Over the past decade, Twitter has become increasingly toxic. Like very toxic. No one can say anything without some troll ruining the moment, which sometimes negatively affects the mental health of the replies on a non-confrontational tweet. These actions are unnecessary and hurtful, made for no reason except to cause stress and fear. Today we have three major players: Twitter, Truth, and Threads.
Today, that seems to be the entire purpose of Twitter. A completely non-political tweet turns somehow turns political and aggressive in the comments, giving trolls a sense of power to bully others when there are no consequences. To put the toxicity in perspective, there are websites and articles out there that focus on how to deal with Twitter Trolls. Twitter did not start off this way at all. It was pretty much the only player in this form of social media – the type where you put your thoughts out there and respond to posts with text. It started with the unofficial rules we grew up with: Treat others how you would want to be treated, and if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it at all.
Elon Musk’s Frustrating Twitter Changes
When Elon Musk bought the company for $44 Billion, it was the nail in the coffin for many of the tweeters who have been just dealing with it because although toxic, Twitter still had attributes that users find worthwhile. The platform was working just fine before the Musk takeover as he promised a priority of free speech for one and all. The decisions that were to follow, like making blue verification checkmarks pay-to-play (also for Meta), journalists were banned for no reason, and most recently, Twitter limits the number of tweets that one can READ daily.
The initial change regarding limits to just reading was implemented on July 1:
“Users cannot view tweets without logging in to the platform. Verified accounts can now read 6,000 posts per day, unverified accounts 600 posts and new un-verified accounts 300 posts. After that, users will get a message that says, ‘rate limit exceeded”‘”
Musk has said that limit will “soon” increase to 10,000 for verified, 1,000 for unverified and 500 for new unverified.
Thread’s Daily Active Users Decline
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for Meta to launch Threads, so much so that the app was released a day early. Those who use Instagram regularly were the first to sign up, and based on the current number of followers I have on Threads, it appears about 10% of my followers have signed up.
Yes, the daily active users have declined. Yes, there are limits that are going to be involved with the early versions of Threads. But that’s how it usually goes. Threads isn’t the most user-friendly platform. Twitter’s existence has been part of the social media ecosystem for over a decade and it will take a longer time for users to decide if Threads is worth switching over to full-time.
Threads has limited features, but users understand that this is a typical part of creating an app of this magnitude. These missing features and glitches that came with the initial launch were noticeable, but the community of the early adopters to this day has been exuding, promoting, and showing the love for a toxic-free experience. So far, the comments have been respectful or have been expressed as individual posts instead of disagreeing with hate and ganging up on one person who has an opposing opinion.
Of course, it is easy to be selective and find the evidence that backs the claim or the point being made. But this sentiment is felt by many on the platform, and so far, there seems to be a community effort to keep it this way.
Twitter’s Negativity and Spam
My experience today on Twitter was exactly what I was used to. Trolls commenting on posts intend to make other tweeters feel attacked and bullied. For example, this initial post had nothing to do with politics. It was about the Women’s World Cup ramping up and innocent questions about predictions on what country may win. No transgender narratives. Nothing political. But here is the tweet and comments that were added to the post.
Hoping for the Best, But Only Time Will Tell
With Twitter’s restrictions on July 1 and Threads’ launch on July 5th, it is incredibly early to make any legitimate predictions on what the future holds. For now, Threads has proven that the app really is updating and fixing issues in real-time, touting an impressive 0.02% crash fixes. The ease of switching between Instagram and Threads so smoothly is a definite plus. There are features that are still coming, but as long as love and positivity remain a priority on the platform, I’m done with Twitter.
This is a developing story.