Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It)
umair haque

Before Facebook, before twitter, back in the beginning of social media via forums many many years ago: This was ALL still true. Merely the location on the web will change. Anything unmoderated or loosely moderated eventually devolves to sh*t.

I can recall skipping unmoderated Usenet newsgroups for some with the same name + (Moderated) for this reason. I stopped going to AOL Chats that were unmoderated in favor of moderated ones. I posted on all sorts of forums hosted on forum sites I no longer recall only if they were moderated.

The best forum for the longest time was Television Without Pity, which was very strictly moderated, but adult conversation friendly, and with a very clear faq. Attacking, or even being snotty to, another poster was warn or ban worthy. 3 warns and you’re out. F-bombs were OK if not directed at a person; but not okay with or without profanity if offtopic. A smarmy “Ummm” could get you warned. Purposely bad or lazy grammar, or allcaps or nocaps would get a warn. Readability and well adjusted topical intecration with others RULED by an iron fist. It was glorious; and it was the best years of interaction I’ve ever had on the web. Sadly, the site was sold to NBC Universal, who eventually, and shortsitedly (see what I did there?) killed it in a cave to the early days of traffic loss to twitter and other social media. *Insert virtual tears here*

Totally true points regarding Twitter, and society, are made by you here, Umair. I commend you for addressing them. But the issue goes deep back into the days when nearly no one was a company or in it for the money.

Hell, I have met people from online in: BBS from pre-web days, Usenet, forums, AOL Chats, TWoP, Twitter (I have met literally hundreds of my followers) and Facebook. Many of these are friends still.

The specific problems with Twitter are: People are using it for a purpose for which it was not originally designed, which was: flip and pithy micro blogs like “Cable managing on dirty floor in my Super Mario T-shirt.” In other words “ists” as you termed them, ruined it my mass invading “Gosh, this is a cool tool and everyone is on it. Imma post my screed link there.” It’s a public square, but c’mon. The other issue is trolls, of course, and the pervasive societywide abuse problem. This requires either TWoP-like moderation (Not the halfhearted attempts at not being sued kind) AND, like Facebook, a USER commitment to moderating one’s own account. It takes a significant amount of time and attention and resources and cannot be taken for granted.

You can follow me there @VeniceRiley

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