Thursday, October 27, 2022

Goodbye Twitter

Back in April, oh my gods, April was a million years ago, I wrote: Yes, I will quit Twitter if Elon Musk buys it.
My thinking hasn't changed, and he just signed. So there it is.
(I originally suggested that I would quit the day the stock was de-listed. Looks like that's tomorrow morning.)
"If Nethack has taught us anything, it's that if you don't eat food, you die."
I am just going out. I may be some time.
I have exported my Twitter account data and signed out of all my Twitter clients. You can continue to follow me here at this blog -- it's got an RSS feed and everything! -- or at on Mastodon.
(Cross-server following on Mastodon isn't entirely obvious. Copy the link above and paste it into the search bar of your Mastodon page. Not the browser URL bar. It should bring me up and show a + button you can click.)
Further questions:
See my April post. I foresee a lot of ways Twitter can get worse under Elon. I refuse the psychological torture of hanging on every galaxy-brain-tweet trying to divine whether it's bad news. I will be better off for a clean break.
Are you deleting your Twitter account?
No. I'm parking it. I'm logged out. There's a tarp thrown over my Twitter client. Notifications and DMs will not reach me.
But I'm not letting anybody else snarf @zarfeblong. My tweet history remains visible.
If Twitter threatens to delete my account for inactivity, I could log in to preserve it. I won't be checking mentions or DMs, though.
Any chance of coming back?
I have no idea what the future holds. Maybe Elon will turn Twitter into a wonderful well-moderated fairyland. Maybe he'll sell it back off next Tuesday. If it seems like a good idea to come back, I'll come back.
But I am not optimistic about this. No promises.
(If Twitter gets sold off again, I figure it would be to someone even less encouraging than Musk. If it re-IPOs, it would be at a shadow of its former valuation, which was already on the edge of a plummet when Musk stepped in. I don't see a good outcome here.)
Is Mastodon your Twitter replacement?
No! I don't expect Mastodon to turn into an expansive bustling crowd of friendly discussion the way Twitter-circa-2010 did. Mastodon is a bunch of silos and there's friction in between them. This is on purpose.
I'm mildly optimistic that I'll be able to keep up with some friends via Mastodon. If not, oh well.
What about other platforms?
This blog will continue.
I'm on a few Discords regularly. Slack continues to be solid for small social groups. (It doesn't want to be -- Slack wants to be a pure business solution -- but you can still use it that way.)
As for true public social networks, dunno. Haven't seen anything enticing yet. (Cohost does not appeal for reasons that I won't get into here.)
If you want to reach me...
Email is still best: erkyrath at eblong dot com. Gah, do we even bother spambot-fiddling our email addresses any more? What a very 1990s look. So it goes.
See you around.


  1. Every Mastodon profile has a public RSS for public profiles. Just copy the profile address into your RSS Reader of choice’s autodiscovery tool and it should find it, but if it doesn’t autodiscover you can find the LINK in the header and also most instances it really is just as simple as profileUrl.rss or profileUrl.xml if you need to manually build a URL. But autodiscovery should work in 99% of cases no sweat

  2. Adding .rss to the end worked for me:

  3. "No! I don't expect Mastodon to turn into an expansive bustling crowd of friendly discussion the way Twitter-circa-2010 did. Mastodon is a bunch of silos and there's friction in between them. This is on purpose."

    That's not been my (admittedly limited so far) experience. Who I follow on Mastodon and who follows me seems to be *wholly* unrelated to who is on what server. No siloing.

    A better analogy I think is with email providers. I may be on Gmail and you on Hotmail, but there is very little sense in which either of those is a silo that excludes the other. Interoperability is the point.

    1. I think there is some siloing; it's just a slope rather than an opaque wall. The server local timeline is more prominent in the experience than Twitter's worldwide-trends view. When you look at someone's page, you have to click through to a foreign server to see their history. (At least, that's how the web UI works. I haven't tried the clients yet.)

      Also, as spam and trolling starts to rise on Mastodon, there will be blacklisting and filtering by server. It will not be possible to ignore who is where.

    2. You may be right about how things develop from here.

      Right now, though, I just look at the Home and Notifications tab – the Local tab is of no interest to me. I mean, I don't choose who to email on the basis of whether, like me, they have an address.