There are so many problems with Twitter under Elon Musk’s ownership, but only a single main one.
It’s not the arbitrary and thoughtless rules that Musk seems to impose every couple of hours. The latest being that you can’t link to other social networks on your tweets — a rule that was quickly rescinded after it faced incredible backlash because of how ridiculous it was.
It’s not the proliferation and amplification of MAGA voices in the Twitter feed algorithm. It’s not the “unsuspension,” however brief, of offensive accounts like Ye (formerly Kanye West) and the Babylon Bee.
It’s not the new verification system that had squatters impersonating corporate accounts, sending out offensive tweets and damaging brands and stock prices. (Some of those squatters were quite funny.) And it’s not the arbitrary suspension of journalists who are critical of Musk, which just revealed how truly petty and insecure the new CEO is.
No, the main problem is that the Twitter feed is almost exclusively about Twitter. For all its problems, it used to be the best and most efficient way to get information and news on a variety of topics in just minutes.
I could log on in the morning and see trending news from the New York Times, how good the latest episode of #WhiteLotus was, who recently died (and who didn’t die though people for a minute thought they did), local weather, sports scores, etc. You get the picture.
Now, it’s full of long threads about Twitter. There’s nothing that could be more boring.
Every night people predict Twitter’s death, blame Musk for its imminent demise, then some people defend Musk, other people push back on them and round and round — everyone screaming past each other and nothing getting accomplished. It’s like going to a party and being sat next to someone who just wants to talk about themselves all night. That could be interesting for a minute, but once they repeat their best college stories six times, you get a little bored.
Despite all this, I’m not advising any of my clients (political, nonprofit, corporate, or individual) to get off Twitter or even to pause utilizing it. Because despite all the noise, it still remains — along with Facebook — the most efficient way to deliver a message to interested parties.
You still have the followers that you have built up, and they’ll still receive your intended message through the Twitter cloud.
For campaigns and movements, there’s no better platform to organize and move the needle on a debate. We have movements across the globe that desperately rely on Twitter to make sure the world knows the truth (think of Ukraine and the protests in Iran.) That type of activity is incredibly important for social movements and though platforms like TikTok and Telegram are being increasingly utilized, Twitter is still the most accessible platform and the dominant player.
In short, the world needs Twitter.
Brian Ross Adams is the founder of Trusted Messenger Marketing (TMM), an online branding, website designer, political consultant and social media expert specializing in political campaigns, nonprofits, advocacy campaigns and public figures. He is an industry leader for political campaigns’ online presence, website, social media accounts and overall messaging strategy.