This post has been edited for clarity, by somebody else. All views are as originally expressed, but with alterations to wording and sentence structure to get the intended point across to a wider audience.
As many people likely know, I have a reputation online, for many things deserved and undeserved, but recently one thing came up that I feel a need to address specifically.
First, a small diversion to explain Twitter’s interface for those that don’t have any experience with it, and aren’t fully able to contextualise what’s coming up:
Below every tweet (which may be text, images, or both), there are five options given:
- Comment; reply to the message with a new tweet
- Retweet; Resend the original message to your followers, with original author and all
- Like; ?
- Impressions; the number of times the image has been viewed / clicked.
- Share; copy a link to the tweet
Given that retweeting something publishes it to all the people that follow your tweets, likes should work differently by deduction. What the like button does is…. publish it to all the people that follow your tweets.
Yes, likes and retweets are effectively the same thing. This.. is confusing at best, and means that there are two ways to publish things.
Most concerning of this is the possibility of publishing things that are not intended to be sent to anybody else - which happened recently.
In the interest of full transparency, the relevant content will be shared.
Before that is linked, I feel it necessary to warn you that this contains transphobic content; please remember that this was never meant to be shared with anyone.
I intended no harm to the LGBT+ community at any point, and I am sorry to everyone; especially those I offended during this.
Providing a platform to the harmful content was wrong, and I condemn all forms of harassment and bigotry online.
Why did it happen?
A combination of doom-scrolling during a highly-charged tragedy, and the mild amusement of tired political arguments being inverted (specifically related to anti-trans arguments being spun on anti-gun views), to put it shortly.
There simply isn’t much else to be said about it; spur-of-the-moment decisions made like this tend to be little thought-through, but that isn’t necessarily always a bad thing.
What happens next?
Ordinarily, we might leave it there; this was an honest mistake, and I sincerely regret any effect this has had on our community. However, the subject matter of this specific event has caused an issue related to the employment of a team member.
This tangible, real-world effect led me to the realization that there is more at stake with interactions like this than it may initially seem, and that reputation can be a powerful thing.
With that in mind, I am going to take some time to get a handle on public image and try to improve on my short fuse, along with other personal issues.
This meaning, I am stepping down from the public-facing role of project manager, returning to a purely internal role. Taking the place of this role is Curle, who made their own post about this here.
This decision was not taken lightly, and was done in the best interests of the community, the affected team member(s), and anyone else who was affected.
I do wish to return to a public role in the future, but only after I have made progress on real improvements.