Twitter was a mess during Covid. You couldn’t say anything without being suspended or shadowbanned and more such things. Then suddenly Tesla and Starlink owner Elon Musk came out of nowhere with the plan to buy the whole platform for $44 billion. That meant war. The left immediately took refuge in a new and totally boring platform they called Mastodont in the hope it would grow big like the dinosaur itself. The right started partying, but how are things after six months of new ownership that promised us at least free speech?
That free speech was the whole issue against Elon Musk becoming the CEO of Twitter. The left for some to me incomprehensible reason doesn’t want freedom of speech, because they want the whole world to forcibly agree with them. They start panicking when others have a different opinion, because that makes them feel unsafe and uncomfortable for some unknown reason. Problem is that they aren’t right in most of their views and they are even completely far away from reality with their climate obsession, their unquestioning love for AI, their demand to chase the farmers away from the Netherlands and make Ukraine, a war country that uses dozens of in Europe banned fertilizers and where farmers mistreat chicken, the only food hub for the whole of Europe. Their inexplicable Covid panic and their love for sexualising children, while they don’t believe in pedophilia even if it takes place on a daily basis right before their eyes. We all want a better world, but this is certainly not the way to achieve it.
Anyway … so the leftists ran away to Mastodon, but found it boring there with only people that agreed with them. No-one to fight with, no-one to report, no-one to gloat with and no friction. How lame. So now they are hurrying back to Twitter’s, tail between the legs. And what do they find? A fully commercialised platform, where you have to pay not less than $11 per month for a weird Blue Badge behind your name that will give you reach and more elite’s rights like being able to correct a tweet afterwards, writing longer texts (talking about max boring!) and bonkers like that.
Untold Times is Anastasía Vassiliou’s totally independent and thus crowdfunded news website. It can only stay on air with your likes, sharing actions, reactions, subscription for the newsletter and not to forget donations. A thousand times thanks for the donations that come in! But more is absolutely necessary. You can do a one-time or a monthly donation on one of the three options underneath:
The new Twitter
If you say something about a subject like Covid that is different from the official version, you get a friendly question if you really want to post that, but you aren’t suspended anymore for no reason. If you use bad words in a tweet, you get a message like “other people don’t use these words. Are you sure you want to post this?”. Really funny. But the homepage … is an unbelieveable mess. You get to see old tweets from days ago, from people you don’t know and don’t agree with, about subjects that you couldn’t care less about and no matter what you do: you can’t get to see the tweets by the people you follow. So it’s actually no point anymore to follow anyone, since you can’t communicate with each other. The so feared algorithms, the math of the internet, are exactly meant for the purpose of giving you relevant information, but not on Twitter.
Now there are some tricks you can do like extra following the person or making a so-called circle or even a list. But people don’t like being in circles and on lists, so that doesn’t really work. As soon as they see they have been put on one, they get themselves off as quickly as possible. Twitter is no Facebook where you have ‘friends’. It’s a news sharing platform, where you follow people who either agree with you to some level or you follow news websites, politicians and other influencers in order to stay up-to-date. And you protest when a politician proposes a new law you don’t agree with. It is actually a modern form of the ancient Greek agorá, the square on top of the Acropolis where the Athenians could discuss politics. That was democracy!
Oh those Blue Badges!
But the worst of the worst are those hideous blue badges. Twitter already had blue badges. They were for free, but Twitter wouldn’t give them to right-wing people. There was clear discrimination with those little sky-blue monsters.
Elon saw dollar signs when he looked at the badges – or ticks as they are also called, or checks. He had put himself in enormous debts to buy Twitter and had to earn some money back rightaway. Thus he filled up the platform with commercials and started asking money for the ticks: $7 per month, then $3 and apparently now even $11 – a considerable amount for something you shouldn’t have to pay for. Even on YouTube you can afterwards correct a message if you made a mistake or want to add something. And if you don’t have any reach with your messages without that verified tick thing, why should you be a contributor on Twitter in the first place? Verified badges normally are there for professionals, so others know it’s really them. Not for being able to use the bare platform.
