And I couldn’t be happier about it.
There comes a time in the life of every social network when its administrators must decide between treating its users with respect or exploiting its users. I feel like Facebook has had several such moments, and each time, they have chosen to screw the users of their platform. So now it’s time for me to say goodbye to Facebook and all of the subtly racist and sexist content my “friends” post there. According to the response when I “deleted” my account, it has been suspended and will “permanently” be deleted in 14 days.
After careful consideration, and after having read reports that all new Twitter sign-ups require registration of a phone number, decided to bite the bullet and hand over my Google Voice phone number to Twitter for the sole purpose of using that social network to promote this blog. There’s nothing social about it, I assure you. But because I have so few followers on Twitter these days, I don’t think it will make a difference one way or the other.
As for the other big American social networking behemoth, I’m referring of course to Facebook, not LinkedIn, I’m currently weighing the pros and cons of cross-posting links to my WordPress posts there. However, to my mind, the negatives of linking this very personal blog with my real name and very impersonal Facebook “friends” far outweigh the positives and probably isn’t the best idea for someone who prefers to remain a ghost, unknown, so nobody can touch me now. I prefer to remain a ghost or a shadow on Facebook at least. I don’t want random former school chums or co-workers creeping into the comments or worse yet, secretly stalking me in the attempt to discover how I take my coffee (cream and 2 sugars) or where I shop (Uniqlo). So, a ghost I remain.
Twitter is the worst of the “important” social networks in the western world. I say this not only because their new anti-auto-post policy locked my account, but for the more obvious reasons: they haven’t fixed their trolling problems, they haven’t blocked racist hate-tweeters (I’m looking at you grandpa Trump), and they haven’t solved the rampant bot problems. Other than that, Twitter must be perfect, right?
Nope. First, let me explain how I unknowingly ran afoul of their new(?) anti-auto-post rule. I blog on WordPress. WordPress allows me to cross-post a link to new blog posts using a Twitter API. Apparently, Twitter has decided (in its infinite wisdom) to lock the accounts of users who do this. How did I find out about this policy? By email to my account based on my previous behavior of auto-posting? Nope. Twitter just locked my account, THEN sent me an email. Lazy idiots that they are, they probably think this is an effective way to inform their userbase. One auto-post per day using a Twitter API from WordPress, without regard to the content or any other circumstances = locked account. That’s a bad policy. It’s almost as if they don’t know what their service is used for.
Now that my account is locked, you’d think it would be a simple matter to get it unlocked, wouldn’t you? But if you thought that, you don’t know how dysfunctional social networks such as Twitter work. I had to click “I am not a bot” then choose the frames of an image that contained street signs. SUCCESS…right? Nope. My account remained locked until I “associate a phone number” with Twitter to be confirmed by SMS. Guess what. I’m never going to do that. I’m not going to give Twitter, that broken down old has-been of a social network yet one more piece of information about me that no one else has to hand over, as payment for my having broken a new Twitter policy that they never informed me of.
So…that’s why I’m done with Twitter. It’s not for the obvious reasons that they don’t apply their own rules equally to all users. It’s because they continue to break the accounts of the type of users who they should be encouraging to use their service more.