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I'm Not Fired, I Quit: A User's Review Of Twitter As A Lifestyle Brand

Illustration by Angelica Alzona

Greetings. You may know me as @byyourlogic, previously @swarthyvillain. If you’re on MMA Twitter, Politics Twitter, Saudi Twitter, Gnostic Twitter, Foodie Twitter, or Nipslip Twitter, you’ve probably seen me pop up. Twitter has been a big part of my life, and is more or less responsible for every red cent I’ve made in the past year.

Last week, I was suspended because I made my display name “Mark Kirk Press Sec.” I hold no ill will against my former Senator, as Kirk’s campaign of valor theft, attacks on the disabled, and calling the president a drug dealer rules and I wish I could vote for him for ironic reasons.


Thanks to some friends in high places, I got my account back. Still, thinking that I was banned forever, Deadspin asked me to write about how Twitter absolutely sucks. Because I am a man who follows orders, I took a break from DMing every woman who follows me (“getting suspended was scary … it shows we can die at every moment … I shouldn’t be alone right now ...”) to cobble this together.

While what I say may sound harsh, I will preface it by saying that I have never once hated my time on Twitter.


When I was a lonely college student in Minnesota, Twitter gave me a way to connect with people who had similar ideas and senses of humor, and prevented me from taking a header off Minnehaha Falls on subzero Saint Paul nights when I would realize that many of my childhood friends were dead and I had been alone in my apartment for so long that I forgot how to modulate my voice while ordering delivery.

Twitter also gave me a pretty cool life where I make a nice living writing and talking about the exactly four things on earth I know anything about because of the connections I’ve made and people I’ve fooled into thinking I’m not a crank. I’ve met some of the kindest, smartest, and funniest people I’ve ever known along the way. Also, one time someone DMed me a nude and I got so horny that I dropped my phone on a concrete floor and shattered the screen. I promise you that has never happened to anyone on Facebook, which is for families.


But I was given orders to tell you how bad it is, and that is what I will do.

The first thing that’s bad about Twitter is getting banned. I’ve been suspended twice, once on an old account, and once on this current one. I have no idea why I got zapped the first time. They tell me I violated the rules, so it may have been the time I told a Nazi I was going to suck him off, or telling a certain hyperhidrosis-suffering Jeopardy winner that his ideas were criminally stupid. Who can remember?


I seem to get banned more than the average person, so this may weight my review. For my entire life, I’ve evoked pretty strong reactions in people one way or the other, and stupid stuff usually happens when you mix that and my dumb, irritating personality. Having a polarizing personality is a good thing when your trade is hosting a podcast about the sexual pathologies of conservative intellectuals and write about mixed martial arts and punditry, but it’s a bad thing when it makes vocal weirdos hate you so much that they keep getting you banned from the world’s best sexual-pathology website. Like most swords, it has two edges. Like the katana of Nippon, those edges are unusually sharp.

Getting banned sucks. First, all your friends send you screenshots of everyone who ever hated you talking about how much you deserved it. Buddy, if I wanted to see a group of lumpy malcontents actively wishing for my demise, I would move back to Chicago.


Second, you look like a complete crank to people that don’t know you. The only people who get banned from Twitter are guys who post their dicks on their timeline, incendiary bleached-blonde neofascists, and prodromal gamers who threaten to hijack diesel trains and slam them into E3 due to the all-female reboot of Unreal Tournament. You’re suddenly in their company, a group of raging psychos who act as the modern equivalent to people who wrote “I know you’re too pussy to print this” in their letters to the editor. If you cast your lot with your fellow banned users, you’re well on your way to living in a house that doesn’t have a door and writing scathing manifestos about the Jews who framed Oscar Pistorius.

Probably the worst part about Twitter is the people on it. This is a hellacious sinkhole of a website where the most unlikable people alive attempt to portray what they think a cool person would behave like. Think about how in The Matrix, people who got unplugged realized their idealized self-image while inside the program. Now imagine that instead of ninja computer hackers with cool leather jackets and timeless Oakley shades, they imagined themselves as witty quipsters and poignant Edward R. Murrow types who speak truth to power.


Since Twitter users are too mentally weak to go their own way through life, they must assign themselves to groups. Here are the main ones on the website:

Media Twitter: Media Twitter is where everyone who used a roller backpack in middle school ends up in adulthood. Users will typically use a screengrab of the one time they were on TV, warn you that retweets aren’t endorsements, and quote tweet everything, adding only “This x100!”


Media Twitter has two favorite jokes. One is to quote a ridiculous story or one of their friends making a banal observation about, say, how the WiFi on the Acela makes accessing WikiFeet a chore, and add “big if true.” This is funny because the story is usually not true.

