Monday, March 20, 2023

Toxicity of the Blue Tick Twitterati


Twitter is a fascinating place. It is always good for entertainment, if nothing else. People are forever attacking one another over principles and personal preferences. It is usually a scream to view the shouting matches between the senseless trolls on either side of the ideological divide as they attack each other over trending topics pertaining to politics, religion, human rights, Virat Kohli's form, Kim Kardashian's butt and Alia Bhatt's baby name preferences.

The insufferable opinions of the obnoxious and the offensive are always available for your viewing pleasure. The  humble Tweeple get to be schooled by the Twitterati, the blue-blooded wielders of the coveted blue tick on all things inane, irrational and irritating. Ostensibly, these are the 'verified' accounts that authenticate identity and establish holders such as politicians, film/sports stars, media personnel, big business types and influencers with an insane follower count as 'trustworthy'.

In short, the chosen ones are the powerful and popular folks who have been selected as the manipulators of public opinion to further agendas that can be counted on to do absolutely nothing to bring about the greater good, even if they vociferously claim otherwise. The violent, vitriol-filled rhetoric against JK Rowling, which is less of an attempt to uphold trans rights and more of a concentrated attack against a powerful woman not afraid to fight for women’s safety, is a case in point. 

Recently, Twitter experienced extreme turmoil when the newly anointed Chief Twit, Elon Musk, upended the status quo by rolling out the Blue subscription  service, allowing users to pay a monthly fee for the privilege of becoming the proud owner of a blue tick. Naturally, the Twitterati have their innards in a twist, claiming that such a move would lead to a proliferation of fake accounts leading to misinformation, which could weaponise the platform and jeopardise world peace.  Apparently that is not at all how things stood in the fairy land that was Twitter before Musk made his move.

Of course, I am one of those who have chosen not to cough up the fee, since by miraculous happenstance, I have a blue tick on Instagram, which has caused my stock to skyrocket with my daughters and nephews. In this economy, it is my advise that others follow my lead guided by parsimony, not principles. After all, the beauty of Twitter is that it will always remain the anarchic hellhole it was engineered to be.  

Even if you get a grip on the deep-seated desire to wile away the good years in your life by endlessly scrolling through Twitter feeds with breaks for Instagram until death does you in, you walk away with the empty yet satisfying knowledge that you have done nothing at all that might be construed as useful or enriching. And you will definitely be back for more.  

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