Social Stigma

“We believe that Twitter’s value as a daily service is enhanced when the conversation on the platform is healthier and people feel safe freely expressing themselves.” So said CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday. It’s hard not to agree with that statement. I’m a tech professional, an indie publisher with a personal brand, and I measure my self-worth in retweets. I’m addicted and have been since I was one of the first few hundred people on the service. I’m as likely to leave Twitter as a squirrel is to kick his acorn habit. Seriously, Jack will quit Twitter before I do. But I often wonder why civilians stick around to take the abuse; and I’ve watched from my behind my laptop as many users opt out and churn their way back into real life. So yes, improving the platform’s health is critical. But as we learned from Facebook’s stock slide (and now Twitter’s), the fix can be costly. From Cnet: After years of unchecked harassment and abuse, social media’s reckoning has arrived.

+ Monika Glennon lived through a social media nightmare when someone created false stories about her being a homewrecker. “Eventually, after $100,000 in attorney’s bills, Glennon was able to unmask the culprit. It turned out to be a complete stranger who had been offended by a comment Glennon had made about a news article on Facebook.” Gizmodo: When a Stranger Decides to Destroy Your Life. (The good news is that social networks have decided to take this problem seriously. The bad news is that I’m not sure anyone is quite sure how to fix it.)

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