Why is the WordPress community not ready to leave Twitter?

Elon Musk bought Twitter in a $44 billion deal, but how does it affect the WordPress community? After taking over, Musk tweeted “Let the good times roll” on Friday. Musk fired the company’s top executives and asked Twitter’s advertisers to understand why he wanted to buy what is arguably the most important social network in the world:

Why is the WordPress community not ready to leave Twitter?

Musk said, “I bought Twitter because it’s important for the future of civilization to have a common digital town square where people with different beliefs can debate in a healthy way without getting violent.” “There is a big risk that social media will split into echo chambers for the far right and far left, which will spread more hate and divide our society.”

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Musk also alluded to the importance of content moderation when he said, “Twitter can’t be a free-for-all hellscape where anyone can say anything and there are no consequences!” The company is putting together a council to talk about how to moderate content, but no one knows what that will mean for Twitter’s future.

Some Twitter users have thought about switching to Tumblr, but the way it works and the people who use it aren’t the same as on Twitter. Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Tumblr, tweeted his support for “Welcome to hell, Elon,” an article by Nilay Patel, co-founder of the website Verge.

“Unfortunately, this is a good summary of why it’s so hard to run a social network, as I’ve learned with Tumblr,” said Mullenweg. “I hope the best for Twitter and hope that this doesn’t slow down Tesla or SpaceX, which I think are important for the future.”

Patel did a good job of explaining how difficult it will be for Musk to keep Twitter from becoming “a free-for-all hellscape,” which some people think has already happened. If Musk decides to let back in people who have been banned in the past, it could bring the social network to its knees.

Even though the WordPress community has a lot of places to meet online, like Slack workspaces, P2 blogs, and Facebook groups, Twitter has always been the place where people go to chat and find out about news. It is the social network of choice for people who work in tech. Many people only use the platform to find out what’s going on in the WordPress community and keep up with WordPress news.

“There’s no real place else to go!” Mike McAlister, a product designer for WordPress, said. “It seems like most of the people who use WordPress are only on Twitter.”

Many people in the community are worried about losing the network they have built up over the years. There are a few optimistic people who think Twitter will be better than ever. As the sale was coming to a close, people said they would quit Twitter on principle if Musk took over. That day has come, but most WordPress users aren’t giving up on Twitter just yet.

Edan Ben-Atar said, “Twitter has changed my life too much for me to just leave.” “I’ll stay as long as it makes sense for me to. As far as the eye can tell, nothing has changed yet.”

Dustin Henrich, a designer for WordPress, says he will stay, but he will also check up on the people he follows on other platforms.

Henrich said, “I’ve made too many good connections, I like reading about people’s tech and non-tech lives, and I’ve learned a lot from some wicked smart people.” “I’d be very sad if everything just went away.”

Decentralized social networking, which hasn’t gotten much attention from the general public so far, is getting another look now that Twitter has changed hands. Tom Finley, who runs a WordPress agency, is trying out the Activity Pub plugin to turn his site into a private Mastadon server. It adds the ActivityPub protocol to WordPress so that readers can see the site’s posts on Mastadon and other federated platforms (that support Activity Pub).

Some people in the WordPress community are thinking about joining Mastadon instances or have already decided to post on both networks. However, there is not yet a mass exodus to the fediverse.

Ross Wintle wrote in a post why he doesn’t think people will be able to leave Twitter: “We’ve seen this tried exodus to the promised land many times before.” “It doesn’t work unless a lot of people and organizations move to another service at once.

“People end up posting the same thing on more than one service so they can reach everyone they want to. Then, as a reader, I look at different services and find the same things. The ratio of signal to noise gets worse. And most people get tired of it and end up right back where they started.”

Some hopeful people wonder if this could mean that blogs are coming back. At the moment, blogs aren’t social enough, and there isn’t a large enough group of bloggers who want to connect their sites in a stream of short updates that are easy to read.

Many people in the WordPress community don’t see a reason to leave Twitter until Elon Musk makes more big changes.

“For now, I don’t see a reason to leave,” said Birgit Pauli-Haack, a WordPress developer and supporter. “Block, Unfollow, and Mute are my friends when it comes to organizing my feed. After 12 months, I did end my subscription to Twitter Blue. It’s not worth it to be able to change tweets.

Most people have a “wait and see” attitude when it comes to leaving Twitter.

Sallie Goetsch, who organizes the WordPress meetups, said, “I haven’t found a good alternative.” “I’m in a few WP Slack groups, but as for the rest of the world, we’ll have to wait and see what happens here.”

One good thing that has come out of the recent changes is that the WordPress community is thinking about having important conversations on another platform in the future. As people use other social networks, they may find that they like a different kind of social media culture that has features that Twitter doesn’t have. It takes time to move to a new social home on the web and get used to it.

Ross Wintle said, “I’m not saying I wouldn’t like a mass migration to happen.” “I’ve seen a lot of attempts, and none of them seem to have worked very well, so I don’t see why this one would either.

“I think that for a big change to happen, either the platform has to spontaneously catch on fire or it has to go out of style over a long period of time and be forgotten by the public. This may even have started with Facebook. Only time will tell.

“Maybe one day we’ll remember Twitter the same way we remember Geocities and MySpace. But I don’t know how that will be true next week or next month. It won’t be for a long time.”

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