A better reach, but how?
I even proposed to Elon to give away blue verified checks a few times per year for a few months to help people build up a strong account and I asked one for myself for free for a few months, so that I could build up some public for my news website. But he found it a dumb idea and that made me think. Since he is the owner of the platform, my reach has been a lot worse than it already was in the woke times and it became less and less every week instead of better. So I am not blocked or restricted because of my opinion, but for who I am, which is forbidden by law. I could see the sudden downfall every time that someone had clearly ‘done’ something to my account, so that it again had a smaller reach. And when I tweeted no matter what to get my reach back, it would help a me little bit up – until I would fall down again. It is measurable.
What is done, is in the form of algorithms: some word you use, is blocked so that the tweet in which you use that word, becomes invisible to others. It won’t appear on their homepage and that way it is as if you don’t exist. It feels painful and injust not to be able to build a booming business because someone clearly hates you personally. And why?
How I know there are algorithms on Twitter that block the reach of common Tweeps? Well, first of all everyone says it and asks Elon Musk about it. He sometimes answers to explain what happens. Then I asked an expert who explained it to me. How is it possible that people who pay so much money for a news and discussion platform that is normally free to use, have an enormous reach and others don’t even get one like or reaction to their messages? That is programmed with math – algorithms – and it is something that didn’t happen before Musk took over the business. Now a bit capitalism isn’t wrong and everyone knows he needs to earn his money back from buying Twitter. But he is overdoing it at the moment and his playing with members of the platform is not correct. It isn’t fair and it is maybe even worse than it was before with the old direction. Transparency and free speech aren’t the only things a social medium needs. It also needs some degree of integrity, that Twitter at the moment lacks.
With Jack Dorsey as the CEO you at least knew what you could and couldn’t write on Twitter. If you were suspended, you knew it was because of your opinion. New right-wing platforms came, like Parler and GETTR, but they were rightaway censored by Google and so using them was only good for being able to find some like-minded others. Getting a message through to the public was and is still impossible for common people. This increases the problem that already exists for anyone who isn’t an extreme leftist in their opinion and who asks questions to narratives in the media that aren’t logic or true. Narratives should only exist in totalitarian regimes, not in democratic and free countries. We are adult people who can think for ourselves. Plus now you are still silenced, unless you have enough dollars in your pocket to pay the fees. Or until you are willing to consecrate money to a simple news and discussion platform like Twitter.
Instagram’s new Twitter copy-cat
Have you by the way already seen or read that Instagram is working on a new Twitter-like platform? For the time being they call it Instagram’s new text-based app for conversations and there is some more news about it. It will apparently be an app half within Instagram. If you already have an account there with followers, maybe also a verification thingee and a bio (an introduction to who you are), it will be all hoppa! transferred to your new account on the Twitter-copycat-app. That’s gonna be a hopeless mess: two platforms with one user’s board. Moreover Meta is Instagram’s and Facebook’s owner and isn’t really known for its respect for others’ opinions. I read that this new app is being tested by a couple of influencers now – again elites who get more space than others! – and will probably be online somewhere by the end of June or in July. Quite soon already.
To tell the truth, I don’t sympathise with Instagram at all. It is heavy, you can’t correct an error in a message or share a link and you always must share photos. Okay, that’s what the app is for, but still. For instance my phone is far too old for this kind of apps and it explodes if you squeeze all those pictures on it. If you open the tweet here above, you will see most people who react on it, think it will be an app for a few days and they are disappointed that it isn’t something exciting and new, but the so manieth Twitter clone. For the moment it seems we will be stuck with Twitter in other words. I really hope Elon and his new CEO Linda Yaccarino will stop blocking people’s reach to and fro and they will make the platform fairer as Elon promised before he bought the app. What I also think is that I have to come up with a plan to get my website promoted without social media. 64 followers on YouTube and 150 here on my website is too crazy for words! My content is far too precious to throw it away like that.
Follow the news by Email