Monday, 3 February 2014

James Delingpole - "Twitter is a publishing medium more dangerous than any that has ever before existed"

James Delingpole (@JamesDelingpole) wrote an article in The Spectator magazine, 'How Twitter almost destroyed me.' He called Twitter, "the perpetually gaping maw of the gigantic elephant trap that is Twitter." He said of the micro-blogging site here:
"Twitter is a publishing medium more dangerous than any that has ever before existed. The problem is that it is once trivially ephemeral and hideously permanent. Whatever your state of mind, whether you’re drunk or sober, depressed or euphoric, it’s there waiting to capture your every thought from the moment you wake up to the moment you check your Twitter feed one last time before you go to sleep."
He continued:
"You might be a journalist, like me, who writes hundreds of thousands of words’ worth of considered, well-wrought, nuanced articles expressing precisely who you are and where you’re coming from. But as far as the mob is concerned, that makes not the blindest bit of difference. It’s on those 140 characters you’re being tried and condemned. You’re hateful. You’re a misogynist. You’re anti-disabled. You’re a racist. You’re a rapist. Or whatever. And there’s no room for wriggling, you said it, after all. It’s there: in black and white — and ‘favourited’ by various ill-wishers, just in case you try to erase it."
He called out Twitter for what it is:
"It’s a hysterical out-of-control playground, not a worthwhile debating forum."
He gave a warning for Twitter users:
"As a warning to all those -Twitter users who’ve yet to appreciate the pitfalls of the medium: my friends (and enemies), be advised that it’s simply too risky to tweet anything you wouldn’t be prepared to see in print or hear quoted in a court of law... I write this as a cri de coeur. Last week I came the closest I’ve ever done to losing my livelihood, my reputation, my career, everything over fewer than 20 ill-chosen words in a medium recognised by almost everyone who uses it as trashy, throwaway, gratuitously provocative, ephemeral and not to be taken too seriously."
James Delingpole in full here. The post was originally published on The Ideas Workshop here.

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