I’m Leaving @Twitter Because Of @Jack Dorsey, And I’m Taking My Partygoers With Me

I deleted my Twitter account a few days ago. Given the latest exodus of users, I felt it necessary to finally explain myself, lest someone thinks that I’m still on the break from Twitter that I took last year.

The last month I was on Twitter I began to notice something odd.  Despite having 20k followers, my tweets were getting a mere fraction of the retweets and favorites that they normally did. And usually it was the same handful of people doing it, which told me they were going to my profile to view my tweets, not seeing them in their feed. While not a huge number, I’m not exactly some random nobody who has 20k followers because I follow back (I don’t). People follow me because they’ve read my writing, they’ve read about my accomplishments as an athlete, veteran and wounded warrior, or they’ve seen me on TV. I’m a 13 time world champion athlete, ESPY award winner, and I’ve been on the majority of the alphabet networks at one time or another.  I’m followed by a number of people who I’ve crossed paths with during my life’s journey including higher profile users like Curt Schilling, Adam Baldwin, Larry the Cable Guy, and a number of the faces you see each day on the news. In other words, I’m not just another egg on Twitter. I didn’t change what I tweeted, nor did I stray from my normal patterns. I actually began to wonder, have all my followers stopped caring about what I was saying? With interaction on my tweets flatlined, it seemed like I was wasting my time. Why say something if no one cares or is listening? It wasn’t until a couple weeks later that I noticed people complaining about shadow banning that it made sense. People weren’t interacting with my tweets because they weren’t actually seeing them. You deemed my thoughts and opinions to be improper, and I was being punished for it.

Your new Orwellian sounding “Trust And Safety Council” and its hard left members make it abundantly clear where you stand on ideology. And when your new authority members have a long and documented history of silencing anyone who disagrees with them it’s obvious which direction your platform is headed. But it’s not going to work. You see, you brave little totalitarians think it’s your party, and can ask people to leave when you don’t like our opinions. That’s not how it works. You might have an empty house with your parents out of town, but it’s the popular people that bring the actual party. If you kick us out, the party goes with us, leaving you to stay behind and clean up the mess and explain to your parents, or in this case, your shareholders, how you managed to destroy the place.

Your censorship, shadowbanning and selective bans are all part of a much larger problem that has been taking place on Twitter over the last few months and frankly, I’ve had enough. In light of recent events I cannot in good conscience continue to use a platform intent on destroying everything I stand for. I didn’t raise my right hand to uphold and defend the constitution of my country then survive bombs and bullets in Iraq only to be told by some candy ass progressive beta male hiding behind his keyboard in San Francisco what opinions I can and cannot hold.  You are the same pathetic human beings who are so mentally and emotionally fragile that you run off to your little safe space every time you encounter an opinion you disagree with. This is akin to hiding in the fort you built behind the couch at age five because that’s what you do when you fail to possess the basic intelligence, integrity, maturity, and courage necessary to deal with the world around you.  You lack even the most basic skills to function in our society and deal with a wide range of opinions and ideas, yet think you can tell the rest of us how we’re supposed to behave. There is true hatred and evil in the world, and I’ve seen it up close. A person on Twitter saying an opinion you disagree with isn’t it, no matter how much you disingenuously conflate disagreement with hate or insist that a difference in opinion shattered your ego and self esteem like a faberge egg.

And don’t tell me that you truly care about creating a platform free from targeted abuse when you continually only punish one side of the aisle. There have been a couple occasions where people said such nasty things to me that I felt inclined to skip the usual block button and use your reporting system. Lest you think I’m being soft skinned, the things they said to me were enough to garner headlines and gained me about 2k followers in 48 hours. I felt like these individuals were worth being test cases to see if your system actually worked. After waiting three days the one account that was targeting me mockingly tweeted me that they only had to delete two tweets and they were free to go on their merry little abusive way with no suspension or banning. I was attacked specifically over my disability and Twitter did nothing because I was on the wrong side of the aisle. So don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining, or that you’re really interested in making Twitter a safer, friendlier place where people are protected from real targeting or abuse.

