MEXICAN CURRENCY TRADERS want its government to buy Twitter and shut it down.
Bloomberg reported on the plans that are half serious, half a joke, because it would be easier than having to spend money defending the Peso against the anti-Mexican rhetoric Donald Trump spews on the platform.
If you had said to me 10 years ago that the Mexican government would consider buying Twitter to shut it down because Donald Trump was about to be president I would have questioned your sanity. Now, I'm all for it.
I joined Twitter way back in 2006. I didn't really get it at first and my account lay idle for many months. Eventually, though, as word spread of this new 'micro-blogging' platform, I tried it again and thought it was great.
It was a site full of interesting people posting everything from what they had to breakfast, random thoughts on the way to work and links to interesting articles. It was a great way to network, to interact with new people, share thoughts, and so on.
For a good long while it was a proper community, with meetups and hashtags that you could actually keep track of and so on. It wasn't changing the world but it didn't have too, it was just a bit of fun.
It had found a nice balance between the overly personal ethos of Facebook and the faceless environment of online forums.
Of course, though, it couldn't last. It continued to grow, became properly mainstream - despite, or because of, endless idiotic tabloid articles decrying the supposed vanity of it all - and was overtaken by celebrities who instantly amassed huge follower numbers, by brands who use it to ‘engage' with their ‘communities' and finally by the darkest types of the web world. You know the type, the YouTube commentators, the keyboard warriors, the trolls, the future presidents of the United States.
Now, the site has become a mess of angry voices writing ever more wrong-headed and ridiculous statement, with each week seeming to bring another outrage. It's not fun any more, and worse, led by Donald Trump as a place to sound off against anyone who has dared to criticize him, it all seems a bit unhinged.
It's boiling everything down to an us vs them mindset, whether that's Democrats vs Republicans or Leave vs Remain voters. It's removing all chance for proper debate and turning it into 140 characters of nonsense. And it's given everyone, no matter how factually incorrect they may be, a platform to spread their views far and wide.
In fact, the more idiotic they are, the further they seem to travel. It doesn't matter which side of the debate you are on, the same holds true for either. It's ripped the centre from politics and everything that follows from that.
The idea of giving everyone a platform to make themselves heard is a noble one, and shutting Twitter down won't stop people doing so elsewhere, on Facebook or blogs for example.
But there's something about the brevity and immediacy of Twitter that means everything written is reduced into ever more simplistic viewpoints that then spread like wildfire, without any chance for debate or reason.
I'm still a fan of Twitter at its best. People can be funny, helpful and insightful, it can help reunite friends, helps the police issues calls for missing people, or raise thousands for good causes via charity pleas.
And of course shutting it down would take all this away. But with Trump about to become president, a man of quick temper and irrational thoughts, whose posts move markets, puts lives at risk and strain already frayed international relations, it's hard not to have some sympathy with the Mexican currency traders plan. µ
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