My Twitter account got suspended!

Earlier this morning, I got an email:

This was possibly because I had created a “mirror account” to share the news through the IFTTT bot, without adding noise to the existing “academic” account. It must have been caught up in the “algorithms” because it was an auto-generated timeline without much of “human activity”.

That’s one possibility.

I have appealed for reinstating my account, but I am not holding my breath. The immediate reactions were the perceived loss of “network-connections”, but on a careful deliberation, that network hasn’t translated into a tangible benefit.

There are numerous blog posts on how “social media creates employment opportunities”, but the real-world dynamics are completely different. It doesn’t matter if you are a “social media influencer” and real offers don’t pop up in the inbox.

What it has forced me to rethink the social media paradigms. In specific cultural contexts, it “flattens hierarchies”, but as again, the nuances are more around an “illusion” of flattening. Social media fans out specific trends; it’s cool to be part of the “fun”, but offers no real value. Science hasn’t become addressable to the masses, for example, but the narrative got politicised. The pandemic was clearly a wake-up call. Likewise, for all those who went to Mastodon (another decentralised Twitter clone) haven’t found the traction or found it difficult to achieve the “network effects” of scaling/being relevant because Mastodon doesn’t have the Twitter’s “recommendation algorithm”. It was never designed that way. Possibly, in the future, they might have something around on those lines, but it wouldn’t entice me either.

Therefore, it only reinforces my belief in completely owning your mode of public discourse and creating your own virtual networks. If it goes belly up based on an owner’s fancy, it will create an utter chaos, especially for long time users. For those into marketing, getting Twitter followers is only a signal to advertisers. I have argued it is a poor metric, since Twitter hasn’t ever mentioned the proportion of bots versus real users on the platform.

As always, owning your virtual space is critical. I have mentioned these several times on the blog. This is a wake-up call.

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