Lindy West Quits Twitter: "It Is Unusable for Anyone But Trolls, Robots and Dictators"

Comments

1
Well gosh, Thomas Friedman couldn't possibly be wrong about anything, could he?

More seriously, why do you need to have Lindy on Tweeter, specifically? Is it just too inconvenient for you to check the web-sites that pay her to write, when you want to read her writing?
2
Twitter is where Trump is going to dig his own grave, crawl in, die, and be buried. I'm not missing one minute of that.
6
Facebook is an advertiser-supported collection platform for the CIA.
7
Twitter can ban anybody they want at any time but if they deleted all the trolls their user base would dry up, along with any hope of ever being profitable. This is not sustainable for a company that already bleeds hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Without the nazis and Donald Trump, Twitter would be even more useless and less profitable than it already is, if you can imagine that. The only humane thing to do at this point is let it die peacefully.
8
Watching the Left on social media is like watching Lucy pull the ball away from Charlie Brown. It's remarkable how often this trick works, and why we keep letting it happen.

One problem is that you assume everyone on social media is going to deal with you in good faith. This is the same delusion that leads anarchists and libertarians to assume we'd all have sunshine and flowers blowing out of our ass if we only got rid of the government. In an entirely unregulated environment, who would be there to stop the sociopaths from harming the vulnerable? Somalia is a country that hasn't had a government or anything like a state in over 2 decades. Have a look at daily life in Moghadishu, and tell me how wonderful a stateless society would be again. Nobody regulates these comment threads, for example. In about 20 more posts, this thing will become a swamp of bad faith actors attacking each other and anyone else caught int he crossfire. You're not going to do anything to referee the melee, so why do you demand Twitter (or anyone else) do the very thing your own publication refuses to?

Even if there weren't any sociopaths, even if somehow you miraculously purged the gene pool of whatever codons cause some people to have no moral conscience at all, you still would have people who dislike or resent you. The quote from the lady who says she teaches feminism on Twitter ignores the fact that nobody really asked her to teach them anything at all. Not everyone sees you as their teacher/leader/font of wisdom. Some folks just don't want to be led or taught or have your "wisdom" mandated upon them. If you come across as pompous ass out to "save" the 'ignorant savages' from their 'folly', even non-sociopaths are going to have some rude shit to say to you. mostly out of annoyance, and also out of a desire to be left alone. No everyone wants a messiah, or wants you specifically to be that messiah.

A moderator or admin can help to reign in anyone that crosses the line, whether thats a sociopath who just wants to burn it all down for the sheer joy of starting a forest fire, a wannabe messiah who doesn't get it when people tell him or her to stop annoying them, or anyone else that gets out of control. Cable news pundits just out of shout insults at the camera these days, whether its on MSNBC or FOX, the Blaze or Limbaugh. People see these folks getting famous and start imitating that kind of vituperative rhetoric unconsciously. A moderator can spot this and gently redirect the offending party to remember this isn't a punditocracy.

Until you have moderation of Twitter, comment threads or other online fora, you'll see no substantive change. Not on Twitter. Not here. Not on Vice.

10
Anyone assertive and in-your-face is gonna rustle up a galactic swarm of trolls posting from Mom's basement. Facebook is almost as bad, Reddit may be worse, but each subreddit has moderators who will eventually ban people (but like Twitter, they can just return under some other random fake identity).

If ya can't take the Tweet, just stop with your bitchin'.
13
re closing comments on Slog posts. There have always been assholes on Slog saying horrendous things (especially of women writers). But, two things: once upon a time the signal to noise ratio here was much better because there was a large and devoted community of Sloggers who would call that shit out and make sane comments. There's like maybe 10 of those folks left. Second, many of those departed Sloggers were also the most vocal about banning the homophobic, racist, sexist, mouth breathing trolls. Slog very belatedly went to a registered comment system and does an awful job of shutting down the shit. You guys kinda created the disaster area of the comments section. And rather than do something to improve it you just complain and/or close commenting.
14
good for you, never been on twitter, facebook, snapcrap or any of it, I have a flip phone for phone calls, and you know what, I ain't missing a fucking thing!
15
1) Any time Lindy West reduces public access to her thoughts and mind, we all suffer. She is a rare light we're lucky to read.

