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(17,405 posts)
Wed Nov 9, 2022, 04:53 PM Nov 2022

Seth Abramson on the unlikelihood of replacing Twitter as an effective progressive thought center

Seth wrote the Proof series, Proof of Collusion, Proof of Corruption and Proof of Conspiracy. Read his Substack if you don’t like Twitter.
I’m not doing to respond to those who dislike Twitter because I have windmills to go tilt. I think this bears some thought here. Aloha everyone.

Seth Abramson
We mustn’t forget how many years it took for Twitter to become the nation’s political water cooler. Every media outlet is here; every politician is here; every journalist is here; every pundit is here. Don’t fool yourself: it’d take any other site over a decade to become Twitter.

PS/ I understand folks having accounts elsewhere. I do too; I’m on Substack (at both PROOF and RETRO), Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and now even Mastodon. But I’d be deceiving myself if I thought any of those sites will *ever* hold a candle to what political Twitter is right now.
PS2/ Yes—Elon Musk is a petulant manchild who is wreaking havoc on Twitter right now. But things *will* settle down here. And I do not want to let a conservative troll like Musk break up what is currently the best gathering place in the world for progressive voters and politicos.
PS3/ While I don’t think it was his purpose, the fact remains that if Musk manages to scatter America’s progressives across 10+ websites with a tiny fraction of Twitter’s usability and audience—Tribel Social, Counter Social, Mastodon, Blue Sky et. al.—the far right will have won.

PS4/ And what is strangest of all to me is the normally savvy political people I know on here who seem to honestly believe that what Twitter is for American progressives can be recreated anywhere else in under a decade.

That’s simply not how digital communities form or function.
PS5/ Right now I see only one medium-term danger for Twitter: that the real plan Musk had for giving everyone a checkmark is to start over the process of identifying who’s a public figure, with it now being mostly *conservatives*—affecting how the platform works for progressives.
PS6/ If Musk were acting in good faith—which thus far he clearly has not been—he would have issued a secondary “public figure” notation to all those (432,000 people in all) who are *currently* verified before allowing anonymous users to be verified without identifying themselves.
PS7/ But I’m not convinced that content moderation here is going to change much long-term. I think users will continue to be able to use Twitter for free if they choose to. I think monetization options will continue to be subtle *enough* that they don’t much distract from the UX.
PS8/ Mastodon is confusing as hell and run by just one person. Other non-Twitter options equally have major Achilles heels. Twitter became what it is because it is generally speaking elegantly designed, incredibly usable, and the *consensus pick* of tens of millions of Americans.
PS9/ No one anywhere needs to take my advice (obviously). But my candid advice would be to stay on Twitter and use Twitter primarily unless and until the site literally falls apart—which at this point I think any expert would tell you there is a less than 10% chance of happening.
PS10/ But I’ll also make a prediction: given that the neo-Nazis already have Gab, Parler, GTTR, Truth Social, and even—let’s admit it—the political quadrant of Facebook, if progressives now cede *Twitter* to them and then scatter to the wind, it will be a major blow to democracy.
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Seth Abramson on the unlikelihood of replacing Twitter as an effective progressive thought center (Original Post) mahina Nov 2022 OP
Yeah, I don't think Twitter is the hill to die on. I don't see it as being 1/10 as bad as FoxNews Alhena Nov 2022 #1
I don't WANT a "progressive though center". brooklynite Nov 2022 #2
DU thread last Sunday on those comments from Seth Abramson: highplainsdem Nov 2022 #3
Thanks, I'll stick it in the op. mahina Nov 2022 #4
Sounds like wishful thinking. Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2022 #5
And tonight he said Twitter is a digital Titanic. mahina Nov 2022 #6
I've never been on twitter ... Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2022 #8
If you only read the people you already follow mahina Nov 2022 #9
Several million Twitter users aren't going anywhere leftstreet Nov 2022 #7


(2,985 posts)
1. Yeah, I don't think Twitter is the hill to die on. I don't see it as being 1/10 as bad as FoxNews
Wed Nov 9, 2022, 05:01 PM
Nov 2022

I think we should encourage Musk to go in a positive direction through advertiser pressure but pretending that we're all going to leave it is kind of silly. There's literally no alternative which offers anything remotely similar to what it does.


(93,162 posts)
2. I don't WANT a "progressive though center".
Wed Nov 9, 2022, 05:02 PM
Nov 2022

I can listen to progressive thought here. Twitter is a site for news and informed, authoritative opinion from people I agree with and people I don't.


(32,488 posts)
8. I've never been on twitter ...
Fri Nov 11, 2022, 02:45 AM
Nov 2022

It seems to me that the global conversation breaks down when no one knows who is speaking. Eloon Mollusk appears to be determined to destroy both moderation and verification. There would then be no 'signal to noise ratio'; it would just be noise.


(17,405 posts)
9. If you only read the people you already follow
Fri Nov 11, 2022, 10:25 AM
Nov 2022

There are definitely risks. I’m sad to see this happen. You’re completely right though, if I didnt already follow a number of great thinkers it would be valueless.


(36,047 posts)
7. Several million Twitter users aren't going anywhere
Fri Nov 11, 2022, 02:33 AM
Nov 2022

Owners, journalists, and pampered celebrities come and go. But they're a tiny part of the millions strong peon Twitter base.

It's an amusing spectacle all the same

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