The People’s History of Black Twitter, Part Three

Elzi: I miss those days on Twitter, good times. This is not that interesting anymore for me.

Wesley Lowry 60 minutes+ Correspondent: The heartbeat of Black Twitter is simply to insert random Black users who got something interesting that day, or who made a thread or who talked about a $200 date. This is the democratic process. This is a night of black open microphones. Once Black Twitter starts to be talked about as a tangible thing that you can study, hold, or quantify, some of its magic disappears.

Brownie: Initially, it felt like people entered it for at least the right reasons. Since Black Lives Matter and many things have become profitable, I think we are in the second wave now, and I do think that some people have entered the game for the wrong reasons.

Lawson: Twitter is just a mirror of our real world. I don’t think it is always a healthy space, I don’t think it is always a toxic space. There must always be an intermediate.

But it is important to remember that some users (especially women and queer) have never felt comfortable on the platform.

C. Thompson: I will have a fever. I hate to see the way black women are treated. I have been abused by black people here.

Meredith Clark, author of a book to be published on Black Twitter: When discussing gender or discussing non-standard identities or queerness, black Twitter is not a very safe and popular space.

Raquel Willis, a transgender rights activist: In the early days, I never felt comfortable. Transphobia and transgender misogyny are so common that even some of the most sober or depressed people we think are bad for trans people online.

C. Thompson: Some people are blatantly ignorant and hostile to anyone who is different from them.

Bullock: Hot spot, This is an Egyptian word that has begun to represent a certain poisonous masculinity. These men believe that women should know where they are. Many of them are black incel culture. Tariq Nasheed (Tariq Nasheed) became very big during that period.

Willis: For many years, Tariq Nasheed (Tariq Nasheed) has been terrorizing black women, black queer and transgender people. For all these white organizations like social media companies, it is almost impossible to be held responsible for harm in the community. As a company, Twitter can’t hold black people accountable like alternative right-wing white people — and they still haven’t done a good job in this area.

Bullock: All these constituencies are as active as young queer on Twitter, like the educated black bourgeoisie, Blavity Blacks. Therefore, there are constantly undercurrents of comments about what they think blacks should do and should not do.

Mayad: Now, we’re taking courses—it’s like, “Oh, no. If you’re an abuser or an oppressor, you can’t run away and hide in the community.” We hold each other accountable.

Willis: Twitter is a good space for political education. People understand the large amount of violence that black transgender people face—and, of course, enjoy the beauty of our experience—that comes to a large extent from black Twitter. I can only imagine how many people first learned about Marsha P. Johnson or Sylvia Rivera through tweets.

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