According to a post on Mediabistro's All Twitter blog, only 30 of the 264 world leaders on Twitter actually tweet for themselves. The study was conducted by Twiplomacy, a website that tracks "connected" world leaders.
What a farce. This same assertion – that proxies, a.k.a. public relations specialists, tweet for almost all world leaders – can be made about others. I suspect they also tweet for most CEOs and at least half, if not all, of the A-list celebrities.
Twitter is becoming a fiasco as it morphs into complete uselessness.
The problem stems from the never-ending bullcrap and self-promotion flooding the site. I've even fallen prey to it. If you follow me, you will notice that I've begun to plug my columns more and more, something I swore I would not do because I knew it would cheapen my value.
I can name a dozen friends who used to tweet interesting things and post cool links that were perfect for what Twitter was supposed to be: A microblog. But now, all they do is promote themselves. "Read what I just wrote," is a typical post. Tons of followers retweet it and reply with compliments, which get retweeted. (And yes, I've retweeted praise too, but only when it is truly great.)
Have you noticed a trend regarding me and my relation to Twitter? I'm developing the same onerous habits because Twitter itself has become a toxic environment.
I blame the big celebrities and their publicists. They started the downward spiral. Next, I blame members of the media who routinely cite tweets as real quotes, adding to the toxicity of the site when it comes to the news.
We also see most of the action in the Middle East from the various coded "revolutions" that seem to be orchestrated by the exploitative US State Department using Twitter as a conduit for bullcrap and false reports. This was pushed back a little by the fake lesbian working out of the UK telling tales of woe about places he or she had never been to in the Middle East, and how "it had to stop!"
I cannot see how this service can ever return to its roots.
In the beginning, the service was referred to by the investors as a microblog. Users could post a short comment with maybe a link that was interesting. Many of us also found it a great way to connect with readers almost instantly. I used it for crowdsourcing and posting links that I did not feel like posting on my actual blog.
Back then, I had actually predicted that when the real celebrities began to crowd into the site, things would change. I knew they would change, but I have to admit I did not know how they would change. I knew it would not be good since the biggest celebrities are always part of a huge machine that exploits the public in any way possible. The celebrity is essentially controlled by the machine, and he or she may or may not be at the top of it.
Whatever the case, this creates all sorts of phoniness needed to maintain image, sell tickets, and get attention. This is very lethal stuff and poisons everything around it. This is what is happening with Twitter but from more than one angle. Fake tweets by world leaders is one thing. Using Twitter to coordinate a revolution or to distribute "unconfirmed" videos of atrocities is another. It's all bad. And I hate to say it, but the service, as a whole, is unhealthy.
With all that in mind, the big question is: Who are the 30 world leaders that actually tweet for themselves? Shouldn't they find better ways to spend their time?