Apologies for the poor audio quality. Due to ongoing Twitter drama, this week's episode has been recorded over a prison telephone.
Sweet! Jude tweeted out a link (via screenshot) to this ep. Unfortunately, the free promo didn’t get much traction.
I understand where Katie is coming from (and many of the commenters here) about reinstating Jesse's tweets, but I don't really agree. The emphatic pleas for Jesse to restore his tweets demonstrate how unhealthily addicted we all are to this mess. I applaud anyone (such as Jesse or Sam Harris) who pulls the plug. It's medicine that we don't want, but need. The significance of Twitter needs to fade, and that won't come without some costs.
Sorry for being a downer!
I'm sorry if this sounds blunt, but: I honestly lose respect for online writers when I see them get deep into fights on Twitter. Making a statement re: demanding correction of a published falsehood, sure; it sucks, but sometimes you need that public attention to convince an unscrupulous publisher to cave. But chasing down dozens of randos to go CAN YOU BACK UP THAT POINT? AREN'T YOU WRONG? DON'T YOU THINK IT'S CLEAR YOU'RE WRONG? CAN YOU CITE A SOURCE? is embarrassing. No, they can't cite a source. They have no interest in citing a source. Truthiness, not truth, is the point to them. I read a good newsletter post and I think, "This person thinks and speaks seriously and with consideration;" I see that kind of Twitter behavior, which Katie refers to as defending one's reputation, and I think, "Maybe this person is no more serious than the people they're getting into slapfights with."
I say this as someone without a Twitter account. The Twitter drama is free if I want to make an account and go see it for myself. The substantive reporting is what I get form Jesse's newsletter that I can't get on social media. When multiple newsletter posts in a row are entirely based on debunking idiotic quote tweets from unserious people, I get bored and irritated, because I don't really get the Twitter lingo anymore - it changes all the time - and a lot of the people quoted are only considered major figures on Twitter and aren't familiar to me.
I understand sometimes you have to quote a social media post in order to make a point, and I understand that if you're interested in any issue that touches modern journalism you have to put up with some Twitter-centric stories. That's fine! But good long-form writing stands on its own. There are plenty of people actually reading it. You will never change a single Twitter rando's mind, no matter how well you defend yourself. Every victory won on Twitter is hollow.
JESSE. Give her the keys. Give Katie the keys. She’s right. Stay away for your own mental health; take time to reboot your brain. But don’t let the bastards think you’ve quit.
“I violated a hippo” already dying
Jesse: Katie's right about the "unforced error." Your tweet ARCHIVE is so important, because it shows you tearing down all the ridiculous, spurious accusations leveled at you over the years. (Also you have created a lot of great threads that aren't just responding to the BS from your adversaries!)
You don't have to ever tweet again, but those previous tweets speak for themselves.
The archive still exists...right?!?
This episode has a real “mommy and daddy are fighting” vibe at times and as weird as it sounds, I’m kind of enjoying it.
I just made the connection that the same Alejandra Carabello who started the "Jesse left Twitter in shame because of HIPAA violations and also because he didn't get a meme" discourse also started the "Greta Thunberg's amazing Twitter dunk got Andrew Tate arrested" story.
Jesse, the fact that you call making love “bang out” tells me you’re not ready for it.
Give Lex the keys!
More seriously: Katie's completely right on this one. Jesse deleting his account is bad both because the morons can use it to declare victory and his useful archive of tweets is lost.
1. As a non-LDS Christian, I agree with the positive stereotype that Latter-Day Saints are nicer than we are. (We cradle Presbyterians, in contrast, are better known for telling all the other Christians—including the other Presbyterians—why they're wrong about Christianity.) One of my best friends, who was a committed LDS member for the first half of our friendship and has since left the faith, used to invite me ever so nicely to her church and now invites me ever so nicely to Sunday brunch. I've never been able to go because I spend Sunday mornings getting religion with the other cranky Christians in my own tradition, but I can see that my friend was/is way nicer than me in both her mid- and post-faith phases, and I try to emulate her. I was also impressed by the thoughtfulness of our LDS commenter who posted here explaining garments last week.
