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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Haven't you got an elsewhere to be?"
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May 04 2015

Joss deletes his Twitter account. For good?

We don't know if he's taking a break so I've changed the headline to "deleted" as that's the only solid fact we have.
Nothing to see here. Move along

[ edited by Lioness on 2015-05-04 20:22 ]
Joss was on Twitter?!
I think if he was just taking a break, he would have simply stopped posting for a while... which he's done before.
It makes you wonder if it was something Marvel wanted him to have for promotional purposes.
Deeply unsurprising. The trolls are horrific, there's enormous backlash for any off-the-cuff word that bothers someone, and just imagine what kind of postpartum state he must be in after producing something like Ultron. I hope he's just filling his life with love and creativity.
To be honest I've fallen out of love with (a lot of) social media during the last few years.

I think it's fueling reactionary rage, people screaming into the nothingness of each other, thoughts too short to have actual thought, misinformation (I mean during the London riots Twitter was the worst source of real information I've ever seen, it was one stage away from Godzilla emerging as nobody was checking what they retweeted)... It's also that herd thing - people naturally start to emerge as their friends image, so you end up with social groups on social media who see the world in a not very accurate way.

And then there's Facebook where it's difficult to get a post seen unless you pay for people to see it, which the only peeps who have the money for that are large corporations (try marketing an indy movie on Facebook). Large media corps have their hooks deep into Twitter and Facebook. Which is fine, but it makes me ponder if somebody and something like Felicia Day and The Guild emerged now, if they could actually be heard.

Twitter can be very cool, a great way to exchange ideas and talk to friends. So can a pub. I'm kinda concerned social media is bringing out the other thing in humanity, and it isn't always healthy. Hopefully the platforms keeps evolving.
Who's going to wake me up with notifications from twitter at 2:30AM now? #ItsAllAboutMe

P.S. Trolls suck.
Yeah gossi, I agree with all of that.

One thing I love about *this* place -- the moderators!
Sad. Maybe he will now get a secret Tumblr for when he wants to goof off online.

There is a lot of noise on Twitter, but it's also how I've kept up with what is really going on in Baltimore, versus what the tv likes to tell me. I think it just requires a lot of effort to find signal in the noise and yes, there is a lot of untrue stuff that balloons into assumed knowledge really quickly. Last week Marvel fired Joss, according to social media. And he disowned Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This week, nobody knows why he deleted his Twitter except him, but that hasn't stopped people from already saying it was death threats from feminists or whatever. I suspect if anything it was cumulative fatigue with the sorts of tweets people directed at him. But that is also just speculation.
Wait, I get it. As far as Twitter is concerned, he's a goner. It's a secret viral marketing message!
The One True b!X Now *that's* how to have hope.
b!X, Genius! I'm glad you caught it early so we can be on the lookout for further messages. Especially since you could say he is MIA.
BTW, I love twitter, but it does give people a false sense of connection with those they are fans of and it also leads to a weird mindset where one thinks just because they have something to say that they should and with as much snark and rancor as possible.
Bummer. I enjoyed his tweets.
Funny, I was just combing through (and thoroughly enjoying) his recent tweets this morning... Well, at least this way he's free from a) any Lindelof-style abuse, b) constant stream of anxiety-inducing Avengers updates and c) the almighty distraction that is Twitter. Missing out on regular 140 character-bursts is a fair price to pay for a happier, more productive Joss.
But if he deleted his account does that mean someone not him can grab it again? Because maybe someone should who won't abuse it...?
It's not registerable.
Why do folks feel it's still okay to sling hate? I'll never understand.

But I'm all for goner secret messages so YEAH!!!!
It takes a few months for an unused name to become registrable again, but I don't know if there are different rules for handles that had been verified accounts.
I'm not surprised at all, some of the responses he got were so OTT. I've seen similar things happen to Mark Ruffalo, like how dare he support a movie he made and support a canon relationship he is a part of. When you are sending hate about a ship to the actor involved then frankly you need to step back from fandom.
The other night I again marveled how my son could do his homework by accessing all the information in the world with just a few keystrokes. No card catalog for him! Sometimes I think it's all a miracle. Then threads like these remind me the universe tends to balance out all that's good with all that's horrible. Internet Message boards / Twitter can be an amazing magnifying glass on the underbelly of 21st century living
I'll just miss the jokes.
Thinking about it some more, I wonder if he was tired of having his tweets become headlines.
Ah. Forgot about the blue check mark. Good. And I hope it stays unregisterable, until (if) he decides to start it up again. (But he doesn't have too. No pressure.)
Civil conversation is very difficult on Twitter. And honestly, real debate in 140 characters is just not possible. That's the reason I love this forum, because people are respectful and considerate of each other. That's in part because we have the absolute best mods in the web (I assure you I'm not being hyperbolic). I thank Simon and Sunfire from the bottom of my heart!
If anybody wants to see the misinformation on Twitter, search Joss Whedon. It suggests you mean "Joss Whedon fired", which are delightful messages about how Joss got fired. If you hit up just Joss, it's all messages about how feminists threatened him, how GamerGate won blah blah. It's all point scoring madness. Also hat tip to the people who keep tweeting the staff of Feminist Frequency, saying their critique of Avengers2 caused him to quit (also some weird point scoring thing). Also the peeps suggesting it's cause he only made the 1st and 2nd biggest opening movies of all time (quick, find a violin for joss and Disney).

