I don’t use Twitter. In fact, I detest Twitter and have for quite some time. It wasn’t always this way, but it is now.
When I first started using Twitter, it was the run-up to the 2008 election, and I was quite excited about my candidate. I tweeted about him a lot, as well as various and sundry other goofy things which had nothing to do with politics, and Twitter as a whole was decent enough not to create a problem for me.
Things changed between 2008 and 2016. Twitter increasingly became a haven for the worst parts of humanity: antisemites and bigots of every stripe, serial trolls with nothing better to do with their time, misogynists and general scumbags. You’d think Twitter would have done something about this, since they aspired to be the platform of the people, but they let it slide. They even gave verified tags to literal Nazis.
It’s not like no one told them what the problem was. Twitter became something of a poster child for everything wrong with the internet. Harassment campaigns became commonplace, and the dirtball contingent got louder and louder until it was impossible to avoid them even with the block button constantly engaged. And I had enough.
When I rebooted my online presence, I made a decision not go back to Twitter. I also shut down any and all direct communication between me and anyone who might come across me on social media, meaning Twitter specifically, but Facebook, too. I’m not a shrinking violet, but I also don’t have the time and patience to deal with human trash. Twitter is the garbage can of the internet, rivaled only by certain subreddits on on that other site.
Would I ever go back to Twitter? No. Even if every single troll and Russian spambot, antisemite or woman-hater were booted tomorrow, the damage has been done. I don’t trust Twitter. They had ten years to earn my confidence, but it’s clear they don’t care about such things.
— Sam Hawken