Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An Apologist for Twitter

It's not all bad.

Thomas Kidd:
People can use Twitter for noble purposes. Labash may not realize the irony that, as he was presumably drafting his article against Twidiotic navel-gazing, social conservatives engaged in a remarkable campaign to bring attention to the abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial in Philadelphia. Spearheaded by Mollie Hemingway, the #Gosnell push succeeded in keeping the horrific trial as the top-trending topic on Twitter for a sufficiently long time to draw in many reluctant media outlets who, for whatever reason, had said little about the trial.

Twitter makes it simple to connect with people of common interests. I could give many examples of pastors, missionaries, writers, professors, and others whom I now “know” because of Twitter, including people on several continents. It was fascinating to connect with the legions of people who organically took up the #Gosnell campaign, and I had a similar experience with the #TweetforYoucef campaign, which brought attention to the plight of imprisoned Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (I also wrote about “Tweet for Youcef” at Patheos).

Twitter is superior to Facebook, which only emphasizes staying connected with people you already know. Facebook, as all users realize, has become increasingly convoluted, with constant new efforts to get you to “promote posts” and the like. It is also very difficult to search on Facebook for, say, people sharing about the Gosnell case. You can stay connected with far-flung relatives and college buddies there, but Facebook frowns on connecting with people you don’t know. Twitter is a relatively simple, open platform. In the world of social media, Twitter is a Mac, and Facebook is more and more a PC.
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