CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota announced Wednesday that she is “breaking up” with Twitter because the social media platform has become “mean.”
Camerota, co-host of the cable network’s morning program “New Day,” explained the reason for her decision in an opinion piece on CNN.com. Camerota specifically addressed the “trolls,” or anonymous users who spew insults and criticisms they likely wouldn’t make otherwise.
“Dear Twitter [attn: trolls] it’s over. I’m breaking up with you. I know, it’s sad. We’ve been together a long time,” Camerota wrote.
“Remember my first tweet in May 2009? ‘Happy Mother’s Day!’ My God, listen to how hopeful I sounded,” the CNN anchor added.
Camerota went on to note how different the tone on Twitter is today than when she sent her first tweet eight years ago.
“Back then, I believed your promises — that you’d help me connect with people, that you’d be an agent for good in the world, that you’d get my messages out, that you’d help build a community. Back then, you’d surprise me with flower emojis and thoughtful comments. Back then, it was still thrilling to check in with you every day to see how many new followers you’d brought me. Those were the days,” Camerota recalled.
But, the CNN anchor acknowledged, “something’s happened.”
You’re a shadow of your former self, the one I was first attracted to. It’s no fun to be with you anymore. You’ve become mean and verbally abusive. In fact, you gross me out. You’re a cesspool of spleen-venting from people who think it’s acceptable to insult other people in public and anonymously.
Camerota said part of the reason for her departure is because of people “typing away with nothing but a keyboard and a chip on their shoulder.”
“I don’t like thinking of people using you,” Camerota said, “but that’s the company you’re keeping. You’re hanging out with people who find satisfaction spewing vitriol, people who spread racism, misogyny, and anti-Semitism.”
“So, I’m done. I’m moving on. I’m looking for something else, something real and lasting. Something that involves actual people, not nearly 48 million bots,” Camerota said, referring to a March study by the University of California that found that anywhere from 9 percent to 15 percent of active Twitter accounts were not run by actual humans.
At that time, Twitter had around 319 million users, meaning that around 48 million of them were bots, not humans, CNBC reported.
Camerota’s departure from Twitter comes just days after multiple CNN reporters and anchors said they received hateful messages from users upset over the network’s coverage of President Donald Trump.
The reported uptick in vitriolic tweets came amid an embarrassing week for CNN, during which the cable network retracted a story involving the Trump administration’s alleged contact with the Russian government. Three CNN employees resigned as a result of the error.
It was the same week that Project Veritas released audio of a CNN producer seemingly saying that allegations against the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign was “mostly bulls**t,” for which he didn’t have “any big giant proof.” The producer said CNN’s coverage of the controversy was driven mostly by “ratings.”
It’s unclear how heavily Project Veritas, the organization that released the video, may have edited the footage.
CNN, around the same time, said it “reserves the right” to reveal the identity of the man who created a GIF that Trump tweeted. The image showed reality star Trump wrestling to the floor someone whose face was obscured by the CNN logo.
Trump’s tweet continued his ongoing public feud with the outlet he has openly called “fake news.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
CNN investigative reporter Andrew Kaczynski said he and his family received death threats after he published a story describing how the cable network tracked down the man who created the wrestling GIF.
Camerota’s co-host, Chris Cuomo, tweeted to his followers on July 5 and asked whether CNN should reveal the GIF maker’s name.
“Had a lot of bigoted and hateful material on page and website,” Cuomo said of the GIF creator. Cuomo later deleted the tweet.
Cuomo was later confronted by Laura Loomer, an alt-right activist, outside CNN’s New York City studios. In her question to Cuomo, Loomer suggested that Cuomo had “encouraged the extortion” of the GIF maker. Cuomo vehemently denied the accusation.
Cuomo said he only deleted the tweet because “the decision had already been made” that CNN would not release the GIF maker’s name.
“I thought it was more conditional about whether or not his name was going to be released and it wasn’t. His name was already, you know, going to be kept private because of his own actions and their concerns about his privacy,” Cuomo said.
A CNN security guard asked Loomer to leave following the tense encounter outside the New York studios.
(H/T: The Hill)