Twitter Is Not the Battlefield

While I appreciate the feeling behind those saying to “stay on Twitter and fight,” I think they are missing the point: Twitter is not the battleground, the battleground is your attention. Give Twitter your attention, even if–especially if–it is to attack trolls, bots, and Qanonobies, you are adding to the value of Twitter. You are increasing eyeballs on posts and by extension, on ads. You are encouraging people to pay for the blue check marks to protect their intellectual property.

For some of us, our Twitter accounts are integral to our intellectual property. In my case, “uneasyrhetoric” is unequivocally me. I’m not a celebrity, and at most I had 201 followers, but I’ve used it as my username in countless places and especially on social media, and the uneasyrhetoric domain has belonged to me since 2003. Thus, I will be keeping the Twitter account for uneasyrhetoric (for now). However, I have deleted virtually all content and will be deleting the app from my phone. I intend to check in very infrequently and to post or interact with posts not at all. So in a sense, I am ceding some territory to Twitter by maintaining a real account.

The real heroes in this battle are people like my friend Mary or the actor Mariana Sirtis, who simply deleted their accounts. Twitter measures its value in terms of active accounts. Such accounts drive traffic to ads and encourage people to pay to promote tweets. This is why Musk was so concerned about the number of fake accounts. The total number of usernames is huge, but of those user names, how many are bots? How many are zero-post users? How many are alts? I’ve created several alts over the years and frankly I can’t remember if I deleted them or just abandoned them.

If you really want to make Musk regret buying this $44 billion toy, leave Twitter, or at least stop interacting. If you are going somewhere else, let me know where!

It seems appropriate that my first post on the reinvigorated would be about Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.