Two sensible tweets on Twitter, and some reflections on keeping politics out of your twitter feed

This tweet appeared on Oct. 27:

Biting my lip and stopping my finger from tweeting on a political tweet that has me itching to point out how wrong it is. However, is it helpful, edifying, done in love? No, I’m too emotionally invested to do so? Then I’ll shut my mouth unless/until I can.

And from a different account on 26 Oct:

If you want to become a miserable partisan who spends more time being angry at people you have never met than enjoying the company of friends, neighbors, and loved ones, then Twitter is the place for you.

I’ve been thinking of these quite a bit lately.

In addition, political twitter is not quite what it seems.  I had a curious experience myself yesterday.

Learning that the government proposes to bring in a tax measure that will impact me and those like me a lot, I tweeted to my MP politely asking her to vote against.  It’s mostly a technical change, but of great importance to folks like me.

So I was slightly surprised to get a total stranger pop up and start heckling me.  His timeline gave no indication of anything except football.  Eventually I lost patience with his “questions” and asked him what his interest was.  This was a matter that can only concern those involved, which he clearly wasn’t.  Answer came there none other than an insult. At which point I blocked him.

But… in the process of blocking him, I noticed just how “clean” his timeline was.  It didn’t contain *any* hint of personality or political affiliation.  It was all vanilla posts about football.  Odd, for someone who popped up to heckle someone opposing a government measure.  And then…

… I noticed that in his reply to my original tweet, he had taken the time to remove the MP from the exchange.  I had not noticed this myself!  After all, MPs don’t want heckling in their timeline.  Whereas a normal person would not care, or notice.  This was very strange.

This suggested to me that my interlocutor was in fact a paid hack, employed by party HQ.  Why else would he carefully remove a government MP from the chain?

Why bother with politics on twitter, if it’s just bots and paid hacks?

The other effect of posting politics is that it alienates others who might be friends.    People feel strongly about politics.

It’s a funny old world, but it seems best to keep it all rather vanilla.

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