A while ago, I decided to leave Twitter and focus on The Integrity Talks, supported by ad hoc usage of LinkedIn. Not talking about client work here, but about my own / independent voice.
Many people in my inner (work) circle did not understand this move. I had more than 8000 quality followers, including many journalists from all over the globe. I had shared tens of thousands of tweets for clients, using specific hashtags to support different campaigns and many personal tweets, sharing worthwhile content and views for deep and free thinking. Moreover, they knew that Twitter used to be my favorite social network, mostly because it supported the voices of the world. And do I support the voices of the world indeed.
There are many reasons for why I chose to leave the network, including the data-driven way of working on a massive scale, competition, time management, minimalism, other upcoming developments which will be noticed much more, the fact that I don’t need it anymore for retrieving the information that I need daily (including the trends, developments and public debate) and for displaying authority and proof points. Mostly, because Twitter can display personal psychology indeed, whether false or right. I am all for persuasive language and many more tricks, but being a voice myself, I will be very precise with how I share my topics.
As we know from traditional media, voices can be used for certain agendas, whether it would be traffic, clicks, community built up, engagement, or flat on political chess. Voices can become very limited due to how framing is used. As we also know from traditional media, quality can be really poor sometimes. The same can be said for social networks, individual choices and how information gets spread through the game of algorithms. Last, it was around the time that Twitter banned Trump that I decided to synchronize my Twitter network with my LinkedIn network and to close the account. I do believe that Twitter made the right call by banning Trump. 100%.
Long story leading to how I couldn’t support my judgement from back then even, more today: Twitter will be led by Musk. We already know how insanely rich people have bought media from past examples. Look at our global history and the cases will follow. But Elon owning Twitter is the worst decision in a very long time (in my humble opinion and for what it is worth). For now, I will leave it at that without providing the arguments. Yet, I will highlight that it is sad and that I’d advise all those voices in the world to leave Twitter indeed and to focus on a completely different media strategy.
Meanwhile, human rights groups have already raised their concerns about hate speech. Twitter is not just another company. “Regardless of who owns Twitter, the company has human rights responsibilities to respect the rights of people around the world who rely on the platform. Changes to its policies, features and algorithms, big and small, can have disproportionate and sometimes devastating impacts, including offline violence,” Deborah Brown, digital rights researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.
Amnesty International said that it was concerned about any potential decision that Twitter may take after Elon’s takeover to erode enforcement of the policies and mechanisms designed to moderate hate speech online. “The last thing we need is a Twitter that willfully turns a blind eye to violent and abusive speech against users, particularly those most disproportionately impacted, including women, non-binary persons, and others,” said Michael Kleinman, director of technology and human rights at Amnesty International USA.