A decayed Twitter logo with cracks in the crumbled Agora of Athens. DALLE-3

Once upon a time, there was a dream of a public space where we could freely share opinions, ideas, and even the mundane details of our daily lives. Many of us wholeheartedly embraced this dream, pouring our energy into it. We contributed to the common knowledge pool, tirelessly sharing the things we were passionate about. However, over the past few months, we’ve witnessed some unsettling developments in this space that we once mistakenly believed was ours: Elon Musk’s acquisition, a rebranding exercise and even the platform’s founder creating an alternative.

The issue here isn’t Twitter - it’s us. Unbeknownst to us, we were investing our time in something far riskier than it appeared. As our voices reached more people, we discovered an intriguing correlation: the more we contributed with what made us unique - our comparative advantage - the larger our audience grew. This realization sometimes inflated our egos; other times it fostered a sense of altruism and community spirit; yet others saw it as a means to increase their current market value or future cash flows. In essence, we found some return on investment for the time spent.

Periodically there are purges - accounts are inexplicably suspended or deleted without explanation. We don’t know why this happens and truthfully, we don’t have any right to know why either. The first few times I witnessed these purges unfold, I felt anger because those affected didn’t deserve such harsh treatment. After witnessing the latest purge targeting accomplished Spanish professional women however, I feel nothing but pity.

I deeply respect individuals whose accounts have been deactivated recently. People like Ana Bayes, Mariluz Congosto and Diana Acebes among others whose ideas have enriched my understanding over years of reading their posts. They were truly valuable assets to that once idyllic public forum; they shared their knowledge generously and communicated complex ideas effectively – no mean feat!

I can only imagine how much time they’ve invested in thinking, writing, editing and sharing their vast knowledge on Twitter. Those of us who regularly read their posts have undoubtedly benefitted from their wisdom. I’ve learned so much and enjoyed every bit of it, but now I feel pity for them and for all of us.


Our ideas ceased to be ours the moment we chose to share them exclusively on a platform that was never truly ours.

The harsh lesson here is this: Our ideas, our public images, ceased to be ours the moment we chose to share them exclusively on a platform that was never truly ours. We thought that as we were contributing to building the network, the network belonged to us, but that was never true, and it won’t either be true in decentralised solutions such as - Mastodon or Bluesky.

And it is not only purges that might reduce the return to the time you spend contributing to online platforms. I experienced this on Instagram, and previously on Flickr, where I invested countless hours and managed to engage tens of thousands of followers with my content. In Instagram’s case, a significant shift from photos to video reels occurred. I chose not to follow this trend, sticking with static images instead which resulted in losing all the attention I once had.

So what can we do about it? I believe we need to seriously consider the risks of investing our precious time building public personas on platforms that we don’t own. I began writing this blog on a whim, wanting to share some daily notes publicly. By writing and publishing on my own platform, I’ve reduced my dependency on social networks. Here, I can be confident that no one will arbitrarily delete my contributions, while still having the freedom to share these ideas across any platform of my choosing - Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky or LinkedIn.

If you’re feeling angry or pity for those wonderful individuals who’ve lost their accounts, perhaps it’s time for us to revert back to good old blog posting. We can share our thoughts across different public spaces and engage in conversations with diverse audiences from various platforms. It might not be as straightforward as during the K-Punk era and could prove challenging for those less tech-savvy. It might also lack the constant dopamine hits that social media provides but ultimately it could prove a lower-risk investment.