the other hand, people do not get infracted for talking about how they wish they could enslave black people or shovel Jewish people into ovens, and of course basically any kind of harassment is okay as long as the target is a woman. The company is too cowardly to make their positions clear, but if you just follow the pattern of their behavior it becomes pretty obvious.

She puts someone's private number in a tweet which is one of the few cardinal sins on Twitter.

That's not true. People do this all the time. Tons of protesters have been doxxed very thoroughly (and often incorrectly!) on right-wing Twitter, and if you report those posts you'll be told that they don't violate the ToS. This is a bald-faced lie from the Twitter support team that is meant to sound reasonable to people who aren't very involved with Twitter. Please don't fall for it.
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:08 PM on October 12 [64 favorites −] [!]
Maybe consider whether your comment actually adds to the discussion, or whether it's just there because you want to say women are being hysterical without actually having to say women are being hysterical.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:56 AM on October 13 [157 favorites]


... also on Mastodon you toot instead of tweet. I forgot that very important part.
posted by emjaybee at 5:06 AM on October 13 [33 favorites]


I'm with the boycott. I have a very long personal history with the company and still love the product, but I'm mad about a lot of things about the way it's run now and this seems like a good way to express frustration specifically with how it handles abusive people on its platform.

To me the problem starts at the top. Twitter's executive leadership has been decimated over the years. The problem goes back a very long time with all sorts of Board of Directors shenanigans and a string of fired / quit VP level executives. But the problem at the moment is it doesn't have a full time CEO. I like Jack and think he is very capable but no one should try to run a $10B+ public company part time. Particularly one with this much cultural influence, one that's been struggling so hard.
posted by Nelson at 5:18 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]


On the boycott itself: a one day boycott seems...less than effective, to me? And one that was organized without the input of WOC, who routinely bear the brunt of harassment on Twitter and other platforms, seems ill-advised, at best.

It is pretty clear that collective action is needed, but I question whether the goal should be to somehow reform twitter, because unless someone has the money and ability to stage a hostile takeover, they're not gonna be reformed. An organized, sustained campaign, focusing on people with massive followers, to leave twitter and jump to something else might do it. But that's a massive campaign, not something you can do in 24 hours. And it requires a substitute that is as easy to use as Twitter. (So...not mastodon.)

Anyway. Twitter is a company full of and run by MRA Nazi misogynist pieces of shit and deserves to go down in flames.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:22 AM on October 13 [10 favorites]


I think it makes much more of an impact to be purposeful about reading, retweeting, and otherwise amplifying women's voices on Twitter in a protest against harassment and Twitter double standards rather than actively choose to silence yourself. That's what I'm going to do on Twitter today, at least.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:31 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


From mediareport's link:
When reached by journalists from numerous outlets, including BuzzFeed News, Twitter offered its boilerplate response: it does not comment on individual accounts for privacy reasons.

Later on, after numerous angry tweets from celebrities and others, Twitter clarified its reasoning, explaining McGowan was briefly locked out of her account for tweeting a phone number.
I got whiplash from the first sentence to the second. "We will not violate the privacy of our users, which is why we are not commenting. Oh, well, if you keep asking, in that case we'll totally violate our privacy policy." As soon as it comes to protecting themselves and throwing a user under the bus, they decide that a policy intended to protect users means nothing.

My increasing impression is that Twitter does not know what "policy" means. They heard the word once, and they know some of the incantations that routinely go with it ("for privacy reasons"). "Policy" means "magic spell that we hope will make people stop complaining." If one magic spell doesn't work, try saying another one and hope that it works.
posted by clawsoon at 5:32 AM on October 13 [68 favorites]


I'm with the boycott!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:36 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


To me sitting around amplifying women's voices on Twitter does absolutely nothing if your goal is actual change from Twitter (which is the point of the boycott). Twitter doesn't care if your engagement is positive or not, all they care is that you are engaged. Twitter's abuse policies are horrible and result in repeated widespread harassment campaigns of both individuals and minority groups. If anything Twitter amplifies the voices of harassers. For instance they have repeatedly punished people for reposting the abusive messages they've received from other users while letting the abusers original messages stand.

The phone number thing is also a transparent excuse. Just two weeks ago a police department posted the personal addresses of arrested protestors. That post is still up. Twitter did nothing despite it expressly violating their policies.
posted by cyphill at 5:49 AM on October 13 [70 favorites]


If you haven't seen the Ben Affleck video..... Yeah, that guy is even more disgusting than you ever suspected.
posted by xammerboy at 5:49 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


There was no organizing around this -- someone came up with the idea, and made a hashtag. This has happened within 8-12 hours of McGowan's suspension. There weren't meetings -- if there were, I sure as shit wasn't invited. So it's pretty funny to see gripes about WWIC?
posted by gsh at 5:49 AM on October 13 [9 favorites]


When it's against a woman, they won't even delete the tweet. When it's against a man, they suspend the user.

twitter is offering a public service - how in the world is that not sex discrimination? - a boycott is not enough - they need to be sued and sued hard over the biased practices they're following

change isn't going to happen without lawyers involved
posted by pyramid termite at 5:54 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


On the boycott itself: a one day boycott seems...less than effective, to me? And one that was organized without the input of WOC, who routinely bear the brunt of harassment on Twitter and other platforms, seems ill-advised, at best.

If a WOC Twitter user were to propose a day of boycotting Twitter, I'd do that, too. Women of color have definitely taken a lot of crap from the service, no question. I don't really see the point in debating who's been most abused by it. I reported a user who was literally sending me photos of wartime atrocities and my response from Twitter was essentially, "Good day sir I SAID GOOD DAY!" I'm a white guy. Twitter treats everyone with disdain who complains about its terrible South Park republican politics, and while it may treat women of color the worst, I must repeat that it treats everyone with disdain who complains about its terrible South Park republican politics. I am here to support as many boycotts as you want to throw at these goddamned sonsofbitches.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:55 AM on October 13 [9 favorites]


If you haven't seen the Ben Affleck video..... Yeah, that guy is even more disgusting than you ever suspected.

Just another reason why Kevin Conroy is still the best Batman.

Derail, yes, but I really don't like him.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:55 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


If fucking up is a business model then I don't understand why Twitter isn't showing a profit.
posted by tommasz at 5:57 AM on October 13 [10 favorites]


Good grief the Metafilter two minutes of hate is strong today. Comments calling Twitter things like "Nazi misogynists" are pretty over the top.

Shouldn't we be celebrating the fact that Twitter finally has a sensible policy against doxxing that they have demonstrated they now have the ability to enforce? Shouldn't we now be talking about ways to hold them accountable for enforcing this policy universally in the future?

Or is this just about us all being angry that they're enforcing a perfectly reasonable policy against someone we agree with instead of exclusively using it against people we disagree with?
posted by fremen at 5:59 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


Shouldn't we be celebrating the fact that Twitter finally has a sensible policy against doxxing that they have demonstrated they now have the ability to enforce?
They have always been capable of enforcing this policy and they have always selectively enforced it.
posted by xyzzy at 6:00 AM on October 13 [164 favorites]


I'm with the boycott (though my fingers keep opening the tabs of their own volition)

Over the last few weeks I've kept thinking that that bad is starting to outweigh the good on Twitter, but I haven't been able to quit it yet. There are some social ties there that are hard to break.

So, I think a short boycott is a perfect way to send a message to Twitter. It can be something really great if it would just take some responsibility for maintaining public safety. I feel like a boycott is the only way to get Twitter's attention, since they are ultimately driven by eyeballs. We can't effect change in Twitter by amplifying women on Twitter, because they don't really care what is being said, as long as they get to serve ads in between. I think they've made that perfectly clear.

On the other hand, I think Mastodon is a great architecture for a truly public Tweet-like experience that can distribute and diversify moderation. I think one of two things needs to happen for it to take off. Either celebrities need to get on there, or a few existing web communities need to add their own instances
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:02 AM on October 13 [7 favorites]


Fremen, if you think this is the beginning of a consistent policy and not the continuation of random suspensions, deletions and arbitrary punishments that only happen after media coverage hits critical mass you should try listening to people before dismissing their complaints.
posted by cyphill at 6:03 AM on October 13 [39 favorites]


Good grief the Metafilter two minutes of hate is strong today. Comments calling Twitter things like "Nazi misogynists" are pretty over the top.

Willikers
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:03 AM on October 13 [22 favorites]


If you're not boycotting twitter, check out biz's account (with replies) he's the co-founder of twitter and he does an excellent job of pretending to care, but the white supremacy comes through loud and clear after awhile.
posted by Yowser at 6:03 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]


At this point, there needs to be a circumspect deep dive into who is running the Twitter customer relations/policy enforcement team. If they aren't a closet alt-reich'er using that position to keep Twitter fash friendly then I'm out of ideas as to why Twitter is doing this on a seemingly monthly basis.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:04 AM on October 13 [24 favorites]


At this point, there needs to be a circumspect deep dive into who is running the Twitter customer relations/policy enforcement team. If they aren't a closet alt-reich'er using that position to keep Twitter fash friendly then I'm out of ideas as to why Twitter is doing this on a seemingly monthly basis.

Bots count as users for promoted tweets and nazis have a lot of them.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:06 AM on October 13 [13 favorites]


I mean, they can also be closet alt-righters, and making money from giving nazis a platform is a despicable and evil business model, but it could really be just that simple.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:07 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I think it makes much more of an impact to be purposeful about reading, retweeting, and otherwise amplifying women's voices on Twitter in a protest against harassment and Twitter double standards rather than actively choose to silence yourself. That's what I'm going to do on Twitter today, at least.
Twitter only cares about its bottom line, and it has decided that it profits from having a double standard whereby it treats women, people of color, and other marginalized people really differently from how it treats white men who hate women, people of color, and other marginalized people. The only reason that Twitter would change would be if they thought that facilitating hate was having an impact on their bottom line. They're delighted if you respond to their twisted policies by amplifying women: they want you to tweet more.

I dunno. I'm pretty dependent on Twitter for news and commentary, and I am reluctant to let it go. But it feels like an act of self-hatred to continue to use this platform that hates me so much for so many different reasons.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:08 AM on October 13 [27 favorites]


Fremen, if you think this is the beginning of a consistent policy and not the continuation of random suspensions, deletions and arbitrary punishments that only happen after media coverage hits critical mass you should try listening to people before dismissing their complaints.

If your argument is that Twitter is only enforcing policy against progressive voices and allowing all hate speech and harassment to go unchecked as some kind of pro-hate political statement, prove it. Use data please. I want to see it time plotted as well so that we can see recent changes in direction (are they getting better or worse).

I know people who work for Twitter. They're good people. Twitter has been used for some offensive purposes, but calling their employees "Nazi misogynists" is also super offensive.
posted by fremen at 6:11 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


Twitter has been used for some offensive purposes in the past, but calling people Nazi misogynists is also super offensive.

enabling nazi misogynists and giving them a platform is super offensive
posted by pyramid termite at 6:14 AM on October 13 [141 favorites]


Richard Spencer is verified.

End. Of.
posted by Yowser at 6:14 AM on October 13 [82 favorites]


If your argument is that Twitter is only enforcing policy against progressive voices and allowing all hate speech and harassment to go unchecked as some kind of pro-hate political statement, prove it. Use data please.

We don't have to. It has already been done. Go find it, instead of saying "these people are my friends they are nice people!" Which, you may recall, is the chorus that comes out against anyone who speaks up about abuse.

From what I have seen, the reason for the boycott is because Twitter views any engagement with their platform as $$$$. This is why they do not ban Nazis from countries where it is not required by law— sweet sweet page views and clicks and likes are their bread and butter, and hateful people spread a lot of them around.

They have a long history of punishing those who speak out against hate far more consistently than those spreading it. If you are unaware of this, congrats: you have bought into a lawless corporation’s PR spiel. This does not speak highly of you, especially when it comes to listening to WoC, who have been sounding this alarm for years.

I think all three campaigns can exist with different goals, and that all three can have an impact and make more people pay attention to different aspects of this problem.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:14 AM on October 13 [45 favorites]


I know people who work for Twitter. They're good people.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
posted by explosion at 6:15 AM on October 13 [76 favorites]


I know people who work for Twitter. They're good people. Twitter has been used for some offensive purposes in the past, but calling their employees "Nazi misogynists" is also super offensive.

What do you call people who enable and collaborate with Nazi misogynists. If they're not going to CLEARLY stand apart from them, you understand the tendency to lump them all together.
posted by mikelieman at 6:15 AM on October 13 [38 favorites]


Fremen, what you just did was dismiss every one in this thread's personal and specific experiences and instead demand data that no normal user has access to and that would require thousands of man hours to produce and analyze. You aren't actually here for a real conversation, are you?
posted by cyphill at 6:16 AM on October 13 [133 favorites]


Twitter has been used for some offensive purposes, but calling their employees "Nazi misogynists" is also super offensive.
Telling Jewish people they'd look good as a lampshade is also super offensive, but your buddies seem to think that's just fine. I'm confused about why you think that your friends should be protected from what you think is offensive speech, but the rest of us should just suck it up and deal with it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:17 AM on October 13 [79 favorites]


I for one find jokes about throwing antifascists out of helicopters Pinochet style to be the height of civil engagement!

(Twitter won't suspend accounts for having very obvious helicopter murder references)
posted by Yowser at 6:19 AM on October 13 [7 favorites]


fremen, if you know people who work for twitter, maybe you could get them to do something about the prolonged harassment of Rain Jokinen (scroll for linked tweets). because she's dealt with a death threat campaign from some idiot who wants her twitter handle for YEARS and twitter does not care one little infinitesimal bit.

[from the linked comments, from Rain: "I'll add that not only have I been threatened ON Twitter, but several of those trolls have even gone so far as to call me, and my parents, and threaten us over the phone, stating they know where we live, they're going to expose all our private info, etc., just because they want my user name. They've done this more than once, a police report was filed, and Twitter was informed of this. I believe their response was...that I should make sure two step verification is turned on for my account."]
posted by halation at 6:20 AM on October 13 [41 favorites]


I dunno. I'm pretty dependent on Twitter for news and commentary, and I am reluctant to let it go. But it feels like an act of self-hatred to continue to use this platform that hates me so much for so many different reasons.

Same. I don't need to use twitter for my job or anything, so I'm participating in the boycott today. I don't have a ton of followers, I'm more of a reader than a tweeter, so my absence isn't really something that will be noticed. But it's as much a reminder to myself that I don't need twitter, that I have other things to keep me busy and other ways to engage with people on whatever topic, and other ways to follow what's happening. It's a way of confirming to myself - you don't need to be a part of a toxic community if you don't want to; leaving is always an option. (Though I understand not everyone can "leave" because many people need to be on twitter for work.)
posted by melissasaurus at 6:20 AM on October 13 [15 favorites]


There was no organizing around this -- someone came up with the idea, and made a hashtag. This has happened within 8-12 hours of McGowan's suspension. There weren't meetings -- if there were, I sure as shit wasn't invited. So it's pretty funny to see gripes about WWIC?

