Please do not let nostalgia for what Twitter was make you think that staying on the platform and fighting will protect whatever good you thought the site accomplished in the past. Whatever potential or actual good Twitter had before died the minute Elon Musk took over control, and all that will happen now is that Twitter will continue to devolve into a free-for-all right-wing hellscape. The best thing for the world and for democracy is for Musk’s Twitter to no longer exist, and that will only happen if enough people leave it and enough advertisers shun it.
If Twitter survives (which it should not), it will be because Elon Musk will have successfully baited progressive people to “stay and fight” on Twitter. This is why he is so grotesquely hopeful that Trump will start tweeting again. He knows that many “resistance” progressives will not be able to avoid the temptation of fighting with Trump on Twitter. This will only fuel Trump and fund Musk, but the progressive Twitter warriors will feel good about themselves while Trump gets more attention and Musk gets more money and power.
And let us not forget, the President of the United States using Twitter to incite a violent insurrection against the United States of America is not the kind of freedom of speech the Constitution protects, rather it is the kind of treason the Constitution protects us from. Returning Trump to the platform that he used to incite violence against our country that led to a murderous mob attacking our Capitol is dangerous and deadly.
Every time you post on Twitter you are driving people to the site and that provides ad revenue for Musk. Every time you look at Twitter, you are creating impressions on ads, which means ad revenue for Musk. The social media site he is creating is enabling autocrats and fascists, and he is counting on progressive persons to join the fray – which once again means ad revenue for Musk. We cannot support a man with ad revenue who is supporting fascists, and we cannot provide free content to a social media site that is supporting fascists. That is why we should leave Twitter and encourage others to do so as well.
Twitter is not going to get better because Elon Musk owns it and he is not going to get better. He mistreats his workers; he flouted COVID restrictions and put his workers at risk; he supports the militarization of space; he has a warped view of what free speech means; he is providing a global bullhorn for the worst autocrats and fascists among us who use propaganda and misinformation to gain, maintain, and expand their power; his response to the murderous attack on Speaker Pelosi’s husband was to repost a conspiracy theory about the attack; and like so many narcissists, he lacks the empathy required for the kind of introspection needed to change.
Sadly, like another narcissistic billionaire whom Musk just allowed to return to Twitter, Musk has tens of millions of cult-like followers, some of whom are so enthralled with his work with electric cars, solar power, and battery storage technology that they have simply not paid attention to how dangerous Musk really is and are underestimating his threat to democracy. As I warned back in April of this year, “there is much more Lex Luthor in Elon Musk than there is Superman. You have been warned.”
If you have not deleted your Twitter account yet, right now would be a good time to do so. If Twitter does not fail, it may soon rise up out of the ashes Elon Musk is creating like a phoenix of fascism. You have been warned.