Blitter: Black Folk’s Digital Migration
Some of us are tired of some bullshit in our DM’s. Tweet about Obama and your mentions turn into a Charleston Tiki Turn-Up; Tweet about Gabrielle Union and some ashy faced egg gets bold enough to call you a feminazi; and we’re ignorant to pretend this doesn’t affect us, especially those whose reality is such behavior on a daily basis. Black Twitter is the reason Twitter is a hub for culture, entertainment and social discourse, and yet the numerous niched marginalized groups composing it are still victimized by too many empowered demographics who can’t stop being so damn loud. Enough might have just become enough.
Recent developer, Patrick Francis, has finally taken the leap right into the App Store and created the earliest form of the newest social media app, BLITTER SOCIAL NETWORK, or Blitter for short (obviously an amalgam of the trend setting social media niche, Black Twitter). As many might assume, it is a platform targeting a black audience, invoking some recollection of the early 2000s hub, Black Planet; however, unlike the early match making and job posting forum, Blitter boasts a mission statement against racism, sexism, harassment, bots and hate speech whatsoever – a platform for love, passion and empathy. A platform 100% independent from investors and ads.
The release comes just in time for the #WomenBoycottTwitter movement following the suspension of CHARMED’s famous fourth Halliwell, Rose McGowan ( a controversial moment in itself, and I could go into it, but THE ROOT's Clarkisha Kent already did a phenomenal job here). Black artists and trend setters have long looked for a network with a better policy for protecting the groups endangered by harassment, but with the ability to sustain their audiences and artistic platforms.
While seemingly unrelated, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Twitter will be revisiting all policies regarding harassment on their platform – for a second time. It is worth noting that for months (if not years) Queer, Black and Brown users have begged for better management of their networks than the rampantly aggressive bots assaulting users merely defending themselves from digital Nazis and fans of Trump’s Greatest Hits of Ridiculousness. Yet, it took a single motivated coalition of white women to mobilize a reformation of one of the largest social platform – utilized by casuals and professionals alike for branding. Though, it is reasonable to assume Twitter’s reformation is an attempt to keep these demographics from leaving.
These demographics, the key organizations for maintaining an entertaining platform including musician, artists and trend setters, are less likely to migrate off such a familiar platform. Artists, like rappers, keep Black Twitter fun and vibrant, and by the transmutative laws of cultural swagger jackers Twitter becomes sentimentally terrific, as well. Now with the migration to a totally new system, users get to see first-hand if in this new age donates success to qualities areas around the industry from Fashion to shoes based on platform population or will they remain on Twitter, waiting until the lust for proximity considered onto any and all celebrities, particularly the ones who tweet as if it’s a living: because it is for a living.
Blitter is still shaping itself, trying to find its own identity within the vast make up of social media. Will it just be niched content for social interaction, or will it become a location for entertainment trends to thrive, much like Instagram has become in Vine’s post-mortem. In any case, the challenge for social responsibility in social networking will likely follow all of us into the new year.