14.02.2013 – The day Twitter died

It’s been coming for a long time.

All the signs have been there.

An almost fanatical focus on emotionless numbers. The raw data. The money.

Gradually human beings were replaced with a new idol. This rabble, who did most of the working and paying and living and dying in the community, simply weren’t ‘high value’ enough. Everything was now about ‘influence’, and money talks where influence is concerned.

Today saw the final battle in what has been a protracted war between those who seek to make the world a better place and them… Those who see the world as a series of datum, as a means to sell. And it seems they have won.

With the announcement that tweets will now contain an extra piece of metadata, a ‘filter_level’, that seeks to rank the contents importance, it seems that those with fatter wallets will finally have control over what ultimately gets seen.

I’m well aware of the attempt that is @TwitterGood, but this too seems heavily focused on a privileged few. How about the 1000’s of good people doing good things every day? They don’t have ‘influence’, are their deeds any less valuable?

I truly believed in the beginning that Twitter had the power to level the playing field. Give a voice to everyone and bring everyone together. It was different from everything else. It didn’t have that controlled popularity that tainted other media. We were all the same, yet still allowed to be different. We bathed in our shared experiences. We seemed by one consent to open our shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people around us as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on their journeys.

Robert Kennedy said; “When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.”