Home Letter To The Editor Letters: Giving A Hoot About Twitter

Letters: Giving A Hoot About Twitter



I write as a dedicated Twitter user and, as it happens, a devoted follower of your site’s presence on that platform. While Twitter has millions of users who have come to rely on it for its ability to break news and identify trends worldwide, I watched it change virtually overnight following its acquisition by Mister Elon Musk. In what seemed like a matter of hours my stream filled up with conservative propaganda and other unwanted forms of advertising.

Twitter is obviously not the only social media platform available out there but I have come to rely on it for its (and yours) breaking news scoops and informed commentary. Much of that seems to have gone into the dumpster as Musk appears set on using the platform as his own personal blunt instrument, filling it with questionable material I never signed up to see.

Musk also quickly showed that he is better at stoking tribalism and dissension than promoting any sort of community or progress, tweeting an unfounded conspiracy theory about the attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he was eventually forced to withdraw.

Before Musk’s arrival and dismissal of most of the staff, Twitter’s own research demonstrated that its algorithm amplified right-wing accounts and news sources over left-wing ones. This dynamic is likely to intensify as figures like Alex Jones, Steve Bannon and Marjorie Taylor Greene return and begin sounding off again.

It appears Musk’s move to the right might attract some new users, but at the risk of losing many others. I can’t help but notice substantial drops in the number of followers for some of my favorite posters (News24/680 included). User growth has slowed, and as Musk himself noted many of the site’s most popular accounts don’t post much anymore (seemingly News24/680, too).

So what’s left? Wait and see? Hope Musk moves on to manage one of his many other enterprises? Or stand by and watch a billionaire take a $44 billion acquisition and drive it straight into the ground?


Antoinette Giles/Pleasanton


  1. I’ve never been a Twitter user or follower. While many consider the company “media / press”, I consider it an entertainment company (like all social platforms). However, the de facto function of Twitter is essentially that of “the press” and when eccentric billionaires control the press, We the People have a serious problem on our hands. I believe the only control any of us actually have is to reduce the audience, make the platform an echo chamber, and let it fade away. I applaud anyone who leaves Twitter behind, but also understand that most will simply migrate elsewhere. This is truly a devil you know / don’t know situation, I guess.

    • Thoughtful post from a thoughtful man with a good head on his shoulders. Nice to hear from you, gF.

      We agree with much of your post and would say that we identified Twitter as a mechanism for straightforward news alerts pretty early on, approached them to take those posts to the next level and were pretty much ignored. They don’t owe us anything and we have no tie with them aside from our presence on the platform. We still think it can be a useful tool and look forward, along with a whole bunch of others apparently, to see where they go with the model.

  2. In contrast to the opinion piece above, I have not gone on Twitter or Facebook mostly because of their reputation for Leftist propaganda. But big picture, I don’t like propaganda from anyone. That hammer attack is a great example. When the news of that broke, there was a desperate search by the media for real or fictional details to spin. Was he black? An illegal immigrant from Mexico? Homeless? A right wing nut? All were on pins and needles waiting for the correct details real or fictional to use as confirmation of whatever narratives they already believed in. It would be nice if there were adults in the national newsrooms that would discourage this nonsense, rather than magnify it. I care more about inflation, unemployment, war and other such things.

    Mr. “Yee Haw Hee Haw” from a month ago in a story on the car accident near Canyon: You seem very interested in the details about logging in that area long ago but had found no good sources. The CCC Library just put out a notice of an online talk on Nov. 17 called History of the East Bay Hills that specifically mentions they will cover that topic. It’s on the library tab called events, then online.

  3. I understand they are shadowbanning some sites that presumably don’t pay or measure up to their standard — whatever the hell that is now.

    • Down slightly – enough to be noticeable. We were enjoying very flattering engagement levels there for a bit but it is dipping some. Also lost about 90 followers over about three days, which was highly unusual.

  4. I’ve never used Twitter, Facebook, etc. but they have every right to run it anyway they want. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. It’s a business, and business owners call the shots. If you don’t like the political opinion of someone else, stay away from the news and social media. It really is that simple.

  5. I haven’t noticed any difference with Twitter. However I don’t let Twitter decide what to show me. I directly visit the feeds of a few people who often have novel insights, or who direct me to those insights, rather than a partisan line. You can get partisan lines everywhere. They are inescapable. For local news, I come here or check News24680 on Twitter. I read to be informed, not to be persuaded or to persuade.

    I’m sure Musk will make mistakes. Twitter admitted that it erred in 2020 in suppressing at least two stories which turned out to be well supported by facts. No company is perfect. I hope and expect that Musk will admit his mistakes too. In my opinion, speculative opinion should not be suppressed if there is even a minor chance it is true, no matter what any government or politician says.

    Finally, if you regard the other political preference as an enemy worthy of treatment as terrorists, YOU are the problem. Don’t let the media and social media pump you full of anger. That’s their business model.

  6. Personally I’m finding that blocking MAGA voices works really well to keep my feed clean and I’m seeing mainly the same voices I used to. Ads however seems to be getting sketchier….. hitting the notifications bell for accounts like this one.

Leave a Reply