I’d like to get away from Twitter for a variety of reasons. But an argument could be made that people in my line of contract work and freelance writing need to be there. For me, this has become an impasse of morality and survival, leaving me feeling increasingly angry, powerless, and defeated.
Twitter directly contributes to, and profits from, the machines of hatred and white supremacy. Period. It and fellow ad-supported media platforms and publishers—ranging from Facebook all the way back to Fox News—have for a long time. We’re in the Age of Attention, and the insidious incentives of advertising are devouring our humanity whole.
Twitter refuses to ban the Racist in Chief because profit. It claims to permanently ban practicing Nazis like Richard Spencer and hate-mongers like David Duke, only to let them back on and turn a blind eye because profit. A recent mass shooter cited Ben Shapiro as inspiration. The company designs features ostensibly for #engagement that just end up surfacing violent, hate-spewing garbage into our timelines because… profit? It hasn’t lifted a finger over an incompetently aloof CEO and complicit management.
But.. some of my clients have a Twitter presence and community; those need managing. One could argue that I need to hashtag-engage with my peers and audience there. How will I stay visible in my field and aspirations if I disappear from this machine of hatred?
I don’t know. Sometimes it actually keeps me up at night. Maybe I play Destiny a little too much because of it. When I was younger, I thought I’d like the future a lot more than I do.
Photo via Javier Allegue Barros