New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman described Twitter as an “anger video game for many users” in an article explaining her decision to pull back from the social media platform on Friday.
On Sunday, Haberman, who is a White House correspondent for the New York Times, announced that she would be stepping back from the platform. “With exception of breaking news and my own stories, taking a break from this platform. No reason or prompt other than that it’s not really helping the discourse,” she wrote.
With exception of breaking news and my own stories, taking a break from this platform. No reason or prompt other than that it’s not really helping the discourse.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 15, 2018
In the article in the Times, Haberman offered a more detailed explanation of her relationship with Twitter and her ultimate decision to leave it behind. “Twitter has stopped being a place where I could learn things I didn’t know, glean information that was free from errors about a breaking news story or engage in a discussion and be reasonably confident that people’s criticisms were in good faith,” she wrote.
Although Haberman has been on Twitter for nine years, she said that she did not become devoted to it until the 2016 election. “Twitter has a staccato allure for those of us who need frequent inputs and have grown accustomed to them in the Trump era, with news cycles that last roughly three hours,” she said, adding that since the election, she has accrued nearly 700,000 Twitter followers.
She said that, at first, she thought she had figured out the “art” to the social media site, and appreciated the opportunity to promote her stories, add context, share her own opinions, and communicate with readers and sources.
However, Haberman said, “the medium has changed.” She added: “The viciousness, toxic partisan anger, intellectual dishonesty, motive-questioning and sexism are at all-time highs, with no end in sight. It is a place where people who are understandably upset about any number of things go to feed their anger, where the underbelly of free speech is at its most bilious.”