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Time to disconnect from X, the site formerly known as Twitter

Jack Yan discusses why he called time on the automatic posting of Lucire headlines and links to the site formerly known as Twitter
September 5, 2023/13.00

Today I disconnected our automatic posting to Twitter, or, as I’ve been calling it for many months now, OnlyKlans. This is a script we’ve run for over a decade.

I’ve discussed our overall lack of enthusiasm for social media elsewhere, and nothing in the Elon Musk era of Twitter has changed our thinking. In fact, his ownership has proven many of our points.

Not only do we get more and better engagement on Mastodon with a fraction of the followers, we can actually be social on social media, which I thought was the point. There is no algorithm on Mastodon, so unlike Facebook, which broke its organic reach formula in the early 2010s, our posts naturally reach people who look for our hashtags or are our followers.

Our views have now dwindled to the single digits on Twitter for some posts.

But the biggest reason for disconnecting is the very negative consequences of having our brand seen next to OnlyKlans’ X.

I cannot think of any redeeming brand qualities that the Simplified Swastika possesses, and without any moderation, the racist and misogynist content is particularly noticeable. It’s a place you go to when you want the virtual equivalent of a pub brawl every few minutes, egged on by the publican.

Musk says he wants X to be an everything app, like Tencent’s WeChat is in China, but at least WeChat got there by being optimistic and upbeat. People flocked to it. They weren’t repelled by it.

As of September 29, 2023, X says it’ll be using everyone’s data for “AI”, something Musk said he was against until he said he was for. To be fair, Facebook is doing something similar, too. But there comes a point where you should stop feeding the monster.

The regular lying and about-faces put even Facebook’s ones to shame, though Facebook can still claim to be an accessory to genocide over in Myanmar. The difference is OnlyKlans’ petulant proprietor is happy to double-down on people he dislikes, whereas Mark Zuckerberg and his lackey Nick Clegg know when to keep their mouths shut.

Realistically, there’s no reason for us to continue being on Facebook, either, a site I’ve disliked for far longer. Each time our automated posts no longer work on there, I’m quite happy to let our presence slip away—except invariably someone fixes it.

But in 2023, X, with negative brand equity and any earned from Twitter flushed down the toilet, actually has, in our opinion, a worse standing than Facebook.

There are enough Facebook users, including our own team members, who seem to like the place for Lucire not to look too bad in having a presence there. But seeing X and Lucire together in search engine results sends all the wrong messages. We’re not racists, misogynists, transphobes, homophobes, or bigots. We’re there now to make sure our username remains ours, and the link juice toward our sites is useful. I cannot, however, see any point to add new content to that if there’s sufficient old stuff pointing in. Its presence—and its use by X for “AI”—is not ideal, but most of our Tweets were headlines. They don’t even have the structure of sentences.

Considering we started disconnecting from Twitter at the end of 2021, well before the Musk deal went through, walking away is nothing new. Nearly two years ago, we removed Twitter gadgets and links from our website. A year ago we focused our attention on the fediverse, where we had been since 2016, and left our Twitter account to languish. This seems a natural next step, and to free ourselves from any brand association with such a negative platform.
Jack Yan is founder and publisher of Lucire.

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Filed by Jack Yan

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