Wait, no, that can't be right. I was told repeatedly that the misandrist gynocracy was extraordinarily well-organized, and that all local chapters took leadership directly from Gloria Steinem. Surely you can't be implying that this is an organic protest, rather than something contrived by the man-hating feminists from their secret volcano lair?
posted by Mayor West at 6:22 AM on October 13 [12 favorites]


something contrived by the man-hating feminists from their secret volcano lair

Nah, we got bigger plans brewing in our volcano lair.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:24 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


I mean, I've been on the receiving end of alt-right harassment that Twitter did nothing to stop. I found it terrifying and disconcerting and I was furious that Twitter didn't think tweets that told me about sexualized violence I could look forward to in concentration camps were actionable.

But it is frustrating that the step to far, as Roxane Gay pointed out, is Twitter banning a white woman's account when there was no large-scale boycott when Leslie Jones was being harassed and it took an absurd amount of time to get Milo Yiannoupolos banned, or when Native women are banned and have tweets deleted for exposing harassment, or when Black women bear the brunt of harassment and abuse on Twitter with no official response? White women are great at supporting ourselves and speaking out in frustrating when something affects us, but there's a reason #solidarityisforwhitewomen is trending, and I think that this is another example of white feminists trying too little too late, with too little context for our actions. I do think that amplifying the voices of women of color is a good use of Twitter space today. I don't think the boycott will have much of an impact at all on the economic reserves of Twitter, and I'd rather participate at a time when it is an inclusive, organized thing that's not rubbing the noses of women of color in the fact that white women can't be bothered to support them but we'll sure be there for other white ladies.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:26 AM on October 13 [55 favorites]


I swear to Christ. The internet century straight up invented a new goddamn logical fallacy: Argument from Engineering.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:31 AM on October 13 [70 favorites]


kittens for breakfast: "its policies are beyond terrible, and to me the point is to show Twitter that its users have noticed and don't need it."

If that was true people would be doing a long term boycott not just a single day. Want to show Twitter they can be replaced and/or they should be more consistent with TOS violations? Boycott for a month.
posted by Mitheral at 6:34 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


I know people who work for Twitter. They're good people. Twitter has been used for some offensive purposes, but calling their employees "Nazi misogynists" is also super offensive.

Ahh yes, you're surely the voice of reason in this discussion, and not someone with a bias towards one side due to personal relationships that are involved. It's no wonder that you're so reasonably demanding that the problem (which is clear as fucking day for anyone to see) be proven to a scientific standard with a precision of a million decimal points using data nobody but the very company in question has access to.
posted by tocts at 6:35 AM on October 13 [56 favorites]


I would have gladly boycotted for Leslie Jones or Jemele Hill (and still would!), and I have seen a lot of people citing their experiences as further reasons for the current boycott. That said, neither of them was suspended from twitter itself, afaik. I will gladly continue my boycott of ESPN for Hill, but given that I already had zero chance of consuming any of their products, it's not doing much good.

That said, if today's absence of white women allows more light to shine on the problem of white users failing to show up for PoC on twitter, then GOOD. Let's expose the Nazis and let's expose Biz (I have a child and my child's mother is my wife!!!!) and Jack and let's expose the fragility of white feminists and let's ask white feminists to do a better job of listening to WoC and native voices and trans voices and non-binary voices.

If you look at the hashtag right now, it is an incredible display of PoC speaking up about the lack of allyship from white women, and since so many of those white women are boycotting, there is no one to derail and say "but but but!!!" and I think that can have a necessary and healthy impact too. If the boycott accidentally becomes an act of ceding the floor to people who deserve to be heard and exposing the self-centeredness of the original organizers, then that can be a good result too.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:38 AM on October 13 [31 favorites]


It's worth 2billion to Twitter.
posted by infini at 6:39 AM on October 13


So that's why Twitter keeps losing money!

(Jack would have been fired long ago at, say, a brick and mortar)
posted by Yowser at 6:42 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: Twitter only cares about its bottom line, and it has decided that it profits from having a double standard

That's the interesting bit, though: As tommasz pointed out above, Twitter has done a horrible job from a business perspective of caring about its bottom line. Its net income over the past four years has been, in total, a loss of $2 billion. (If you don't like looking at all those numbers, just look at the bottom line. It's the... uh... bottom line.) It has shown no sign of turning that around.

Twitter users are not a profitable product.
posted by clawsoon at 6:43 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I'm boycotting because Sister Mary Angela told us in 1977 that boycott was the most effective tool held by the colonies against England. I believe that removing our patronage for even one day will show twitter the power that can be wielded by a people united.

So you can imagine my dismay at being asked to fix something on the company twitter account today. Ugh
posted by janey47 at 6:43 AM on October 13 [7 favorites]


I (cis het wm) am also sitting out today. While this may not be one-shot effective, perhaps it is not meant to be. Think of this as practice for more extensive actions.
posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 6:45 AM on October 13 [6 favorites]


Just two weeks ago a police department posted the personal addresses of arrested protestors. That post is still up. Twitter did nothing despite it expressly violating their policies.

Do you have a link to that? I'd like to call their attention to it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:53 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


There are lots of replies here, so I'll make my final case and then drop off this thread.

I am well aware that Twitter has a history of screwing up when it comes to policy enforcement. I'm arguing it comes from a mix of being slow to understand the problem mixed with technical difficulty. Enforcing a policy against a lone person is easy - keeping legions of anon accounts at bay while they regenerate and brigade together to harass someone is hard. Enforcing a reasonable policy against a good person doesn't make it a bad policy, and being similarly unable to enforce those polices against bad people using sophisticated avoidance tactics doesn't indicate an agenda.

What I reject is the idea that Twitter's policy enforcement is some kind of hate plot by the company's leadership aimed at particular people. If you want me to buy into that, then yes I want proof. It doesn't have to be to a million decimal places, but I want proof nonetheless. I notice that nobody has brought it.

More broadly, I reject this kind of discourse. We live in a world where there's a lot that's wrong, and we have a lot of good reasons to be angry. Harvey Weinstein is a good reason to be angry! Women are being mistreated in the workplace. Hell, some of the women I know at Twitter are probably underpaid, and that's worthy of anger.

But if our reaction to these things is to start throwing around names like Nazi and misogynist - words with real meanings that have real implications! - then we risk losing the effectiveness of our message and overlooking the real Nazis and misogynists at the same time. The fact that our response to Twitter's problems is to lump them into the same bucket as actual Nazis is ridiculous and wrong.
posted by fremen at 6:53 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


... but Twitter enables real Nazis and misogynists and doesn't seem particularly inclined to stop them. The medium becomes the message.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:56 AM on October 13 [57 favorites]


We tried, Empress. Twitter didn't care.
posted by Yowser at 6:57 AM on October 13


"well that's not going to work, why are you even bothering" is kind of a common thing to say about most forms of protest, and while it may be true in some ways it is also missing the point in others.

Boycotting Twitter for a day won't shut down Twitter, and is seriously unlikely to make enough of a dent in Twitter's profits to make Twitter act less shittily. (I mean hope springs eternal, but... yeah.) Still, there is a value in doing something in the face of massive powerful corporate awfulness, in signing your name to something alongside others who feel the same way, in knowing you're angry enough to say so. Are your actions insignificant in the face of the behemoth of Twitter? Yeah, probably. But, bigger picture, if we start believing that we shouldn't even bother trying when we're outnumbered, we won't get anywhere ever. And if we believe that we have to sit back and wait for the perfect fix-it solution, we're going to be sitting back and waiting for a long, long time.
posted by Catseye at 6:58 AM on October 13 [15 favorites]


The fact that our response to Twitter's problems is to lump them into the same bucket as actual Nazis is ridiculous and wrong.

This response is more due to the fact that several major exposés have come out within the last week showing that Twitter is riddled with actual Nazis (like, attending white power conferences type Nazis) and misogynists (like, helping to doxx and brigade women they don't like).

Also, your understanding of what Twitter is being criticized for is erroneous. People aren't mad about the anon accounts (or not boycott level mad). They are talking about something else, where known white supremacists and misogynists are given verified accounts regardless of their behavior, which includes harassment and doxxing and posting home addresses and phone numbers. Asking you to get up to speed before you enter this discussion is not a refusal to provide evidence. It comes from the fact that you should probably know what you're talking about before you try to educate anyone else about a subject that is new to you.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:59 AM on October 13 [79 favorites]


What am I supposed to believe about the casual misogyny and white supremacy shown by the twitter support team, Twitter or my own lying eyes?
posted by Yowser at 6:59 AM on October 13 [29 favorites]


fremen - as soon as the reason why Rose was banned was announced by Twitter, my feed was full of women's stories, stories of people doxxing them, not innocently or accidentally (as in contact info left in an email screenshot) but specifically and with threats and malice. These violations were reported to Twitter. And always the reply was "this does not violate our ToS" when it very clearly did. I'd show you some links but I'm not, ya know, going on Twitter today.

These threats aren't "sophisticated avoidance tactics" - they're the very opposite. They sit their out in the open for anyone to see. They are direct threats and specific threats. They're being reported. And Twitter is doing nothing about it.

So yes, when you see a corporation that selectively enforces its own rules and selectively enforces them to the detriment of women and PoC and to the advantage of outright racists and hateful misogynists, they are acting at the very least in a Nazi-adjacent manner.

So instead of defending your friends at Twitter, why aren't you asking them what the hell is going on? They might not be directly supporting Nazis, but they sure as hell aren't forming any sort of barrier to them either.
posted by thecjm at 7:04 AM on October 13 [69 favorites]


Perhaps a Twitter boycott is only slightly more effective activism than signing an online petition. Perhaps there's an inherent problem in using a broken platform to protest a broken platform, because part of the platform's brokenness is in how it amplifies terrible actions from individuals and encourages a kind of divide-and-conquer among people who should be allied against the terrible shit.

As Quinn Norton said today, this underestimates the power of physical protest. Twitter has a large office in San Francisco. People go in to work there every day. If 0.1% of Twitter's active daily users don't post or "engage" for a day (or a week) it's a blip on the metrics; if 0.01% show up in SF, it stops the traffic. And they get to talk to each other. And Twitter's employees get to see users as people and not aggrieved words in boxes. Maybe that's the next step.
posted by holgate at 7:04 AM on October 13 [13 favorites]


"Nazi misogynists"

I believe the term is "Premium User".

Oh, and if you know people at Twitter don't waste your time defending them, tell them to get their shit together.
posted by Artw at 7:05 AM on October 13 [60 favorites]


I love Twitter, despite not really using my personal account very much anymore (two guesses as to why I eventually had to lock it) and mostly just using my podcast account to promote my show and connect with other women in the craft beer industry. I support the boycott in general, but am more concerned with yet another aspect of white feminism gaining more notice than what WOC and LGBTQ folks have to deal with on the daily. I'm always happy to take a backseat and amplify their voices, because no one seems to care when they get doxxed/harassed/threatened as much. It absolutely doesn't have to be "you can only care about one thing" viewpoint, but consider boosting those voices if you want to do something more.
posted by Kitteh at 7:11 AM on October 13 [7 favorites]




The fact that our response to Twitter's problems is to lump them into the same bucket as actual Nazis is ridiculous and wrong.

play nazi games, win nazi prizes
posted by entropicamericana at 7:13 AM on October 13 [71 favorites]


No one expected sit ins to force Woolworth's to close its doors, and no one expects every protest to be as momentous as the Greensboro protests. That's not how protests work.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:13 AM on October 13 [9 favorites]


I also know folks who work at Twitter. (I worked there in the very early days, when it was < 10 people, and remain friendly with them. Including Jack and Biz.) I can vouch that they are not "MRA Nazi misogynist pieces of shit". The folks I know at Twitter have their heart in the right place. That's the terrible thing: well meaning progressive people can also fail very hard at creating safe, reasonable spaces for discourse.

Twitter is failing. They have created a platform that is used for harassment and hate. Twitter has shown themselves inadequate at policing it, and also of not caring enough to take its problems seriously. Women and various minorities get a shittier experience as Twitter users. It's bad, and a snap boycott like this is a small way to protest it.

As I said above my opinion is Twitter is facing a crisis of failure of leadership. Jack only works at Twitter half time, which IMHO is outrageous for CEO. Biz is only newly back and already seems more interested in creating appearances than changing reality. There's other leadership in the company, although it's awfully weak given the years of management problems and board shenanigans. FWIW Del Harvey, their VP of trust and safety, has been there a long time and someone I have enormous respect for.
posted by Nelson at 7:13 AM on October 13 [41 favorites]


The reason Twitter continues to be propped up despite hemorrhaging money is because it is an arm of the surveillance apparatus. It is effectively a honeypot (as are all forms of social media), and national security organizations have their arm entrenched to the elbow. Better to allow these hate-mongering morons foment and organize themselves in public view than scatter to more deanonymized networks. This is at least one rationale that was communicated to me from someone who works for the DOD.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 7:15 AM on October 13 [26 favorites]


I remember when twitter was for telling people what you had for lunch, when you needed to poop, and whether or not you were so bored. Now it's a place where people fight injustice and the President of the United States announces foreign policy. The internet is fucking weird.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:15 AM on October 13 [44 favorites]


That said, if today's absence of white women allows more light to shine on the problem of white users failing to show up for PoC on twitter, then GOOD. Let's expose the Nazis and let's expose Biz (I have a child and my child's mother is my wife!!!!) and Jack and let's expose the fragility of white feminists

While I wouldn't go quite so far as to lump white feminists in with Twitter founders and Nazis in the list of people whose terribleness needs to be exposed, I do think it's good to see more PoC voices getting exposure here, and particularly around the issue of who steps up for who and when.

I mean, the issue here is presumably not that there is some white feminist HQ passing proposals for boycotts through a central committee ("Leslie Jones? Nah. Rose McGowan? Yes. Susan, you're commissioning the hashtag!"), but rather that people just were more outraged about what happened to Rose McGowan. That what happened to Leslie Jones, well, people didn't like it exactly, but there was much more a sense of "well gosh, isn't the world just terrible, tut tut," vs fury and "what the hell, this isn't how the world should be!" for Rose McGowan. And why was that, exactly? Well... er.

Anyway I looked at my own Twitter feed earlier (I have to monitor a feed for work so can't say I'm boycotting exactly) and while it's currently much quieter, one of the things I did see on it was this great article today from Claire Heuchan, on solidarity and overt/covert racism from white women: We need a new, radical vision of feminist sisterhood. Maybe I'd have missed seeing it without the boycott and maybe I wouldn't, I dunno, but if I'm only reading one thing on Twitter today I'm happy it's that.
posted by Catseye at 7:17 AM on October 13 [15 favorites]


"VP of trust and safety, has been there a long time" - so this is their fault? Cause this has been a problem for a long time too. Maybe the long-standing VP of Trust and Safety who has been their forever gets to shoulder some blame for the mess that is Twitter safety and enforcement.
posted by thecjm at 7:19 AM on October 13 [6 favorites]


It's the place where GamerGate happened, and they did absolutely fuck all about it and learned nothing from it.
posted by Artw at 7:22 AM on October 13 [76 favorites]


It doesn't have to be to a million decimal places, but I want proof nonetheless. I notice that nobody has brought it.

This has opened my eyes! Everyone, I know women and POC are being treated badly on Twitter, but I have so many concerns! If we're not careful, we could end up demonizing people in positions of great power, and they'd have so many sads!

Really, we need to be mindful of language. We can't let ourselves use words that are the slightest bit too severe or not severe enough -- precision is required!

Only if we look closely at the oppressed and make sure they're acting in perfect precision with documented proof of all problems can we be sure our cause is righteous!

Look, I get it -- people are being hurt, but what about those who are only almost nazis? Is it really fair to call them nazis?

Let's band together everyone -- I'm sure if we go back to the drawing board and document a few decades of abuse in excruciating detail, eventually we'll have the moral high ground required to begin doing anything about this.

🍔
posted by tocts at 7:22 AM on October 13 [73 favorites]


Hhhhmmm, this coffee is good! I love coffee. Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:24 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


If someone wanted to leave Twitter for good, what other platforms are there that would do the same things? I would think that even if a small percentage of Twitter users jumped ship to something else it would make that platform much more viable and valuable.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:26 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


So does anyone know how to block twitter completely in unblock? I'm technically boycotting, but I keep seeing embedded tweets and I'm sure they're tracking me in other places as well.
posted by Yowser at 7:27 AM on October 13


noscript in Firefox is your friend for keeping twitter out of your life. You will still get the text but you won't get the embedded tweet.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:29 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


Yowser, i run a combo of uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger and it basically breaks every webpage i visit

it's great
posted by halation at 7:31 AM on October 13 [18 favorites]


So does anyone know how to block twitter completely in unblock?
This won't answer your question, but it might answer someone else's. In Ghostery, if you click the browser icon, there are three dots on the top right to bring out a settings menu. In advanced settings, you can search specifically for Twitter and disable every Twitter-related item.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:31 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


I get that there is a lot of social momentum behind boycotting, but if you really want Twitter to notice, block or mute all the advertisers that show up in your twitter feed with promoted tweets.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:31 AM on October 13 [7 favorites]


I'm arguing it comes from a mix of being slow to understand the problem mixed with technical difficulty. Enforcing a policy against a lone person is easy - keeping legions of anon accounts at bay while they regenerate and brigade together to harass someone is hard.

FFS, usenet had all of those issues, and the clients had the ability to do keyword blocks and such, and that was the 90s.

History, learning, repeating..... Twitter isn't inventing the wheel, here. Their failures stem from willful incompetence or willful malice, and I am beyond the point of caring which is which - in any case, they are inexplicable.

Anyway, I had a (long disused) twitter account. I deleted it today, and it's because nazis. Fuck nazis.

If your comment includes a link to twitter, copy/paste the text, because I won't go there to read it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:33 AM on October 13 [6 favorites]


b1tr0t, how is that more effective than not using the medium at all?

I never used Twitter because of the harassment problems with the platform (not to mention the honeypot effect mentioned above), and in honor of the boycott signed up for a mastodon.host account today. MeMail me if you're looking for a follower.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:35 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


The folks I know at Twitter have their heart in the right place.

No, they don't, because it seems to be baked into Twitter's DNA that the right of someone to be abusive with speech is more important than the right of women not to be abused. If their hearts were in the right place, they would have abandoned "free speech absolutism" when they saw women being attacked.

That's the terrible thing: well meaning progressive people can also fail very hard at creating safe, reasonable spaces for discourse.

They fail at it because they keep putting an ideal of free speech ahead of the safety of women, minorities, and other dispossessed groups, then wonder why those groups feel unsafe. That is neither well meaning or progressive.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:38 AM on October 13 [56 favorites]


I should probably fire up mastodon again and take a another poke at it. There's some nice looking app clients now too.
posted by Artw at 7:38 AM on October 13


b1tr0t, how is that more effective than not using the medium at all?
If you already don't use Twitter, then by all means continue to not use it.

But if you do use it, then you are consuming resources that they pay for. If you block advertisers, they won't be earning any money to offset those costs.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:38 AM on October 13


Twitter is a weird thing. It makes no sense.

Facebook: Get college kids laid! Learn everything about them! Hook them for life! Sell their souls to advertisers. Profitable!

Amazon: Sell Anyone Anywhere Anything (in major wealthy markets only). Limiting case of economies of scale. Utterly terrifyingly profitable.

Google: Find things on the web! Charge people to be found! Now owns everything. Profitability is meaningless.

Apple: Make pretty things that connect people to the web! Focus on the people, not the web! Holy shit, how did 40% margins happen and wait while I find another mattress to stuff this billion in.

You can do this for any billion-dollar internet company. "Etsy: The world is full of talented crafters! Let's connect them in one place and monetise that shit!"*

But you can't do it for Twitter. It makes no sense. It never did. The 140-character thing was kinda-sorta aligned with SMS, at exactly the time me and my friends were removing that stupid limitation (ask me sometime about why SMS *really* happened).

Twitter has no purpose. People use it because it's fast, fun and was, for a very short time, cheaper than SMS in the United States. That is no longer true.

The foundational problem for Twitter is it has no idea who its customers are. Since it doesn't know that, it treats its actual users with contempt.

And it dances to the tune of anyone who might give it the next shot of cash to keep it afloat.

Because Twitter is privately held, we don't know who is really keeping their nostrils above the incomg tide as they gasp for cash. Someone is. And they keep letting the Nazis tweet.

That tells us something.



*Ravelry will take over the world as soon as we get the cat out of the yarn closet
posted by Combat Wombat at 7:42 AM on October 13 [52 favorites]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "
FFS, usenet had all of those issues, and the clients had the ability to do keyword blocks and such, and that was the 90s.
"

And not too long after the September that Never Ended (some say before) USENET became basically unusable for anything besides trading binaries. I'm not sure the tools of late stage USENET are what we want to apply to Twitter.
posted by Mitheral at 7:43 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


@glinner (Graham Linehan - creator of Father Ted, Black Books, IT Crowd etc etc) says he's going to deactivate his account on Sunday.

He's tweeted: Reasons (short version): No consequences for Trump threat, Nazis with blue ticks, bots, harassers gaming their abuse algorithms.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:44 AM on October 13 [19 favorites]


And yeah, I'm not tweeting today
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:46 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


but I want proof nonetheless.

Fuck your proof. We don't owe you anything.
posted by maxsparber at 7:47 AM on October 13 [69 favorites]


To be clearer: I have spent three years of my life flagging every single Nazi account that I see. Flagging every single example of abusive behavior I see. Flagging every single violation of Twitter TOS I see. Which are abundant.

I am Twitter. I was one of the first 10 users in Minnesota. I am part their unpaid snitch squad to try and tamp down the ASTONISHING amount of abuse that happens on the site, because they made a business decision that they would rely on volunteers instead of doing it themselves.

A fraction of my reports are responded to. A fraction get banned.

I don't have to do all that work for so little results and also document it all for some rando on the internet because he thinks his friends are good people.

You prove they're good people. Because I basically work for them for free, providing content and engagement and policing their site, and they are shitty people to work for.
posted by maxsparber at 7:50 AM on October 13 [144 favorites]


I'm not sure the tools of late stage USENET are what we want to apply to Twitter.

My point was that twitter took the better part of a decade to implement anything even that rudimentary.

Which is... well, stupid.

And yeah, usenet was decentralized so once something was posted, it was... well, out there. Twitter is.... not that. They can, and have, used that feature for editorial control. They had choices, and have chosen poorly.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:50 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]


Mitheral: "And not too long after the September that Never Ended (some say before) USENET became basically unusable for anything besides trading binaries."

Also USENET makes Twitter look like the combined internal forums of the NAACP and NOW. There probably has never been a whiter, maler, tech dude public place than USENET.
posted by Mitheral at 7:52 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


The folks I know at Twitter have their heart in the right place. That's the terrible thing: well meaning progressive people can also fail very hard at creating safe, reasonable spaces for discourse.

This is my feeling. They are overextended and the downside of that is their walk does not match their talk, if it ever did. And instead of really rolling over an d being like "Shit this is awful what is happening because of various social/technical issues we're not prepared for. We feel bad and are making some big changes immediately" they're doing that weird but predictable privilege thing and sending out a lot of "Hey it's tough for us too!" nonsense.

I'm taking the day off. Which is challenging for me since I actually mostly like Twitter and it mostly works for me. Accounts I report tend to get blocked. I find Block Together mostly works for me. I get very little harassment. But that's not the average user experience and certainly not the average female experience.

Once I learned you could just set your location to "Germany" and not see all the Nazi accounts-and-bots (because Nazism is actually illegal in Germany and Twitter has employed technical means to keep Naxi tweets out of Germany) I decided I wasn't satisfied with what they were doing to try to keep women, POC, GLBTQ folks and others, safe. A boycott wouldn't be my first choice, but it's useful in some ways and it's also useful for me, personally, to think about how my privileged position in a forum/platform where so many others are getting abused and harassed is worthy of a lot of reflection and reaction, and what else i could maybe be doing to be helpful.
posted by jessamyn at 7:53 AM on October 13 [66 favorites]


I think we have had the discussion, over on the political threads, that there is no one perfect way to protest. Sit-ins are good, but not perfect. Demonstrations, same. Boycotts, same. Letter to the editor, giant inflatable rats, videos on Facebook, all have their pluses and minuses.

I completely get that PoC feel frustrated that it took a famous pretty white lady complaining for people to seriously talk Twitter boycott. They're right and they are right to protest via amplification.

I also agree that any boycott, even one inspired by a famous pretty white lady getting banned, can have beneficial effects. The media pays attention to famous pretty white ladies. So it's also right to use that to call attention to Twitter becoming a trash fire, and to explore what other possibilities might be out there.

I've been meaning to explore other platforms for a while, so this was actually more of a convenient timing thing for me. If my failing to use Twitter today adds to the chorus of other people also failing to use it, then great. I don't expect it to have much impact, I'm not verified, I don't have a huge user base. Tomorrow I"ll go back and read over the tweets by PoC and think about them and retweet them. But I will also keep checking my new mastodon account and see if it turns into a place I like to hang out. I dont' want it to be a place for white people, I want to keep hearing the voices of PoC wherever I am, because that in itself has been the most valuable thing I've gotten from Twitter.

I originally started on Twitter to follow authors I loved. Then friends (who mostly don't Tweet much it turns out). Then artists (cartoonists and animators). Some musicians. Some political folks. Some people involved in midwifery. Feminists. And in the last few years, people of color, talking so honestly and so wisely and pointing out the bits of racial injustice that were just invisible to me. I felt privileged to hear them and still do. If I stay on Twitter, ironically, it will be for them, if that's the only place to hear them, I will stay for that.
posted by emjaybee at 7:53 AM on October 13 [17 favorites]


And it's all weight on the victim, always. And muting abuse is pretty meaningless on a public medium anyway because it's not like everyone else can't see it or that a 100 Nazi bots won't swarm in to join the original abuser.
posted by Artw at 7:54 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I've always struggled to find a use for Twitter so I'm not too upset to ditch it. I've never had more than a couple of personal friends on it and I've never really had much dialog there so losing it doesn't really bother me much.

If nothing else, this thread has encouraged me to grab @octothorpe on mastodon.social so there's that.
posted by octothorpe at 7:54 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole: The reason Twitter continues to be propped up despite hemorrhaging money is because it is an arm of the surveillance apparatus. It is effectively a honeypot (as are all forms of social media), and national security organizations have their arm entrenched to the elbow. Better to allow these hate-mongering morons foment and organize themselves in public view than scatter to more deanonymized networks. This is at least one rationale that was communicated to me from someone who works for the DOD.

Welp, I guess we can call that a failed experiment. Turns out that if you let hate-mongers organize in public, they'll elect one of their own to be president and he'll now control the surveillance apparatus.
posted by clawsoon at 7:54 AM on October 13 [25 favorites]


Here's your proof [twitter link]
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:54 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]


Could you mark Twitter links here? Cheers.
posted by Artw at 7:55 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]


Or just cut and paste.
posted by Artw at 7:55 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "My point was that twitter took the better part of a decade to implement anything even that rudimentary.

Which is... well, stupid.
"

True, but it was clients implementing those features. Twitter seems to pride itself on it's shittastic interface.
posted by Mitheral at 7:55 AM on October 13


I'm suprised at the amount of traffic analysis they apply to their problems, which appears to be none. Are they just not capable of it or very good at it? It would seem like it should be a core business strength.
posted by Artw at 7:58 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


so what does that twitter link say, mcmikenamara?
posted by Yowser at 7:58 AM on October 13


Nelson: That's the terrible thing: well meaning progressive people can also fail very hard at creating safe, reasonable spaces for discourse.

We've heard the broad criticisms of Bay Area technoliberalism and its priorities many times, but this feels more micro-level: the people with the inherent power to change Twitter aren't attuned to how it's used or the experience of being under direct threat. This was crystallised not long ago when Biz and another engineer tried reporting violent nazi content (after being shown it by other users) to get back a "thanks for your report, this does not violate The Rules" email, and asked "um, what do we do now?" Reporting shit on Twitter is mostly screaming into the void (or signing an online petition). The de facto Twitter report mechanism is to say "I reported this and was told it was okay" then have someone famous and Verified pick up on it and wave it in front of @jack, and then maybe something happens. Were Twitter's most prominent executives really not aware of how their internal triage has failed and been replaced with public escalation?

(Verified status was created in part to assist famous people and their handlers by filtering out a lot of the shit, making interactions bearable at scale, and providing a few more protections against impersonation. So there was at least some understanding that the Standard Product was not suitable for people like, um, Rose McGowan, even if the implementation is messy and broken like everything else.)

