Please (don’t) clap

Robin Sloan:

Twitter’s only conclusion can be abandonment: an overdue MySpace-ification. I am totally confident about this prediction, but that’s an easy confidence, because in the long run, we’re all MySpace-ified. The only question, then, is how many more possibilities will go unexplored? How much more time will be wasted?

Wishful descriptions of Twitter as “the de facto public town square” or “the closest thing we have to a global consciousness” sound, to me, like Peter Pan begging the audience to clap and raise a swooning Tinkerbell.

You don’t have to clap.

One Comment

Tim April 29, 2022 Reply

*Standing slow clap* Twitter, like all social media services, promotes ideas and posts through an algorithm that observes the whole platform. Unlike some platforms, Twitter users can only interact with the algorithm through positive reinforcement: “reply” “favorite” and “retweet”. The algorithm, which promotes and demotes Tweets to readers, receives no direct negative input from users, such as “downvote” or “dislike”. Therefore, the only recourse individual readers have for critical expression is “reply”. While the conversation between the Tweeter and the Tweetee is technically “discourse in the public”, the algorithm never recieves input for resolution from readers, only input for promotion.

Twitter’s algorithm is incapable of reflecting consensus and is therefore no more “public discourse” than the argument between the man with sign “you’re going to hell” and the angry goth at the street corner across from your favorite movie theater. Twitter is a platform thriving on individual’s egos, to the detriment of society.

Get rid of Twitter. (Sign up for Reddit)

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