As has been gleaned from press reports and commentary over the past few weeks and months, Satan, Hitler and Stalin must have somehow managed to conceive a son named Elon Musk, who bought Twitter last fall. And since then this service should have turned into a pool of hatred and baseness. Freely adapted from Shakespeare: Hell is empty, all devils are now on Twitter.
Since 2012, Axel Kannenberg has been searching the endless expanse of the internet for news that no one has seen before for heise online. Masters the noble art of insult fencing. Enjoyed a doner kebab for the equivalent of several thousand euros in 2013 (according to today’s bitcoin rate).
Only my timeline seems to be magically protected from it. I’m still waiting for the much-vaunted pressurization of pitch, brimstone, and damnation; instead, I get fresh news, interesting tips and clever thoughts delivered to me in the timeline and lists every day. Along with a well-maintained RSS reader, Twitter is still my tool of choice as an online journalist to keep up with the news.
Of course, if you stop posting like me, then the hobby inquisitors who have been slogging around on Twitter for ages will look for more worthwhile targets that they can burn in the marketplace. And I have long since taken the always dysfunctional moderation into my own hands – and consequently banned all activist-exaggerated political taunts from the timeline and blocked them away for myself. It doesn’t matter whether they are on the right, left, criss-cross or across – the main thing is that they are out of the sun for me. On Mastodon, may they reenact “People’s Front of Judea” vs. “Judean People’s Front” to their heart’s content.
The dwarf among the tech giants
Of course, with everyone who would like to stay on Twitter, I share the concern about what will become of this great global news ticker. However, I had these concerns even before Musk, because of all the US tech giants, Twitter was actually always the growth-retarded gym bag forgetter. Twitter has never been able to replicate the incredible success that Facebook/Meta and Google/Alphabet have had with their ad-supported services and successfully used them to expand. Apart from the short message service, no other mainstay has been established, attempts such as Periscope and Vine are history. Other business models outside of advertising? dumdidum.
The hope that Musk not just a sink, but also cool commercial reason and refreshing ideas in the lame hippie shop, has unfortunately not been fulfilled so far. Another extremely friendly characterization of his previous management is erratic.
Wanted: Power tools for digital busybodies
With the newly announced subscription model, I at least draw a little hope that there is more to come. A social network that treats its users like customers instead of data critters would be a promising start.
Since almost only journalists and other digital professional stuff hang around here anyway, who also consider Twitter to be “the public” – why not more paid features for this target group? I would like to have something that can be used to effectively manage lists with many accounts. Or, if I could dream, a Linux-native client with a finely granulated configuration of the desktop notifications. I would even pay for that in Dogecoins. So, dear Elon Musk: don’t fire people, tweet less and deliver more.
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