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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Stephen Fry gives up on Twitter

Actor, writer and comedian Stephen Fry can’t take it anymore:

Let us grieve at what twitter has become. A stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended - worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know. It’s as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined.

But Stephen, these foul people are a minority! Indeed they are. But I would contend that just one turd in a reservoir is enough to persuade one not to drink from it. 99.9% of the water may be excrement free, but that doesn’t help. With Twitter, for me at least, the the tipping point has been reached and the pollution of the service is now just too much.

I have loved Twitter for a long time and still use it a lot, but Fry is not wrong. Over the years it has gone from being a joy to use to being an increasingly unpleasant place. Most of the interactions I have with people I know now come in private Slack rooms, and Twitter increasingly feels more like a performance you have to gird yourself for. I don’t want to give it up because it is a fantastically good way to connect with people like the readers of this site, but it’s not as fun as it used to be.

I don’t know if Twitter itself can fix this, or if this is just the nature of the service they’ve created. But Fry’s experience echoes the ones I’ve heard from plenty of other people, not just my own.