The Divorce →

Casey Newton, in an excellent edition of Platformer:

From the start, my strategy on Twitter has been to tell jokes about tech, use the engagement on those posts to grow a following, and then promote my work to that following. (Some people who read my tweets also became friends and sources; Twitter was great for that, too.)

Now, awaiting Musk’s latest tweets, I find myself anxious that one of his former employees could be physically assaulted or worse over what the CEO is posting. I don’t know how, in that environment, to make little jokes about Google’s latest failed messaging app, or bad PR pitches, or any of the other bits I have been doing on Twitter forever. I don’t know how to pretend that what is happening is not actually happening. I don’t want to provide, even in the smallest of ways, a respectable backdrop against which hate speech against my fellow LGBTQ people, or Black or Jewish or any other people, can flourish.

This part really resonated with me:

No company has influenced the media more in my career than Twitter has. For more than a decade it has shaped what news gets covered, how, and by whom. It is also the largest platform I have, at least by number of followers, and has been the primary way Platformer has found new customers since I launched the newsletter in 2020.

At the same time, when I started writing an email newsletter in 2017, I did so out of anxiety that I would find myself at a crossroads like this: with a malignant landlord standing in between me and the audience I had cultivated. I feel fortunate that the Platformer audience — now just shy of 100,000 readers — can make a divorce like this seem possible.

I owe a ton of my success to the early days of Twitter and the relationships that bloomed there, but those days are gone, and so am I.