I’m not sure how, but my tweet got retweeted beyond my normal network of people and I am getting a lot of responses. The moment I tweeted has been tweeted by others I know, so I wonder if the same thing happened to them. I expected my network to be small and homogenous, so I am surprised by the reach this tweet has gotten. People really have an emotional response to reading through that moment and want to spread it or weigh in.
The way Twitter’s UI works for responding or retweeting is confusing and I think this is why people are responding to me so often. There also seem to be many conversations between lots of other people and I get notified of every response. I normally don’t get to see this side of Twitter since I don’t have a ton of followers. The total impressions for my tweet are 34,805. I’m not sure how that compares to others but my next largest number of impressions I can find is around 800. Somehow that adds up to >40,000 I guess.
I’ve only blocked maybe 20 people because of racist or violent responses, so I think that is pretty low percentage to what I’ve heard from friends with more followers. I also had to block some people because I just kept getting more and more responses from them.
Twitter is able to cause a flood of responses from all sides. I haven’t received much abuse, but I have friends who have. I’m very privileged because if this were my normal twitter experience, then I would leave. Others stick it out to connect with others, even through the torrents of responses like I’m temporarily seeing.
Posting a link isn’t an endorsement or to shame, but people project onto it what they want. Some people assumed I was sympathetic to the victims of the hate speech while some others assumed I was sharing that link to gloat about how awesome it is to not need to be politically correct.
Any software that connects people needs to have tools and protections in place for it’s users. Twitter is failing. It allows people to swarm others with any content they choose and rarely finds that content to be against it’s terms of service. If you build software (I do) then you need to think about your most vulnerable users and plan how you will enable and empower them to have a positive experience. Don’t be lazy, there are real consequences if you are.