Twitter Ethics and the Olympics

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Sports and live events are Twitter Cash cows, as a result of which the will of those contributing to twitter financially is given priority. I have seen two or three tweets about the speed with which olympic anim gifs and other content is removed. In one case I saw that content is pulled down within minutes.

On the other side of the equation is bullying and harassment of ordinary people on twitter. In the cases where people are bullied or harassed twitter is passive, letting people deal with the fallout from flame wars and other unpleasant moments.

Twitter was a social network for the first year or two but since then it has become a broadcast network. It focuses on the people that bring it money rather than attention. It focuses on verifying accounts with hundreds of thousands or even millions of viewers to serve its own interests. Users like you or I are not that important.

There is the popular phrase that “people who complain still want to do business with you”. I stopped complaining about twitter years ago. I deleted my first account and stopped using the service. If you are not happy with the way twitter behaves and if you are not happy with the preferential treatment that it offers its sponsors then the simple solution is to reduce the amount of time you give twitter.

When twitter was a social network you were justified in keeping the twitter application open on your phone and laptop but since it has become more of an RSS aggregator that devotion of time has become worthless. If you’re not happy with twitter spend less time on the network. Use it as infrequently as you use the bath in your home. We take daily showers because it takes less time and because there is less waste. The same is true of twitter.

Twitter is a social network that needs eyeballs to justify charging its clients money. Broadcasters and the IOC are clients. If you’re on twitter complaining you are a pair of eyeballs. You are the attention they are looking for. If you are unhappy and abandon the network that pair of eyeballs is gone and their revenue stream declines. When enough people affect their bottom line in this manner they are forced to change.

Twitter is easy to replace today for the simple reason that it became a news aggregator. There are dozens, if not hundreds of apps and social networks for the sharing of news, information and other content. Twitter is no longer alone. If enough people move away then they will be forced to change. We are the commodity. The audience justifies the fees. If the audience is gone then the fees are unjustified. Twitter was meant to keep us happy and it has failed. That is the reason for which I tweeted 70,000 times in the first two years and less than three thousand times in the last five years.

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