For now, Twitter is alive and doing OK despite reports of its possible demise. The social media giant is making moves to grow despite downward trends in growth. But one of the more important changes is the verification process being made easier as an attempt to have users feel safe when using the platform.
Twitter is the Wild, Wild West
It’s true. Twitter is the Wild, Wild West when it comes to expressing opinions and getting “shot at” from every direction. Recently,
Twitter execs banned a known conservative writer/”Twitter Troll” who went after a Hollywood actress and it exploded. The actual issues of the Twitter fight are something many people see every single day when posting about politics or religion or race relations or even comic books; their opinions are maligned by those that disagree with them. But it’s more than just minor disagreements. Sometimes these Twitter battles erupt into full on attacks where the non-sequiturs and straw man arguments turn into vicious personal attacks. And most of these come from “Eggs” – people who never fill out their full profiles, never put their real photos and remain anonymous so they can get away with the abhorrent trolling. As a troll myself, I at least do it letting everyone know who I am.
The Verification vs. Anonymous
I truly believe people have started leaving Twitter because of the anonymous attacks. Why go and try to start a conversation when some person who doesn’t have the guts to give their true identity comes at you with guns a-blazing, or goes and gets their minions to come and attack you with insults? Why spend time in a negative atmosphere? Facebook, at least, tries to ensure real people are behind accounts. It doesn’t always work, as seen in the comment sections of news and political sites, but it’s, at the very least, more manageable than Twitter. And from a business perspective, why would I want to advertise on a platform where people are attacking others just over disagreements? Will I actually get good leads?
This is why the verification process change is so important. It means people will be held accountable for their speech. We all should be. The First Amendment only protects you from the government, not private entities or your employer. Your speech is still protected, but don’t be shocked if you get banned for trolling. And don’t be shocked if your social media credibility disappears. It’s time to end internet anonymity and have respectful conversations…or at least conversations where you aren’t afraid to show your face.