One thing I remember hearing about Slack in its early stages was that every employee had to do a shift on customer-facing support, regardless of the role they were hired for. Slack isn't Twitter, and I wouldn't want my worst enemy to work on Twitter moderation for any extended period -- well, maybe one or two of them in lieu of eternal damnation -- but maybe that's what's necessary for the higher-ups and even the mid-tier engineers as a kind of Total Perspective Vortex.

Combat Wombat: Because Twitter is privately held

Yeah, no.
posted by holgate at 7:58 AM on October 13 [13 favorites]


For all the talk about the tech saavy of Twitter's software designers, I've always gotten the feeling that it's held together with yarn and needles.
posted by Yowser at 7:59 AM on October 13


MCMikeNamara's link was a screenshot of the American Nazi Party's page with 13k likes.
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:59 AM on October 13 [6 favorites]


The last time I blocked someone I noticed that their user number was 918,258,069,817,131,009 ...that's in the quadrillions if you're wondering and it means there's at least 131 million Twitter accounts for every living person earth.

I guess what I'm saying is that Twitter is a sick, sick patient, more bacteria and virus than living tissue at this point in time.
posted by furtive at 8:00 AM on October 13 [17 favorites]


Yup. Flag waving Nazis love Twitter. Twitter also knows who all those Nazis are, because it blocks them in Germany.
posted by Artw at 8:01 AM on October 13 [10 favorites]


meaning progressive people can also fail very hard at creating safe, reasonable spaces for discourse.

I wish I could believe they are well-meaning progressive people, but at this point I have been burned so much by people who talk without walking that I don't even trust myself anymore.
posted by maxsparber at 8:01 AM on October 13 [14 favorites]


Twitter has no purpose. People use it because it's fast, fun and was, for a very short time, cheaper than SMS in the United States. That is no longer true.

You're right, Twitter's funding in the face of unprofitability is very suspicious. I would actually assume Peter Thiel has a vested interest in keeping it going, as an ultra-right billionaire with a history of supporting fascism.

I would disagree about its lack of defining features, however. Twitter has one big thing: all of the users, and especially famous users. They got that through being the first mover in what turned out to be an attractive idea, which is a social network based on directional friendships. That's the idea that in a social network graph, you can either have connections between users where both people make the friend connection as in Facebook (this is directional, in the way that one person initiates and the other person accepts, but Facebook doesn't act on that... that we know of), and you can have connections between users where only one person makes the connection, as in Twitter - so you can follow Kanye West, but Kanye West probably doesn't follow you.

This allows for a more 'general conversation' feeling to things. Threads and hashtags can move through your social circle and your information ecosystem, and you can join in - even if there isn't a meaningful chance that anyone replies to you. And sometimes people even make it. Read the thread under a goofy tweet from a regular person that goes big - their friends joking about how that person finally did it, and they always believed in them. The appeal of Twitter is that it's (perhaps an illusory) chance at striking the stardom lottery. For perhaps the first time ever, ordinary people have the chance to actually get to converse as peers with famous people.

The SMS thing allowed for Twitter to skirt around technical limitations at the time, and therefore allowed them to build a userbase. That userbase is now what they have - it's their sole product, and ESPECIALLY their celebrity userbase.
posted by codacorolla at 8:03 AM on October 13 [11 favorites]


Okay, honestly, these tech companies have a lot to prove as far as I'm concerned. My bet, based on knowing how rich people have acted historically, is that they're all friends even if their politics differ. Are the Twitter higher-ups defriending Peter Thiel and all the men behind the scenes in social media who've been found to be buddies with the alt-right? I bet they're not. I bet they're all friends and socialize together and go to the same events. I bet none of them want to rock the boat.

In any profession, most of the people at the top hang together. Their disagreements are basically hobby disagreements - you like Star Wars, I like Star Trek; you think women and people of color shouldn't get to vote; I....don't agree. But whatevs, right?

As far as I'm concerned, unless I see specific action from these people to disavow and cut ties with actual right-wingers/alt-right in Silicon Valley itself, I don't believe anything they say about their politics. They have far right buddies and business connections, and if they don't like Nazi misogynists, they have ample opportunity to demonstrate that fact.

But they don't, because being rich together is more important.
posted by Frowner at 8:05 AM on October 13 [34 favorites]


About this time last year I said (here, even!): I love twitter as a tool for ambient-awareness-of-my-friends, checking in with my mom without having to call, letting my spouse know whether i'll be coming home or hitting the second bar (without having to interrupt him), asynchronous conversations about non-critical matters, instead of group texts for letting people know which bar we're at now, random snaps of silly stuff on the street, and getting in touch with my sister who never answers her phone.

I hate it for news, politics, work, important communications (like when my brother in law has locked himself out again and is coming over for the spare key) and celebrity gossip. Ugh, work, I especially hate it as work.

I feel like it was developed as the former and is trying to be monetized as the latter.


My feelings have not changed, even though I've been trying in the last year to use is for news, politics, and work. My sense after a year of trying is that it's no better at those things than it ever was and that the thing it's good at (replacing group texts, ambient awareness or the people in your orbit but not in front of you) is being ground into the dust. I'll miss it when that specific utility of the service i s so choked that I can't even connect with my friends anymore on it. I don't know what I'll replace it with.

So I don't know about the boycott--both arguments (that it's a labor strike and a gesture vs. it's acquiescing to being silenced) make sense to me. Public twitter is a cesspool, though, that's certain and I anticipate shuttering my public account forever after this. I'm hoping that improves the quality of my life.
posted by crush at 8:06 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


Once I learned you could just set your location to "Germany" and not see all the Nazi accounts-and-bots (because Nazism is actually illegal in Germany and Twitter has employed technical means to keep Naxi tweets out of Germany) I decided I wasn't satisfied with what they were doing to try to keep women, POC, GLBTQ folks and others, safe.

Yeah, this really cannot be overstated:

Twitter has an avowed, public policy that they know who the Nazis are (partially), and if not blocking them will keep them out of an important market (Germany) they'll put something in place to block them in that market. In other words, their supposed free speech principles are a sham -- they will use them to justify nonaction against abusers, yet the moment it might have an impact on the bottom line they go out the window.

Twitter isn't keeping Nazis around because they're morally opposed to them but just can't bring themselves to impinge on free speech rights. Twitter is keeping Nazis around because they'd prefer to keep Nazis around as long as the Nazis are useful to the bottom line.
posted by tocts at 8:09 AM on October 13 [76 favorites]


I'm participating in the boycott in solidarity but also because I want to take a test run of deleting my twitter account completely, as I suspect it has been extremely unhealthy for me in the last year or so. It's been a few hours and I'm already very aware of not being on Twitter, which means that yes, I am literally addicted to it. So deletion is probably the answer for a lot of reasons.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:11 AM on October 13 [20 favorites]


Yeah, thinking I need to run this out longer and see what it's like sometime. Or find a way to go DMs only for a bit.
posted by Artw at 8:13 AM on October 13


I feel like Twitter has a new fail whale in it's deaf ear to women, minorities, non-bots...


..whale, actually...
posted by nickggully at 8:14 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


Twitter is keeping Nazis around because they'd prefer to keep Nazis around as long as the Nazis are useful to the bottom line.

The fact that both Richard Spencer and David Duke have very public accounts and Spencer is verified suggest to me that there are people in Twitter who aren't just in it for the bottom line, but actually share these ideologies. These people are are in top decision-making positions and until they are gone then white supremacy will always be privileged on Twitter.

In the meanwhile, a large number of black women I follow have actually locked their accounts due to harassment. It's the cause of this comment by cartoonist KM Spangler:

More and more, it seems there's just the one Twitter. The one which allows Nazis to thrive. The one which allows rape & death threats.
posted by maxsparber at 8:15 AM on October 13 [29 favorites]


just to say that I acknowledge & will support the feelings of some women who instead want to #amplifyWomen as we are silenced enough.

Can I just...

Voices of people affected: (X group) are treated terribly here! Let's do this thing to fight oppression!

Me: Okay!

Other people arguably more affected: No! Let's do the OPPOSITE thing as a way to fight oppression!

Me: *screaming while clawing off my own face*

People. I want to help. I want to fight the good fight. I really, really do. But if the people fighting the good fight are going to split down the middle and do opposites all the time, then just...what the fuck.

We can't boycott one day and then amplify the next? Or do each for a week? These are all really good ideas and I don't see why we're self-sabotaging when we can build on each instead.

So I'm gonna boycott 'cause that was the thing I saw first and this thing was started and got rolling in less than a day and I already said I would. But then I'm gonna feel like an ass because there's an opposite thing happening at the same time which I would also totally support.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:16 AM on October 13 [27 favorites]


(Oh, and you know how I don't necessarily know if the amplify thing is happening on a different day? Because it's getting organized on Twitter which I already committed to boycotting! Argh!)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:16 AM on October 13 [6 favorites]


I've always taken breaks when each ep of GoT airs until I've found time to watch it to avoid spoilers. And I've found it pretty refreshing to be honest. Though I've not got around to making it a regular thing or thought of cutting the chord totally

Twitter has a lot of advantages - I've made new friends there for instance, something I've not really done via facebook. But oh boy, the disadvantages... If only someone could come up with a decent twitter replacement I'm sure the'd be a mass migration almost immediately
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:19 AM on October 13


Welp, I guess we can call that a failed experiment. Turns out that if you let hate-mongers organize in public, they'll elect one of their own to be president and he'll now control the surveillance apparatus.

Trump is the single greatest blessing to the military-industrial complex. There are no regrets.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 8:20 AM on October 13


But if the people fighting the good fight are going to split down the middle and do opposites all the time, then just...what the fuck.

With respect and kindness... People are complicated. Other people often use these complications as a way to say "I can't even tell what to think about this so I will do nothing or nitpick their actions!" Figure out what you'd like to do and do it. There will be people there doing that same thing. There will be some people who think you've done the wrong thing. Pointing the finger and saying people trying to do the right thing are "self-sabotaging" is the opposite of helpful. This isn't one person who doesn't know what to do, this is a million women who don't all agree on tactics. This is normal. And it's okay. You're not an ass.
posted by jessamyn at 8:23 AM on October 13 [37 favorites]


Term searching seems like low hanging fruit. Some asshole searches for a term repeatedly looking for strangers to start fights with, you'd think the combination of a search, multiple contacts with accounts they've not had contact with before and subsequent blocking of those assholes would be something some bright engineer could use to ban of bad actors in a lunch break. It's hackday stuff.
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]


Once I learned you could just set your location to "Germany" and not see all the Nazi accounts-and-bots (because Nazism is actually illegal in Germany and Twitter has employed technical means to keep Naxi tweets out of Germany) I decided I wasn't satisfied with what they were doing to try to keep women, POC, GLBTQ folks and others, safe.

I did not know this, and it's completely mind-blowing. It's like if Nazis everywhere decided they would start hanging out at McDonald's and hanging swastika flags there and spitting on anybody they thought looked too Jewish and McDonald's was just like ... shrug, free speech, it's just spit!
posted by uncleozzy at 8:27 AM on October 13 [21 favorites]


Combat Wombat: Because Twitter is privately held

Yeah, no.
posted by holgate at 2:58 on October 14 [2 favorites +] [!]


Wow! I really didn't know they did an IPO! I was wrong. Twitter is a public company! Every dollar it receives or pays must be accounted for!

Public companies are vulnerable to a very simple, cheap and lovely form of accountability. You can buy one share. It will cost about $50. That gives you access to an astonishing amount of detailed information about the business, and the right to attend shareholder meetings. For $50.

Shareholder activism is astonishingly effective.
posted by Combat Wombat at 8:28 AM on October 13 [26 favorites]


I also know folks who work at Twitter. (I worked there in the very early days, when it was < 10 people, and remain friendly with them. Including Jack and Biz.) I can vouch that they are not "MRA Nazi misogynist pieces of shit".

What I know about them is that their platform is really bad at shutting down nazis and mra misogynist pieces of shit who are threatening people and pretty shockingly good at shutting down people who are complaining about being threatened by nazis and mra misogynist pieces of shit. I don't really care what ineffectual statements they made to you that their actions blatantly contradict.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:34 AM on October 13 [52 favorites]


> their platform is really bad at shutting down nazis

Unless you are in a place like Germany, where SURPRISE some accounts you can see here in the good old USofA are blocked from appearing. They have the technology.
posted by rtha at 8:40 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


yeah I should have said "really bad *about* shutting down nazis"
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:43 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]




I'm participating in the boycott in solidarity but also because I want to take a test run of deleting my twitter account completely, as I suspect it has been extremely unhealthy for me in the last year or so.

I'm exactly here. I was a very early Twitter adopter, and at the beginning, I loved all the activity and noise. But yeah, it's become unhealthy for me too; it's just so. much. ugliness. A friend of mine has three sons, and she posted a photo of her youngest holding a sign from the Women's March, saying "We will not go back." Pretty mild. The invective people hurled at her for this literally made me sick, and I do mean literally. And it just never stopped; there were dozens of these things telling her she was "a monster," and that was the more mild of the epithets . She was a bit more sanguine about it, but a platform that allows that sort of hatred to be unleashed so easily is really not something I think I should be participating in.
posted by holborne at 8:46 AM on October 13 [6 favorites]


whoah, thar. Twitter shares are NOT privately-held. Twitter shares are publicly traded securities. And it has not been delisted. Yet.
TWITTER, INC. (TWTR) IPO (2013)
To learn more about the going concern, search for stock symbol TWTR at EDGAR (SEC database) and read the company's filings.
posted by marycatherine at 8:48 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


MCMikeNamara's link was a screenshot of the American Nazi Party's page with 13k likes.

Worse. 13k FOLLOWERS.
posted by solotoro at 8:55 AM on October 13 [6 favorites]


Public companies are vulnerable to a very simple, cheap and lovely form of accountability. You can buy one share. It will cost about $50. That gives you access to an astonishing amount of detailed information about the business, and the right to attend shareholder meetings. For $50.

With the right discount brokerage, you could probably get the total price down to $25, given that Twitter is currently trading for under $20 per share.
posted by clawsoon at 8:57 AM on October 13


Just a reminder that Men's Rights Activists are here just like they're on twitter.
posted by winna at 8:57 AM on October 13 [42 favorites]


> If someone wanted to leave Twitter for good, what other platforms are there that would do the same things? I would think that even if a small percentage of Twitter users jumped ship to something else it would make that platform much more viable and valuable.

There have ben attempts. None have gained any traction. There was App.net and Diaspora. Others have come and gone. But it's hard to launch something in the social media space. google+ is a failure (in my opinion) and they are backed by google.

