Yet Another Fun Thing Ruined By Conservatives

I still mourn the loss of Twitter. It’s not dead (well, the name is, but the service ain’t), but it is one of those things that got ruined by conservatives because clearly conservatives can’t ever be good house guests and not defecate all over whatever space they’re in and make it just worse for everyone. I long for the days of old forums and such that had zero tolerance for their bullshit and would eject them the femtosecond they showed their faces.

You’d think them taking over Twitter and rotting it from within would have been enough, right? Ha, nope.

In the wake of Twitter losing favor with the general public due to all this, Facebook/Meta brought out a Twitter competitor to capitalize on the exodus called Threads. And in an interesting but smart move, it was integrated with Instagram rather than Facebook proper. Probably because–at least from my e-porch–Facebook feels like it’s dying and Instagram still has that “cool” factor.

I joined Threads fairly early on, mostly due to the hubbub surrounding it on Mastodon (as Threads is built on ActivityPub, the same decentralized protocol that powers Mastodon). It was–predictably–total chaos for a bit as everyone tried to find their footing in this brave new world, but as things settled, the vibe was actually pretty cool. My feed was filled with people taking selfies of themselves, showing themselves off, talking about their favorite thing in an attempt to find their people, and people from all walks of life. It felt like Twitter again, but the glory days of Twitter.

There was still the occasional troll/right winger, but they were quickly dealt with, shouted down, and shown the door. It made Threads feel like a really friendly place, for once.

However, unfortunately, as of the last couple days (and maybe coincidentally timed with Threads opening its doors to the EU), my feeds have become insanely political, and I don’t mean in a good way, either. It’s been dominated by right wing trolls. Though with a twist: They’re not making themselves obvious, at least to the untrained eye.

Rather, they’re playing a card they’ve played before: Disguising themselves as concerned liberals/leftists, expressing discontent with Biden (which, to be clear, I am okay with! It is always okay to criticize your elected officials!) and using that as a convenient leverage point to tell fellow leftists/liberals/democrats that they should just…not vote. Stay home for 2024. If you vote blue, you vote for genocide! Vote third party! Write in Bernie!

Which–if that sounds familiar to you, it should: This feels like the very same song and dance from 2016, where “concerned liberals” encouraged everyone to either stay home, or protest vote for a third party candidate that has zero chance of winning.

When you dig down and put these accounts spreading this propaganda under the microscope, however, you start to see the standard right-wing talking points come out. They even use the same nomenclature (“Sleepy Joe”, for one). Talk about failing a spot check.

To be clear: I’m not saying Biden is the most progressive person on this Earth and that we should all worship him. Far from it. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t fall for these propagandists telling you to stay home, and that your vote is useless. That’s how fascism wins. Convince enough people that they don’t matter and shouldn’t try, and the fascists easily glide to victory. Don’t let them.

They must know the stakes are high for 2024, because their hubris this election cycle is loud and we’re not even in 2024 yet! I’ve not seen my feed so ridiculously saturated with propagandists telling me my vote is useless and that I should just not vote because a vote for the current left is a vote for genocide. As if Trump would make things any better? Yeah right. 

As such, I’m pulling back from Threads, at least for now. It really sucks that the good vibes seem to just be gone, because the conservatives weren’t happy with invading Twitter and enshittifying it. Now they’re mad they’re running out of people to the left of them to bully, so they’re branching out to other platforms to find people to grief. I wish blocking actually worked on Threads, but for some reason that seems to just be making it worse. I block one troll and two more pop up in its place. Almost as if the algorithm thinks I’m super interested in this by blocking people broadcasting this drivel.

I just hope it all dies down soon. Threads was actually a fun place. For a bit, anyway.