I Fight For The Users

If you haven't been able to keep up with my blistering pace of one blog post per year, I dont't blame you. There's a lot going on right now. It's a busy time. But let's pause and take a moment to celebrate that Elon Musk destroyed Twitter. I can't possibly say it better than Paul Ford so I'll just refer you there:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.codinghorror.com/i-fight-for-the-users

Time to update the suffix of your blog, as it still proclaims “Find me on Twitter”


Definitely. I ran into some bumps with the Ghost editor, but you’re absolutely right.


You’re all just mad someone took your favorite “cosmopolitan” toy and made it more in his image and less so in yours.


Which is exactly what the nazi bar example illustrates.


Maybe you could have titled this one: “I Fight Against The Users”…

I don’t get why people fear freedom of speech so much. Arguments like “before you know it, everybody will be a NAZI!” are a bit too ridiculous to take serious…


It’s an utterly failing business at this point, so it is in Elon’s image, technically.

Reminder: freedom of speech only applies to the government. Is Twitter the government? Last time I checked, it isn’t. You can’t go into Wal-Mart and start yelling racist stuff at people without getting kicked out, because it’s a commerical business, not a government facility. And other shoppers don’t really like it when you yell racist stuff at them while they’re shopping … at a business… that’s what we tend to call “not good for business”?

I mean, there’s a whole XKCD about this. I figured everyone got the message by now?

If there is a person on your feed yelling something horrible, stop following him, or better, block him? The problem with censorship is that it quickly turns into a slippery slope…


This needed to be written back when everyone was gushing over threads, the amount of attention that a facebook recreation of twitter got just because it wasn’t owned by elon even though it still carried the same fundamental issues was remniscent of people rebounding from one abusive relationship into another. Honestly we should have switched to something like mastodon long before elon happened, but not enough people cared enough to push hard for it until a nutcase started demonstrating why a centrally controlled twitter is a problem.

Well, I guess republicans did have an issue with it before when they were on the trump era truther bent and they solved it by moving to parler, which I guess was the threads mistake before threads was a twinkle in zuckerberg’s eye. Actually I don’t know of any similar major republican push for mastodon, is it just because I’m not a member of the sphere or is it because they decided they don’t like communism and open source is too communist

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I wasn’t a heavy Twitter user before Elon or after Elon, but I still use it about the same and I can’t say that I notice much of a difference. I still find it a valuable tool for quickly getting a sense of the popular narrative. That doesn’t imply that it’s good or OK now, though - just that it isn’t much worse or much better to me. For whatever reason - maybe the people and topics that I follow? - I don’t regularly see any of the controversial stuff that the media is telling me happens on there. Those lying eyes again…

The Community Notes feature is helpful. Other features have been added and different revenue streams are being experimented with - stuff that should have been done before it went private. Twitter was supposed to have crashed and burned by now after letting go all of those staff.

So, it’s not a trainwreck. And, Twitter wasn’t a well-run business before Elon took it over - it just had public shareholder goodwill going for it. We’ll never know how it would have handled the tech downturn.


Meh. It was promoting itself as the digital public square for years and we now know gov agencies were playing a role behind the scenes. This goes both ways.


Right, and Twitter was being actively censored by the government. Surely you didn’t miss that news? Now X isn’t being censored anymore.

Yes, it means the antisemites are coming out of the woodwork. That’s what happens in a free speech environment: Some people’s speech is detestable. See also the ACLU defending the march in Skokie all those years ago. The point is that one group doesn’t get to decide what the bounds of acceptable speech are.

There are plenty of censored-speech platforms still available if that’s more your style.

An utterly failing business, in Elon’s image?

Yes, if there’s one thing the world’s richest person is known for, it’s definitely failing businesses. :roll_eyes:


No matter how much you lick his boots, he still won’t show you his d**, darling.

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Is something wrong with you?

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I totally agree with this. Bluesky is also the “lesser of evils”.

I agree that Community Notes is a good feature, however, the leadership is so astonishingly poor at Twitter that the eventual bad outcome for everyone is inevitable. I recommending getting ahead of that, so you can be proactive rather than reactive.

We will find out what the Supreme Court has to say about this. Could be … bad. Don’t know yet.


I agree that Elon was more or less a reasonable-ish business person until… something… happened around 2018. I do admire his early work on solar power, on electric cars, on space travel… but then he kinda lost his way. In a big way. :pensive:

Back to the future, my friends. Back to the future.

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Is it fair to put all this work on individual users? Especially when the horrible people are so egregious. See previous blog posts:

Computers may have changed radically over the last 20 years, but you know what hasn’t? People. Human beings. We evolve much more slowly.

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I haven’t met many horrible people on Twitter (I guess I follow a different crowd), but I’m sure that with enough “moderation” someone in power would find something he/she finds “horrible” enough to censor. I prefer deciding for myself what I’m offended by…

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A small observation: SpaceX was started by other people. Musk bought it. He by-passed a safety design on a launch pad to rush his launches and that destroyed the pad. NASA’s infusion of contracts is keeping it afloat.
Tesla was started by other people, Musk bought it. Repeat for most other upstart/profitable businesses he got involved in. Repeat his direction involvement and the results slowly messed up the businesses. I think he tries to rush development too quickly, ignoring safety protocols and thus the many failures.

Twitter was started by other people and Musk bought it, turning it into a free-for-all which allowed bots, conspiracy theories & disinformation to flourish. He first claimed he was going to do away with bots, but got rid of the very people who had been doing that in the first place. A couple of companies that have scanned the accounts following Musk have determined that 55+% of those following Musk are bots. :laughing: Now it is up to users to report bots, hateful users, etc. and most often it can take weeks for those accounts to be temporarily locked or suspended. The problem is that many have multiple accounts (some have 4 or more), so they use another one and continue unabated by X. Musk turned Twitter in a giant “X” failure. The sex bots & crypto bots/scammers and phishing bots to sell a new account to those who were banned/suspended are a PITA also.

Aside, I think way back in the early 90’s, x.com used to be a financial/online banking(?) site although I can’t remember who owned it back then.

sounds like “web3 twitter”?