As one of the most sought-after social media networks, Twitter has turned into a part of many people’s daily lives. According to Twitter’s advertising resources, Twitter had 4.95 million Nigerians in early 2023, and not to even include the fact that some people earn a living via this platform.
Despite this, it has been noted as one of the most toxic social media networks, with an innumerable record of intimidation, online bullying and hate speech.
Is Twitter truly a toxic social media platform? If yes, why is it toxic? You will find out all of these and more in this article. Just follow.
Why is Twitter Often Tagged as a Toxic Platform?
One reason could be the platform’s rapid nature. Twitter’s character restrictions, while useful for brief conversation, usually advance to falsification and misconception of complicated news. Tweets can roll out faster and individuals can respond in the heat of the moment, usually without thinking through the results of their acts.
Nuance can be easily lost in a sea of defective messages, potentially fueling confusion and hostility. This can lead to rancour and hatred.
Also, the state of being mostly or completely unknown on the platform can add to the toxicity of Twitter. Twitter allows users to create accounts without revealing their true identities which can lead to an increased possibility of barbaric acts. People can hide behind these unknown accounts and say things they would never say in person.
Creating unknown accounts often inspire individuals to get involved in online harassment, hate speech and unfriendly environments for many users. This can lead to lack of accountability and a culture of toxicity.
Furthermore, Twitter’s analytical feed aims at arranging content depending on engagement which can build up filter bubbles and contribute to segregation. Users often find themselves surrounded by compatible individuals, leading to an elaboration of their previous beliefs and a reduced enthusiasm to engage with an opposite point of view. This echo filter bubble effect can aggravate toxic behaviour.
In addition, the rate at which news escalates on Twitter can sometimes lead to an energetic violence, charged by a herd mentality. This fact usually results in humiliation, oppression and disproportionate targeting of individuals for perceived wrongdoings. The results can be critical, affecting not only targeted individuals but also their mental well-being and sources of income.
The concision of tweets on Twitter often induce an absence of connection and nuance in conversations. Difficult content and delicate matters are shortened to simple pieces, leaving little room for productive interaction.
This exaggeration can quickly be misunderstood, encouraging misinterpretations and deepening misunderstandings. Moreover, the lack of audio cues, such as tone of voice or body language, makes it difficult to detect intent, also adding to the toxic atmosphere.
Twitter is well-known for harbouring trolls and encouraging a culture of persecution. Some users gain amusement from intentionally irritating and molesting other individuals, often spotting defenceless people or those who hold different views. The popularity of toxic Twitter accounts inflicts a bitter society that discourages honest discussion and scare users from fully expressing themselves.
While Twitter as a whole may be recognized as toxic, it is significant to observe that there are pockets of productivity and positive discussion within the platform. Many people and associations aim to build a reserved and comprehensive society, using their words to increase awareness, contribute to resources and encourage productive conversations. Connecting with these people can lead to a fresh break from the toxicity often linked with Twitter.
Moreover, not all Twitter accounts add to the toxicity. Many users honestly aim to cultivate sound discussions and encourage productive conversations. These accounts actively work towards fighting toxicity by calling out destructive acts, promoting sympathy and spreading varying voices. By following and engaging with these accounts, users can make their Twitter experience to be more productive and positive.
Twitter has its fair share of toxicity, primarily due to lack of accountability and the platform’s algorithmic priorities. However, it is important to note that there are exceptions to this generalisation. Many people and associations on Twitter actively work towards building a more productive and inclusive platform. By consciously interacting with these accounts and communities, users can reduce the toxic aspects and have a more effective experience on the platform.
Is Twitter Actually a Toxic Platform?
As a person who has used Twitter for several years, here is my opinion.
To begin with, it is crucial to recognize that there are surely cases of toxicity on Twitter. There are accounts that circulate offensive speech, racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice. These accounts usually go unbridled and advance to discharge their toxicity, making Twitter an obnoxious place for many people.
In addition, Twitter can also be a base for herd mentality and cancel culture. One tweet or comment can quickly trigger criticism and lead to an exaggeration, with people attacking someone for their perspectives or ideas. This can build a toxic environment where people may feel scared to speak out or share their ideas openly.
However, I do not think that Twitter as a platform is naturally toxic. Instead, it is the activities of the users that can make it a toxic platform. Twitter has millions of users and it only takes a small percentage of them to build a toxic environment. The platform itself has means to report and block accounts, and Twitter does take actions against accounts that disobey their laws.
Furthermore, Twitter can also be a productive and efficient network. It has been used to spread information about significant topics, link people with the same passion and aid relevant conversations. It has also been a means for advocacy, letting people form a voice and make that voice to be heard.
In my own experience, Twitter has been a beneficial source of information and a means to link up with others. I have been able to have meaningful conversations with individuals from all over the world and acquire knowledge from different perspectives.
However, I have also seen individuals engaging in acts that promote toxicity on the platform, especially from accounts that encourage hate speech or from people criticising each other for their opinions.
To wrap this up, Twitter is not naturally a toxic platform but it can be a toxic environment depending on the acts of its users. It is important for people to be accountable for their acts and to use the platform in a civil and constructive manner. It is also important for Twitter to continue to monitor and take measures against accounts that disobey their regulations to build a secure and supportive environment for all users.