Why some of us can’t just “leave Twitter!”

Tanya DePass
Jan 3, 2018 · 3 min read

So @innesmck had thoughts on the progressive white dudes on his TL who have resolved to use twitter less & how that’s not the same case for marginalized folks. (read his whole thread y’all, it’s really good)

It got me thinking about all the high profile folks who dumped twitter because of toxicity last year, or tried to protest (fill in the blank) with one day boycotts. All of them white, mostly women IIRC. Because they would lose very little or nothing by leaving the trash fire behind, or doing such empty gestures. A one day boycott means nothing.

But marginalized folks don’t get that luxury. We network, start deals in here, find chosen family when blood ties fail us. If I walked away from twitter today, I’m losing a lot. It’s where @INeedDivGms started & thrives best. It’s where I’ve made good friends. Same for other marginalized folks. To others it’s a social experiment with nothing to gain or lose by being here. They can walk off and still have the social capital & networks elsewhere due to better access to everything.

We (royal we, meaning marginalized folks) often use this to find resources, show our work & hustle. Not on twitter? You might miss out, you might not. But if you’ve established yourself and fit a presence? Much harder to walk off from it when that’s the main spot you collaborate in. Again, almost all the guests on @OutOfTokensCast? Gotten by asking on twitter. Most of my writing gigs? Gotten via networking here, not conferences or conventions.

I know some cis, straight & abled white person is tuning up right now to go, but it’s the same for me! I’m broke or I can’t go to cons but you do! Think about how that happened buddy. Networking that started here & moved to emails, etc. I’m talking about marginalized folks right now, so hold those thoughts (for all time tbh, IDGAF) and how we use this hell-site differently, & can’t just walk away.

Everything has a cost and as usual ours is much higher than others. Think about that before you blithely tell a QPOC, someone who’s trans or woman to just quit twitter! You might be suggesting losing their lifeline.

Addendum to my thoughts on how marginalized folks use & can’t walk away from twitter easily.

We don’t get verified as often as others.

So many folks I know in games, etc with way, way higher follower counts & positions in AAA aren’t verified. EscoBlades, Ann Lemay aren’t for instance. Another friend legit forgot they applied, won an Eisner & then they got the blue check. But dudes who applied on a whim or after I told them applying was an option hit that tick mark on the first try. Now verification is suspended.

It’s another way in which we can’t even get a layer of protection from the harassment the platform stays profiting off of in addition to what black twitter brings.

Just a thought that occurred to me after seeing all these folks with little to no professional affiliation easily picked up in their profiles with a check vs marginalized folks.

Like what I have to say? You can buy me a ko-fi, or if you really like what I do, I’m on Patreon too, and you can support for as little as $1 a month.

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