Back when Twitter first appeared on the net I’d only been blogging for half a year and I just couldn’t see the point in micro-blogging. Other than quick links or short jokes, I could see nothing worthwhile in texting to a global audience with a 140 character limit. When they doubled the post size in 2017 I thought it’s closer to a useful limit but not close enough for me to bother with.
Over the years it became very clear to me that Twitter was really just a place for the various left, right and center outrage brigades to organize and whine about things regardless of the facts. I also saw it was the most effective vehicle for spreading misinformation ever to appear on the net. This was do to its reach by being the favorite place for celebrities, journalists, and those who uncritically regurgitate their knee jerk, facts/reality be damned, outrage of the day.
With the recent renewed interest in micro-blogging via Mastodon on the Fediverse I thought I’d finally give it a try. I was pretty sure I could squeeze a few useful thoughts or tips in the 512 character limit.
At first it went well, I helped out a young blind man who wanted to get into electronics via Arduino. I provided reality based facts to counter some common tech myths, got a couple interesting leads on subjects of interest, and enjoyed quite a few jokes and cat pictures.
Then the proverbial shit hit the fan. An outrage brigade of conspiracy theory nuts and all police are evil bigots started ruining my experience. They flooded the feeds with their anti-reality whining. After 6 hours or so things started to show signs of improvement due to some reality based thinkers chiming in to counter the craziest of the outrage brigades.
This morning things got worse because now the outrage brigades were being encouraged by journalists like Jeff Jarvis and tech celebrities like Simon Phipps and Padre SJ. While they did not go along with the bigoted stereotype (AFAIK), they started whining because an organization did not coddle the conspiracy nuts and bigots, then horror of horrors blocked them. I could have sworn that was promoted as one of the big benefits of the Fediverse over Twitter, easy blocking of other people to improve your own experience.
I called it quits and deleted my account because the signal to noise ratio fell below a useful level even with me spending too much time muting or unfollowing all the bigots, conspiracy promoters, and pro-coddling people.