Three Major Twitter Issues that are pretty disturbing 

For about five years, I used Twitter almost every day. But I eventually got tired of not being able to communicate properly on there. I was tired of being met with hate, misinformation, and trolls every time I logged in. I decided that abandoning Twitter was the best course of action.

I left the platform before they started banning high-profile users for saying offensive things. I understand Twitter is attempting to clean up their site, but I’m convinced that users abandoning the platform is simply a healthier long-term solution to Twitter’s toxicity. You might ask yourself why Twitter is so toxic. Here are the three major issues I believe Twitter has that have contributed to creating one of today’s most toxic online cultures.

The 280 characters

280 characters are insufficient. Twitter is a place where people can say whatever they want. The caveat is that the number of characters in which to do so is extremely limited. Although Twitter recently increased the character limit from 140 to 280, I’m still not convinced that character limits are ever a good way to foster debate.

Because people can say whatever they want within the constraints of Twitter’s platform, the most serious issues of the day inevitably come up. Many of the world’s past and present political leaders and a slew of celebrities and public figures are on the platform.

In social and political terms, Twitter functions similarly to a real public forum or rally, where a leader spouts basic slogans at crowds gathered to rally support. Although speeches must be brief and to the point in order to appeal to an audience’s limited attention and patience, they still have more characters than Twitter.

Instead of encouraging constructive debate that results in genuine change or any positive impact, the short character count creates ideal conditions for sloganeering and propaganda. As a result, we see phenomena like the one we saw during the last US presidency when serious border control disagreements mutated into xenophobic catchphrases about building a wall to keep out foreigners.

There is excessive trolling and hatred

There are numerous reasons why this has been such a major issue for Twitter. One major reason for this is the limitations on character usage. Because space is limited, it is more difficult for people to clarify their meaning. Because of linguistic ambiguities, communication is difficult.

Because of linguistic ambiguities, people misinterpret what is said and take offence when no offence is intended. Twitter is also a highly reactive and impulsive environment. When people communicate in the real world, they are more aware of their surroundings than when they communicate in digital spaces.

When we communicate in person, we are aware of those who are physically present. We’re also self-conscious about how we come across in person. This causes us to be more cautious and deliberate in how we interact with others in person than we are online.

Digital communication is less personal than face-to-face communication. When someone is offended by something on the internet, there are fewer barriers to indignant and aggressive reactions because people are less sensitive to how others perceive them. This contributes to the creation of hateful spaces because people censor themselves less.

Twitter is the worst example of a hateful environment I have ever encountered, both in person and online. Because tweets are so short, the content posted there is frequently very political, and all communication is online and easily anonymous; these factors combine to create an overly emotional, explosive, and toxic environment.

There is excessive editorial censorship

These companies have censored content and removed individuals from their services due to the amount of hate, trolling misinformation, and fake news on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Social media platforms are now attempting to solve problems that they have contributed to by creating new ones. Online social media spaces should not be lawless. Hate speech and verbal abuse laws should be enforced online just as they are in person.  

People who make viciously abusive comments that violate hate speech and verbal abuse laws should not only be barred from the platforms, but also prosecuted. People accused of inciting lawlessness by Twitter should be warned first, and the fact that they have been warned should be made very clear to them. The rules must be made clear.

Fake news and misinformation rules are proving to be more difficult to navigate. Twitter (and Facebook) have established precedents where companies funded by private wealth can arbitrate what is publicly accepted as truth by removing, flagging, and censoring posts and profiles they consider to be fake news and misinformation.

So far, the applications of this new censoriousness have appeared to be innocuous, such as flagging content that most people agree should be regulated, such as content that denies basic climate science and provides incorrect information about coronavirus. However, it is easy to see how some see these events as Orwellian steps toward a dystopian future in which the constraints on what we can think are predetermined by agents in our societies who hold authority, power, and wealth.


Twitter, of all the popular social media platforms available today, poses some of the most serious social and political challenges. It has rapidly become infested with hatred, trolls, and misinformation. These facts have led to the company implementing aggressive strategies to combat the abuses they have witnessed on their platform, including bans and censorship. It will be interesting to see if Twitter can dig itself out of the hole it has dug for itself and transform its space into one that provides constructive value to its users.

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