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Twitterstorms

Neil Gaiman, in a remarkably cogent piece about the Jonathan Ross/Hugos Twitterstorm:

Twitterstorms are no fun when people are making up things about you or insulting you for things you didn’t do or think or say. When scores of people from a group that you consider yourself a part of are shouting at you, it’s incredibly upsetting, no matter who you are. And these things spill over and get bigger – I was saddened to learn that Jane Goldman, Jonathan’s wife, one of the gentlest, kindest people I know (and the person who, with Jonathan, got me onto Twitter, back in December 2009) had deleted her Twitter account because of all this.

This is the point, and one of the reasons why of late I’ve come to disengage a bit from Twitter. Some of the concerns about Ross were cogent, real, and well-put. But a lot of stuff was bullshit, repeated by people who never watch Ross’ work, based on something someone else had said he’d said.

Twitter is a massive echo chamber and it is not always self-correcting. In fact, it is the opposite: it reinforces your own world view, your own prejudice, and reduces your exposure to material which challenges your view.

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