With the recent launch of Meta’s latest social media platform, Threads, we are once again being led to believe that it is the Next Best Thing and this is surely the app that will kill Twitter – putting Elon Musk’s “far-right utopia” out of its misery once and for all.
I have a Threads account. I jumped on it quickly. Not because I have any desire to be part of the movement to take down Twitter, though. Just because I’m a damn junkie. Heroin would probably be better for my soul than social media, but that is a discussion for a different day. Regardless, I went to Threads, created an account, and have been systematically muting every single journalist and pundit I see.
Naturally, I had to start with Taylor Lorenz, and I’m glad I did because she is responsible for writing something so wrong that even one of the Krassenstein brothers called her out on it.
While I never did see anyone in my Twitter bubble share the story (for which I am eternally grateful), the Threads algorithm made sure I saw that Bulwark editor Jonathan “Dead” Last had nice things to say about it.
Last, like many others, jumped over to Threads to immediately do two things:
- Whine and moan about how awful Twitter has become under Elon Musk.
- Whine and moan about how Threads is missing a ton of Twitter-like features and why can’t it do better?
He is just one of many political writers who went to Threads in search of a place they can ruin next. They did the same when Mastodon came along and it also turned out to be an absolute sh-…. poopshow seemingly in a matter of minutes. They will try their damnedest to make Threads just as awful, but Meta does do something that neither Twitter nor Mastodon does very well.
The Threads app allows you to not give a damn.
The journalism world thinks that this app is really going to do it. They think that Mark Zuckerberg will be the hero Gotham needs (Never mind the years spent trashing Zuckerberg because they blamed Facebook for allowing the Russians to steal the 2016 election as that was in the Before Times). The Wall Street Journal has a piece out today on “How Twitter Could Become Irrelevant” and yet, strangely enough, I see the same people who are writing and sharing these stories are doing so… on Twitter.
And there’s the rub in all this: They are junkies, too. They like what Twitter is and they always have. Truth be told, they are probably happier that Elon Musk has taken over, because that’s more content for them to write about, more ways to write about the “far-right extremists” who are running around, unchecked, in this post-democracy America. They have to get their high from Twitter because, lets face it, Threads isn’t it, and it’s not meant to be.
The Threads algorithm has learned that I like barbecue content, so that’s all I’m seeing. Some of the people I follow are politics-adjacent, so some of that content rolls through, like a post from David French saying “Yeah, conservative justices actually do need new ethical codes” because David French just can’t not out-David French himself. Brian Stelter just can’t not be a sad little potato posting about Right Wing Media, no matter what platform he’s on.
But I don’t see it all the time because one influencer account is posting about smoked beef birria tacos right now and the algorithm knows that’s way more important to me. Yay technology.
None of the people complaining about Twitter on Threads have left Twitter. In fact, they’re just posting the same damn thing on both apps because they are addicted to the “struggles” of social media.
Twitter is most certainly a hellhole, and Elon Musk has actually, objectively made it worse from a technical standpoint (though it’s much better from a free speech standpoint). But all of the journalists who are constantly outraged about it aren’t going anywhere because they know that Twitter gives them exactly what they want all the time: Conflict.