The Software of Dehumanization

Software isn't neutral, it shapes and molds behavior. Software permits and constrains. Software allows you to do some things and not others. Software nudges and pushes.

Insofar as software shapes and affects our behavior, software affects us morally. And some software helps promote dehumanization.

Twitter is a software of dehumanization.

First, oversimplification. Twitter puts limits upon characters. The software is designed to force condensation. The software penalizes nuance and complexity, vital features of empathic, humane communication. Twitter demands oversimplification, making communication sharper, blunter, and less human.

Second, objectification. Twitter facilitates objectification through retweeting and subtweeting. When retweeted, people are displayed like bugs pinned behind the glass of an insect collection. When retweeted, the humanity of the person is not engaged, they are specimens for observation and moral dissection.

Why is Twitter so toxic?

Simply put, the software facilitates and promotes oversimplification and objectification.

And that makes Twitter a software of dehumanization.

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