2. I've always been #TeamJesseStayOffTwitter. You can't win an argument about the facts with people who don't care about the facts. As Katie points out, these people won't even click through to Jesse's articles. They'll never care to learn what he's actually written, and his tweeting back at them won't change that, because they just want to win on Twitter rather than log off to become more informed by reading elsewhere. Jesse's established enough in his career to make a living outside Twitter, so more power to him.
My unsolicited, para-social take:
Jesse leaving twitter: Good
Jesse deactivating his account: bad
Jesse still checking twitter during his break: very bad.
Giving Katie the keys: even worse.
Jesse very clearly has a bad relationship with twitter where, him as a honest and ethical person doesn't stand a chance against people who don't care about either of those things. This isn't cowardice or backing down from the fight, this is choosing to not enter a word fight when you know your opponent is using their fists. If they aren't going to follow logical arguments and discussion and instead continue to mudsling, there's little to be gained to continue to argue. There's an argument that the non-replying lurkers will become informed, but the negative affect on Jesse's mental health isn't worth the trade-off.
Deleting the account is a bad idea. I said this before when he first talked about purging old tweets, removing history only gives others the change to make up their own. Even if Jesse (rightly) doesn't want to engage with these fools, not having the easy-to-showcase historical tweets makes anyone having that argument on their behalf that much harder. I know Jesse has stated bluntly to not fight on his behalf, but it's inevitable for him and his work to come up in these discussions about GAC and without easy access to his tweet 'database', anyone looking to use his educated and informed takes comes up blank.
While I support giving someone the keys to the account as a better way to break the addiction, I don't think it should be Katie - not because I don't trust her to protect it, but having a co-host bear the burden will only need to unnecessary drama down the line if/when Jesse wants account access back. There's an argument to be made that having to grovel to Katie for access back to the account is a great deterrent, with Katie's penchant for mockery, but I just see it as a pain point that could potentially negatively affect things.
I do agree with Katie that twitter reputation is more important than it may seem. Yes, the streets of twitter are filled with lunacy, but anyone uninformed trying to get a read on someone/something is going to use it as a resource.
Hypothetically, someone new to this debate reads something by/about Jesse. They decide to dig into him to see if he's reliable. The first 3 google results is his Wikipedia, his personal website, and then his substack. While wikipedia is 'unbiased' it's not going to give you a read on his day-to-day and his self-published outfits will obviously paint him favorley.
The fourth link is the GLADD link. Someone reads that and, due to the gish gallop that the article is, they follow the links to twitter, maybe even searching for his name. All they will find is he used to have an account and the top rated/liked posts on the subjects are all about how he got a joke wrong and was, in their minds, rightly bullied off the platform.
When you remove your whole archive, anyone new to learn about Jesse will be mostly met with lies. While you can't ever convince the liars of the truth (because they don't care), having your twitter archive greatly aids in uninformed source becoming more informed on your actual self instead of the caricature painted by these bad faith twitter goons.
Reactivate the twitter, make it your bio that "I only respond to tweets on premium episodes of my podcast" and then follow through on that. They want the responses to their takes, make them pay, and stay stress free never feeling the need to respond to these people. Considering most of these people don't even have $5, they'll never know if you responded anyways :)
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
I just stopped the ep to come say that Jesse, you should give her the keys. I’ve never posted anything here before because I’m embarrassed to even be associated w such a felonious, horse-and-hippo violating podcast, but this issue is too important for me to stay silent any longer.
LOLing from the first 30 seconds. This is art.
My husband says Jesse should put his Twitter account into a trust, but I come from the poors, so I don't know what that means.
Prison food must be much worse than he’s letting on if Jesse put Manischewitz in the “pro” column for Jewish heaven.