Charlie Warzel: ‘Twitter Is a Far-Right Social Network’

Charlie Warzel, writing for The Atlantic:

Twitter has so fully assumed the role of a far-right platform that it might be killing its competitors. When Parler shut down in April, its parent company noted that “no reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business any more.” Left unspoken is the reason: Twitter has become a right-wing echo chamber.

If Musk weren’t too preoccupied lapping up approval from trolls, reactionaries, and Dogecoin enthusiasts — a few of the constituencies left on his site that still seem to adore him — the Parler statement should worry him. Right-wing alt-tech platforms may attract investors and a flood of indignant new users with persecution complexes, but they are, ultimately, bad businesses.

A fairer headline would be “Twitter Is a Far-Right-Friendly Social Network”, but that’s enough to be a problem.

I still check in on Twitter, but with each passing week, less and less. It’s not fun, it’s hard to use without Tweetbot, and the new algorithm that puts paying Twitter Blue users’ replies at the top of every thread has ruined political Twitter. It’s like letting people suffering from incontinence try on all the pants in a store before anyone else.

And the right-wing veer is most obvious in the ads that I see. (And I now see a lot of them — one every 3–4 posts.) Almost all of them are for no-name gimmicks and gadgets, the sort of crap that used to be sold at the mall at Spencer Gifts or in the middle of the night on cable TV commercials.

One of the few exceptions I see is Apple, which continues to place ads on Twitter.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023