I dumped 10 years of tweets and Twitter didn’t notice. What happened to the community?

It's been a little over a week since I dropped $7 at TweetEraser and dumped all my tweets dating back to July, 2008, when I joined the service.

From about 2008 to 2011, I met a lot of people on the social network in Central New York. We did stuff together — met at cafes and bars, spent New Year's Eve together.

I even got a lot of love for an old presentation on what to do after you joined Twitter.

When I moved to Savannah in 2014, the community aspect had broken down a little, but I still found a lot of businesses on Twitter, and more businesses and some individuals on Instagram and LinkedIn.

But now? It seems like nothing good can come of it. People are being held to today's standards 10 years ago. This headline — Disney fires Guardians of the Galaxy franchise director after offensive tweets — makes it sound like James Gunn went on Twitter and was a jerk after he got some Disney fame.

What really happened is he made some bad jokes 10 years ago when he was trying to make his way as an actor and director, maybe try to get noticed. Disney didn't care when they hired him, and they certainly had access to the same tweets everybody else had (and plenty of people on staff to look through whatever they wanted).

But worse than the sniping and public shaming is the loss of community. Not just that we seem to do be doing our best to say as much as we think we'll be allowed without being outcast from society, but that basically no one's listening on the network anymore.

It's been more than a week since I went from 27,000 tweets to one. No one's asked about it, publicly or privately. I've lost precisely two followers.

Maybe someday, the community-building will come back. Heck, maybe someday we'll see some civility again. But for now, in the words of the late, great Douglas Adams ...


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