Is Abuse Killing Twitter or Should People Who Say So Shut Their Filthy Pieholes?
Of all the reasons one could give for an eventual downfall of Twitter as a business, here is an article that puts much of the blame (for something that hasn’t happened yet) on online abuse. Of course I agree online abuse is a problem, but if it’s a reason for a social media platform business to fail, then the whole Internet should go down; if you want to find abuse, shaming and harassment you don’t have to go far to find it.
I have a hard time seeing the author’s point- first, is Twitter dying? Sure they need to innovate, and change to reflect the current usage model (see Moments), but abuse is everywhere on the net. So- asking people to “be nice” on Twitter isn’t going to save it. That’s not the same as saying we shouldn’t be asking people to be nicer online, so please go support Civilination (tell them Doug threatened you into coming; they’ll love that).
Side note on the article’s ending: I would never buy tickets to a beautiful town square, but I might to a raging mosh pit. I suppose I’m missing the writer’s point, but I’m doing that on purpose because I thought he made the point poorly (oh no! Abuse Alert!).
Our So-Called Online Lives
The idea that we “fake it” a bit in our social media profiles is not a new one. And the examples here are tragic; people putting up happy fronts online while the truth is far from it. However, they are great reminders to most of us that most people’s online versions of their lives are far from the complete story, and never as completely happy or successful (or smart!) as presented, even if the usual gap is much less stark (and less likely to sell copies of the New York Post). I don’t see this purely as a novel or frightening aspect of the social web, though- we all market the good side of ourselves, and for the most part, why shouldn’t we? We’re trying to get and keep jobs, friends and reputation. Why purposely expose our angst (go ahead and try, maybe you will be shamed and abused for being an “over-sharer,” and Twitter will go out of business as a direct result!).When looking at my social profiles, you should always assume I am leaving out details for privacy and dullness rather than trying to whitewash my life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t do that too. Is it the fault of the platforms or the people that they whitewash? No. We need to be smarter about how we view our friends’ so-called online lives.
New York Post is Officially the Paper of Record for Social Media News
Another New York Post headline says it all: “Meerkat expert in love triangle at zoo attacked monkey-handler rival.” I honestly read that initially to mean she was an expert in the streaming video app Meerkat, which means I pay attention to too many social media gurus for my mental health (and also means as a “former” Meerkat expert, she must now focus on the Periscope app). How disappointed was I to find that a Meerkat expert at a zoo actually focused on animals? Still, I expect that most “social media platform gurus” behave this way.
It’s Over for IHOP’s Twitter
International House of Pancakes got some (mostly) positive attention for being playful on Twitter recently. However, as I write, my desperate plea to them for Twitter attention had gone unanswered. For an hour. AN HOUR.
Son: Can I go to @IHOP with friends for breakfast (at 2pm)? What should a good dad answer?
— Doug Haslam (@DougH) October 17, 2015
Sorry, IHOP, game over.
Final Note: Gratuitous Self-Promotion
For about a decade, I have been a happy listener and rare contributor to the For Immediate Release podcast. With the recent “retirement” of founding c-host Neville Hobson, remaining founder Shel Holtz is continuing with a new panel format, and I was lucky to be included in last week’s edition. It’s always fun to chat with smart people in the industry about PR, social media and other communications topics, and I hope this continues. Anyway, please have a listen to last week’s Episode 4, along with the other episodes in the continuing series.