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Posts Tagged ‘#womenboycotttwitter’

#WomenBoycottedTwitter

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 8.46.58 PMI took a 24 hour vacation from Twitter on Friday the 13th. I’ll let you Google the brouhaha that led to it, because it involves a long tale, a man whose name I don’t want to taint this blog with, and a bunch of tweets. And while no one likes rape or rape culture, I left Twitter for a day for the procedural issues behind the story.

Here’s why I left: I don’t like what Twitter did to Rose McGowan, because it was arbitrary. Lots of others on Twitter (mainly white men) have violated Twitter’s policies as Rose did in the past and present, but their accounts were never partially suspended over it.

Rules are rules, and they should apply to all, equally. While I get that no social media portal is a democracy, what I don’t dig (and I don’t think ANY of us should) happens when the rules are arbitrarily applied to certain people, but not all people on the platform.

I also understand there was controversy in women leaving Twitter for the day, in that ‘silencing’ women was exactly what the patriarchy wanted, and should we be speaking up rather than shutting off the channel? Trust me when I say we did the most damage we could do to Jack and Twitter by the radio silence for a day. Why?

Because we aren’t the customers of Twitter. We are the product.

Big data is all around us, and we are creating tons of it each and every day. Companies like Twitter (and Facebook, and LinkedIn and all other social media portals) are collecting that data (our “digital dander” as Valita Fredland and I like to call it in a recent Big Data and Ethics talk), and then selling that information back to other companies. We are the product.

At least you KNOW you’re the product on sites like Twitter and Facebook. What’s really scary is that there are data aggregation companies that are collecting, repackaging and selling your data to others and YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW IT. (I’ll let you google “biggest data aggregators” to learn who.) Nor can you even opt out of that digital dander collection. That, my friends can only lead to digital DANGER.

So, ladies and gents who left Twitter – nice work! You hit a portal hard where it counts. If they have no data from you, then they have no data that day to sell to someone else. And taking away their product – YOUR digital profile and tweets or your digital dander – is the biggest damage you can do to them.

While Jack posted that things are going to change around Twitter in response to #WomenBoycottTwitter, it remains to be seen if the new rules are applied equally, or with discrimination. We’ll be watching, Jack…