There was a time when we could all go to sleep, wake up the following morning, and not have to concern ourselves with what the President of the United States has been saying on Twitter.
There was a time when the President of the United States didn’t cause us all to worry and wonder about the future of the human race every single time he opened his mouth while standing before a microphone or used 140 characters to express his thoughts.
There was a time when the President of the United States wasn’t a complete dumbass whose very presence in the Oval Office didn’t make us stop at least once during the day and wonder whether our reality is real and not part of the Sideways Universe from Lost. Whose very presence in the Oval Office didn’t make us ask ourselves far too often, “How the fuck did this happen?”
That time has come and gone. And Donald Trump is seemingly determined to remind us of this at least once a day, every day.
Every day 45 spins a wheel of tweets and randomly chooses between "antagonize and harass the last person who looked at you sideways" and "offer propaganda based on demonstrably false statements"— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) October 1, 2017
Yesterday afternoon, a poll was created by Mule Design co-founder/design director Mike Monteiro on Twitter to ask whether or not anyone would be interested in watching a debate between himself and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone as to whether or not President Donald Trump (the man who thinks that people who oppose and speak out against White supremacists are just as bad as White supremacists themselves, the man who cares more about attending golf tournaments than he does about helping the people of Puerto Rico recover from the monumental and life-altering damages caused by Hurricane Maria, the man who’d rather dedicate golf tournaments to the people of Puerto Rico than travel down to Puerto Rico and actually meet them in person to find out what can be done to help them stay alive and rebuild their lives/homes/businesses, the man who spends more time on a microphone acting like Happy Harry Hard-On from Pump Up The Volume than an actual President, excluding the fact that Harry was actually smart, charming, and gave a shit about people other than himself) should have his Twitter account shut down once and for all.
Would you be interested in seeing me and @biz on stage with a neutral moderator debate whether Trump should be kicked off Twitter?— Mike Monteiro (@monteiro) September 30, 2017
There were several people who doubted that the people who run Twitter, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, would even respond to this as they rarely feel the need to say or respond to anything on Twitter, unless it has to do with announcing yet another change to Twitter that absolutely nobody asked for and that nobody actually wants.
You know him and jack ignore all the mentions like this. Tweet him about the 280 to get his attention— greatastic reg (@ReggieMikel) September 30, 2017
And yet, for some mysterious reason, Biz Stone decided that now was the time to speak up and let his voice be heard. When all that did was make everyone wonder why he didn’t just keep his mouth shut.
Y'all pile on us. You really think the issue doesn't weigh on us? And you're so dismissive of the Trust and Safety team. We're all people.— Biz Stone (@biz) October 1, 2017
Many of the reactions and responses to his tweet looked a little something like this…
And especially this…
And that was when many of the people who use Twitter, particularly women … women who have been bullied and harassed on Twitter and who constantly see and read about other women being bullied and harassed on Twitter … women who have repeatedly let Twitter know about the bullying/harassment/blatant racism and sexism taking place on their website only to be told that absolutely nothing was wrong and that they shouldn’t be saying anything in the first place … women whose complaints about bullying/harassment/blatant racism and sexism end up being completely ignored unless said women are famous and well-known and are able to let the world (and also much of the news media) know what they’ve been forced to deal with, decided to let him know how much of a catastrofuck he created for himself with that particular tweet:
Someone could call me a subhuman ni**er gorilla and y'all will be like "hmmm, this looks fine to me."— lauren warren (@iamlaurenp) October 1, 2017
"WHY SO DISMISSIVE THO?!"
You have verified ACTUAL DAMN Nazis who've used this platform Nazi-ly, then wonder why we're dismissive of TRUST AND SAFETY?! pic.twitter.com/ZXmsZvWxzk— lauren warren (@iamlaurenp) October 1, 2017
You place newsworthiness over safety, then ask, "Why so dismissive?"— lauren warren (@iamlaurenp) October 1, 2017
I dunno, answers seem to be all there.