Although my favourite is how Joss quit MySpace.
NYPinTA and KissinToast I completely agree. I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It's a big time suck even though I rarely post anywhere, and there is so much vitriol I feel emotionally drained just being exposed to it. Sometimes I think my life would improve by quitting it entirely. I suspect Joss is quitting something that is mostly nonsense to spend his time on things that are real and substantial--like his family and work.
Gossi, your mention of the 'point scoring madness" brings to mind a blog post an author I greatly admire, R. Scott Bakker, recently posted regarding moral cognition, critical thinking and the recent Hugos controversy.

The post is titled Hugos Weaving and here is an an excerpt. The entire post is worth checking out.

Now we all watch the news. We all appreciate the perils of moral certainty in some sense, the need to be wary of those who believe too hard. We’ve all seen the ‘Mad Fanatic’ get his or her ‘just desserts’ in innumerable different forms. The problem, however, is that the Mad Fanatic is always the other guy, while we merely enjoy the ‘strength of our convictions.’ Short of clinical depression at least, we’re always—magically you might say—the obvious ‘Hero.’

And, of course, this is a crock of shit. In study after study, experiment after experiment, researchers find that, outside special circumstances, moral argumentation and explanation are strategic—with us being none the wiser! (I highly recommend Joshua Greene’s Moral Tribes or Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind for a roundup of the research). It may feel like divine dispensation, but dollars to donuts it’s nothing more than confabulation. We are programmed to advance our interests as truth; we’d have no need of Judge Judy otherwise!

[ edited by dharmakirti on 2015-05-04 22:21 ]

[ edited by dharmakirti on 2015-05-04 22:23 ]
I'm really sorry, if I'm being a j***, but in an attempt to avoid spoilers I also do not have any info about those feminists protests agaisnt Joss or him being fired. Can someone, please, sumarise it to me, or point me a spoiler free site about these matters?

[ edited by Brasilian Chaos Man on 2015-05-04 22:44 ]
I think it's sad how many people have actors and creators have been driven off twitter because of rude people.
I hope Joss is not on tumblr cause it's been kind of a battlefield over there lately, I expect pitchforks any second.
I am not surprised. I'd get tired of vitrol being thrown my way every day too.
Brazilian, Joss did not get fired. It's people talking about nonsense. Loves me some twitter but it's almost like its own parody right now.

Hilariously, Joss Whedon is the top trend on Twitter worldwide now. Apparently making the movie wasn't enough, you gotta quit.

[ edited by gossi on 2015-05-04 23:08 ]
Sadly someone also snatched up @jossactual and locked it down (apparently registered in 2012 but since you can rename it as much as you want that had to have been a somewhat recent thing).

For people who don't have twitter, the tweets in that link are probably why Joss deleted his twitter.
D-e-f-, that was Joss' original handle. Maybe someone else registered it after he changed it? Can you do that?
He has a lot of support though, on his general feed. I just saw Joe Hill twice and of course, the awesome Patton Oswalt. Much more.
@Slipping About: I know, that's why I checked its status. :)

You'll find a post of mine in that comment thread you linked, stating how much I loved it because of the BSG reference (and him having always wanted to be called Joss Actual). ;D

Like I said, you can change twitter account names as much as you want so someone could have easily changed any generic account to that specific handle after he started using his proper name.

[ edited by D-e-f- on 2015-05-04 23:27 ]

[ edited by D-e-f- on 2015-05-04 23:27 ]
That sucks, his twitter is one of my favorites, but, yeah, trolls man.
Thanks @eddy, those tweets are really disturbing. I'll miss him but I get it.
It's probably best if he does. You become numb to the praise, and demoralized by the trolls. It's also an easy distraction from family and creating.

