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Why I quit #NUFC twitter

4 years ago

I watched Newcastle go two nil up against Manchester United before losing three two – I knew I should switch #NUFC Twitter off straight away but I stupidly checked the reaction.

Even from the more adult posters there was criticism I felt was unjust. Criticism of the players and of Rafa. Not Ashley. In fact there were people using the defeat to defend Ashley.

You can’t blame Ashley just because etc etc etc.

I can. But I’m not going to have that argument any more. If you can’t equate investing in a business with the likelihood of it being successful, logic is wasted on you.

I set up a Twitter account specifically for following football for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I live overseas and frankly there was a small amount of homesickness involved. Twitter was company for me when the matches played late in the evening while my wife and little one slept upstairs

Back then I loved those nights. Takeaway curry, beer, football, Twitter whirring.

Secondly, I work in social media. I know my way around it. Like a comms geeks I’ve Tweetdeck set up with lists and searches. I miss nothing.

Fast forward to 2018 and it seems like much of the media does the same. So whatever I read on Twitter, is stretched out with a few extra paragraphs and regurgitated for the Chronicle’s “live blog” 15 minutes later. And then they tweet it as well. The Chronicle is no longer in the exclusives business. Whether that is their plan, only they will know.

The local paper has decided instead to go down the content/churn/banter route of so many other outlets. They may eventually debunk stories but they’ll share them first. Most annoying is the endless churn of transfer stories – months outside the window – without the context of what always happens at Newcastle United when windows do open.

So much #NUFC Twitter noise from so many sites. Then it’s combed for the most reactionary trolls to make even more.

“X has done Y and Newcastle fans aren’t happy”.

I recall a response from one Chronicle journalist defending yet more Mitro stories by detailing the traffic they produced.

More widely there were serial attacks on Newcastle United by the usual pundits and pros and each one would be a story for days. Trolling and its reaction are now, apparently, legitimate news. Day after day after day.

There is no no value in any of it.

I’m now following George Caulkin and Luke Edwards from my non-footballing account. They both do a good job in separating news from noise laudibly without the pressure to churn. They are enough.

But, due to a recent long distance flight and being wide awake in the middle of the night due to jetlag,  I’ve been checking in again. It’s only convinced me I’ve made the right decision.

Worst of all is the abuse, from Newcastle fans, aimed at those trying to oust Ashley. I am at a loss to explain what is wrong with these people. Especially when we’ve Sunderland on our doorstep – the best example you might ever see of fans stoically accepting the status quo until it was far far too late.

Why do you think they’re so bugged by our protests?

In the last 18 months there has been a rise in Twitter idiocy. It’s hard to know where it came from. In the same time I’ve also noticed a massive upsurge in Newcastle fans with sympathies for Farage, Hopkins, Robinson and Trump. I grew up with slogans like “Geordies are black and white”. It was football that taught me that racism was unacceptable. I used to think it was a lesson we had all learned.

I was shocked the first time I saw it. But it just kept on coming.

The online immaturity has been getting worse. During games and specifically after defeats, I began to hate checking Twitter. It was heartbreaking to see abuse aimed at Rafa. It felt like the worst betrayal imaginable.

Personally, I want to say a massive thank you to all involved with protests against Ashley. Lads and lasses pulling together and working their backsides off in their own time to do everything they can to return us to something like the vision Kevin Keegan had.

Perhaps those hurling abuse at them don’t remember those times. Perhaps that’s the wider problem. People find it easier to hate than hope. In 2018, hope is considered naive.

We should learn from recent history while being inspired by the more distant past. Nothing will get better under Ashley but we are a big club and must be again.

Today I flicked on Twitter.  Lee Ryder tweeted:

F… it, I’m out.


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