Way back in the early days of the internet, those already on-line could not help but notice that the media was hilariously ignorant, but supremely confident, of this revolutionary new thing called the internet. On television, the people who claimed it was their job to keep the rest of us informed clearly knew nothing about this new “internet thing” or the people signing up for accounts. The print side of the media barely knew the internet existed and had no interest in it at all.
In those early days it was a glimpse into the weird combination of ignorance, insulation and confidence that defined the mass media. Television and radio are pure carnival acts, selecting for people who fit a role. The print side, the people engaged in “serious journalism”, are stenographers and cheerleaders, hoping to one day be noticed by the carnival operators so they can get on television. The whole thing is part of a large scale agitation campaign on behalf of the ruling class.
This is what makes the collapse of Twitter so amusing. The agitation machine that is the modern mass media was invited onto Twitter in the early days as a way to promote the product over the alternatives. Twitter was custom built for the slow-witted, but supremely confident people who make up mass media. All they needed to do is download an app, open it up and begin typing. Limiting it to short messages reduced the odds of them exposing their stupidity.
It did not take long before the mouth breathers of the Left followed the media onto the platform and it became an echo chamber. Of course, it did not take long before the enemies of this unholy alliance of the confidently stupid joined Twitter to mock and ridicule these people. For a short while it was amusing to see someone, probably posting from the john, wrecking the day of sanctimonious simpletons like David French or Max Boot, with mockery and irreverence.
Of course, that is why the whole thing was doomed. The agitation machine we call the media can only exist when the people inside of it are sure they are the intellectual vanguard, the cutting edge of history. That only works when they are not exposed to reality, which is what happened when they went on-line. It has been forgotten but the great censorship campaign began in the comment sections first and then spread to the rest of the internet. Twitter was late to the intolerance party.
Now the party is over. Contrary to the pained howling by conspiracy theorists like ADL leader Jonathan Greenblatt, Elon Musk did not buy Twitter as part of some five cushion bank shot plan to bring back you know who. Musk bought the company because he thinks you can have a successful platform that allows open debate with limited moderation. Elon Musk is a civic nationalist who still believes all the old liberal ideals about the marketplace of ideas.
Of course, we live in a post liberal age. The people with real power no longer hold those old liberal ideals. They see themselves as guardians of humanity who must carefully manage the choices of the people. They are the elite of the managerial system and as the elite, their job is not only to set the direction for humanity, but to make sure the rules are properly enforced. All of their chanting about democracy aside, theirs is a totalitarian dictatorship of the managerial elite.
This is why Musk’s project is doomed. For starters, the agitation machine known as the media cannot exist on a platform which allows criticism of the media. That risks holding a mirror up to them. The dimwitted scolds that follow them around demanding censorship of imaginary things like hate speech cannot exist on a platform that does not provide them protection. This is why they avoid Gab. If they start demanding censorship there, the response is mockery.
This why the media are threatening to stomp off in a huff to the Mastodon, the federated system of independently created nodes. Because they are stupid and do not know how anything works, they think that there is a trust and safety team there waiting for them to arrive from Twitter. These people are so insulated they just assume the internet works by magic, rather than people. Just wait until they learn that Gab is a node on the Mastodon system. That will be a fun day.
The bigger problem for the Musk project is that the people with real power, like the duopoly that controls the mobile device market, will make sure he is never able to create his civic nationalist paradise. Apple is preparing to remove Twitter from the Apple ecosystem and you can be sure Google is doing the same. After all, both companies work closely to prevent competition. They have long ago worked out how to cooperate on censorship issues.
Then there are the advertisers and purchasers of Twitter data. The main source of revenue for Twitter and all internet firms is the sale of user data. They sell this in packages to companies, market researchers, political campaigns and the many intelligence services tracking our moves. All of the people running these outfits strongly believe in the dictatorship of the managerial elite. They see the Musk project as a direct challenge to the system, so they will oppose it.
Even if Musk was not walking headlong into the civilizational abattoir known as managerialism, large scale social media was always doomed. The reason is people self-segregate and they do this because they do not enjoy conflict. It is only the spiteful mutants who enjoy constant turmoil. The other 80% of humanity just want to talk about their stuff with other likeminded people. This is why all previous large scale social media projects eventually disaggregated.
While the whole thing is amusing, it should also serve as a reminder to dissidents that this abomination we call modernity is unnatural. Projects like Twitter that were supposed to control the culture run counter to human nature. Mother Nature is undefeated in this area, which is why the graveyard of intellectual thought is littered with the ideas that challenged human nature. Musk will fail for the same reason the ghouls before him failed with Twitter. It runs contrary to our nature.
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