TechnologyPaul McAleer

Canary in the Coal Mine

TechnologyPaul McAleer

On Sunday, I deactivated my Twitter account.

A year earlier I kicked the idea around in my head. I had been using Twitter since 2007, which is a long time to use anything I guess, but the overall abdication of responsibility that Twitter as a company took with its product just didn’t sit well with me. And here I was, writing a lot of things and sharing photos and spending a lot of time on it. That felt wrong.

So why the delay? Well, it was hard to quit. Even after deleting Tweetbot, even after keeping content blockers on the web version, it was pretty simple for me to dip in to Twitter absentmindedly during the day. And as the US government was given away, it was harder not to look – to see what fresh horror there was. Twitter was way less about funny jokes and neat ideas, as it was in the beginning. For years, people have been getting verbally abused and targeted on Twitter, and the company has done nothing. They could do so much more. They choose not to.

So I found myself sitting at my kitchen table on Sunday, in-between chores, reading Twitter and seeing things that got me angry. I checked out the account settings, downloaded all my data, and deleted my account.

Twitter is an excellent idea, and a very interesting platform. It is a bad product with poor leadership.