Twitter is going down
Backup plans, and brief thoughts on power, platforms, and how we live online.
Let’s start with the hot take: I think in the next few weeks, Twitter is going to suffer a major outage, one that might take the site down for a few hours, or might last a few days.
If this seems alarmist, remember that the Rogers outage earlier this year took down payment terminals, transit systems, 911 call centres, and cancelled The Weeknd concert. In 2021 a screw-up took down Meta services for more than six hours.
Both Rogers and Meta are more competently run than Twitter right now.
The main place I live online is @jamespmcleod on Twitter. I use the same handle on Instagram, Medium, and some thing similar on TikTok.
I will now be using the same handle on Substack, until I think of something better. (For a while, I was writing under a pseudonym over at Eyes On Oligarchs, but for a bunch of reasons, I prefer to operate under my own identity.)
For various reasons, I’m skeptical that it’s the next big thing, but just in case, I have recently started a Mastodon account @email@example.com and you can find me there.
The bottom line:
Twitter has too much power in my life, and I’m trying to diversify my options. As of this moment, my Substack has zero subscribers, so if you’re reading this, you probably found it through a link I posted on Twitter or Instagram.
I don’t like Elon Musk. I think he’s cruel, only ever funny by accident, and the online culture he wants to foster is not where I want to spend my time.
More broadly, the life expectancy of a social media platform is much shorter than the life expectancy of a human, so I think it’s wise to plan for change.
For my entire adult life, I’ve been a professional writer, and I expect that I’ll keep writing things and posting them online in various places.
After a decade of living as an extremely heavy Twitter user, I’m making contingency plans to move on.
Please subscribe to this Substack if you enjoy my voice in your life, and if you’re active on any of those other platforms, you can find me there.