Deleted tweets are the truest kind

My heavily left-wing Twitter feed has seized upon a tweet from some obscure right-wing account that made the bonehead error of saying that Tammy Duckworth failed to “stand up” for veterans and then deleted it. By all accounts, they aren’t handling the situation as graciously as they could be, but still, the scene is ugly. It is literally a mirror image of right-wing harrassment campaigns — mocking the very idea of being able to delete a Tweet, fantasizing about people losing their jobs, etc.

If it turns out they were consciously mocking Duckworth’s disability and then thought better of it, I suppose the treatment is more justified. But from what I can see right now, this is just another instance of the bipartisan “smell weakness, then mercilessly swarm” routine that everyone has apparently decided is a healthy and beneficial norm for online life.

One of the most disturbing things to me is how many people are apparently opposed to the very idea of deleting a tweet or post, as though it’s an illegitimate attempt to avoid the “punishment” you deserve. Maybe Twitter should just remove the deletion function altogether, right? Is that the world we all want to live in now — a world where once you hit post, it is on the permanent public record for ever and ever and you can never escape it? Maybe universal vigilante surveillance is the way to go. Maybe the problem with the NSA is that it’s not participatory enough. In either case, if you never make a small mistake ever, you have nothing to fear.

7 Responses to “Deleted tweets are the truest kind”

  1. JRoth Says:

    I’m screenshotting this post just in case you delete it later.

  2. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Same deal with your comment, my friend. Mutually assured destruction.

  3. Craig McFarlane Says:

    Remember UseNet? Couldn’t delete that shit.

  4. Chris S Says:

    Which didn’t matter, until people came along and started archiving all the feeds.

  5. ben Says:

    Sure you could. You could send cancels. It was pretty involved, though, and you weren’t really supposed to do it if you weren’t an admin.

  6. Robert Bruce Allen Says:

    Capitalism, or should I go wih the subtler, trendier, “neoliberalism”, requires cutthroat competition, there can be no excuses or mistakes in the executive boardroom- and this filters down to the minions as well. This is why people post “memes” that can be disavowed later if i turns out not to be popular, it is why people resent “political correctness”; we’ve been shamed out of expressing ourselves directly- how else could the fad of adult coloring books take hold?

  7. hoodie_R (Rod) Says:

    I’ve seen people tweet over and over that Twitter needs an Edit button, That’s probably a THIRD way solution between the delete button and eliminating it all together.


Comments are closed.