I Stopped Using Twitter

The platform is dead. I uninstalled the app and occasionally check the direct messages.

Twitter is dead. The platform went noticeably downhill after musk has purchased it. Every time I check it, the responses to any climate or political news is overrun with bots and trolls (with blue checks, of course), killing any reasonable discussion. I don't want to see and argue with bad-faith (and probably automated) agents, there is no point in wasting time on it.

Since normal people lower their engagement with Twitter, the owner tries to "juice" it using ... nonsense notifications. For example, most of my badge notifications are ... synthetic "ai" pings that mean nothing.

twitter is trying AI notifications that have nothing to do with me

On Blue Checks

In the old pre-musk days of twitter a blue check meant it was a real person who was really the one they claimed to be. They had to provide docs to the twitter team showing that they were indeed "Musician X", "Author Y", "Scientist Z". I had many Twitter interactions with authors, scientists, etc. These interactions made Twitter special and unique. I did not have to like their views or share their opinions, but it was a fair exchange of ideas between people.

Nowadays blue checks mean ... nothing. Just that the account pays $8 per month to be bumped first on any thread. Thus any popular tweet is surrounded by blue check replies. Since there is no more identity check step, the blue checks are mostly fake accounts. Here is one example about sudden extreme weather in India:

Flooding in Delhi tweet

The top responses are ... not good. Either fake accounts or trolls. Do they want to stop all discussion of the climate crisis? "Drown" the tweets from prominent climate scientists in nonsense? The new twitter puts blue check responses from paid accounts at the top, and in my opinion less than 10% of blue check responses even look like they are from good faith human accounts.

Top responses to the flooding in Delhi tweet

At this point, unless I personally know the account with the blue check badge, I block them. There is no sense to waste time engaging, reading, or replying to blue check accounts. By blocking them, we minimize their engagement and hopefully drive twitter value down to zero. After all, if twitter is dead, the best we can do is bury if sooner before it starts to decompose and smell. Well, maybe it is too late for that.

Alternatives to Twitter

All my climate organizations (350 Massachusetts, Cambridge Bike Safety, Citizen Climate Lobby, Sierra Club, Environment Voters Projects) are using mostly email lists and newsletters. Yes, they still post tweets, and most lock the responses; no need to feed the troll engagement.

I found that Mastodon is much better at clean engagement without trollish reactions. Thus you can find me there plus these social media places:

I now share all my blog posts and videos on all above networks right away and post the same update on Twitter after 1-2 day delay. So if you want to know about my plugins and writing, follow me on all those networks. And if you need to get in touch with me directly, there are my email and Discord server, see gleb.dev for the links.

Goodbye, Twitter

There is nothing irreplaceable about Twitter. As my friends tweet less and less, I don't see any value in using musk's personal vanity project. Goodbye, Twitter, it was nice while it lasted.