Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms, with over 150 million daily users. And since it’s a platform that allows you to share your opinion on almost anything, it’s also become a tool that people use to poke fun at others.
Twitter is so toxic because people can share their incomplete opinions freely. That also includes the potential widespread of false information. And when false news is spread, it creates a lot of emotional responses from people, which drives more toxicity onto the platform.
So, today we’re diving into the four reasons why Twitter has become a toxic platform for raging bullies and the best way to steer clear of any potential cyberbullying.
One of the biggest reasons for toxicity on Twitter is the use and spread of misinformation. In fact, fake news spreads at about a 70% higher rate than accurate information, and it’s often spread by people, not bots!
Here’s an example – during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a running joke went by that Floyd Mayweather wore a hijab to the Donald Trump rally. And much like many other fake news websites and articles, the general public took this too seriously.
So, how does this make Twitter toxic?
When people see new information that’s likely to shock them, it brings out more of an emotional response. It’s much more impactful than seeing accurate information they’ve responded to before.
And if people are feeling sensitive to it, they’ll feel a wide range of emotions over specific news and events that they think are real but are not!
If you’ve come across any false news, then be sure to check out Twitter’s policies on reporting misinformation.
Twitter is raw. You can get into groups that share almost any opinion that’s not against its community guidelines. Unfortunately, that also means you’ll have certain groups dedicated to destroying other people’s points of view.
But, let’s just point out something important here.
Everything in the app is done behind a screen. So, of course, it makes it easier for a troll to poke fun at anyone online without suffering much consequence!
But thankfully, there is a way for you to avoid getting any hate speech at your digital door. Simply create private lists of user topics you have a keen interest in and follow them intently to view and share opinions.
With the added fact of false news being shared on the platform, this adds more fuel to the fire when people can let loose most of what’s been hiding within them.
Couple that with a limited character count, and you have a formidable force of tweets that blast through anything in its way.
Reason #3: Limited Character Count Raises the Negativity
Twitter lets you write nearly anything up to 280 characters. Nice and short to give a brief opinion. But also short enough to share a ‘wild thought’ for the day.
However, the problem with a short character count is that it allows you to form unfiltered sentences of unfinished opinions. So, this can either confuse people or make them question the authenticity of the users on the app. After all, you can’t exactly have a good conversation or share a thought-provoking opinion with one short paragraph.
Yes, you can make a Twitter thread by replying to your tweets, but often your people only read the first tweet. If that tweet is about an opposing opinion and is unfinished (due to limited character count), people might find it offensive, and their emotions start spreading. They don’t continue with that thread, and your explanations remain unread by them.
An even bigger problem is when politicians and celebrities voice their opinions on social media apps. Because of their more significant influence, their words often spark more trolling and hateful behavior toward people, including themselves!
Since Twitter shows tweets on the homepage without displaying the entire thread, this can make a lot of people see a skewed image of the original post.
And when misunderstood tweets are exposed to large groups of people with opposing views, this can cause a barrage of harassing tweets aimed at the original tweet and the user.
It’s not a surprise that when something becomes popular, more people tend to follow that trend each day. Whether that trend is positive or negative is irrelevant. If it’s the ‘new cool thing,’ most people who want a sense of community will follow it.
So, how is that relevant to bullying on Twitter?
The Oxford dictionary definition of bullying is to “seek harm, intimidate, or coerce someone who is seen as vulnerable.” When you look at how people challenge others’ beliefs on the app, it’s done similarly.
They coerce, intimidate, and make threats to the person in their spotlight until they get an apology. But when they form groups, the impact is more significant. To the point where these bullies may get ideas to interfere with the lives of that person or their loved ones in a potentially dangerous way.
Now we have covered the top four reasons why Twitter is so toxic, let’s look at how you can stay away from any sort of negativity.
How To Avoid Twitter Negativity
If you ever get negative attention on the app, you must end communication with that account immediately. The best way to do this is by blocking their account.
The great thing about blocking people is that they can no longer see your Tweets, images, or any other media on your account or have any other way of contacting you on the app. That’s the best solution to avoiding harassment of any kind.
Don’t ignore online threats. Take them seriously by doing this:
- Document the violent abuse and screenshot violent tweets.
- Be very specific about the details when documenting this information.
- If you have any suspicion on who’s involved, for example, they contacted you through another social media app, then list these people and their behavior down.
Need more advice on bullying or harassment on Twitter? Go here for solutions on handling abuse online.
If someone is threatening you and you believe those threats could put yourself or other people you know in danger, then contact your local law enforcement immediately.
Twitter is a fantastic app to meet like-minded people to share content, pictures, videos, and opinions. However, you’ve got to be very cautious when discussing topics with people online.
We’ve covered the main reason why it’s so toxic – hate speech, fake news, harassment, and short tweet limits. Remember this – whether it’s a positive or negative interaction, things become popular once groups of people join in on those topics because it creates a sense of community among people.
And the best solution to avoiding all the abuse is to block any accounts that reach out to you in a harassing way. You must take threats seriously, and we recommend you document specific details by screenshotting Tweets and showing them to the authorities. Because any more proof can help you put your mind to rest while solving the problems with harassment.