"Y'all pile on us."— lauren warren (@iamlaurenp) October 1, 2017
Only because we'd like to use your little product without death threats and doxxing. But go on, continue. pic.twitter.com/M7SwGOMd5W
"You really think the issue doesn't weigh on us?" pic.twitter.com/3YKu2cUwzx— lauren warren (@iamlaurenp) October 1, 2017
Spare me. pic.twitter.com/IKUzc463N5— lauren warren (@iamlaurenp) October 1, 2017
please, spare a thought for the people who work for the website that verifies nazis https://t.co/J8WoRRATd1— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) October 1, 2017
So @biz says "y'all pile on us"— Mara Wilson (@MaraWilson) October 1, 2017
Yeah, it probably sucks when people attack you nonstop on Twitter just for who you are
It weighs on you, but the guy who said I should get raped and murdered still has an account, last time I checked— BOOisa 💀🌹🍞🌹💀 (@LouisatheLast) October 1, 2017
Twitter brags in press releases about how you kick Islamic terrorists off before they even tweet, but there are open Nazis still here. Why?— BOOisa 💀🌹🍞🌹💀 (@LouisatheLast) October 1, 2017
You're pathetic. There are very few times in life when the path of right and wrong are laid out as clearly as they are now. You failed.— SaucissonSec (@saucissonsec) October 1, 2017
Seriously. Stop this act. The time when techbro shitheads could get away with that performance art long gone. LONG gone.— SaucissonSec (@saucissonsec) October 1, 2017
I've been a big Twitter, Biz, Jack fan for a long, long time + don't think it's piling on to wonder why you are letting someone use for harm— Leslie Poston (@leslie) October 1, 2017
Letting LOTS of someones (+ bots) use for harm, but 1 in particular who can actually start war using this amazing platform. It makes me sad.— Leslie Poston (@leslie) October 1, 2017
Gamergate went on far too long, POC are targeted far too often, and now… 45 incites harm via Twitter daily. It's devastating to watch.— Leslie Poston (@leslie) October 1, 2017
If you ever want to know how you helped me, I'll hop on a call to say thanks in person. But for 45 -we're begging you to get a handle on it.— Leslie Poston (@leslie) October 1, 2017
This is so immature.”Y’all pile on us”…you’re not a victim and the level of scrutiny hasn’t nearly tipped the severity of what is occurring.— Kristy T (@KristyT) October 1, 2017
Anyone saying “Y’all pile on us…” doesn’t have the fortitude to carry the burden of responsibility of a platform like this hands down.— Kristy T (@KristyT) October 1, 2017
You guys ban one in fifty users who harass and threaten me and other women on here. Of course we don't take "Trust and Safety" seriously.— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) October 1, 2017
As the responses kept pouring in, Biz once again spoke up to defend himself, while also letting people know that Twitter has many protective measures for them such as Muting, Blocking, and filing reports, and that it was their responsibility to put them to use in order to improve their user experience.
