Late last night, 2/20/2018, Twitter cracked down on fake accounts, or "bots", by removing them from the platform completely. The majority of these "bot" accounts were following conservative-leaning people on Twitter. As a result of this mass removal of these accounts, a major chunk of conservative Twitter accounts lost anywhere from 10 to 100,000 followers, and then were "locked-out" of their accounts. People who were "locked-out" were redirected to a page to verify that they are real people, after which, their accounts get restored.
This is now being called the "Twitter Lockout".
I don't want to spend this article talking about the procedures behind the "Twitter Lockout". I don't know enough about the Twitter team to understand their reason for removing these accounts now, or for locking certain people out of their accounts. I, personally, lost about 200 followers (but have regained about 160 of them), and I don't even post "conservative" content. I wasn't really hit by "Twitter Lockout", but a significant amount of accounts have lost thousands of followers, albeit "fake" followers.
I lay out all of this information for you so I can talk about what I would like to see happen after this has now taken place.
I try to engage with a fair scope of people on Twitter. My main reason for having Twitter is to promote my writing and share ideas with others. I follow, and am followed by, Libertarians, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and so on. I have noticed that, even though I try to hear a variety of ideas on Twitter, the majority of people that I follow tend to stick to their "team". I wrote about this "team" mentality in my last article.
Basically, liberals only engage with liberals, and conservatives only engage with conservatives. Now that "conservative Twitter" has had a good amount of their follower base taken from them, I think conservatives should extend an olive-branch to liberal Twitter accounts. We could all turn the "Twitter Lockout" into a positive experience.
We have yet to see something like the "Twitter Lockout" before, which is why it's such a great reset-button on the way we could potentially communicate now. Imagine the conversations we could start if the conservatives, trying to regain a follower base, branched out to accounts they might not have before.
The "Twitter Lockout" could potentially wake people up to the fact that a lot of people they thought were their supporters were actually "bots". This might actually lift the veil off other ways in which they view Twitter.
Lifting the veil off the way we all view Twitter is the main thing I want to happen. Initially, Twitter was just another social platform that people would use, mainly, to follow celebrities. Twitter has now morphed into sets of echo-chambers. The platform is self-serving, only because you get to be selective about who you are in contact with. This goes contrary to reality, where you have to face people in the real world who don't share your same ideas.
I think if people want to make this "Twitter Lockout" a positive experience, we need to go back to the basics of communicating with someone because they are a human, not because they are of the same political party.