The Toxic Scourge of Twitter

Leave it to the Irish to discover the mot juste for what truly ails society. Author and playwright John Waters has illuminated what I’ve long thought but couldn’t articulate: Twitter, and social media more generally, is a toxic scourge on public discourse.  The avian-logoed digital public square is no Periclean Athens, though you might determine as much within thirty seconds of visiting the site. “We were assured in the beginning that social media would increase free speech and thereby enhance democracy,” Waters writes, paraphrasing the utopian prattle of Silicon Valley cheerleaders circa 2011 or so. The internet was supposed to usher in a new enlightenment, where all of mankind’s knowledge was readily available for a minimal cost. At last, inner-city children had the same opportunity to converse in Latin, discuss the themes of treachery and filiopietism in “King Lear,” and solve quadratic equations as their aristo peers. Instead,...(Read Full Article)
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