The other is to say anything at all, and then just write “Sad!” as Donald Trump would. This is funny because the user in question is someone other than Donald Trump.


Finally, every single member of Media Twitter puts their names in triple parenthesis in solidarity with Jewish people because of some article someone wrote. Whatever. I appreciate it, but I don’t think that’s what’s keeping me out of the gas chamber.

I highly recommend following this sect of Twitter if you are suffering from stomach cancer and need sedation or, like most whites, find oatmeal too spicy.


Favstar Twitter: This is the best part of Twitter. On this sector, lustful men craft elaborate, character limit-stretching jokes with blocking such as, “*I am on Venus for this Tweet*” or “*On a first date with my stepmother*” These are typically followed by delightful wordplay, something about dogs skateboarding, or a cop smoking weed.

There are two subcategories herein. The first is the beta group, the Serious Favstar Guys. They all work at Pep Boys. They follow everyone back. They can can only photograph themselves in sunglasses and baseball caps. Their big idiosyncrasy is that they break up their madcap comedy with morality tales about why you should never, ever hit disease-ravaged children, and hit them instead, because they can take it, buddy.


The alpha group is Professional Favstar. Professional Favstar is a group of over 30 writers and aspiring writers and has a very equitable gender split. Unfortunately, the men of this subgroup tend to get liquored up, reply “go to jail ;P” to women’s selfies, then post hysterical apologies for the previous night’s behavior on the notes app. Like I said, this is the best part of Twitter.

Politics Twitter: Different from Media Twitter. Politics Twitter is what happens when you spend so long rehearsing what you’re going to say to your racist/not-racist-enough uncle at Thanksgiving that it breaks your brain. On the farthest right end of the spectrum, men scream vengefully about how the Turk lusts in his Islamic heart for the teat of Vienna, and that only posting can stop this. On the farthest left, grad students talk about being really sad and sometimes communism. As I have learned from South Park and Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, the truth is in the middle. Ergo, you should be racist and sad in order to succeed in this colony.


Ethnicity-Specific Twitter: I can’t offer a review because I don’t see race. Sorry.

Sports Twitter: Sports Twitter rules because it alienates most of the previous three groups, who disdain “sporpsball” in all its forms. Sports Twitter makes a lot of funny memes, and its members are so passionate that they frequently threaten to assault each other. Violence and comedy are the only two good aspects of man’s nature.


As you can see, this website is teeming with trash people. More perplexing are the website’s features and rules. I’ll start with rules, because all rules are stupid as hell, Twitter’s being the most stupid. You can get permabanned for posting a GIF from a sporting event or telling Chuck Todd to fill your hole, but, judging by the profiles of those who skirted suspensions while being bigger nogoodniks than me, nothing else.

It’s difficult to get suspended for insanely overt racism and harassment, probably because Twitter Support is made up of David Foster Wallace diehards who adore sincerity, no matter how poorly intentioned. Another thing you won’t get suspended for is being in a terrorist group. I rarely see accounts get the axe for actively cheering on genocide of Shia Muslims or doxing LGBT youth, atheists, and especially migrant workers who complain about their working conditions in Gulf nations. (Read more on this by Ben Collins here. This is a pretty bad ongoing issue on Twitter but I’m told they don’t have an adequate number of Arabic speakers to monitor these things in the Gulf. Badass.) This is actually a good part of Twitter to be a part of if you don’t want to get banned, but it’s tricky because you may have to become a terrorist. Rest assured that most Americans switch careers three or four times in life.


While seemingly stumped by the terrorism and people who use “;P” in flirty replies, Twitter knows how to make a bunch of crap you don’t need. One big hunk of crap is the Moments Tab, which has never intentionally been clicked on. Moments is all shit like “Taylor Swift Issues Clapback Of The Year To Haters Who Say She’s Asexual.” When you click on an individual feature, it’s a sideshow of Tweets that you probably could have read if you just set your homepage as a search for “Mic. Drop.” (You should do this, by the way.) There’s also a group-DM feature, a hideous addition that always ends in acrimony when one of the members of your party’s marriage falls apart.

Worst of all, Twitter constantly experiences technical failures so you can’t access any of these shitty features or people whenever you want. The inability of Twitter to maintain their servers impacts millions of people who want to avoid their families every single day.


I give Twitter one star. I only give it that much because yes, technically it is the reason that I can afford a headboard, and it’s made my life immeasurably better. Unfortunately, it sucks, and I am frequently prohibited from using it. Chuck this app in the wastebin and pray to the heavens that IRC makes a big comeback, because Twitter is for the birds!

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About the author

Felix Biederman

Felix Biederman is a writer and cohost of the podcast @ChapoTrapHouse.