I’m done. I’m out. Twitter descended into a miserable hate-filled hellsite long before Musk took over, but good gosh every time you think it can’t get any worse he finds a way. I’ve barley used it over the past few years, but last week I received a lovely, friendly email telling me they were revoking my API access for the bot which auto-Tweets posts I make here which is, perhaps bizarrely, the final straw. I am mothballing rather then deleting my account outright as I wish to cyber-squat my name, but the WordPress app is gone, my apps are gone, and the account will now sit dormant save for maybe once a year when I log in on a browser to make sure I still have access. Just like LinkedIn.
It’s lamentable. It didn’t have to be this way, and I’m old enough to remember when Twitter was fresh and exciting and a great place for building communities, but those days are long gone. Killed by a profit incentive that prioritises outrage and antagonism. Just like Facebook. Imagine a world where it was run as a public service, with rules and etiquette derived from consensus and putting wellbeing first. It’s been done. Once. That glorious shining light of the internet: Wikipedia.
And something like that is happening with Mastodon, which is not a centralised profit driven service, but a collection of communities that share a technical standard that allows people to talk to each other across those communities freely. Wired has a good, recent article all about it and how to get started, and if you’re reading this you probably work in higher education, so a good community for you to join would be the one I’m in: scholar.social.