I think the better option is to roll your own. POSSE I hate the idea that the internet coalesced into a handful of sites. When metafilter's own hoder (not Hodor) came out of an Iranian prison he wrote an amazing essay about how the internet had basically failed us all: Iran's blogfather: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are killing the web

So I am trying hard. Rather than writing for Facebook for free and limiting my audience to an algorithmically chosen subset of my "friends" I am blogging on my own site and linking back. But it is difficult. The web moved from something anyone could understand and do just by looking at examples, to something that required you learn accessibility, design, CSS, HTML, database, scripting, and a plethora of technologies and apps.

So my advice would be to register a domain, pick an open source or paid CMS, and go nuts. Own your own content. Don't just allow it to be consumed by Zuckerberg's monster.

But this has a steep(er) learning curve, isn't free, but man, the world would be a better place if everyone did this.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:00 AM on October 13 [28 favorites]


Don't forget (as mentioned above), Mastodon. Free as in speech, free as in beer, etc. It's a federated service so it has all the issues that come with that (read: there's no benevolent dictator overseeing the content) but it also means that if you pick a good server with good admins (read: benevolent moderators on your behalf) you can likely get what you want.
posted by introp at 9:17 AM on October 13 [7 favorites]


The last time I blocked someone I noticed that their user number was 918,258,069,817,131,009 ...that's in the quadrillions if you're wondering and it means there's at least 131 million Twitter accounts for every living person earth.

No, Twitter user IDs have not been sequentially allocated without gaps since 2006. Same as the serial numbers painted on tanks, the numbers are purposefully distributed such that you cannot readily use them to determine how many there are total.
posted by floam at 9:18 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I know people who work for Twitter. They're good people. Twitter has been used for some offensive purposes, but calling their employees "Nazi misogynists" is also super offensive.

And I know brilliant women of color who have left Twitter after working there for years and finding it just too hard to keep beating their heads against the brick wall of the corporate culture, which hasn't ever really seen them as human beings worthy of being listened to, respected, promoted, or protected. So.
posted by palomar at 9:23 AM on October 13 [48 favorites]


How does one look up the user number on Twitter?
posted by infini at 9:26 AM on October 13


Lunch was tough. I kept instinctively clicking on the twitter app, then recoiling and closing it. Might have opened it 5 times while I was eating. Ugh
posted by thecjm at 9:27 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I’m always pro boycott and against twitter’s management but I think short of protesting outside thier HQ or actual houses no one in power will care.
posted by The Whelk at 9:27 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


I would need to double-check this as they're just acquaintances rather than people who I actually follow, but there are people who work at Twitter in my queer furry circles and I think they're migrating to Mastodon along with the rest of all the queer furries. Probably to awoo.space.

I am also amused at the timing of this; I spent the past few days mostly off of Twitter while on a brief vacation, and yesterday on the way home I started toying with the idea of spinning up a Mastodon instance. I got as far as picking a goofy domain name, buying it, repurposing some old unfinished art for a placeholder page, and discovering that my initial plan of "spinning it up on Heroku" is very Not Recommended. Maybe I'll use the time I would have spent mindlessly scrolling through Twitter today on the slightly more complex process of "buying a Digital Ocean droplet and getting it up on there".
posted by egypturnash at 9:28 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


If it gets a degree of coverage that might help. I suspect activity-wise it is not going to be noticed - not compared with, say, the Russian bot-masters clocking in and clocking off.

This time, anyway.
posted by Artw at 9:34 AM on October 13


What I reject is the idea that Twitter's policy enforcement is some kind of hate plot by the company's leadership aimed at particular people.

Look, you're missing the point. It doesn't HAVE TO BE A PLOT TO BE AWFUL.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 9:39 AM on October 13 [55 favorites]






Not being on Twitter is making me so happy! This might have to be less of a boycott and more of a sabbatical.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:42 AM on October 13 [15 favorites]


I deleted my account two weeks ago for a variety of reasons, one of which is the constant abuse (mostly of others, since few people pick up on my trans-ness). I poke my head in there once in awhile to see if I'm missing anything big (found out about the Las Vegas shooting that way) and I'm struck by how many people are complaining about Twitter on Twitter. The only way to begin to fix Twitter is for people to leave en masse, and I think it will just collapse as people realize they really don't miss it. I haven't tried Mastodon and that's mostly because I don't want another thing to check, as well as the fact that most people I know aren't on it. My mind is a lot calmer now that I don't have a feed full of the outrage du jour. (I'm still on Facebook but that's very carefully curated.)
posted by AFABulous at 9:45 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


I think we’re at the breaking point of the next bubble, a lot of friends in tech have been laid off real quiet like and the fundamental failure of the ad supported online publication model (and the end of advertising as a viable industry) is all being papered over because, like with housing, it’s being artifically proped up by outside investors.

No one wants to Blink first, cause if they do the entire house of cards goes. The utter death of the content mills will take social media like twitter with it due to the same things that doom every comment section or online forum, a refuse to invest in quality moderation.

We’re deep in a cycle of resource extraction, not investment, so by god if there’s still some copper wire or iron nail heads in this structure late stage capitalism is going to pull it out with thier teeth before admitting there’s a problem
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 AM on October 13 [36 favorites]


@cjorgensen: It isn't as if we *can't* make plain-jane HTML content and put it on the web anymore -- just look at bumblebee.org, for instance, which is still being actively maintained. (I contacted the owner this year! She was nice!) The problem isn't that the internet no longer permits plain-jane HTML, it's that *people* are no longer satisfied with plain-jane HTML. *People* want the fancy shinies that are rather accessibility-unfriendly by default.
posted by inconstant at 9:55 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]


I think we may end up back at the non profit, community built Internet after every industry realizes Online Was A Mistake but oh boy it’s gonna be rough.

That being said I stick by my policy of only posting stuff I’d want to read, Extremly positive vibes!

(Of course a platform designed for self promotion would start to collapse just at the point I need to do a lot of self promotion, of course that fits into the entire schema of my life)
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I work a mile and a half from Twitter's HQ. Not a small enough distance to cover on a lunch break, but close enough to visit before or after work, or to take an extra-long lunch to get to.

I have no idea what I could do with this fact.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:01 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


Twitter breaks its silence on McGowan suspension
At this point it would appear that Twitter’s sense of irony runs very deep indeed. And/or its store of hypocrisy. Because, as others have previously pointed out, the company has long used a policy of not commenting on individual accounts to shield itself from accountability — e.g. from criticism that it’s providing a platform to nazis and white supremacists.

Yet now, in this instance when it’s facing a high profile storm of criticism for selectively silencing McGowan (a verified Twitter user with more than 750k followers) and for simultaneously failing to silence the abuse flowing over its own platform, it’s suddenly okay breaking its own rule as it tries to extricate itself from blame and criticism that it’s also complicit in enabling the abuse of women.

Safe to say, this really is what leading from behind looks like.

But let’s not forget we’ve already seen Twitter ban one particular notorious troll yet defend the right of another to make violent threats, even as armies of misogynistic and racist trolls continue to roam its platform with near impunity exactly because Twitter has handed the burden of responsibility for blocking and reporting racism, hate speech, misogyny and so on off to individual Twitter users.
posted by homunculus at 10:03 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


How does one look up the user number on Twitter?

I just found mine (17353823) through their REST API, but there's probably tools out there that can do it for you.

edit: Such as TweeterID

One thing about the ID numbers is while you can't use them to figure out how many users there are total, you can use them to figure out chronologically if someone joined before or after someone else.
posted by floam at 10:07 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


fremen: “Good grief the Metafilter two minutes of hate is strong today. Comments calling Twitter things like ‘Nazi misogynists’ are pretty over the top.”

I am all for restraint on the Left, and I'm in total agreement that we should try to avoid tossing those accusations around as insults just because we happen to dislike people. But there is evidence that the culture at Twitter really does skew toward the alt-right, and that people aren't imagining it when they see a political bias behind the familiar pattern that those on the Left are much more likely to get banned whereas those on the Right are left alone to keep on violating policy. We saw some of that evidence in the recent Breitbart email leak:
A Twitter software engineer who felt betrayed by the “moral company” he had worked for since 2012, when it “stood for free speech,” emailed to tell Yiannopoulos that the removal of his verification in early 2016 “was obviously politically motivated.”
“Shouldn't we be celebrating the fact that Twitter finally has a sensible policy against doxxing that they have demonstrated they now have the ability to enforce? Shouldn't we now be talking about ways to hold them accountable for enforcing this policy universally in the future? ¶ Or is this just about us all being angry that they're enforcing a perfectly reasonable policy against someone we agree with instead of exclusively using it against people we disagree with?”

It's that (a) the policy is utterly unclear and ambiguous, and (b) it is clearly selectively enforced. If you doubt the latter, go check out the raft of instances people have been raising on Twitter of cases where they actually reported doxxing to Twitter and got told no policy was violated. If you're wondering about the former, this is not a case where Twitter "finally has a sensible policy;" they notably have not changed their policy officially at all. This is just more of the same: when right-wing trolls do exactly this kind of thing, nothing is done, or at most a single tweet is deleted and their accounts are allowed to remain. In this case, they banned Rose McGowan, and then when there was an outcry they briefly defended their decision by appealing to amorphous "policy," and then they went back on their decision, tried to explain away their initial hasty banning, and reinstated her account. There is no clear policy here being enforced at all; this is, in fact, what happens when you have policies like "don't post people's phone numbers," without any clearly-stated promises concerning what Twitter will do if phone numbers get posted – sometimes literally nothing happens (that happens very often! seriously!), sometimes a single tweet gets deleted but the account is allowed to keep posting freely, sometimes the tweet is deleted and the person gets a lifetime ban, and sometimes (as in this case) a person is banned indefinitely and then apparently un-banned when Twitter doesn't like the bad PR they're getting. There's really no unity of purpose here, Twitter employees are clearly not on the same page, and some Twitter employees are clearly acting out of a right-leaning bias.
posted by koeselitz at 10:18 AM on October 13 [10 favorites]


> [...] you can use them to figure out chronologically if someone joined before or after someone else.

The join date is listed on the profile of each user.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:20 AM on October 13


How many Twitter shares would we have to buy to force changes on the board?
posted by RakDaddy at 10:20 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


The problem isn't that the internet no longer permits plain-jane HTML, it's that *people* are no longer satisfied with plain-jane HTML. *People* want the fancy shinies that are rather accessibility-unfriendly by default.

Yeah this is true. Social media has wrecked my attention span to the point where blog posts seem like too much effort. I frequently skip over mefi comments that are more than 4-5 paragraphs. Also I prefer a feed, rather than bookmarking and checking a bunch of sites. Although I know RSS readers exist, AFAIK they don't let you interact with other users. Discussion and sharing is part of the draw of reading things; otherwise no one would be interested in mefi.
posted by AFABulous at 10:21 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


I haven't been using twitter much for the last week or two, because I can't really look at my feed without feeling physically sick, but I'm loath to delete it entirely because I have friends and colleagues who I have contact with mainly through twitter.

But that's a bit of a useless boycott. I think I'm going to get on, retweet a bunch of WOC, and call it a day. And maybe log in to mastodon later.
posted by quaking fajita at 10:21 AM on October 13


Not being on Twitter is making me so happy! This might have to be less of a boycott and more of a sabbatical.

As it happens, I haven't yet come in for targeted harassment over there, but, openly being a woman on Twitter, I was always waiting for it to happen. Because it's bound to, right? Some Nazi/MRA/hatebigot would notice one of my liberal rants, call up all his shitbots, and then I'd be getting death threats and doxxing and god knows what, and the cops wouldn't care and I'd have to shut down or live in fear. And I just tried not to think about it.

I am now realizing, it's nice not to have that feeling. It would be nice to not have that dread anymore, period, while still having a space to talk. Really, really, nice.
posted by emjaybee at 10:24 AM on October 13 [7 favorites]


Twitter has handed the burden of responsibility for blocking and reporting racism, hate speech, misogyny and so on off to individual Twitter users.

The problem isn't whether individuals have the responsibility to report TOS violations - it's that Twitter won't act on those reports when action means taking away white men's fun.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:26 AM on October 13 [12 favorites]


Cracked open mastodon for the first time in a while and it turns out I missed that place.
posted by cortex at 10:29 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


I work a mile and a half from Twitter's HQ. Not a small enough distance to cover on a lunch break, but close enough to visit before or after work, or to take an extra-long lunch to get to.

I have no idea what I could do with this fact.


1. Find the Tweet discussed above where a police department tweeted out the phone number of someone they were arresting.
2. Copy it, blow it up big and put it on a sandwich board sign. Caption it "Rose McGowan was just banned for doing what this police department did. The police department wasn't punished. You're hypocrites."
3. Make copies of the same sign and just have them ready.
4. Before or after work one day, drive over and leave one of the signs out front of the Twitter headquarters, right where everyone can see it.
5. Repeat over the course of the next several days.
6. Profit!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on October 13 [21 favorites]


> It isn't as if we *can't* make plain-jane HTML content and put it on the web anymore


But even plain-jane HTML has a much steeper learning curve than say even 12 years ago. Here's the current HTML5 spec. It all started to go to hell with the HTML 3.2 spec and the rise of browser specific tags. Personally, I blame the rise of CSS and PHP driven sites for making the web too complex for your average non-nerd (it only got more complex from here is j-queary, javascript, and databases). To expect people to learn all these things, to make them attractive, and to make them functional, pretty much forced people to Facebook or sites like twitter.

You are correct that you can indeed still make plain HTML websites, and I encourage people to do so, but the trick is getting google to actually return your site in their results (unless it has a mobile friendly version that differs from the "desktop" site they will sink it in results). I run a lot of websites, but I don't have the time to stay on top of the technologies. I am forced to let others do this for me. To this end my new favorite thing is flat file CMSes. I love grav (and support it financially), but I've also paid for a statamic license since the beginning.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:30 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


Just a reminder that Men's Rights Activists are here just like they're on twitter.

No fucking kidding.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:51 AM on October 13 [16 favorites]


According to twitter I joined 24 Jun 2008, so I am closing in on a decade of using the site. I joined reddit on 16 July 2007. Metafilter on 11 Sept. 2007. Fark on 17 Sept. 2008. Instagram on 24 Nov 2011, and Facebook sometime in July 2008. I'm probably forgetting some.

Each have their problematic aspects, each have their strengths. Each have grown far and away from what they started as. Well, except for Fark. Fark is the bowing alley of the internet.

I could tell stories of how each have made my life better, and how each have been unfair. I have moral qualms over my use of Facebook and twitter (and reddit), but I've done the soul searching and I think the balance sheet comes out positive, both as far as a benefit to me, and as far as my contributions making each a better place.

People call for a boycott of reddit all the time. Cesspool of the internet and all that, but if decent people flee because of bigots, and the way they are dealt with, then you are left with only bigots.

I don't like the idea of a boycott in the social media realm. Stay, be heard. But I understand if people come down on the other side of the equation.

For better or worse, a lot of these sites are part of my current identity, though I have been using all of them less and less (including metafilter). I have been supported and mocked, made friends and found people I dislike, and I've had good and bad experiences.

I honestly don't know what the solution is other than to decide if a place is for you, or if you can put up with the bullshit to form the service into something better. People want moderation, want welcoming and affirming environments, have a distaste for censorship, value free speech, give lip service to the marketplace of ideas, want robust dissent and debate, etc. These things are often in conflict. One person's moderation is another person's censorship. One person's free speech is another person's pornography. If you don't like it, and many people don't, then leave. Go do your own thing. Or stay and try to change it to the better.

At the end of the day I see these sites as mostly a net positive. YMMV.

Rose McGowan is getting a message out there through twitter. She got a lot of women to come forth through twitter. If she'd done this on her own site, she might have had 750k readers/fans of her blog, but no way would she be able to project outside her bubble of fans as easily as she's managed to do on twitter. People who have no idea who she even is are talking about her. She's putting awareness into the public dialog in a way she'd be unable to without the misogynist foils. Some people want to silence Nazis and the MRA-types. I want them to speak out loudly and to stand up to be ridiculed. I want to know where they are so I can denounce them.

I've learned a lot the last few days about how systemic sexual harassment and abuse is in the entertainment industry. I've found out there are more bad actors (pun intended) than I was previously aware of. The news has run a story on Harvey Weinstein every night this week.

Maybe Weinstein would have been taken down without twitter. Maybe the stories of all these women would have found their way into the public sphere without twitter and social media. Maybe there would have been better ways for them to find and support each other. Maybe.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:56 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


To me sitting around amplifying women's voices on Twitter does absolutely nothing if your goal is actual change from Twitter (which is the point of the boycott). Twitter doesn't care if your engagement is positive or not, all they care is that you are engaged.

Yeah, I don't understand the amplify strategy. Isn't that every day? And using someone's product more to show them how mad you are?

I've only started using Twitter since the election, and have found it surprisingly useful for politics. I don't really see any other use for it.

But I'm off it today. I don't think this was just about Rose McGowan, pretty white actor, I think that misses the point. A lot of people saw the original exchange, it wasn't a rumor that slowly spread. And it seemed like a clear case to represent others.

It's pretty simple to protest by staying off Twitter for a day. It's almost literally the least you can do.
posted by bongo_x at 11:00 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I want them to speak out loudly and to stand up to be ridiculed.
White supremacists and virulent sexists already are speaking out loudly and harassing people to the point of completely derailing their lives. Or do we already forget Gamergate and all its predecessors and successors?
posted by inconstant at 11:03 AM on October 13 [17 favorites]


Like, "Oh just let them harass people without any consequences, that'll reveal their true natures for all to see! Much better than preventing them from harassing people!" does not strike me as a compelling argument.
posted by inconstant at 11:09 AM on October 13 [23 favorites]


Come ye all to mltshp!
posted by infini at 11:11 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]




I think one thing we can take away from the many WoC who have declined to participate in this boycott is that not everyone who is dealing with this type of abuse thinks a boycott or abandoning the platform is a workable solution. Many of the people who are still tweeting today have said that silencing themselves is not an option.

Metafilter has a constant refrain of “that platform is Bad, so you should delete it from your devices and live a Real Life (and also please don’t link that platform here, where I might have to acknowledge its foul existence)” that crops up in most discussions about digital spaces, and the fact that the least privileged users of those spaces are many of the people saying “no I will not leave this space to the Nazis or the white techbros, I will use it in ways the designers did not anticipate and I will use it to organize and I will use it to hold oppressors accountable” needs to be considered.

There’s another FPP thread right now (that, full confession, I posted) about women who react to abuse in public spaces by disappearing from them, and that approach is not without its own terrible consequences.

Obviously, everyone needs to make the best choice for themselves. But I am leery of calls to abandon a field when the people who are most at risk there are the ones choosing to stay and ask for backup.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:12 AM on October 13 [19 favorites]




Some people want to silence Nazis and the MRA-types. I want them to speak out loudly and to stand up to be ridiculed.

sure you do, they're not talking to you. their targets are sick of listening to them.
posted by AFABulous at 11:13 AM on October 13 [33 favorites]


how about we configure twitter so that tweets by Nazis and MRAs are only seen by other white men.. uh, wait...
posted by AFABulous at 11:14 AM on October 13


As I said above my opinion is Twitter is facing a crisis of failure of leadership. Jack only works at Twitter half time, which IMHO is outrageous for CEO. Biz is only newly back and already seems more interested in creating appearances than changing reality. There's other leadership in the company, although it's awfully weak given the years of management problems and board shenanigans. FWIW Del Harvey, their VP of trust and safety, has been there a long time and someone I have enormous respect for.
So, then-CEO Dick Costolo's "we suck at dealing with abuse" admission was in February 2015. In July of 2016 when approximately exactly nothing had changed, prodigal CEO Jack Dorsey said "we need to do better." In April of this year Dorsey said "our progress is not something that we are proud of." And still nothing seems to have changed.

In two and a half years they have nothing to show for any efforts to curb abuse, and they steadfastly refuse to do even low hanging fruit like banning nazis. There are numerous links in this thread alone to people pointing out abuse and being told it doesn't violate the terms of service. If it had only been six months, or even a year, the lack of progress might be excusable. But at this point it's hard to believe anybody with power at Twitter has a problem with that lack of progress, because if they actually had a problem with it there would have been some progress by now.

Ugh, I have loved twitter but I sure don't anymore and I think I may have just convinced myself it's time to leave.
posted by fedward at 11:25 AM on October 13 [15 favorites]


People call for a boycott of reddit all the time. Cesspool of the internet and all that, but if decent people flee because of bigots, and the way they are dealt with, then you are left with only bigots.

And?

It is not the job of "decent people" to make Reddit not be a cesspool, it's Reddit's job. And I'm tired of the argument otherwise. If Reddit wants to stop being the largest white supremacist website, that's on their head, not ours.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:25 AM on October 13 [38 favorites]


Speaking for myself, and only myself, I'm boycotting because of the double standards that I've known have been there for eons and have finally had enough of it. I've been online, in some fashion, since 1986 (local BBSes!) and, as a woman, I've had to learn how to ensure not only my own physical safety but my own peace of mind.

As a woman who enjoys various video games and does so loudly on Twitter (on an account that is not remotely related to my real name) I have been threatened more than once (pre-GamerGate, even!) and each time, it was deemed by Twitter that the various threats did not meet their criteria for abuse or harassment.

So for quite some time, I've known, through personal experience, that I'm on my own. There's no one who's going to back me up. People who threaten me aren't going to see any repercussions.

I have my own strategies to avoid harassment and one of them involves being slightly less opinionated than I actually am, which brings with it mansplaining as a consequence. Either I'm brash and bold about my opinions or I'm slightly meeker and then people treat me like I'm an idiot who doesn't know what I'm talking about.

I'll take the mansplaining any day of the week for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is I can then shoot them down with actual logic.

So I'm boycotting today because Twitter -- as amazing as I've found it to be in terms of community and communication and meeting people -- needs to step up its game and stop with the double standards and improve how abuse complaints are handled.

Having spent decades in various online communities, it continually astonishes me that Twitter doesn't have real rules in place that they uphold. A moderator's job (not that there seems to be anything except reactionary moderation) is to uphold the rules and to work with the community to set the rules. If you don't want Nazis or misogynists or racists or homophobes on your damn service, it's up to you to be rid of them and apply your rules to them the same way you do to people who find themselves the targets of hatred from these various groups (and others). A boycott isn't going to do a lot, I admit, but for me? For me it's a test run. Do I need Twitter? Can I avoid it deliberately for a day and find other ways to connect with some of my friends?

Something has to happen soon for me to not look elsewhere. Rose McGowan's suspension was really the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I do find it odd that it wasn't my own harassment, just because I was used to that and was used to being on my own in dealing with things, but, for what it's worth, it's that event that was what really incensed me and made me realize that I can't continue to support Twitter as I have done for the last decade without changes.
posted by juliebug at 11:27 AM on October 13 [20 favorites]


Metafilter has a constant refrain of “that platform is Bad, so you should delete it from your devices and live a Real Life (and also please don’t link that platform here, where I might have to acknowledge its foul existence)” that crops up in most discussions about digital spaces, and the fact that the least privileged users of those spaces are many of the people saying “no I will not leave this space to the Nazis or the white techbros, I will use it in ways the designers did not anticipate and I will use it to organize and I will use it to hold oppressors accountable” needs to be considered.

^This.^

I acknowledge the amount of privilege, a white cis woman, have in opting to choose another flavour of platform, in hopes that my friends and other people in a network I've spent a long time cultivating will emigrate over there as well. But Twitter--for all the fucking Nazis and MRA a-holes that fester there--has also been an invaluable platform for people who don't have access to a whole lot of power. It is where I have discovered and followed amazing activists of colour as well as marginalized members of the LGTBQ community. Where I have shut up and learned about the struggles they deal with everyday. Where I don't have to 101 it when I have a question because holy shit, it is not their job to educate me. If I stick around long enough, observe, I will learn what I wanted to know. I'm not saying you have to stick around on Twitter and you are certainly welcome to go to another platform, but what do you and me do to make sure that POC and other marginalized folks have the same chance? Especially if it's something you have to pay for and some folks can't?
posted by Kitteh at 11:27 AM on October 13 [20 favorites]


I also want to point out that the constant MF calls to move away from Twitter to blogs and other longer form writing platforms disregards the fact that a huge number of people using it to make their voices heard are people who have no way to access the internet other than their phones.

It is fine if you do not like the communication style of that medium. But to assume that the choice for every user is between sending some tweets vs. writing a 1200 word blog post is to disregard the way that many people currently have access to digital spaces. I am glad that people who cannot afford/access computers are telling us their stories using limited time and limited resources.

A lot of us here are privileged enough to have jobs where we can type out long sections of prose in between doing our work. But if an activist who is working a minimum wage job only gets to post from a phone on their breaks, then Twitter offers a unique space where that level of engagement is possible, and can be promoted to be seen by millions. I think that disregarding that aspect of the format does a disservice to the people who find it valuable precisely because of its accessibility and low threshold for engagement.

I don't mean to say that Twitter doesn't have very serious problems-- it obviously does. But I think that we have to acknowledge that "just leave" would effectively silence a huge number of people, as well as cutting others off from information networks that they find incredibly valuable, and potential solutions need to take all of that context into account.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:28 AM on October 13 [24 favorites]


Boycotting today, will amplify women and women of color tomorrow. Spending my time at octodon.social, dipped my toes in toot-sized 500-character short fiction a few minutes ago and it was really fun.

Twitter's culture of abuse and impunity for harassers is increasingly nauseating; Mastodon is much more of a quirky, arty place with much stronger moderation ability.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:28 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


I would like to add there absolutely needs to be a change in how Twitter is run/managed. It should not be the Wild West for anyone.
posted by Kitteh at 11:28 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


I did some reporting on Nazis online when DailyStormer got a .is domain. People were upset because ISNIC, the registry company for .is domains, wasn't acting fast enough. Moreover, when the Islamic State registered a couple .is in 2014, ISNIC cut their strings pretty fast.

So I interviewed ISNIC's CEO. In the course of talking to him, it became clear he didn't understand what the DailyStormer was really about and the harassment campaigns they've gotten up to.

Still, they cut their strings due to violating the TOS (I.e. registrant not providing proof of identity or address). Twitter doesn't even have ignorance of the problem as an excuse. Their foot dragging is some combination of incompetence, apathy and complicity.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:37 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


While I think Twitter is extremely lazy and negligent about enforcing their rules, I also think it might be hard for the individual people who check reports to keep up with all the memes and oblique references "cleverly" employed by nazis to kinda-sorta hide their true intentions, so I'm not terribly disappointed the "free helicopter rides" or "(((THEY)))" mentions don't always warrant a ban.

You have to dig a bit deeper to find the most obvious stuff and then report that, which you usually can, if you go back far enough, you can find a Jew-bwa-ha-ha.gif or a "shekels" reference or some such, and put together 5 tweets that show why the person is a fucking nazi, but it's obviously more work.

I think one part of why Twitter seems so ineffectual might be that they don't train their people enough to recognise this stuff. It's tricky, but I'm sure they could get some white supremacy/extremism experts in to make a training manual for them (although it'd have to be updated every six months).

They also make the reporting interface really awkward, with the tiny window and not being able to see all images and such, but I guess that's a way to encourage self-filtering so they don't get even more reports, which I imagine could quickly scale beyond the ability of even a huge moderation team to handle...
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:54 AM on October 13


The bottom line is Twitter can stop harassment, Twitter can ban Nazis, Twitter can take a stand for what is right. They choose not to do those things. Partially for financial reasons and partially because they simply don't get it, they think all speech is created equal. I'd also suggest that they are lazy about harassment because they (the leaders of Twitter) are not the ones primarily being attacked and harassed.

Anyone who works at Twitter is complicit in the creation of a giant harassment engine, which also functions as a super useful form of information delivery. But we really need to stop making excuses for Twitter, the platform functions as it does because of choices they've made.
posted by chaz at 11:57 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


I followed a link in one of the #potus45 giganto FPPs that was about a reporter infiltrating a WS meeting (including meeting a brown Indian-Canadian) and the big takeaway was that he was told to go become a secret agent in whichever job if he found he could not be public about his beliefs.

Given this entire thread, I'm now curiously wondering where the blockages might be...
posted by infini at 11:59 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]




There is a lot of discussion happening on Twitter by black women (and other women of color) about white feminists, white allyship, and the extent to which white women are there to support women of color; also a discussions about the effectiveness of this protest, the reasoning behind it, etc.

All of it is generated by and pushed forward by women of color. Any of which could have been linked.

A dude linking to a black dude's jokey versions of those criticisms, without leading back to the women who originated them?

Probably not the best approach to discussing this.
posted by maxsparber at 12:17 PM on October 13 [20 favorites]


In the meanwhile, since I've decided my only participation on Twitter today will be to boost tweets by women, it has meant that when I want to say something (like about Trump's recent, and totally idiotic, claim that not being able to say Marry Christmas — which is not a thing — is an assault on Judeo-Christian values), I have had to find a woman who is saying what I wish I could say and retweet her.

And, son of a gun, wouldn't you know it? There are a lot of them, they said it before I did, and they said it better.
posted by maxsparber at 12:27 PM on October 13 [18 favorites]


Marry Christmas?
posted by maxsparber at 12:32 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


Only if we get engaged this weekend.
posted by infini at 12:36 PM on October 13 [7 favorites]


have found it surprisingly useful for politics. I don't really see any other use for it.

