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We don’t need another Twitter

Vox: …“Twitter’s power was to be like a wire service for the 21st century,” explained Emily Bell, director of Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. “Yes, it’s your celebrities, but it’s also your companies, your politicians, your news organizations, your academics — people who are engaged in knowledge production. Or, indeed, shitposting.” (Disclosure: Emily Bell was this reporter’s journalism school thesis adviser.) But while the news wire was a one-way information stream, Twitter is interactive. It’s how a lot of people who are responsible for disseminating information both collect and distribute it. That has outsized impacts on the rest of the world. Even if you’ve never used Twitter, it can have a profound effect on your daily life, or at least on the news you read. “It is perhaps the last great public text medium,” said Ethan Zuckerman, director of the UMass Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure..Mastodon is the most popular of the Twitter alternatives for now. But it won’t, by design, become the world’s water cooler or modern newswire that Twitter became. Twitter probably will endure in some form. It’s become too important for all of its users to just pull up stakes and leave. But Musk’s takeover may have significantly shortened its lifespan. The next Twitter, whenever it emerges, may not look much like Twitter at all…”

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