Leaving Twitter? Where Will Librarians and the Kid Lit Community Go?

SLJ launched a Twitter poll to learn the social media destination of those leaving Elon Musk's platform.

Even at its best, Twitter has always been a double-edged sword.

Like all social media, it helped fuel the rise of hate groups and further the spread of misinformation and disinformation. But it also promotes conversation, connection, and community. School and public librarians, as well as those in the kid lit industry, found each other, shared ideas, and created substantial and supportive professional networks.

But with Elon Musk’s purchase of the platform, firing of staff, and lack of content control, people began experiencing a rise of antisemitic, racist, and anti-LGBTQIA+ attacks.

As the talk of leaving Twitter picked up steam, SLJ launched a Twitter poll to see where people were headed. With only four options to offer, we settled on Mastodon, Instagram, Facebook, and Discord.

Of those choices, Instagram won with 62.7 percent of the 868 votes. While Instagram was the winner of our poll, people noted it is a different experience, a platform designed for a different kind of exchange than Twitter. Most already had an Instagram account, but used it for a different purpose. Instagram, obviously, is more visual. It requires a visual. Twitter can simply be a conversation, a question thrown out to the masses, a confession, quick story, or motivational quotewithout the need for Canva. Facebook and Discord, too, are designed for different experiences.

The replies also offered a glimpse into the other options, and why the whole thing was so complicated to navigate. Not listed in SLJ’s choices were Hive and Post, which many of those who replied said they were trying. Many children’s authors and educators moved to Hive, but the app has temporarily shut down to try to build up its capacity and sure up its safety controls. Some still on Twitter almost immediately began tweeting about how much they missed Hive despite having only been on the platform a brief time.

People cannot join Post immediately, as they could Hive and others, which has made it a more difficult option despite how close in concept its platform is to Twitter. Post is admitting people to its server over time and therefore has gotten the reputation of being elitist, as the first ones with permission were bigger-name people (the original “blue check” crowd).

There was great frustration over now having even more social media accounts, and the time it takes to “try out” the new ones and understand their setup and value.

The replies to our poll also showed disappointment and even a little sadness in the possible loss of Twitter. The majority expressed a desire to stay connected. One summed up the basic sentiment with, “I’ll go wherever my PLC goes.”

Not everyone was looking for a new outlet, however. Some said they expected Twitter to survive and be fine, so they were not shopping for new social media. Others were ready to be done with it all if Twitter disappeared.

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