Essays on Technology and Culture

Why Twitter’s Dying

Here’s my tiny theory, in a word. Abuse. And further, I’m going to suggest in this short essay that abuse — not making money — is the great problem tech and media have. The problem of abuse is the greatest challenge the web faces today. It is greater than censorship, regulation, or (ugh) monetization. It is a problem of staggering magnitude and epic scale, and worse still, it is expensive: it is a problem that can’t be fixed with the cheap, simple fixes beloved by tech: patching up code, pushing out updates.

To explain, let me be clear what I mean by abuse. I don’t just mean the obvious: violent threats. I also mean the endless bickering, the predictable snark, the general atmosphere of little violences that permeate the social web…and the fact that the average person can’t do anything about it.

Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) — Bad Words

This rings so, painfully true. I have a decent Twitter experience because I aggressively curated follow list paired with massive mute filters and blocklists. Most people aren’t going to put that much work into a service, nor will they want to. What good is a global agora where nobody listens, but everyone yells? Or throws fists?