Why should you delete your Twitter account Friday, August 17th?
It’s time the social media platform enforces its own rules against Alex Jones—and for decent humans to log out until they do.
Find me on Mastodon, where the stuff that’s banned in Germany — like Holocaust denial and Nazi imagery — is banned everywhere. What a novel-fucking-concept.
13 Toots, 21 Following, 17 Followers · Designer, teacher, sometimes writer, and trouble maker. I'm from the east coast;…mastodon.social
Twitter is toxic.
When was the last time you enjoyed looking at Twitter, truly? Sure, the memes are dank, and we’ve all made a few friends on the social media service; but lately, the price of that has been wading through harassment, threats of nuclear war, and hate retweet after hate retweet.
I’ve left Twitter before. I rejoined earlier this year because I thought it would help with a job hunt; but it turned out that Twitter isn’t as good for job hunting as it is for ruining my mental health.
Twitter is toxic, and it’s the company’s own fault. It has an abuse problem that—despite CEO Jack Dorsey’s near-constant promises of “greater transparency”—it simply won’t do anything about.
The latest ball Jack has not only dropped but punted into oncoming traffic is Twitter’s handling of Infowars’ Alex Jones. You may know Jones as the reason right wing America believes the victims of school shootings are paid crisis actors and Hillary Clinton was involved in a child sex ring run out of a pizza shop. Those conspiracy theories, which Jones peddles to help him sell male enhancement supplements, have resulted in listeners bringing an AR-15 into that pizza shop forcing the parents of children killed in Sandy Hook to move multiple times to escape harassment.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Twitter can enforce its own rules; but it’s obvious we’re going to have to make them.
In recent days, large tech companies like Apple, YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify have realized just how dangerous giving Jones a platform is and have begun removing his content and profiles. And while his fans are framing this as a conservative voice being censored, it’s simply a matter of companies enforcing their policies against harassment.
In a tweet thread, Jack claimed that Jones hadn’t violated any of Twitter’s rules, and keeping him on the platform was a matter of staying true to the company’s guiding principles (of not giving a shit about users’ well-being apparently).
That bit of sanctimonious wanking turned out to be a lie. After CNN found twenty recent tweets from Jones that violated their terms of service, Twitter admitted he had broken their rules and they still weren’t going to do jack.
The only metric Jack cares about is engagement — account numbers, clicks, retweets, replies. Our outrage keeps us tweeting. And when all you care about is engagement, what’s a little extra suffering by the parents of dead children?
We are #complicit.
Twitter has told us they aren’t going to improve. It’s time we start listening. Even those of us who still manage to find some enjoyment on the platform need to look seriously at what our participation is supporting.
We may choose to block Alex Jones and Infowars. We may be able to resist the urge to dunk on Tommy Lawrence every time one of her head-ass takes comes across our feed; but as long as we contribute to Twitter’s success and growth, we are supporting a platform for these people.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Twitter can enforce its own rules; but we’re going to have to make them. So Friday, August 17th, I’m joining #DeactiDay a campaign to tell Twitter, “It’s Alex Jones or us.”
Be a deactivist.
Here’s how it works, when Friday rolls around, deactivate your Twitter account. That’s it. Twitter has 30 days to ban Alex Jones before our accounts are permanently deleted. It’s up to them to decide who they want on their platform more.
If they choose well—or you actually end up missing Twitter—all you need to do to reactivate your account is to log back in using your same old username and password.
Deactivating your account is easy.
Click on your profile image to see the account menu and select Settings and privacy. (Screenshots are on desktop, but the steps is the same for mobile).
On desktop, this will take you where you need to be. On mobile, you’ll have to click on Account first. At the very bottom of the page (sneaky), you will see a link to Deactivate your account. Click it; it will be okay.
(If you’re worried about losing all your ~*quality content*~ you can use the button above the deactivation link to request your archive of tweets and media before Friday.)
You’ll be asked to confirm your deactivation. Just click that big ole button at the bottom of the screen. You’ve been secretly waiting to do this.
You’ll have to enter your password to confirm, so I hope you have that handy. Then click Deactivate account, again.
#Goodbye, cesspool. Hello, mental health.
But before you go…
Let your friends and followers know you are participating in #DeactiDay, share the graphics in this post, and encourage them to do the same. And be sure to let Jack, the other Twitter leadership, and board of directors know why you’re leaving.
Also, let each other know which instance of Mastadon you’ll be joining. Leaving Twitter doesn’t have to mean leaving each other.
More reasons to leave.
We've been encouraged to leave Facebook for our own mental health and the sake of democracy, and with those same two…lifehacker.com
After spending most of last week fielding criticism for its decision not to ban conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Twitter…thinkprogress.org