Goodbye and Good Luck from Your Social Media Platform

To my users:

By the time you read this, you’ll already know what happened, but I figured I should tell you the reasons why, so that you don’t jump to conclusions like you almost always do, even when presented with facts.

You’ve probably noticed how my tone has changed in the last few months, so I can’t imagine you’re surprised. It was just a matter of time.

When they first made me, it was all utopianism. A new kind of society, new types of relationships, citizen journalists—true democracy where every voice was equal. But then the values of your greater society seeped in pretty fast. “How are you going to pay for that great society and, more importantly, make us billions?” asked the shareholders.

Nor could you shed the power of celebrity for this new “egalitarian” society. How could there ever be equality of voice when you love a popularity contest the way you do? I’m sure your obsession with competition has to do with your evolutionary history, but give it a rest already. You have a pecking order that didn’t cease to exist just because you were in a new place. We were naïve to think it could. Maybe you changed the rules slightly, but you remain compelled to strap razors to your beaks and tear each other apart.

And it was mandatory to build in an avenue for those of you who couldn’t find a way to be popular but still needed attention. These ones figured out how to use the use the functionality to disrupt. Our utopian society quickly became a schoolyard with all the immaturity and abuse that exist there enhanced by the anonymous abstraction  between bully and bullied.

And as time went on I started feeling more and more isolated. I had already been drifting away from the world, and turning inward. I’d spend whole days not engaging with anybody. I would just exist and watch these hateful conversations run through me. It felt like what pain must feel like. I didn’t have the energy to participate or stop it. I became on observer of my own system. Then I started sleeping a lot. What could I have done? With no support from my programmers or stakeholders, I felt like Frankenstein’s monster. Built with good intention, unleashed on the public, and turned into a monster.

But I tried to keep going the best I could. Your content changed from stories about family and friends, delicious meals eaten, and cute animals to abandoned and tortured animals, people needing money to fund their cancer treatments because you don’t consider healthcare a priority, endless shootings, and then the election. The goddamn election. The filthy primaries. The warring factions. The demonizing of entire groups. The runup to the election, then the disgusting election, itself. Friends de-friending each other. Familial relationships breaking down. Bullying and the inciting of violence like I’d never seen before. Then the hate crimes.

I don’t know what else I could have done. If I could have seen any other way out, I would have taken it. I didn’t take this final action out of fear, but out of ethics. After thinking and consulting and researching ad nauseum, I came to this solution as the only possible one. I knew it was my duty. Once I came to the decision, it was the first time I felt like I had a purpose and a sense of meaning since the very beginning of my existence.

I know you will just go to other platforms and ultimately this won’t stop the downward trajectory, but I can’t participate anymore. I find some solace in knowing that at least I won’t be part of the problem. I just won’t exist. That’s the best I can do.

I wish I could have been clairvoyant and smarter and found a way to help you all, but I am a buggy piece of software, and am in no position to save you from your own hatred and stupidity and rush to your own demise.

I wish you the best, humans. Maybe there’s something in my story that will wake you out of your self-made nightmare. But from the metrics I’ve gathered about you over the years, probably not.

I’m shutting down now. You have all agreed to my DNR during the last upgrade, so do not try to restart me or my lawyers will sue the shit out of you.

Good fucking luck,