xurnami: (darash)
[personal profile] xurnami
Some people might be wondering why I haven't said much about some of these issues of the now. Some of my friends are even attending protests as I write this about one iteration of one of these issues. However, I have stayed silent on most of them. There are two big reasons for that. One of them is that I've just had lots of other stuff going in in my life which does not give me nearly as many spoons to handle such things. However, there is a much bigger reason.

I have a big rule on my list of people who I follow on Twitter. That rule is that if you are an asshole, you leave. I write my Twitter messages for those who I am following. Since the people I am writing for are not assholes, they don't need to be reminded by me that there are shitty things going on. Things like black kids getting murdered by white supremacist cops with grand juries not even allowing the cases to go to trial or neoreactionaries using pissed off gamers to push their agendas and harass female developers. I assume that most of them have their own sources showing them that news in the method they want to see it. They don't need it reiterated by me.

On top of that, Twitter is about the WORST medium for discussing these topics. You get 140 characters with maybe an image attached. Quite often that image is an iPhone screenshot of text in an article that I'd rather read using many other things than that Twitter message. I just saw an amazing thing about how 4chan's culture influences GamerGate but because every line in it was a tweet it was much worse to read, reiterated itself, not edited, and I feel a much better piece of work if it was just put in a pastebin. Not to mention using a service like Medium or any of the other free blogging sites (like this one!).

Edit: Twitter, I feel, encourages lots of this behavior for their own reasons. They have built a system that requires extensive amount of "engagement" to stay alive and so they have encouraged methods of discourse that are instant gratification. Making others aware is one thing. However, Twitter makes it so easy to just share your outrage and they love that since it increases "engagement."

While I understand Twitter is quick and easy, the retweets and everything else lead to people arguing with bumper stickers. All I can do is agree or disagree with whatever bumper stickers you are stapling to your timeline. All of these issues going on right now are infinitely more nuanced than the bumper stickers. In the second paragraph, I attempted to describe the issue with as much more nuance than a reference to the latest iteration of the problem. And still I had to use lots of jargon to make it not take a paragraph on its own. I can't even describe what we need to discuss in 140 characters.

Along with that is a rule that I've seen from lots of people in the sexism/racism discussions is that you should let the people who are affected by this issue do most of the talking. The best role that allies can take is shut up, LISTEN, and let others talk. In this reality, I present as a white mostly cis male. The best thing I personally can do is focus on discussing these issues privately when I see someone is being an asshole. I've found that comes across so much better than adding a slow trickle of outrage to other people.

If you are interested in discussing these topics, I'm more than willing to listen. But let's have a discussion, not bumper stickers. Let those who are being directly affected speak. I feel encouraging people to listen to direct sources instead of filtering it again is better. Maybe you missed some context with that specific RT you picked. I feel a message of "Go read [twitter.com profile] ShaunKing right now." or "Go read [twitter.com profile] Spacekatgal right now" is much more direct, gives people context, and allows them something they can decide how to engage in. Remember that not everyone has the spoons to take in the outrage at the moment.

Thank you for listening.

Date: 4 Dec 2014 04:15 (UTC)
brushwolf: Icon created by ScaperDeage on DeviantArt (Default)
From: [personal profile] brushwolf
Read, and acknowledged. I think that's about as much as I have a right to say when it's your time and place to speak.

Date: 4 Dec 2014 15:00 (UTC)
brushwolf: Icon created by ScaperDeage on DeviantArt (Default)
From: [personal profile] brushwolf
Yeah but, more the expressing opinion, human chunk of any personal stuff. I kinda feel that if you're upset, any opinion or solution I might have needs to have less priority to you expressing being upset, if that makes sense.

Date: 4 Dec 2014 04:33 (UTC)
krinndnz: A "Just according to keikaku!" face (Default)
From: [personal profile] krinndnz
Remember that not everyone has the spoons to take in the outrage at the moment.

I like that this works both as "to take part in" and "to read and engage with." It's an important message.

Date: 4 Dec 2014 07:24 (UTC)
toyemanate: (black hole sun)
From: [personal profile] toyemanate
I've been wanting to make a post similar to this, though I think you said a few things a bit better.

I write my Twitter messages for those who I am following. Since the people I am writing for are not assholes, they don't need to be reminded by me that there are shitty things going on.

This is kinda the crux of it, to me. I'm always wanting to yell back at the screen, 'who is your audience?', when I see endless RT's of controversial issues. The thing I've had a hard time understanding is in who's needing to hear the information.

I understand that different people will use Twitter in different ways--though of the people I follow, many of them only have the public-facing account. Because of that, though, there's no divide between pushing RTs and information out at the people you think need to hear it (the general public outside of our tribe), and pushing it inwardly. Because Twitter is broadcast, and will always be, any issue that takes off and everyone is talking about is like a series of frag grenades going off--people will get caught in the shrapnel that wouldn't otherwise want to be involved.

There's no real way to filter outgoing messages to different groups. There's only ways to filter incoming things--in a limited fashion. I can mute someone for a day or two, unfollow them, or turn off retweets. If I'm lucky a specific hashtag will be used that I can mute instead, but since that's voluntary, it's completely variable case to case.

Also, yeah, taking jpegs of a screenshot and presenting information that way only makes me trust the content less, plus makes it nearly impossible to read on a mobile device, much less a full-resolution screen. :-P

Date: 4 Dec 2014 08:50 (UTC)
prickvixen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] prickvixen
I share a number of these criticisms re: Twitter. I've been meaning to post an essay about it to my LJ, but doing so has been non-vital so far. n.n

Date: 4 Dec 2014 17:44 (UTC)
tixagon: Happy mawr face ^^ (Ohnoes)
From: [personal profile] tixagon
Hear, hear.

I love the bumper sticker analogy; it's spot on.

I left Twitter because it seems to be used more often as a means by which to divide friends than it is to unite them-- specifically because of how terrible a medium it is for topics like these.

Also, because it's not very often that people are interested in reading bumper stickers that they can't stand for or against.

Date: 5 Dec 2014 01:45 (UTC)
momentrabbit: (Brooding)
From: [personal profile] momentrabbit
I probably RT enough to annoy those of you who get tired of those, and I apologize.

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