Seattle author and feminist Lindy West, one of the more compelling and entertaining reasons to stick around on Twitter, has ditched the social media platform, writing in The Guardian Tuesday that the service is unusable for “anyone but trolls, robots and dictators.”
West deactivated her account after five years, saying it “has been a machine where I put in unpaid work and tension headaches come out.” Posting political commentary, writing jokes, answering questions and teaching feminism 101 for free on Twitter ran counter to the fact that she relies on all of those things to make a living off Twitter, she said.
“In return, I am micromanaged in real time by strangers; neo-Nazis mine my personal life for vulnerabilities to exploit; and men enjoy unfettered, direct access to my brain so they can inform me, for the thousandth time, that they would gladly rape me if I weren’t so fat,” West wrote in the characteristically blunt fashion that has won her fans online and in print.
While calling out abusive trolls and admitting her efforts against them were largely fruitless, West said the real reason she left is because Twitter itself refused to do anything substantial to protect its users.
She cited what she called the normalization of racism and sexual assault on the platform and lack of action by executives which eventually “greased the wheels” for Donald Trump’s ascendance to the U.S. presidency.
“I quit Twitter because it feels unconscionable to be a part of it — to generate revenue for it, participate in its profoundly broken culture and lend my name to its legitimacy,” West wrote.
Meanwhile, The Seattle Review of Books pointed out that another well-regarded Northwest author, Sherman Alexie, announced on Monday that he, too, was bailing on Twitter.
“Hey folks, I’m leaving Twitter because its negatives increasingly outweigh its positives. Thank you for the follows,” Alexie wrote in a final tweet.