Announcement: I’m Deleting My Twitter Account. It Is An Unethical Platform, And No One Should Support It

Twitter, which has already shown that it is willing and ready to use it power to control whose opinions reach the public, admitted this weekend that it has agreed to a request from the Indian government to censor tweets from that nation been critical of Prime Minister Modi and his administration’s disastrous response to the Wuhan virus pandemic.

That’s from Prof. Turley’s article on this disgraceful conduct by an American corporation. Local Indian legislators are among those being silenced with Twitter’s complicity:

52 critical tweets have been blocked so far. To his credit, Prof. Turley has taken the lead on alerting Twitter users, at least until his account gets blocked too:

I ought to have abandoned Twitter months ago, certainly after it censored the Hunter Biden laptop story to illicitly assist Joe Biden’s campaign, but also before that. For a couple of years my only connection with the social media platform was to circulate Ethics Alarms articles, and that was a poor rationalization to remain complicit with a an organization that impedes freedom of speech while pretending to facilitate it.

No one who is serious about respecting basic American principles and values should remain on Twitter. It is a tool of totalitarianism, as this episode demonstrates.

25 thoughts on “Announcement: I’m Deleting My Twitter Account. It Is An Unethical Platform, And No One Should Support It

  1. Frankly I don’t blame you. I’m mostly a Facebook person, and I do other things besides politics there. I talk about history, I post pictures, I make jokes, sometimes I generally update those who follow me on what’s going on.

    However, as you are probably aware from what you see from me here, I don’t believe that making a valid point is something you can do in 280 characters including spaces. Brevity is one thing, but reducing complicated issues to not much more than bumper sticker slogans is doing a disservice, not a service, to the reader. Hashtagging so people will notice what you have to say just takes up more of what little space is available, if so reduces the amount of substance possible even more.

    It makes discussion and nuance and tackling complexity impossible while rewarding snark, insults, sloganeering, and cheap shots. It also makes it too easy to make substanceless sneers, jeers, and other comments that amount to nothing more than rooting for your own side or insulting the other side. It discourages thinking, while rewarding mindless reacting. It discourages being wise, tactful, or thoughtful, while encouraging simply being obnoxious.

    We were all 14 once, trading insults and zingers and thinking they sounded clever or sharp, when in reality we were just being obnoxious. However, most of us stopped being 14 a long time ago. I don’t think that Twitter does anybody any favors by encouraging a return to that behavior.

    That’s before we get into the now very obvious censorship that it engages in. Some of it was probably to preserve market share, since India is a huge market and it wants to stay in the good graces of the government there. However, some of it was naked partisanship. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that it engaged in naked partisanship, or that a lot of folks were just fine with it and compared it to a baker refusing to serve a gay couple. Anyone who can’t tell the difference between a single baker not wanting to serve one wedding and a communications Network that is the equivalent of a public utility limiting what can pass through it is being willfully obtuse.

    I use my Twitter account very little, and I think soon I may be following you out of that. Alternatives probably will eventually spring up, but I question whether the kind of behavior that it encourages is even worth engaging in.

    • Twitter will censor posts critical of the pandemic response and supposed “hate” speech. But, what about things like this:

      Some guy filmed a Holiday Inn clerk having a nervous breakdown and posted on Twitter. Tariq decided it was worthy of reposting so he did so. It is obvious from the video that the clerk has emotional issues but Tariq thinks a private problem with an unprepared clerk and a hotel guest is world news worthy.

      As an aside, I wonder if the 280 character limitation is really intended to appeal to the dimwitted and unsophisticated, or perhaps the adolescent viciousness bubbling just below the surface.


      • I find that disgusting. that customer was harrassing him. I wish i knew that boy’s name and number so i could reach out to him. we need KINDNESS more than anything right now. not REPOSTING a human being’s most low moment. Geeze. What a jerk. and twitter left that UP??????


  2. “Brevity is one thing, but reducing complicated issues to not much more than bumper sticker slogans is doing a disservice, not a service, to the reader.” Truer words were never spoken.

    I have never had a Twitter account for just that reason.

    I would add that “Hashtagging” so people will notice what you have to say is an exercise in narcissism. If you have a salient point to make just make it. If others think it worthy they will repeat it.

    • A lot of Twitter, and a lot of social media is an exercise in narcissism. Most of us are just ordinary people with ordinary lives, from the top, middle and bottom of life. Some of us here are intelligent and educated people, so maybe our opinions have a LITTLE more value. Many more have no special insight, no level of knowledge, and really not much of an intellect to speak of, but you don’t need any of those to use social media, all you need is a cell phone. Since those are pretty much universal, anyone can make his opinion known and argue about it, any time, any place, about anything. It creates the false impression that we all had in high school, that we knew it all and others agreed with us, so we had to be right. The difference is, when we were that age eventually a teacher, Scout leader, parent, or whoever would intervene and tell us in no uncertain terms to pipe down and attend to whatever it was we were supposed to be doing. No one is going to tell those with worthless opinions on social media to zip it and get back to work. For that matter, fewer parents are telling their kids to zip it and too many are encouraging them to speak out when their opinions mean nothing.

    • Chris I could not have said it better. I also have never had a Twitter account. At the very least I saw it damaging civil discourse and good communication skills. It is clearly so much more dangerous than that. People are not talking to each other, they are spouting twitter-verse at each other and not even bothering to listen to the other person. We have an entire country that doesn’t appear to know how to talk with each other. How on earth are we going to solve some of these greater issues (like the attack on American culture and free speech) if we can’t even say good day to each other while in line at the grocery store? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, they are all unethical and dangerous in my opinion. I truly wish everyone would disengage with their screen and starting talking with their neighbors.

      • I agree with you, Chris, and Steve.

        I found Trump’s use of Twitter fascinating, maddening though it was. Prior to social media, the mainstream media was the source of news. A press release was issued, the media picked it up and spun according to their political leanings. Along comes Trump with 41 million followers and he completely sidestepped the process and communicated directly to his supporters, a lot of what he did was poke the mainstream media in the eye a lá The Three Stooges. It had to make the mainstream media crazy trying to play catch up because they couldn’t control the narrative.


  3. a poor rationalization to remain complicit with a an organization that impedes freedom of speech while pretending to facilitate it.

    This is exactly why I left some years ago. I have never looked back and don’t miss it one bit.

  4. Twitter is the Devil. I used to say it when I blogged, and I’ll repeat it here.

    And yes, The Waterboy’s momma just smiled.

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