25 Apr. 2022
A few seconds ago, I clicked on the “deactivate” button associated with my Twitter account. It was not an easy decision. The idea of deleting my profile has been on my mind for a while, and I just needed a little push to go through with it. In 2022, I’d already stopped using Twitter on my phone, but I was still a regular user on my laptop.
Today, April 25th 2022, I received a very strong push. A pretentious James Bond villain who suddenly wants to disguise himself as a philanthropist got a green light from the Twitter board to buy the company. When the first news of Elon Musk wanting to buy Twitter broke, I wasn’t worried or sad; I was rather pleased with this, as the Universe was finally giving me a sign that it was time to delete my account.
Now that that he will be able to buy the social network and take control of the company, I really can’t stay. I obviously don’t like the guy very much, but I don’t trust him at all: the guy is very, very smart, but so sure of himself that he thinks he knows more than anyone about anything, whether it is journalism, free speech, content moderation, rescue missions, etc. I don’t want to participate in anything he controls or owns, and the last few words of his little speech today surely didn’t help:
I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.
To be honest, I don’t want to be associated with him or any of his apologist fans, blinded by his fame and success. I will not comment on his latest tweet about free speech, because he clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about, and I will not comment on his will to make Twitter’s algorithm open source either: he wants power, not what is best for the users of Twitter.
In July, my account would have turned 14 years old. Twitter was the place on which I started to learn the fundamentals of digital marketing and communications, technology and media trends, which eventually turned into a career for me. It has been one of my favourite sources of news, and arguably my favourite social network. I’ve had the privilege of meeting great people thanks to the interest-based social graph of Twitter, and I will very much miss reading their tweets everyday.
For now, to keep in touch with them, I’ve added all I could find in my RSS reader, on top of the few newsletters I already subscribe to, so I will not “lose” these great folks. If you’re reading this and you want to send me a link or a newsletter I might have missed, please send me an email by replying to this post using the link below.
For me, Twitter deserves more than these few lines written in a hurry. I will probably write other posts on the matter: from my Twitter experience, to the inevitable developments that are coming. And who knows? Maybe the Musk deal will collapse within 30 days — it’s not like the guy always does what he says — and I’ll be able to restore my account.
UPDATE — Reader of the blog John L. sent me a message this morning to let me know me about Nitter, which allows someone to subscribe to the RSS feed of a Twitter account, without the need of a Twitter account. I will definitely use this, at least for now. Thanks for the tip John!