Like throngs of others, I’ve had enough of your constant revisions aimed at “improving” Twitter, and totalitarian measures aimed at punishing anyone who holds an opinion you deem improper.  I know for a fact a number of people joined just to follow me after I quit blogging in favor of Twitter. But now I’m leaving Twitter forever, and I’m taking my partygoers with me.  Have fun explaining to your shareholders why your platform continues to shed millions of users, and why it’s no longer the fun place to hang out.  Judging by the current stock price, maybe you should ask Tom at Myspace which excuses he used.

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4 Responses to I’m Leaving @Twitter Because Of @Jack Dorsey, And I’m Taking My Partygoers With Me

  1. Julie says:

    Oddly, this blog post popped up on my phone in my Google Now feed, something I don’t really understand but there it was. “I don’t know any lumberjacks in the desert” I thought, clicked on it, and read.

    The problem with having things you want and need to say is that current Web 2.0 is all about digital sharecropping. You use “free” platforms (yes, even WordPress, though they are less restrictive on content topic) to put your words out there and the platform ultimately controls it. They control who can see it, when it is seen, associated algorithms, and, sadly common, if they’ll delete your work if/when their platform goes away. This could lead to an incredibly boring discussion of me talking about my move to a static HTML site for my own stuff, a site I completely control and can easily backup and move around, but I’ll spare people that one.

    Then there’s the issue of having built a platform, and now that you’re on it with all the readers and fans, you feel like you have to keep talking whether you have anything to say or not because readers and fans are sometimes fickle and go away if there’s any silence. So do you fill the air with talking even if you have nothing of value to say?

    Which is a nice segue to Twitter, since it’s rather become that anyway — users scheduling tweets and such simply to prevent dead air from emanating from their platform.

    I have a “professional” Twitter account with my full name, which is the one I use for people who read the writing I make my living off of and is mainly a dumping ground for things I’m not terribly interested in beyond paying bills, a stream of marketing meh, a “content marketing” platform. My real Twitter account, however, has always just been for myself, my very closest friends, my parents, and my siblings. I have other followers, but for all intents and purposes, I’m just another egg on Twitter except to those people who care enough to go to my profile to see “what’s Julie up to today?” and I suppose, for that reason, I stick around on Twitter (for now).

    As you’ve described, however, Twitter is leaving the realm of platform-building for those who have a message to share which seems to be in conflict with current “safety and editorial” standards, and that’s a shame. It will either be full left, or bland pablum devoid of discussions that matter to people. I have reported incredibly abusive users (particularly during the Planned Parenthood videos and surrounding discussion) and from what I can tell, nothing was done. So it goes.

    I do assume, at some point, I’ll be done with the platform for other reasons; the second law of thermodynamics at work on Web 2.0, I guess.

    Anyway, sorry to see you go. I hope you find a method and a place to talk and write about things that matter that you can fully control.

  2. Amy says:

    Twitter doesn’t care if conservatives leave. In fact, that’s what they want so they can have their own little echo chamber. I give it two more years. If an outside party doesn’t buy Twitter or someone doesn’t take it private, it will be gone in two years.

  3. DKougar says:

    @jrsalzman
    I noticed your absence immediately as I usually check your TL each day. It took me a few days but eventually I came to the same conclusion you did. And it made me sad, angry & convinced we had lost the fight. Who the H do these twits think they are to try to sneakily silence the voice of someone who had stepped up & defended their right to languish in their Mom’s basement in safety & comfort feeling superior while wasting oxygen!
    I will miss you. Though I sometimes disagreed with you, I always respected the intellect, wit, sarcasm & courage in your words. And there was truth, too.

  4. Mike says:

    Will be sad to see you go (and I’m pretty sure I followed you after the #LoveWins incident)P, but this censorship is ridiculous. In fact, the whole PC/liberal nonsense is ridiculous. One of my college professors used the phrase “Candy-ass PC totalitarian bullshit” repeatedly. At the time, I didn’t understand what he meant, but I now find myself using the phrase several times a week.

    Over the past few years, I’ve had to deal with the stupidity myself as well. I post an opinion on Mo’Ne Davis (which basically said why are we still talking about her? The LLWS was over two months ago!) and a bunch of idiots called me racist, sexist, etc. I’ve butted heads with the guy several times and I usually end up (temporarily) locking my account due to the harassment. I’m not the only one he has done this to, but I would like to know why he’s allowed to get away with it.

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