Actor Wil Wheaton, one of the most popular ambassadors for nerd culture on Twitter, has now vowed to leave the social media platform altogether. While it remains unclear how many will join Wheaton in leaving Twitter, his involvement could lead to many more either permanently or temporarily leaving Twitter. The #DeactiDay movement is a recent one, spawning less than a week ago, but it is trying to hold Twitter accountable for the sometimes vile and hateful rhetoric it has allowed to be fostered on the social media platform.
The #DeactiDay movement was started by designer Mike Monteiro on August 11, after Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey refused to ban Info Wars host Alex Jones, despite proof surfacing that he had violated Twitter's rules. Jones listed Dorsey as one of his allies in a live-stream video, and instead of banning Jones, Dorsey only gave Jones a seven-day "time out" from the service. In response, Monteiro started #DeactiDay, giving Dorsey 30 days, starting August 17, to rectify the Jones situation, and if it's not fixed, all of the deactivated Twitter accounts will be permanently deleted.
Wheaton showed his support for #DeactiDay on Twitter numerous times, most recently a tweet from yesterday, August 15, where he claimed Twitter is "broken." He added that he'll be leaving the platform, where he has just under 2.99 million followers, on August 17. The actor, best known his roles in Stand By Me and the hit TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, added that being a part of a platform that spreads "abuse and misinformation" is not "doing us any good." He then asked his followers to join him, whether it be for "a day, a week or forever." Wheaton did not clarify if he will be leaving Twitter forever, but he did state in earlier tweets he would still be active on Instagram and Facebook.
Twitter is broken. You deserve better than an app that tolerates and welcomes the spreading of abuse and misinformation. Being part of this is not doing us any good. Personally, politically, socially. For a day, a week, forever: your call. It’s just a good time to go. #DeactiDay pic.twitter.com/LZEw78VYnp— Wil 'this account mocks fascists' Wheaton (@wilw) August 15, 2018
Wheaton added in another tweet that he certainly holds no ill will against those who decide to keep their Twitter accounts active, adding, "If #DeactiDay isn't your jam, that's cool. No judgment!" He did state, though, that there have been many replies to this tweet, which, without going into detail, only, "supported my reasons for leaving this network." There have been a number of prominent Twitter users who have left the social media platform in recent weeks, but they were for far different reasons than this peaceful protest. Ruby Rose left Twitter following the backlash of her casting as Batwoman, while Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon left Twitter after an offensive comedy sketch video from 2009 surfaced.
As for #DeactiDay, it will be interesting to see just how many people do deactivate their Twitter accounts, in protest over the Alex Jones debacle. Given the controversy that has swirled around Dorsey's handling of the Jones situation, and that Jones sees Dorsey as one of his biggest allies, it could turn Twitter into a battleground of sorts, if Dorsey doesn't follow YouTube, Facebook, and Apple in banning Jones.
Source: Twitter/Wil Wheaton