Saturday, April 15, 2023

#105 / Twitter No More

As The Wall Street Journal recently told us, "Twitter" has changed its name to "X Corp." and has moved to Nevada. When The Journal asked about the name change, Elon Musk, the sole owner of the former "Twitter," tastefully replied with a "poop emoji," providing no further information. The "poop emoji" sent by Musk may, or may not, have been wearing a smile. The news story in The Wall Street Journal did not comment on that aspect of Musk's communication.

The former "Twitter" has been a major online location for discussion and debate on political topics. Notably, our former president (Donald J. Trump, I mean), used this online platform as his preferred way to communicate, directly or indirectly, with both supporters and "enemies." And then the former "Twitter" suspended him, after he definitively became a "former" president, though Mr. Trump has had a truly difficult time dealing with the "former" part. 

At any rate, other than to document the news about the former "Twitter" - just in case you missed it* - I want to use this occasion to suggest that trying to use online facilities owned by a private company, as if these privately-owned facilities were a kind of "public square," has never quite worked. It never can, either. The former "Twitter," now "X," can never be an online version of "Hyde Park," where free and fair public debate can occur. Trying to do our business, as citizens, in facilities totally owned by wealthy individuals (Musk, by some accounts, is the richest person in the world), is inherently self-contradictory. 

In fact, face to face communications, with real people talking to other real people, in the "real world," is where "politics" actually has to take place.

No [poop emoji]!

*For those who can evade the paywall, here is a link to an article by The Washington Post, documenting some current problems at the former "Twitter."

1 comment:

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