Critique: Twitter

imagesTwitter offers an interesting platform to share what is going on in real time. This is especially important for events or occurrences of public interest particularly if they involve some kind of danger, for example a bomb threat. It also allows everyday people to interact with celebrities and encourages dialogue between community members which is empowering and fosters communication that would rarely happen under different circumstances, if at all. At times, the content found on Twitter can give short bursts of information that make users feel like they are plugged into a shared community mind. Yet this easy access to other people has a downside as it has been negatively applied to spread hate speech, threats and misogynist messages. Many are sure that Twitter has not done enough to combat this kind of nasty behaviour that some individuals display on the platform. Twitter has had a difficult time addressing this issue although they have taken steps to do so, such as trying to facilitate the signalling of hateful tweets. Nevertheless, some are still being harassed to the point of leaving Twitter or deleting their accounts.

In a more positive light, people are playing with the platform creatively by the practice of Twitterature, the use of Twitter as a literary medium. This form of literature can be limited to 140 maximum characters or it can be a novel that extends over hundreds of tweets, sent over many months. This use of Twitter is an enchanting demonstration of technology being adapted, in a positive way, to bring forth something completely different and unexpected.


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