It's highly personal I think. For me it keeps me in touch with librarians worldwide and there is no other useful channel where I can do that with the low friction (i.e. not subscribing to 10,000 emails lists) and interactively (i.e. not subscribing to 1000 magazines). It also keeps me in touch with various POC groups, again, interactively though I mainly just listen, so I feel like I have, for example, the Sikh perspective on what Jagmeet Singh's election means for Canada and not just the Usual (White) Suspects whose voices often get amplified. It means I can use my voice and my blue checkmark to amplify the voices of people who may not get amplified which is a tiny but useful part of my desire to mentor underserved librarians as well as underserved library populations. I can follow along on discussions by disability rights activists about, for example, disability in films from their perspective and learn how to be a better ally for access within librarianship. I have colleagues there who keep me honest about my own laziness w/r/t accessibility, so when I do a thing like, for example, use Tweet Deck to upload an image and it doesn't allow ALT text, I've made it unusable to them. That experience, and my own feeling of friction about it (but that makes it HARDER) helps me understand the difficulties in making accessibility a genuine option (and I find Twitter's refusal to deal with that within tweetdeck is shameful). There's also a MeFi contingent, many of whom are real life friends, and it's fun to make jokes with them.

I haven't even been reading Twitter today and it's been super challenging for me. I can only imagine what it would feel like if I felt like I was being denied access (either by being blocked or by feeling harassed and abused off of the platform) and had not decided to remain off of the platform by choice.
posted by jessamyn at 1:14 PM on October 13 [32 favorites]


It also keeps me in touch with various POC groups, again, interactively though I mainly just listen, so I feel like I have, for example, the Sikh perspective on what Jagmeet Singh's election means for Canada and not just the Usual (White) Suspects whose voices often get amplified

I do miss this a lot since quitting Twitter. My Facebook is very much an overwhelmingly-white bubble and it's harder to find POC voices. I've seen studies that show the percentage of Black people who use Twitter is much higher than the percentage of white people, and that they most often access it on their phones, as a fiendish thingy points out.
posted by AFABulous at 1:53 PM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I get that there is a lot of social momentum behind boycotting, but if you really want Twitter to notice, block or mute all the advertisers that show up in your twitter feed with promoted tweets.

Everyone just does this anyway. It’s the only way to make it vaguely usable.
posted by Jimbob at 2:44 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]


I like it when they are trying to sell me an orbital space laser it a F-35 Lightning or something. They may have profiled my interests more than my bank balance there.
posted by Artw at 2:46 PM on October 13 [3 favorites]


I suspect the orbital space laser advertisements are intended for a particular notorious twitter user, and you are simply collateral damage.
posted by Pyry at 2:52 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]


I’m not boycotting today. I’m disabled and housebound. Twitter, along with MetaFilter, is my main method of social interaction. Twitter has introduced me to the disability rights community; Twitter gave me a way to act on my pain and horror after Ferguson; Twitter brings me voices and news and stories from all over the world. Yes, Twitter has enormous problems, but for me, it has enormous benefits. I’ll keep on reporting racists and misogynists and Nazis, butI’m not giving up Twitter; it’s my connection to humanity and the bigots can’t take it from me.
posted by epj at 2:54 PM on October 13 [22 favorites]


If your argument is that Twitter is only enforcing policy against progressive voices and allowing all hate speech and harassment to go unchecked as some kind of pro-hate political statement, prove it. Use data please. I want to see it time plotted as well so that we can see recent changes in direction (are they getting better or worse).

I know people who work for Twitter. They're good people. Twitter has been used for some offensive purposes, but calling their employees "Nazi misogynists" is also super offensive.


Summary, paragraph one: if these allegations are true, we need cold hard proof

Summary, paragraph two: these allegations are not true because I know some folks there and they're nice to have a beer with

I mean...lol. I know some people at Twitter too. Fuck 'em. They should quit, because they're enablers of an extremist neo-Nazi agenda as long as they work there. I've said as much. I quit a job from a place for very similar reasons, because as much as basically any participation in this economy makes one complicit, sometimes it's stark enough that you have to make a show of rejecting an organization's values. I can't believe anyone uttering this simpering "aw, their hearts are in the right place" garbage can take themselves seriously as human beings.
posted by invitapriore at 3:21 PM on October 13 [7 favorites]


I boycotted without putting too much thought into it. I saw the tweets suggesting the boycott and decided it wouldn't kill me to stay off for 24 hours even though usually I check on what's happening 3 & 4 times a day. I follow mainly journalists, women's rights groups, my MOCs and a few humorous/dog-related profiles just to keep a little lightness in my feed. I have very few complaints other than the way twitter treats other women.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:25 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]


At the very least it's practice for next time and a A way to gauge if you should just go ahead and ditch it.
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on October 13


Re: mastodon: Joooooooiiiiiiiiin ussssssss.

(You know, in a decentralized, federated, somewhat factional and fractured sort of way.)
posted by brennen at 3:36 PM on October 13 [5 favorites]


Also kind of like the idea of getting everyone on one giant Slack.
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]


nthing the Mastodon love. Each instance is small enough that it can be effectively moderated. No ads. Nazis get banned. It's Twitter without the shit parts. I left three separate Twitter identities behind in favour of Mastodon and couldn't be happier. People are just nicer there.
posted by FeatherWatt at 4:13 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


I think i've buggered up my account so i can't get into it since I last looked. :-(
posted by Artw at 4:22 PM on October 13


(It's saying "Enter the Two-factor code from your phone or use one of your recovery codes." - I don't seem to have either of those things)
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on October 13


got back in the mastodonner party for the first time in months... @oneswellfoop@octodon.social ...gonna have fun masto-bating...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:50 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]


(It's saying "Enter the Two-factor code from your phone or use one of your recovery codes." - I don't seem to have either of those things)

This is why i didn't keep using it. i could not figure out what was wrong, and then other stuff happened and i lost momentum.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:53 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]


SO years ago, when Gamergate started, I blocked hundreds of woman-hating anime-avatar trolls. The kind of accounts constantly sending rape and death threats, who searched for conversations to insert themselves into to fuck things up.

I went back a few weeks ago. Basically all those accounts are still active, still sending rape/death threats, the only change is a shift towards being more obviously fascist and white nationalist.

Twitter has done nothing.
posted by Jimbob at 5:21 PM on October 13 [25 favorites]


Joined the Mastodon train today. Fuck twitter. I'm @OakumIfUGotEm because yoga is just too boring.
posted by yoga at 5:35 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


I think Mastodon has potential and I’m trying it again. But it doesn’t have the farmer up the road who posts pics of his calves and tips on how to keep possums out of apricot trees. It doesn’t have the suite of journalists, and the constant background noise of world news. It doesn’t have Weird Twitter. It’s still, mostly, people talking about Mastodon. But maybe it just needs to reach critical mass. Anyway. ozjimbob@mastodon.social
posted by Jimbob at 5:38 PM on October 13 [8 favorites]


"pretty white lady"
"pretty white actor"


please, can't a few more people make some very shrewd and socially conscious remarks about how convenient it is that the women Harvey Weinstein raped are, in your opinion, pretty? It's clearly very important.

pretending to speak in the voice of undefined bad people, whether or not this is what's going on, does not make it less repulsive. I get it, what you're trying to do. it doesn't work. give it a fucking rest.
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:42 PM on October 13 [11 favorites]


Uh, I guess technically I'm @OakumIfUGotEm@mastodon.social & I do not know what the hell I'm doing.
posted by yoga at 6:16 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]


The moment I learned that you could stop seeing so many Nazis by changing your location to Germany, that's when I stopped giving any fucks at all towards cutting Twitter any fucking slack about anything at all.
posted by XtinaS at 6:18 PM on October 13 [17 favorites]


I am (at)mtomasulo(at)mastodon.art
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:04 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]


Jack just tweeted. For the sake of those who are boycotting and don't want to follow links to tweets, here's the thread.

1/ We see voices being silenced on Twitter every day. We’ve been working to counteract this for the past 2 years.
2/ We prioritized this in 2016. We updated our policies and increased the size of our teams. It wasn’t enough.
3/ In 2017 we made it our top priority and made a lot of progress.
4/ Today we saw voices silencing themselves and voices speaking out because we’re *still* not doing enough.
5/ We’ve been working intensely over the past few months and focused today on making some critical decisions.
6/ We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them.
7/ New rules around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence.
8/ These changes will start rolling out in the next few weeks. More to share next week.
posted by shortfuse at 7:45 PM on October 13 [3 favorites]


So they're going to ban the nazis then?
posted by Artw at 7:51 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


(Or more likely: An "even handed" banning of BLM related material)
posted by Artw at 7:52 PM on October 13 [14 favorites]


Yes, that gets a "That's nice, talk to me after those changes have been implemented for a while and there's been actual action against harassment taken. Note my use of the part perfect tense."

I did boycott today, although since I only visit about once a week I'm not sure if it means anything.
posted by seyirci at 7:59 PM on October 13 [10 favorites]


New rules around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence.

Interesting. I mean, good I guess. But when I think about what I as a woman not on twitter today want to see less of on Twitter I don't really think of the weird and pervasive rape threats and harassment as "unwanted sexual advances" or "tweets that glorify violence" or ... any of these categories. I'm really surprised there wasn't any specific language there about targeted harassment. Or bots, come to think of it.
posted by jessamyn at 8:00 PM on October 13 [15 favorites]


New rules around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence.

And there weren't rules about these things already because.....
posted by thecjm at 8:01 PM on October 13 [6 favorites]


Yeah that’s the weird thing about Jack’s statement. “We made this a priority in 2016. It was still a priority this year. Today we are *tightening the rules*. Now we will be *strict*.”

Huh??
posted by chrchr at 8:05 PM on October 13 [9 favorites]


It's almost in Trump-speak.
posted by Artw at 8:39 PM on October 13 [5 favorites]


tweets that glorifies violence.

Also, you can tell me if I am being too internet-person about this, but if I was making a big "We are paying attention and caring, this time for real" statement I might actually spellcheck and have someone proofread what I was saying.
posted by jessamyn at 8:46 PM on October 13 [15 favorites]


Believe it when I see it dude
posted by emjaybee at 8:50 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]


So they're going to ban the nazis then?

I think all a nazi page would have to do to keep on trucking would be remove their obvious hate symbols (but keep the less obvious ones), claim they weren't a violent group, and carefully word their tweets so that violence is dogwhistled, but never overtly glorified. All of the "new rules" seem like reaaalllly carefully chosen words that will allow them to claim they're working on issues of harassment, but without having to actually do much.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:58 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]


Mastodon seems awesome if you're into anime, programming, or video games.
I've gotten used to the mechanics, still trying to find the content I like.
Interesting though.
posted by bongo_x at 9:00 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]


Oh, Mastodon also seems to have a pretty strong LGBT presence, with a big overlap on the interests I named earlier.
posted by bongo_x at 9:47 PM on October 13


The thing about Twitter is they already ban the Nazi content. In Germany and France. They know who these fuckers are and they can ban them any time they want to worldwide. They make the explicit choice not to. I can only assume it's the same with the rape and death threat accounts, the bots, the Russian ops teams, and so on.

Anyway, I'm @fobo@octodon.social. Come on over, we have micro fiction and jokes and music and art. We don't have journalists, world news, verified anything and we don't have nazis.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:49 PM on October 13 [8 favorites]


We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them.

I'll believe it when I see it, because we've seen a lot of "we're not doing well but we'll do better, promise" and "we're working hard and getting better, hooray" statements from Twitter -- even in these tweets today! -- while the atmosphere there has become steadily more and more toxic.

Somewhat positive though that he mentions enforcement. That's been a very common theme in complaints from women: "I reported $(obviously harrassing content) and Twitter support did nothing about it". New rules, great, but they're worthless unless they enforced strongly and consistently.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:59 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]


I think all a nazi page would have to do to keep on trucking would be remove their obvious hate symbols (but keep the less obvious ones), claim they weren't a violent group, and carefully word their tweets so that violence is dogwhistled,

They're literally incapable of this, because they're a hate group, and you only have to scroll through their responses for a minute to find them actively hating people in a way that violates the TOS.
posted by maxsparber at 10:13 PM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I went back a few weeks ago. Basically all those accounts are still active

Being able to see your block list, scroll down to the bottom and work out how many years those users have been able to keep doing the same shit every damn day... is profoundly depressing.
posted by holgate at 10:29 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


So instead of looking at Twitter today I spent about two and a half hours working on getting my own Mastodon instance up. It's still not up; even with pretty thorough guides, this is a pretty complex task. (Well, it could be less so - I found at least one company out there that will set up and maintain a Masto instance for you - but I want to have the option to try and implement terrible first cuts at a few features.) I think it's real close but I need to wait for some DNS changes to propagate.

I also spent about an hour working on comics, which is PRETTY GOOD FOR ME LATELY. It's not like I put off productive work to fool with this.

If you want to follow my blatherings, I'm currently @egypturnash@mastodon.social, and am debating if I'm gonna be @egypturnash@dragon.style or @anthracite@dragon.style once I get that set up. Mostly it's random goofy thought-nuggets and photographs of half-finished comics pages on my computer screen.
posted by egypturnash at 10:31 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]


Believe it when I see it dude

Yep. A tweet doesn’t mean shit. If Twitter had actually followed through every time they tweeted about “hearing you” and “doing better,” they would be a solar system-spanning no-scarcity civilization by now. Their executives should spent less time tweeting platitudes about what they’re going to do better and more any time actually doing it.
posted by No-sword at 10:58 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


I boycotted because I thought it was a demonstration of solidarity. I gave up Facebook a couple of weeks ago, so Twitter is my main social network. Like others, one of the most valuable things about Twitter for me is how it gives me access to the perspectives of people I might not otherwise get to hear. I don't want to lose that.

