Sunday, July 16, 2023

Loving the new Twitter, but there's still room for improvement

I'm one of those people who returned to Twitter after Elon Musk bought it last year. Regardless of what you think of Musk (or why) my personal experience since returning is  that it's a better, freer place since it came under new ownership.
I had actually been off Twitter for about a year and a half when I decided to give version 2.0 a shot. I had previously been on Twitter (and pretty much addicted to it) for more than ten years when I finally gave up on it in early 2021. It had turned from an amazingly open, informative and enjoyable experience into a slanted, toxic pit that just wasn't fun anymore. At all. Even more telling, I never felt like I was missing out on anything during the period I was gone. But Twitter is fun, interesting, and informational again.

However, there are still signs of the old, fun-adverse, truth-adverse Twitter. Somewhere along the line someone thought it was a good idea to give users a condescending "warning" when they post what some clearly objective (*sarcasm*) bonehead has decided is "potentially harmful or offensive language".

"Most Tweeters don't post replies like this" - Yeah, they post worse. Also, condescending much?

This was my response to a Tweet criticizing a protest outside of a McDonald's that had been organized to lambast the fast-food behemoth for not paying "living" wages. The original tweet pointed out the obvious, that burger-flipping is a job for unskilled teenagers (as I was when I worked there back in the day) and basically, I agreed. And yes, any idiot can be taught to do it. There's nothing harmful or offensive about pointing that out. It's the truth. McDonald's was designed that way. Unless you're the manager or franchisee, it's not meant to be a living wage career. It's a starter job, a pocket money job, it's not something you raise a family on. 
Expecting McDonald's to throw money at unskilled labor is like starting your career in a bottom rung, foot in the door job and never rising above that level, but expecting your salary to rise to the same level as someone who is actually moving up in the world. Basically, the protest is that McDonald's isn't paying high-skilled wages for menial, entry-level jobs. And that doesn't make sense. All that I and the original poster did was point out that obvious fact.

And in terms of the content of my tweet, there's the issue that you don't have to spend much time on Twitter to see much worse, to see posts that are genuinely vile, vicious, and at times even threatening. My tweet is one of the milder things you'll see on Twitter, which is much more open to a variety of opinions these days, but still retains some of its crazy, wild-west aspects from the old days. And I got a warning about (I assume) using the word "idiot"?

In case you're wondering, yes, I did hit the edit button, but not to edit my tweet. I added that the tweet had gotten the stupid Twitter warning and then posted it as originally written because no, there was nothing harmful or offensive about it.

And if you think that burger-flippers and other low-skilled workers deserve big bucks, there's these shining examples of the law of unintended consequences, but that's a conversation for another day.

As for Twitter, it's great to have it back, but there's still a little tweaking to do.

No comments: