It has now been about three months since I was expelled from Twitter. Am I chafing under the restriction? No.
Most Twitter users regard removal from Twitter as akin to being cast into outer darkness, a phenomenon to be feared (if it happens to them), to be protested against (if it happens to those whom they regard as ideological friends), to be laughed at and celebrated (if it happens to those they dislike, hate, or oppose ideologically).
Twitter is in fact a habit akin to having a piece of chocolate with your morning coffee. I used to love posting my views and comments on the affairs of the day, as well as posting favoured music and art. Self-expression. I used to think also that I was, at least in a small way, influencing the national and even international debate. That might have been so, but only to a very limited degree.
My Twitter account had just under 3,000 followers when it was eliminated by the Twitter organization. The absurdity of imagining that you are much influencing society is shown when it is considered that –to take just one example and one which comes into my mind— a mentally-disturbed Jewess whose Twitter account is replete with long complaints about her illnesses, alcohol consumption, problems with the DWP, and those she dislikes politically (including me!), as well as pictures of her dogs and photographs of owls, actually has 500 more Twitter followers than had my account, with its –as I would like to believe, anyway!– intelligent, pithy views and comment on politics, strategy and society. She does follow thousands, though, whereas I followed only a few dozen accounts. The present Prime Minister, Theresa May, has 598,000 Twitter followers, while Jeremy Corbyn has no less than 1.84 million. To extend the idea to absurdity, take the One Direction pop group: they have 31 million Twitter followers.
A superficial view might be to imagine that someone with many thousands (or, a fortiori, millions) of Twitter followers has huge influence or impact upon society, upon political views etc. A moment’s thought shows that even if that be true, the influence and impact comes out of what the tweeter does offline, certainly off Twitter, not what he or she posts on Twitter. Theresa May’s Twitter influence is a mere adjunct to her position as Prime Minister. As to such as “One Direction”, were they not well known as entertainers, their influence (whatever it may be) would be close to a zero point.
I keep in touch with comment on Twitter, read about this and that, largely out of habit, but am no longer fooled by the idea that those tweeting are influencing many outside their own existing circle (or “echo chamber”). I sometimes look at the tweets of the Jew-Zionist cabal on UK Twitter. The same few dozen idiots, mostly concentrated in parts of North London, still tweeting pretty much what they were tweeting five years ago— to as little effect.
Another example, that of the “Alt-Right”: “Prison Planet” Watson, meaning Paul Joseph Watson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Joseph_Watson, a young-ish (about 38-y-o) blogger and vlogger (and who does not accept the “alt-Right” label now), tweets to his 904,000 Twitter followers from (as I read somewhere) a basement flat in the Battersea area. Consider that: 904,000 followers, when the Prime Minister of the country only has 598,000… On the other hand, who of the two has more real influence, let alone real political power? That is not even a question.
Another point is that many “celebrity” or would-be celebrity tweeters buy huge numbers of followers, in an attempt to “big up” (in the inelegant phrase of the day) their Twitter profile and so (they hope) their real-world profile. To take one example, not entirely at random: a certain well-known Jew-Zionist solicitor, very vocal about “anti-Semitism” etc, (and who is or was wont to scream imprecations to me and others about how we should die and how he looks forward to our deaths) had about 5,000 Twitter followers when I became aware of the bastard’s existence (around 2012). That follower count increased to about 80,000 within one week! I wonder how much those “followers” cost him and whether the fake total helped him to pose as a hot-shot lawyer and almost a “public figure”? At any rate, he now has about 20,000 “followers”. His fakery does not stand alone, there are many whose “follower count” is hugely inflated, but I seriously doubt the utility of doing things like that.
There is another point. Many Twitter users follow literally thousands of accounts, so the influence of any one account on the follower is likely to be very small.
It might be asked why I am now on GAB if I think that being on Twitter is a waste of time. GAB has only 500,000 users, against Twitter’s 400 million. I am on GAB mainly because it is possible to communicate with others of similar views easily, either publicly or privately (as on Twitter). In addition, I want to support a genuine free-speech platform.
Mao opined (later printed in the “Little Red Books”) that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”:
That may not be the whole truth, but political power certainly does not grow out of tweets on Twitter.
Further thoughts [22 August 2018]
I just saw that privileged, superannuated schoolgirl-type and politico-social one-trick-pony Caroline Criado-Perez has no less than 46,200 Twitter followers! There are innumerable similar examples on Twitter.