Shopping malls are fun sometimes. Sometimes they die. These days, our longtime social media Twitter hangout is in between: the longtime tenant has left. Others take action. The flags and local boys who go around don’t expect or fear adult supervision. A mannequin in an old mall stands naked. I have followed thousands of accounts on Twitter over the years. And although most of the profile pages are still there. But the many humans behind them had long since disappeared. I don’t even know what else I haven’t seen.
earlier this week I asked two longtime fellow travelers on Twitter where they planned to go. If the place eventually collapses they have no idea There are definitely other platforms out there. There are upstart businesses like Mastodon hoping they can rekindle the magic of Twitter without all of Twitter’s drawbacks, which were slowly strangled the service before Musk’s arrival last year.
But the truth is that we don’t have – and probably won’t have again – a place of generosity where celebrities, politicians, activists, Scientists, journalists, comedians and other smart people. Others and with you too. Twitter in its heyday revealed that intelligent, well-informed people were everywhere. Most of them are not famous. And sometimes they appear in your mentions at night. Sometimes you will see strong people destroying themselves. There are books that don’t exist because smart people tweet a lot instead of work. The service is lively, authentic, and substantial enough to serve as the de facto editorial assignment for working journalists – sometimes too often.
Now this strange experience is fading away. We’ll have to work harder to find talent for more subtle reasons than you might think.
on this saturday Expect Twitter owners and the humans we listen to from Elon Musk to start ditching the symbol. The old “blue checks” for documented and “verified” accounts that include celebrities, corporations, government officials and media people who used to visit the site more often. Now, for $7 or $8 a month, blue checks at It was once exclusive — which was obscure and embarrassing to use. But it was created to prevent impersonation — it becomes like a plastic sheriff badge that signals you’re willing to pay to build one. Content for one of the richest people in the world. You’ll see fewer ads and gain access to more features. that the original owner may offer for free
What’s more, Musk is planning to show tweets from paid accounts on the app’s more sensitive landing page. Twitter’s algorithm takes a much heavier decision on what you see, meaning as of April 15th Every user you meet with a blue badge is a verified influencer who pays to be the first pig at the trough.
Like many, I post on social media in my free time to satisfy my admittedly awful demands. However, like many, I have more dignity than ever to pay Musk a single cent to Indulge in that impulse publicly. I really want to hang out somewhere that I want someone like me to be with, but where?
We’re getting something like two decades into our international social media experiment. And many of us are unhappy with the results. Congress’ recent dumping of the hottest video app TikTok is bipartisan with some criticism. In addition to the company’s relationship with China. in the manner applicable to all of our major platforms. Many platforms pose unusual risks to our democratic system. Especially in terms of being able to structure debates both online and online. (via content moderation) and offline (via lobbying and political mobilization).
Because Twitter has a lot of strong networking effects. This has made it such a valuable service for many years. Twitter is like a bank of Silicon Valley for news creators and news followers. You can deposit most of your time on Twitter knowing that others just like you do too. And now the place seems to explode. It appears that the systemic vulnerability is slightly larger than we expected.
Consider what the world was like before Twitter was founded in 2006. Many Americans live in places with well-staffed and profitable local newsrooms, magazines, radio stations and other independent media outlets. that also serves as a cultural and intellectual portal to the world. The nascent internet has diversified the choices of ordinary consumers. However, survey data shows that people read newspapers more often than receive news from the internet.
As much as we love newspapers and magazines around here. Even your trusted LA Times writer knows that consumption habits have changed a lot now and won’t go back. So there’s no point in losing your feelings about it. But the point is, the fictional world without Twitter in 2023 is very different from the world without Twitter in 2006 — we now lack all the middle-class cultural institutions that help provide the web for how we process chaos. of the world with intelligence The countless journalists who question political, cultural and social issues on a daily basis no longer work in the industry. Especially in suburban and rural communities, many newspapers, magazines, alt-weeklies, and other periodicals no longer exist. There are many more that are just their own shadows. Knowledge work has left industries out of geographic constraints and turned to the Internet offshore. where labor is cheaper and often free
The labor is now yours. If you’re leaving Twitter today, you’re going to have to sweat hard to find thinkers of the same quantity and quality. each other that you are interested in They might stay private on Instagram or LinkedIn, or experiment with TikTok’s anarchy. They might start Substack and are charging subscription rates that might buy you an entire magazine’s worth of writers. They may have already started podcasting. Their list may be on the chopping block, though. Maybe they’re on Mastodon, but then again, maybe not YouTube? Facebook? Only the New York Times op-ed page can speak to us.
Maybe Google will create a Twitter-killer. and fix all these problems. But right now, Silicon Valley’s biggest intellectual project is modeling artificial intelligence that learns from us perfectly. We do not need to seek other thinkers at all. The machine reads everything that has already been written. It will tell you everything you need to know. Just enter text and see this ad.