Rupert Murdoch and I have something in common. I don’t really “get” Twitter. I have 33 followers on a good day, but they aren’t really following. They’re using my site as wallpaper to advertise their sites. We have no more to say to each other than if we were nomads stumbling through a sand storm with our eyes shut. When I think of Twitter, I think of sound and fury signifying nothing or what essayist, James Wolcott calls the place for “extroverted jabber.” (“All that Twitters,” by James Wolcott, Vanity Fair, 10/12, pg. 151- 55.)
Worse, and to my horror, Wolcott swears that many of these jabberers aren’t real. The most blatant example comes from political campaigns. He cites Erica Ho of Time’s Techland as a source for one example. According to her, “92 percent of Newt Gingrich’s Twitter followers may have be zombies — phantoms, spambots and paid-for names.” (Ibid)
Information like Wolcott’s makes me want to shout, “Leaping Lizards, Batman, is anything real in web land?”
Halloween will soon be upon us, with its ghosts and goblins; but it all looks tame compared to Twitter’s phantoms and zombies and spambots. Oh my!
(Zombie computer courtesy of flipside.theiet.org)