“The problem of abuse is the greatest challenge the web faces today…The social web became a nasty, brutish place. And that’s because the companies that make it up simply do not just take abuse seriously…they don’t really consider it at all…Here’s the harsh truth: they see (abuse) as peripheral to their “business models”, a minor nuisance, certainly nothing worth investing in, for theirs is the great endeavor of…selling more ads…Abuse is just as central to tech that connects people as selling beef that isn’t contaminated with salmonella is to an industry that feeds people…There’s a whole lot more.”
This is a quote from Umair Haque on why he believes Twitter is dying. However, I don’t buy this and neither should you.
Let’s think back to our ancestors. We discover fire and learn to tame it, then use it. We are fascinated by its power – it catches on easily and fast, but we must handle it carefully so we don’t burn down our home. However, a less intelligent person comes along and is not careful, burning the whole town down.
I can’t disagree with Haque about the amount of abuse on Twitter. We see screenshots of celebrities’ and politician’s tweets posted around the web all the time. However, it happens on Facebook and Instagram too so why are we isolating Twitter? Really, I think that we should be blaming humanity on this one.
But, what is Twitter without humanity? On Twitter, we see abuse, we see revolution, and in the end, we select whom we follow. If you follow happy people, then Twitter is a happy place. You get what you want to see.
You see, the entire social web is not contaminated – just some of it may be. However, the solution is not to stop using it and let it die. We need to use it in a way to productively connect and use positively. If you see abuse, block them and mute them. In one click, you can shut negativity out of your life.
Twitter is a platform made up of people – good, bad, angry, biased, polite, annoyed, humorous, frustrated and so on just like in real life. Twitter merely amplifies those emotions and feelings. If Twitter is wrong, then so is fire – our greatest invention. And social media offers one, great ability in social interaction that we can’t do in real life yet. That is to shut it out of your existence. So, I encourage you to embrace this and create the Twitter that you want because Twitter does exist without abuse.