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?