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Ask Arthur: Time to trek out of Twitter?

A reader is concerned about the chaos at Twitter, but all is not lost, says ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

Q: I am freaking out about the mess at Twitter caused by Elon Musk’s takeover. Should I jump ship?

A: Elon Musk has certainly thrown Twitter into turmoil with his shoot-from-the-hip decision-making, and his insistence on trying out any new trick that leaps to mind for him. Among other, he has fired more than half the staff, and brought in engineers from his other businesses to help revamp the platform.

That means we can expect continual change and disruption in the short term. Personally, however, I haven’t spotted the difference, but then I am not highly active. As a journalist, I have the supposedly coveted “verified account” blue tick, for which I have never paid. I expect it to vanish in the coming few days, since Musk has promised to grant it only to paying customers. However, he has constantly changed his mind about what he will do with such features, and when.

Does it matter? Not for me personally. But if such things are important to you, you may want to move to a platform that is more predictable, and with more stable policies. The problem is, there aren’t great alternatives. A number of competing “microblogging” social networks have emerged – some superb and worthy – but none have the traction that will allow you to follow, engage with or attract the range of content and users that Twitter boasts.

Everything depends on how intensively you use the platform, and the kind of content you share or interact with. If you are constantly weighing in on Twitter arguments, chances are you have a fairly toxic experience already.  If you use it to follow news, and share factual information, your experience would be very different, and is likely to be more positive.

If nothing has changed in your experience, there is no reason to change your involvement with Twitter.

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