Turning inner space into outer space

November 19, 2022

I was wrong — Twitter is useless for news

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how you can use Twitter for news even if you don't have an account. It was my attempt at making it easier to delete your account if the only thing holding you back is breaking news.

I was wrong.

With Twitter getting ever more toxic, searching a subject for news has become useless. You'll get news, but it will be mixed in with an ugly mess of hate and misinformation. Unless you're someone who enjoys watching barroom brawls, it's not a pretty sight.

And it's not just my imagination that things are getting worse. Researchers at a digital civil rights group have found an increase in racial slurs. It's probably because the moderation system has fallen apart.

The thing about the misinformation is that is doesn't always come from trolls. Often it's just ordinary people repeating rumours they hope are true. They find evidence that their side is winning and want to share it with the world. Sometimes they will warn that it needs to be backed up, but you can still find yourself going down a rabbit hole that leads nowhere.

I haven't deleted my account, but I have deleted the app. And I have joined Mastodon.

As for the news, my advice as always is to find an RSS feed reader and subscribe to news sites you trust. Breaking news might take a day or two longer to get to you, but at least you'll know it comes from a reliable source.