The Israel-Hamas war tested the new Twitter. The platform failed and confirmed what we already knew — the space is utterly cynical, toxic, and unreliable.
Good piece, David.
I only briefly logged into Twitter yesterday to post a link to the new episode of my podcast and was immediately reminded of why I don’t spend much time on that site anymore. So much loud noise. Yelling into the void. Information breakdown. No thanks.
What a wide spectrum of X-comments on Canadian Substack this morning! Over at The Line, Matt Gurney is taking the opposite view that only "Twitter" (his word) viewers are privileged to really know what Real Life is like. Unlike mere headlines that say "festival goers were raped and murdered", X has actual footage of the war crimes. Poor news readers are denied the full emotional impact that would provide real Reality because editors think "graphic detail is to be avoided lest the reader or viewer be traumatized".
I think I would have been left humbled by such a glimpse of trauma, wonder "how would the world be different if all violence were thrown in our faces? Would torture have been so lightly treated if there were videos on X of every waterboarding session? Would the Afghan War have lasted 20 years if every wedding-bombing came with footage of the bomb, the dead, the legs blown off?
Gurney seems more chuffed by his privileged level of knowledge. And not inclined to any criticism of the platform that brought him the horrors. He does call for more reporting of horrors. I don't know why; that's not going to happen. News sites do not get up in the morning to be turned off.
I work in the medical field and Twitter was a great source for sharing information and learning about new breakthroughs, interesting case studies, even calls for opinions on a diagnoses.
I knew what was coming, knowing Elon Musk’s lack of competency in this industry. I deleted my Twitter the day he walked in the Twitter office with a kitchen sink under his arm.
He bought it out of spite, now stuck with it and seems intent on destroying it through his lack of competence.
I miss the community I built over the years, but I don’t want to play in Dr. Evil’s sandbox anymore. I only have LinkedIn Left.
Please give examples. What was said, by whom and what the reality was. Otherwise you are just jousting in the dark.
The challenge is that there is everything on Twitter -- great sources, dumb sources, and intentionally lying sources. It's always been a challenge to sift through that and the current changes make it harder, not easier. That greatly reduces the utility of Twitter (and other platforms with similar issues).
That creates and opening for something else -- it just takes time. And it illustrates the value of journalism: having a professional vet sources and summarize what seems, currently, to be going on.
The social media issue mirrors the AI issue; of a technology can provide me useful information but sometimes offers totally inaccurate information and it's hard to spot the difference, it's not terribly useful. Reliability matters and we're creating unreliable information systems that eventually will lose trust and be discarded for something more trustworthy.
Sorry Vivian. More important things await. Social Media ain't one of them
Simple X badmouthing. It's no critique of X, this is a critique of human nature and open discussion. No facts, no supporting alternatives, no nuttin'. Just vacuuous blather.
"unconfirmed radio or television reports were now widely spread images, videos, reports, theories, and speculation." Sounds like conventional media to me. And...
Let's fact check all social media for accuracy.