while you work out your feelings about giving Nazis access to mass media, give us an option to not have to be subjected to their free speech— Ａｄａｍ (@adam_kent) September 29, 2017
Adam, you can block, mute, use quality filter, and more. Mike is being unfair. Twitter teams, tech, and policies improve safety daily.— Biz Stone (@biz) September 30, 2017
You can just imagine how well that response was received …
Hey Twitterers, it's on you to filter out the hate speech and Nazis. Twitter apparently "improve safety daily"… https://t.co/BbFNkCKuI7— Garry McConnachie (@TheGMcConnachie) October 2, 2017
I've reported accounts that have literally sent me death threats & Twitter said they didn't violate rules. I'm a real person too, you know.— Kathleen Smith (@KikkiPlanet) October 2, 2017
Women have suffered rape and death threats here for years but sure, you and your well-paid insulated team are the ones who are suffering.— Shauna M. Ahern (@glutenfreegirl) October 2, 2017
Hey look it’s a multimillionaire who whines at his critics instead of addressing urgent problems. Another one, I mean. https://t.co/5Xp6vmcPeu— Adam Isacson (@adamisacson) October 2, 2017
If you aren't going to take responsibility for the mess Twitter has made, you honestly shouldn't be working at Twitter. Or in tech.— @jedmund (@jedmund) September 30, 2017
Take your bundles of cash and go to an island somewhere. Let the people who want to make things better for everyone take the reign.— @jedmund (@jedmund) September 30, 2017
But whatever your role is at Twitter today, you're doing a really terrible job.— @jedmund (@jedmund) September 30, 2017
The people who run Twitter have shown, time and time again, that they are more interested in punishing people who say mean things to Nazis/White supremacists/misogynistic trolls/GamerGaters/many other people who think that ‘cuck’ is an appropriate insult than they are in punishing anyone from those groups by locking or deleting their accounts. If only because many of the people who use Twitter and allow it to appear profitable come from those very same groups.
And yet, much to the disappointment of Twitter and its founders, none of this has made the company appealing to any and all potential buyers. Neither Google, Apple, or Disney is interested in taking out their checkbooks to purchase Twitter and call it their own, probably because they’d rather focus their attention and their money on creating yet another streaming service that would give Netflix and Hulu a run for their money. That, and Google is still licking its wounds over the fact that Google Plus went the way of the Microsoft Zune.
It also doesn’t help that Twitter has clearly become the chosen method of communication for Donald Trump (hence the refusal of Twitter to delete his tweets about North Korea, due to the fact they’re so ‘newsworthy’). So much so that his image has been used in advertisements for Twitter outside of the United States, such as this one (though the accompanying tweets question the translation of the advertisements, as well as whether or not they are currently being displayed):
We're all humans. We're all conflicted at times. These ads show that your COMPANY isn't terribly conflicted about anything. pic.twitter.com/hwSUrfWpvw— Chris The Butcher (@Comics212) October 2, 2017
When I previously wrote that many of us worry and wonder about the future of the human race every time that Trump tweets or opens his mouth while standing in front of a microphone … I wasn’t kidding. And I can think of better ways for Twitter to be put to use and for Twitter to increase its appeal to others than by treating the 45th President and the words that come out of his mouth as if he’s Howard Stern back in the Eighties and as if all of this is some kind of summer blockbuster for us to sit on the edge of our seats in anticipation for.
This isn’t a game, and none of this (not from Trump or any other bully/liar/rapist/racist/con artist/complete fucking idiot) is fun or exciting or amusing, and going out of your way to seemingly beam with pride because your website is being used as a microphone by people making harmful, reckless, and downright terrifying statements for the world to see isn’t something you should be happy to put on your resumé.
If I owned Twitter and someone was using it to start a war, I'd shut it down before I'd continue to let them use the service.— Max Temkin (@MaxTemkin) October 1, 2017
I look forward to the day (and I know it’s asking for a lot and that the day may never come, especially considering how much fuckboy behavior they’ve ignored and continue to ignore so far) when Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey, and everyone else who calls the shots over at Twitter will hopefully spend less time worrying about their feelings or about how to add 280 characters to tweets instead of 140 (because that’s what Trump and his ilk need and deserve: more space to spew their hateful bullshit at others!), and more time focusing on the people who use their website, rely on their services, and are forced to worry about their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being on a regular basis all because the people who call the shots over at Twitter don’t actually feel like doing their jobs and doing everything possible to protect them and keep them safe from harm whenever they decide to tweet.
And I’m guessing that the women whose voices have been ignored by them for far too long feel the very same way, if not more so.
Brian Richards recently had his Twitter account locked for cursing out the New York Post. But they were getting way too slick at the mouth when talking about Beyoncé, so they pretty much had it coming.