Thinking Of Breaking Up With Twitter? Here’s The Right Way To Do It

After a few weeks of turmoil, it’s clear that Elon Musk intends to take Twitter in a direction that clashes with the culture that various users call home. Musk has now begun to reinstate high-profile users – including Donald Trump, Alex Jones and Kanye West – who were removed for repeatedly violating social norms.

This comes after a mass exodus of Twitter employees, including thousands that Musk unfairly fired in an email. The latest wave of resignations came after a decision from Musk: employees will have to face “extremely difficult” working conditions (to repair the damage done by Musk).

All this points to a very different experience for users, who are now leaving the platform and going to alternatives like Mastodon.

So what threats might we be seeing now? And how does one go about leaving Twitter safely? #TwitterShutDown As more experienced employees leave, users face the very real possibility that Twitter will experience a significant and widespread shutdown in the coming weeks.

Business software experts and Twitter insiders are already warning that with the World Cup underway, the next surge in population — and any increase in opportunistic malicious behavior — could be enough to bring Twitter to a standstill.

Apart from the site going dark, there is also the risk of user data being breached in a cyberattack while general defenses are down. Twitter was exposed to a major cyber attack in August this year. A hacker was able to extract the personal information, including phone numbers and email addresses, of 5.4 million users.

One can be forgiven for thinking that such situations are impossible. However, a common belief in the tech community is that the internet is held together by chewing gum and duct tape.

The apps, platforms and systems we interact with every day, especially those with audiences in the millions or billions, may give the impression of being very complex. But the truth is that we often ride on the edge of chaos.

Building and maintaining great community software is like building a boat, in open water, while being attacked by sharks. Keeping such software systems running requires designing teams that can work together to deliver enough water, while others steady the ship, and others watch for incoming threats.

To stretch the boat metaphor, Musk recently fired the software developers who knew where the nails and hammers were kept, the team tasked with taking out the shark bait, and the lifeguards on the masts.

Can his already stressed and vulnerable crew close the holes quickly enough to keep the ship from sinking? We’ll probably find out in the coming weeks. If Twitter has managed to stay afloat, credit more than likely goes to many of its former employees for building a robust system that can be maintained by a bare-bones workforce.

Hate speech and misinformation are back Despite Twitter’s claims that hate speech is “reducing”, our analysis suggests it is on the rise. And we’re not the only researchers observing an uptick in hate speech.

The graph below shows the number of tweets per hour containing hate speech words over a two-week period. Using a peer-reviewed hate speech dictionary, we tracked the volume of 15 hateful words and saw a clear increase after Musk’s discovery.

Misinformation is also on the rise. After Musk’s swift changes in securing the blue tick, the site went into chaos due to the proliferation of mock accounts and misleading tweets. In response, he issued another information policy law to correct the previous one.

With reports that the entire Asia-Pacific region is left with only one active content moderator, false and misleading content may proliferate on Twitter – especially in non-English-speaking countries, which are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of disinformation and disinformation. . .

If all of this sounds like a recipe for disaster, and you want to get out, what should you do? Upload your files First, you may want to download an archive of your Twitter activity. This can be done by clicking on Settings > Settings & Support > Settings & Privacy > Your Account > Download your data archive,

It may take a few days for Twitter to compile and post this archive for you. And it can reach several gigabytes, depending on your workload.

lock the door

While you’re waiting for your archive, you can start protecting your account. If your account was public, now might be a good time to switch it to a secure one.

In secure mode, your tweets will no longer be searchable outside the forum. Only your existing followers will see them on the platform.

If you plan to replace Twitter with another platform, you may wish to sign this in your bio by including a notice and your new username. But before you do this, consider whether you might have problematic followers who will try to follow you to the other side.

Check it out

Once you’ve downloaded your Twitter archive, you can choose to selectively delete any tweets in the area as you wish. One of my colleagues, Philip Mai, has created a free tool to help with this step.

It’s also important to consider any direct messages (DMs) you have on the platform. This is very difficult and troublesome to remove, but it can also be very serious.

You will have to delete each DM conversation individually, by right-clicking on the conversation thread and selecting Delete conversation. Note that this only removes it from your side. All other members of the DM thread can see your activity history.

Park your account

For many users, it’s better to “park” their account, rather than to disable it altogether. Parking means you clean up a lot of your data, keep your username, and you’ll have to log in every few months to keep it alive on the platform. This will prevent other (perhaps malicious) users from taking your obsolete username and impersonating you.

Parking means that Twitter will store certain information, including potentially sensitive data such as your phone number and other bio information you have stored. It also means that a return to the field is not out of the question, if conditions improve.

If you decide to opt out, be aware that this does not mean that all of your information is truly deleted from Twitter’s servers. According to its terms of service, Twitter notes that it may retain certain user information after account closure. Also, once your account is gone, your old username will be taken over.

Tighten the locks

If you haven’t already, now is the time to enable two-factor authentication on your Twitter account. You can do this by clicking Settings > Security and account access > Security > Two-factor authentication. This will help protect your account from being hacked.

Additional password protection (found in the same menu above) is also a good idea, as is changing your password to something different from any other password you use online.

Once that’s done, all that’s left to do is sit back and pour one into the birdhouse.

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