2) You close by saying Twitter will not be the same without her, but isn't that the point entirely? Twitter should not be the same. The internet thus far has been an informational Midas touch. All promise but dark delivery. Every social movement it's said to have influenced it has also destroyed, surveilled and delegitimized. Every voice it elevates it also silences. We were better off before we all had a say about the new Ghostbusters movie.

Lindy West's decision to leave Twitter has inspired me to do the same (not as big a deal cuz I' a nobody who just tweets praise to comedians), but beyond the mere action, her's is the critique of social media we need the most. I'm sure you're both too smart to read the comments so I doubt you'll see this, but I feel it strongly enough to write it anyway.
16
1) "The Stranger" (if it wants to continue to have comments at all) should switch to Disqus, so that users can block other users, flag comments that defy clear-cut community rules, and moderators can ban repeat offenders from commenting. (Has it not done so because of cost? I know a guy who started a movie blog in his spare time and he can afford Disqus...)

2) I personally think Lindy West is... a bit over-rated. I enjoyed her writing here back in the day to a degree, but, past a certain point, her look-at-me style becomes very grating and self-congratulatory. I'm glad if young women (and men and trans people) find her inspirational, but she's no Dorothy Parker or Virginia Woolf, or even Rebecca Solnit.

3) Read or listen to the speech Charlie Chaplin gives at the end of "The Great Dictator." You might be surprised at how much of it is NOT about fascism, but rather the perils of depending on "cleverness" and "technology," rather than old-fashioned human connection. Personally, I've never had a Twitter/Facebook/or MySpace account.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=J7GY1Xg6X2…
17
@7 it depends on that whole whose ox gets gored thing, that is, one humon's troll is another humon's clear thinker....one humon's terrorist is another humon's freedom fighter and so on etc....
18
I can't wait until the bought-and-paid-for-by-the-Kochs'-Evil-Empire-and-supported-by-their-clueless-minions Orangeman crawls and dies in the unchecked shithole that is its deep, darkly putrid, cavernous mouth.
@16 Dunno: Mainly for the reasons from this article, I'm starting to regret my Facebook account.
We'll all miss you, Lindy West, but I certainly understand your departure from Twitter. You're a class act.
19
1) Part B: And with Disqus, we could EDIT our posts
20
Do you seriously think the only place to get news and good recommendations is on Twitter, Facebook and TV??
Well, I would recommend to you that you cold turkey Twitter for a while just so that you can get your face out of your screen and look around. You would be richer, not poorer. {Lots of other (better) ways to get news and good reading recommendations.}
21
Without Twitter I would never know what Kanye and the Kardashians were up to.
22
@20 stc: Agreed. That's why I only minimally use Facebook, anymore and read (gasp!) printed books and newspapers as well as post online in The Stranger. I need access to the truly important news--funnies, horoscopes and puzzles.
I don't have a TV, and never considered FOX news anyway.
23
@21: Where's your COCAINE and MALT LIQUOR (sorry, Arthur--I had to ask)?
24
Now that we can cheaply text and send photos without using social media, what's the point of social media apps and sites anymore? They're beginning to outlive their usefulness, at least as a way of communicating with people we actually care about as individuals who are important to our lives, not a shitload of strangers we idiotically call "friends" or "follow".

Besides, I've always believed Twitter is for people who barely know how to read or write. You know, apparently the average American voter. Tweeting is for birdbrains and the people who believe them.
25
That's an interesting statement about tweeting for free; I wonder what that ratio is. (I tweet for free as well.)

Because my Twitter account is about my work in public education, not as many trolls. However, I had two guys - one local and one in Minnesota - talking about where I lived. I tweeted them back that a public ed discussion is not where you threaten people. They both deleted their tweets. So a bit more orderly in my world. (I was surprised they went that far but the local guy would like me to go away. Naturally, like Lindy, I'm not going anywhere.)