bad-faith discourse, widespread trolling, and organized brigading have created an information ecosystem in which the top public health accounts on twitter have to speak in koans.
No wonder so many COVID researchers have thrown in the towel and left twitter. This is what happens every damn time anyone tries to say something thoughtful instead of virtue-signaling their allegiance to one extreme position or the other.
The serious discussions about COVID are no longer taking place on twitter. One could stay around and do scicomm or outreach here—but efforts to do so end up being a perpetual reminder that the fable of the scorpion and the frog contains more truth than one would like it to.
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The excellent Carl T Bergstrom writes about why the experts aren’t on Twitter nearly as much as they were: https://twitter.com/ct_bergstrom/status ... tr93otF8TA
https://twitter.com/andrew_croxford/sta ... obzaledArQOne of the annoying things about having a large-ish account is that if you tweet an opinion that generates discussion, you inevitably end up in North American feeds where I simply don’t recognize the aggression & hysteria. It’s like a parallel universe.
The excellent Meaghan Kall points out that:
https://twitter.com/kallmemeg/status/15 ... Vshn4FRI5QI’ve definitely scaled back my COVID-19 posts.
Not because the new science isn’t interesting. It is.
But because in adding to the COVID-19 conversation I am accused of perpetuating fear, and in not constantly insisting on more measures, I’m a minimiser.
What puts me off, as @CT_Bergstrom articulates well, is that the serious discussion held between both scientists and non-scientists is no longer happening on #COVIDTwitter. It’s gone toxic.
And I miss it.