Nevertheless, I made a Mastodon account, @ob1quixote@mastodon.social, and I'm hopeful. At the very least it currently doesn't seem like posting there is an invitation to be doxxed and harassed by fascists.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:07 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


Welp. In the time I was off it Zainab Ahktar, one of my favorite comics critics, was driven off it by trolls, so fuck... maybe turning it back on was a mistake.
posted by Artw at 12:13 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


I quit Twitter, and I also shut down my Facebook.
In the beginning it was lonely and quiet.
Eventually, it just got quiet, and I am loving the hell out of it. I can hear myself think, be alone with my thoughts, plot out my next novel, and not have to think in 140 characters (or now, 280) or worry that no one has liked my most recent post.
My main social network is the ubiquitous text message.
Oh, and this joint.
Thank you all for being here and being awesome.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 5:27 AM on October 14 [13 favorites]


I signed up on mastodon.social, largely to figure out what the fuss is about. @nonethefewer@mastodon.social, I think is how that's formatted.
posted by XtinaS at 5:45 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


I deleted my Twitter account a few weeks ago because it just felt like too much responsibility and I can’t carry the emotional burden of another thing in my life I feel responsible for keeping up with, and I was never quite sure I understood Twitter’s culture or features well enough to know what I was doing and not somehow accidentally follow something I didn’t mean to and didn’t want to unintentionally support. Also, the character limit is deeply offensive to me as somebody who enjoys reading expansive prose and believes you can’t actually espress many of the most important and meaningful ideas in such a brief format. The obsession with brevity and economy of language is an executive class fetish that seems anti-intellectual and deeply problematic to me, in principle, and leads to a bland, colorless language that can’t describe larger patterns over time or really big ideas that have substance to them.

It also just moves too fast for a simpleton like me. And it’s scary to me, too, even though I know I’m not one of the kinds of people typically targeted for harrassment, because I have been emotionally abused and harrassed by groups at other times in my life (especially white supremacist/Nazi types; in high school, allegedly, one neo-Nazi guy even showed up looking for me at school with a gun at one point, though luckily I was absent that day and he never tried to confront me again) and the thought of being potentially exposed to another channel for being abused is terrifying and anxiety triggering for me sometimes.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:55 AM on October 14 [2 favorites]


I was so far behind in my timeline I missed the boycott until it was almost over, but I’m ready to try to start weaning myself from it. I think we can make Mastodon what we want it to be by joining it & using it. I’ll be posting all the random crap that I usually post to Twitter over there at Devils_Rancher@octodon.social. I’m giving twitter the week off, at least. My feelings about using Twitter just get harder & harder to justify with each passing day of this bullshit.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:26 AM on October 14 [2 favorites]


I just scrolled down until I saw 'art' so I'm at @coreypress@mastodon.cc
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:29 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


I'm @williammize over on mastodon.
I doubt I will ever use it, but I will follow MeFites back (or whatever the term is) so there you go!
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 6:39 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


Since I only tweet once every few weeks, rather than participate in the boycott and be not even an atom in drop in a bucket, I took the time yesterday evening to greatly increase the number of WOC I follow* and start amplifying them. But having another network without Nazis sounds pretty nice! So @solotoro@mastodon.social, and I think I've followed everyone who has put their username in this thread.

*Which was a good/depressing reminder of how insidious our white supremacist society can be, and how vigilant we must therefore be if we want to change it. Without any deliberate effort, my feed was WAY too heavily weighted to white and male voices.
posted by solotoro at 6:57 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


Missed the edit window; I've followed everyone in this thread but could always follow more. @featherwatt@mastodon.social.
posted by FeatherWatt at 7:18 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


My issue with Mastadon is that what I find valuable about Twitter is the people, not the platform. I'm basically a consumer of Twitter: I read a lot more than I tweet. And the thing that I get from Twitter is the ability to listen in on conversations to which I don't think I necessarily have anything valuable to add. In the real world, my mere presence might disrupt those conversations, but on Twitter I can observe without getting in the way. I could be wrong, but my sense is that those conversations aren't happening on Mastadon yet, and until they do, it's not going to be a substitute for Twitter for me. And I don't think I can help make them migrate over there, because I'm a follower, not a leader, on Twitter.

Also, Mastadon is confusing. What is an instance? How on earth do I figure out which instance to join? Can I join more than one instance?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:09 AM on October 14 [13 favorites]


@janidlo@mastodon.social

Also, related MetaTalk.
posted by cooker girl at 8:14 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


I love Mastodon. It's slower, quieter, nicer, warmer. The convention of placing intensity and politics behind a screen changes the tone. The prevalence of artists and trans people and queers changes the tone. I'm glad to be reminded to go back. I'm latkes@octodon.social
posted by latkes at 8:17 AM on October 14 [2 favorites]


The obsession with brevity and economy of language is an executive class fetish

Maybe it's you who is classist. The vast majority of people on Twitter are not executives. 41% of users have a household income under $50k/year, 46% didn't graduate from college. (source) As explained above, lots of poorer people only access the Internet from their phones, where it's inconvenient or impossible to write lengthy prose.
posted by AFABulous at 8:20 AM on October 14 [15 favorites]


Twitter has something very compelling: it's not just the enormous numbers of amazing contributors: experts, artists, journalists, comedians, people who are hilarious or brilliant in their little posts, and it's not just that it's an instant way to be linked to everything else in the internet - like metafilter times a thousand. It's the scroll.

The scroll gets me, and it keeps me. It works. The dopamine, the wonder of what's just off screen. It's incredibly effective at keeping attention.

And the tone on twitter is utter garbage. It is the Nazis yes. It is the serial harassers yes. It is the follow bots and the casual racists. But it's the general tone of almost everyone. Even people I respect: to just go to a place of extreme hate immediately. To give the quickest, most uncharitable response.

I am familiar with and appreciate the concept of tone policing and I know that is a real problem. But from the comments to the posts, from the people with the fewest followers to the millions, people of all politics and genders and ethnic backgrounds: people are mean and unthinking on Twitter. It creates a super garbagey environment.

The last thing I don't like about twitter is: it makes me feel small and bad about myself. Naturally, most people one follows will have more followers than oneself (popular posters have the most followers). Twitter makes me feel like I'm in the room with lots of incredibly smart, articulate, funny, interesting, compelling, popular people. And they are all talking to each other and none of them are talking to me.

I wonder to what extent harrassment (by real people not their armies of bots) is driven by the sense of lonliness Twitter creates for some of us.

Twitter most certainly and immediately needs real, meaningful policies, that they stick to, that make harassment impossible, that provide for critical thinking. They need to close Trumps account right now and ban racist organizing on Twitter. Twitter also needs to hire a lot more humans and not rely on algorithms to make human decisions. And finally, the desperately need to hire women and people of color because they will better serve their broad user base if they do and also it's unethical and unjust that they don't.

But... I also think there is something broken in the social media design model, in that for many of us, it also just makes us feel bad, by design.
posted by latkes at 8:47 AM on October 14 [15 favorites]


Also, if anyone would be interested in an in-person protest at Twitter headquarters demanding they close Trump's account and hire POC, I'm with you.
posted by latkes at 8:47 AM on October 14 [3 favorites]


Twitter makes me feel like I'm in the room with lots of incredibly smart, articulate, funny, interesting, compelling, popular people. And they are all talking to each other and none of them are talking to me.

Hah! It may say something about the depths of my introversion and social anxiety that this is actually a plus for me!

posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:50 AM on October 14 [10 favorites]


Even people I respect: to just go to a place of extreme hate immediately. To give the quickest, most uncharitable response.


Yeah, I see a lot of people I respect responding to a headline without delving into more context, and people giving the same hot takes over and over and over. I guess I stopped caring that much about what people thought and realized I didn't have much to offer either. Who cares about my opinion on Hugh Hefner's death? What does it add to the conversation? I'm not being self-deprecating, I'm saying there is so much noise and outrage that it's hard to find the signal.
posted by AFABulous at 9:21 AM on October 14 [5 favorites]


I've seen studies that show the percentage of Black people who use Twitter is much higher than the percentage of white people, and that they most often access it on their phones, as a fiendish thingy points out.

And, on a global scale, this is even more true - and that's the part that's been making me wonder just how much of what is being described in this commentary here has been geowalled to North America or the US mainland or whatever containment?

The boycott thing showed up in the timeline which is my oldest, started back in the US when I lived there, and where I follow mostly mefites and old friends and stuff. But nary a mention in my biz twitter stream (more europeanish) or the news feed I curate (Africa focused).
posted by infini at 10:42 AM on October 14 [2 favorites]


It got a reaction, so it did its job. Sadly I suspect the reaction means a step up in half arsed both sider moderation which bans both real people and Nazi bots out of a sense of "fairness"... maybe we should do it again sometime.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on October 14


What if we had a campaign to get people to change their location to Germany? It would show that a significant portion of the user base does not want to see these tweets, and deprive Nazis of an audience. Edit: typo
posted by domo at 11:50 AM on October 14 [11 favorites]


I'd go for that!
posted by infini at 11:54 AM on October 14 [2 favorites]


I guess I stopped caring that much about what people thought and realized I didn't have much to offer either. Who cares about my opinion on Hugh Hefner's death? What does it add to the conversation?

Yes, this. The stupidity and noise on Twitter, of which I am definitely a part, has driven me also to learn some introspection about posting. Do I really need to post this? Do I really need to insert myself into this conversation? Is what i’m about to say really going to be interesting and wanted? Or is it just for me? I’m very far from perfect in this regard, but the structure of Twitter has really brought it to the forefront of my mine. I don’t yet feel I’m on top of my posts enough to contribute well on Mastodon though, where people have informed me today that the concepts of ‘news’ and ‘politics’ require content warnings.

It’s an old joke now, but social media is extremely performative. Facebook’s all about performing how perfect your life and family is. Instagram’s about performing how attractive and stylish you are. Twitter is also performative, often about how smart, politically righteous and connected you are.
posted by Jimbob at 12:24 PM on October 14 [14 favorites]


I don't really understand what warrants a content warning on Mastodon, but there seems to be some debate about it.
posted by bongo_x at 12:33 PM on October 14


Depending on who you listen to bongo_x, everything or nothing does. And since the debate about what deserves a content warning and what doesn’t is itself fraught (even here) it all leaves me a bit hesitant to say anything much.
posted by Jimbob at 12:40 PM on October 14


What if we had a campaign to get people to change their location to Germanny?

The company should provide this as a checkbox defaulted checked FFS. Ignore Nazis [x].

Reading this thread is like reading the Scouting threads: yes, there are great outcomes for some and some are fighting the good fight but your continued participation helps fuel unmitigated bullshit whatever you intentions and efforts may be.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:45 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


My experience on Mastodon (and I haven't been spending much time there in a while) is that there is a culture where people are encouraged to put emotionally intense content and political content behind a Content Warning (CW). This is probably a prescriptive rule on some instances, and more of just a common agreement on others.

I think that helps make the tone much less stressful than twitter, so I like it.

Like with any online community, the creation of cultural norms creates a feeling of insiderness for some and outsiderness for others. I personally find this norm to be one that enhances my experience, but I understand there's a curve of learning the norms, and I also am not one who feels offended if someone does not use the CW.
posted by latkes at 12:54 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


The other fun thing about Content Warnings is they are perfect for telling question/answer style jokes. Phrase your content warning as: "What's green and flies through the air". Viewers have to click your "content warning" to learn the answer is "Super Pickle!"
posted by latkes at 12:56 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


I think the content warning can be pretty useful, but "politics and news" seems so broad I can't see that part.
posted by bongo_x at 12:58 PM on October 14


I have no idea whether I'm actually going to use Mastodon, but I signed up as @TotallyArbitrary@Octodon.social . At least, I think I did!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:10 PM on October 14


Ooops! Meant to post that on the gray. Sorry. Carry on.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:10 PM on October 14


I think the content warning can be pretty useful, but "politics and news" seems so broad I can't see that part.

It's eroded some, but the convention of putting EVERYTHING politics behind a content warning (usually a string like "uspol") is one of my favorite aspects of Mastodon.

US politics have become such a goddamned nightmare that having a space where they don't saturate every facet of every conversation is enormously helpful, at least for me.
posted by brennen at 2:02 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


Do I really need to post this? Do I really need to insert myself into this conversation? Is what i’m about to say really going to be interesting and wanted? Or is it just for me?

in general but also you personally, jimbob, I enjoy following people with lives different from my own. My political beliefs and values mostly align with my followees' so I get exhausted with the echo chamber. I'd much rather hear about the hike someone took, what they do at their job/in school, and (in your case) what's going on in a different part of the world. Lately I've appreciated Facebook because it's a lot more of that and a lot less preaching to the choir.
posted by AFABulous at 2:07 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


So I've extended my boycott to not tweeting or liking anything (although, shame, I actually am reading twitter again), and the urge to be heard there is STRONG.

But improving "the ratio" on the worst of humanity (I see Jonathan Kay is today's primary feast of deplorable) would make me feel worse.

I have to find a way to quit this drug.
posted by Yowser at 6:36 PM on October 14


My plan, which I’ve maintained for about 36 hours now, is Mastodon on the weekends, maybe I’ll go back to Twitter during the week.

And, obviously, IRC always.
posted by Jimbob at 1:33 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos wrote:
....I am also chuffed to report that the thing that tipped me over into boycotting today was to read a couple of posts from a couple men in my feed who said "you know what, women shouldn't be alone in this, I'm going to boycott for the day tomorrow too."
I'm beginning to see this is as central to what is happening right now. One of the articles I read about the free speech event in Boston interviewed a black woman who just happened to be nearby and was struck deeply by seeing white people putting their bodies out there for black people. After decades of organizers beating the drum (and doing lots of tough groundwork) on being good allies, and intersectionality, we're seeing some fruit.
posted by johnabbe at 4:01 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]




Mastodon on the weekends, maybe I’ll go back to Twitter during the week.

Twitter in the streets, Mastodon in the sheets
posted by AFABulous at 9:37 AM on October 15 [7 favorites]


I'm primarily on Twitter because a bunch of webcomic artists and novelists are on it, as well as historians like @mediavalpoc. And they are on Twitter because they can potentially get a wide audience for what they create. Can mastadon offer that? If I join Mastadon, will I see NK Jemison, Anne Leckie, Cat Valentie, Kathleen Jacques and the other people I follow? Or will I be trapped in a dead interest group? There's so many of those groups, what I'd I chose the wrong one?
posted by happyroach at 12:17 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]




^ worth a read.
posted by Artw at 6:38 AM on October 16


Excellently said. Mike Monteiro is one of the best follow decisions I ever made on that service. Even when I've vehemently disagreed with him, I've always at least found him thoughtful and willing to listen for the better argument.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:42 AM on October 16


It has offered a wee bit of peace of mind in order to calmly and coldbloodedly take some fundamental decisions - my business model has gotten overly dependent on Twitter, and as a WoC, I cannot afford that (again).
posted by infini at 7:17 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]




To set your location on the iOS X Twitter app:
Click your picture in the upper left.
Go to 'Settings and Privacy', then 'Content preferences'.
Click 'Trends', then disable 'Trends for you'.
You will now be able to change your location to Germany.

This is counter-intuitive and a pain to figure out. Please share this info.
posted by domo at 10:25 AM on October 16


("Infini linked", dammit)
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]


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