Wednesday, April 03, 2019

I left Twitter for a week and you won’t believe what happened next 

This is what happens when you unplug yourself from a single app

After the New Zealand Mosque attack, amid thoughts and prayers and the horror and the agony and the unity there was of course the bilious spew of the Internet but in even weirder and weirder ways. For context: a young woman of colour wearing a Bernie Sanders campaign t-shirt, was recorded righteously confronting Chelsea Clinton at a memorial ceremony for those who died in New Zealand, and saying that Clinton had used the kind of language against Muslims that led to such attacks on Muslims. What were those words? Ms Clinton had “retweeted” a comment that went something like, while criticism of Israel may be valid, we most push back from any antisemitism, which was in itself a retort to the only female Muslim representative who had commented on another tweet about “it being all about the money” (paraphrasing) — “it” being the suggestion that American Jews who contributed to any lobby for a foreign country (namely Israel) was questionably close to unpatriotic behaviour (or something? This rabbit hole is deep and weird). So to recap, Clinton’s stance on antisemitism was seen as an attack on an American Muslim woman which was somehow to blame for violence against Muslims everywhere so she shouldn’t attend memorials in the names of those who perished due to her words (which, by the way she did not utter nor type but reposted as an implied agreement of sentiment). This, of course, was a colossal exaggeration and wholly unnecessary especially as Clinton is a known supporter of immigrants and immigration and women of all faiths and races. Then some people righteously, on Twitter, defended Chelsea Clinton which led others, on Twitter to fire back that it was so predictable that the perceived worst victim of a shooting of almost 50 Muslims by a racist in a foreign country was an affluent white woman in New York.

I probably did injustice to the entire fustercluck of Twitter outrage that has led to some very nasty confrontations in real life. Yet, it was this debacle that led me to delete the Twitter app on my phone. Not my account mind you, just the application on my personal phone. I’ve been on Twitter for over a decade (member since 2008). I’ve learned of the death of every major artist, entertainer or politician over that decade via Twitter. It was my second most used phone app after e-mail. Now, I’ve spent the entire week away from Twitter and this is what happened: Read more »

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