Inactive on Twitter

Created by Steven Baltakatei Sandoval on 2022-11-10T20:14Z under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and last updated on 2022-11-23T18:42Z.

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UPDATE (2022-11-23): My new microblogging feed is at twit.social/@baltakatei , one of many Mastodon servers. My last Twitter post is an announcement of this migration. I chose twit.social since it is operated by Leo Laporte, the host of several podcasts and television shows I have listened to in the past and found trustworthy as far as communicating technology news. I still listen regularly to his and Steve Gibson's Security Now podcast.

I decided to not be active on the microblogging site Twitter after Elon Musk completed his purchase of the publicly traded social media company and promptly fired the CEO and dissolved the board of directors, making himself the only director. I had developed some trust of its original CEO, Jack Dorsey, back when Twitter had been the subject of discussion on Leo Laporte's This Week in Tech podcast in the last 00s. In the 2010s I decided that I would be okay publishing text on Twitter because from the get-go the site explained that what was submitted would be public; in contrast, Facebook (which I deactivated back in the early 2010s, long before Zuckerberg renamed it "Meta"), advertised privacy settings that would allow posts to be only shared with a limited number of contacts (and with Facebook employees); however, the privacy settings were complex and there didn't seem to be a default setting that would stick over time. So, Twitter's transparently public nature seems more honest. My posts would be available and there was no sign that the administrators of the site favored any particular political party; the most common reason I saw for Tweets being removed was due to threats of violence or harassment. Prior to 2022, posts to Twitter could be relied upon to remain unfiltered, provided you weren't threatening violence or spreading misinformation.

That changed in 2022 when I saw Elon Musk purchase the company, making the service his own privately owned property. Now, were I to continue to post to Twitter, I was making a public donation to Musk that he could choose to throw away like he did the company leaders that he fired. That in itself may not have been a dealbreaker for me, but he also proceeded to endorse the Republican Party which continues to rely upon the criminal President who organized the attempted coup of the United States of 2021-01-06. His tweet removed any doubt that he would turn Twitter into a tool to promote the Republican Party. Privileged mechanisms to promote his own political opinions at the expense of silencing others by leveraging his exclusive ownership of Twitter include:

  • Removing user-submitted content that criticize him (as he has banned users for adopting his name and image in protest).
  • Removing features from his critics (as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reported).

I admit that many people are firmly rooted in habit to use Twitter as their default social media space to remain connected to eachother. Choosing to leave Twitter for another space risks losing contact with people who have not yet left. Habitual use of Twitter is like a gravity well that requires a significant activation energy of its inhabitants to escape. However, I stand by my decision for reasons similar to those that compelled me to leave Facebook: I can no longer assume what I post will be secure from censorship.

So, what is my social media space? Without Twitter, Reddit is my default. I'd like to make use of this blog more often, although I will need to figure out a more convenient way to post content Currently, my process is:

  • Author posts in Emacs Org mode.
  • Export posts into Markdown text.
  • Commit the Markdown text to a git repo.
  • Push the commit to my reboil.com server.
  • Wait for an update script to run or log into the server to run it manually.

I could probably automate all that to a single Emacs function or bash script, given enough time, in order to mimic the simplicity of microblogging. However, for now, these longer form posts satisfy me for now.