A World Without Twitter

This short post was originally written for 24 Housing in answer to the question:

What Would Happen If Twitter Ceased To Exist?

If Twitter ceased to exist it would take a lot of hatred out of the world. For a moment.

Minutes later the dark side of social networking would find a new host for its incessant rage and intolerance.

Twitter was envisaged as a simple way for people to send text messages to friends.

It became much more than that. It is featured daily on news bulletins. It has been instrumental in events like the Arab Spring — and the rise of Corbyn, UKIP and Trump. It has allowed all of us to connect with public figures and celebrities.

In Housing, Twitter amplified voices and offered alternative views to those presented by the mainstream media.

Twitter connected front line roles with CEOs, and became a way for us to develop new relationships with each other. It inspired a new generation of housing bloggers.

If Twitter ceased to exist a lot of that would wither — it’s the network that holds us together.

Twitter’s failure to be investable, and its constant image problems have a parallel in the housing world. People find it clunky and difficult to understand.

Maybe Twitter is a less of a social network and more vital public infrastructure. Maybe it should be nationalised.

If it disappeared tomorrow it would be reborn as something else. No existing network provides what it does.

Twitter is chaotic, unpredictable and annoying — and right now it’s the best thing we’ve got.

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