To tweet or not to tweet. That is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The tweeted arrows of outrageous libels,
And to tweet back against this sea of troubles.
Or by signing off, end them. Remove the app.
No more; before it leads us to our end.
William Shakespeare was good. And pithy. He’d have been a great follow on Twitter. @Shakespeare has 53K followers, but its content is dated.
Back when literacy was new, how much competition did Shakespeare really have? How much competition does Twitter have now? Where else can we go for real time news and views? We need competition immediately, if not sooner.
Twitter is home to live competition. Adversaries compete. Just as in courts, truths emerge. Consensus builds.
Twitter is also a propagandist’s playground. Vladimir Putin takes full advantage. Donald Trump used Twitter to help incite his January 6 Insurrection, a catastrophic event he could’ve ended peacefully with a simple tweet.
Instead, Trump fanned the flames and nearly got Vice President Mike Pence killed. Our former president remains unpunished. He’ll be the GOP nominee, especially after he ripped Ron DeSanctimonious with no pushback. This won’t end well. Neither will Twitter.
Bad management, hate and conspiracy theories ruin social media sites. And civilized societies. That’s what we’ve witnessed from new owner and self-declared Chief Twit, Elon Musk.
Musk’s oldest living child, Vivian (one of Musk’s many twins), seriously dislikes her father and wants Musk removed as her last name. Her father blames neo-Marxist educators for Vivian’s hatred of him and rich people. Oh boy! As Musk said about Vivian, “You can’t win them all.”
Our Chief Twit instead receives double love from loudmouth twin Pelosi bashers, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene. They really love Musk now that he floated nasty conspiracy theories re-attacking an elderly victim of violent crime.
Declaring Democrats responsible for division and hate, Musk announced he’s now voting GOP. The worst tweet this October came from @JudiciaryGOP, which is headed by Rep. Jim Jordan. It simply listed three names.
Kanye. Elon. Trump.
There’s a frightening trifecta.
Musk is not the first automaker who platformed outrageous conspiracy theories. Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent was hugely popular throughout America with its Jew-hating conspiracy theories and blood libels. As the KKK raged in Colorado, Ford seriously considered a 1924 presidential run. Thank goodness Ford deferred to fellow Republican Calvin Coolidge.
Remaining on Twitter is a complex decision, and the dearly departed deserve respect. But why leave before there’s a comparable platform? Twitter wasn’t built in a day.
It’s difficult to abandon our followers and those we follow. I’ve discovered communities of smart, brave people willing to publicly oppose fascism and bigotry.
Fascism cannot abide Twitter in its current form. Putin, Trump and other totalitarians are undressed on Twitter because smart and decent people gather there. That’s why they will likely ruin Twitter.
I’m not moving until there’s a new platform or I’m booted.
My best pal Mark is not in the media, and mainly retired. He quit Twitter last week after he digested Musk’s Pelosi defamation. He wrote to Musk as follows:
“Dear Elon, I’m really going to miss Twitter. Up until your despicable Pelosi Tweet, I spent 1-2 hours each day on Twitter learning new stuff and being entertained. NFT Twitter was a great space. So was sports/gambling Twitter. But none of that is worth supporting you as sole owner.
“You are the fox now watching the hen house. I understand the difficulties monitoring all disinformation, hate speech and propaganda. But when the property owner participates in that sort of thing, count me out.”
Mark reports he’s happier now, with more free time, but is looking for venues to get fresh news and views. That’s the problem. As Jeremy Jojola from @9News tweeted, media members depend on Twitter for information. And for business.
International corporate decision-makers are weighing morality against their own profit margins. The exodus has thus far been contained, not counting the 3,700 Twitter employees suddenly terminated last week. Ouch.
Responsible news outlets place Musk’s blue Twitter bird on everything, including this column. Larry Ryckman, co-founder and Editor at the Colorado Sun, told me this organization is “taking a wait-and-see approach.” Kyle Clark of 9News said he will decide after Election Day whether to stay on Twitter.
That’s smart. Let’s not surrender this key information battlefield until we have another adequate place to express ourselves. Or Twitter implodes. Besides, I enjoy smart sports’ analysis and fascinating pet postings.
Digital deplatforming will happen regularly if fascism takes over. Cyberspace and radio will be frontlines for causing and quelling violence. All Hell seems imminent as House Republicans like Jim Jordan, MTG and (I hope not) Boebert gain power.
Is all this inevitable? Looking up from my Twitter feed, there’s my yet-unopened Colorado ballot. Time to vote. And then tweet about it.
When that time arrives to quit Twitter, our parting will be sweet sorrow. Shakespeare wrote such words for Juliet, who was caught up in a family feud. She would not survive his tragic play. Let’s hope America fares better.
Craig Silverman is a former Denver chief deputy DA. Craig is columnist at large for The Colorado Sun and an active Colorado trial lawyer with Craig Silverman Law, LLC. He also hosts The Craig Silverman Show podcast.
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