I don't pay attention to Twitter. It's very limited, and too much about self promotion. I don't follow celebrities on Facebook, either, because self-promotion becomes really annoying.
Sigh.. That was my favorite poetic interruption of the day
D-e-f-, well that completely went over my head :) Was @jossactual verified and then changed? Or was it verified after the change?
We don't actually know why Joss left Twitter. He didn't say. People are blaming their favorite targets--that is, shedding heat, not light.
Well said Pointy.
I've never understood the point of Twitter.

It just lets people hide in plain sight while they rant & rave, throwing insults at people and saying disgusting things they wouldn't have to guts to say to that person's face....oh wait. That is the point of Twitter. My bad.
Granted, even if it did have to do with criticism of AoU, while I think all criticism I've seen of the film valid, and tend myself to agree with it, I don't think Twitter a good place to air any greivances or level criticisms, as valid as they are. Someone mentioned it above, but Twitter is just not a forum that lends itself well to it. Also, as an avid Tumblr user, over the years I've only seen social media become more and more polarized. It's become such an us-them cut-and-dried point-scoring contest where if you don't wish to through the baby out with the bathwater (but still admit the bathwater is tepid) then it becomes an exhausting battle of harshly toned "hate" (which may be admittedly coming from a justifed place of frustration, lost somehow) and mob mentality. In recent times, it's become a place where one must always step perfectly or face this, which, I again redundantly say it comes from a well-intentioned place, but perhaps not so well executed because of the environment. And that is just exhausting to be in, and if I myself am exhausted I can only imagine... (Well, that was more musing on the general climate of social media than anything.)
Every time I read comments on popular sites (youtube, news sites, etc.) I loose faith in humanity. I completely understand why anyone would want to stop exposing themselves to that level of negativity.

On a side note, This is one of the very few sites where I regularly read and enjoy the comments.
I think I finally understand where Chris Crocker was coming from.
The "point of twitter" is whatever you make it, just like any other public platform.
I don't really understand people thinking it's OK to send negative comments to anyone online. I mean, unless they specifically ask what people thought of a thing then keep your opinion to yourself. It's just rude, IMO. (I see it happen to actors a lot. One in particular was hammered by jerks who insisted on including her name in every negative tweet about her character. Having thoughts on something is fine & dandy. Trying to shove your thoughts onto someone is not.)
Who can blame him? I saw a reply directed at him totally unrelated to his tweet that actually made me angry. And it had a lot of likes or whatever Twitter has! I just hope he rest and gets back to doing awesome stuff.
Twitter is toxic. What we can see is only a small portion of what people like Joss get. Harassers don't just threaten their target but often their loved ones, as well as sending them gore pictures. It's not 'criticism'. And harassers usually delete the most offending tweets so they can't be reported.

Twitter has been making me angry for months. Organised harassment is everywhere.

The only tiny sliver of a silver lining is a hope that losing an account with 1M followers at the peak of exposure due to harassment will finally embarrass Twitter enough to implement proper anti-harassment tools.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2015-05-05 00:58 ]
Toxic. Thank you, Effulgent, that was a word I was looking for. I do think there are legitimate criticisms, but, unfortunately, they're buried and swept away by what you describe and what we're seeig and it's a huge shame. This is a good chance for fans to actually voice their concerns in more problematic aspects of work, but because of a rabid minority (at least, I pray it's a minority) none of the legit criticism gets through and the community spiral into polarized toxicity. Both sides of any given argument are toxic, and nothing reasonable ever comes of it, when it should instead be a nice starting point for addressing what could be actual problems.
Twitter and other similar social media just suck all energy and life out of you. I never felt that Joss' presence there would be permanent. I hope he is doing well and not letting all the hate get to him. I feel stupidly protective of our boss and the thought of how rude and disrespectful some people are makes me really angry.

I am now looking forward to whatever project he next dedicates himself to. But I just hope he really catches a break, relaxes and finds a way to distance himself from any negativity aimed at him.
I don't have much to add to what has already been said, but if there's a chance Joss might come here and read this thread I just want him to get all the positivity this site can provide. Another "thank you" to all the mods for allowing this site to be such a positive, yet still extremely thoughtful, place to hangout.
I suppose some sort of backlash was inevitable after the lovefest of the 1st Avengers movie. Twitter (and all social media) are convenient soapboxes for trolls and nutjobs to vent. It's also used by some very talented, interesting, and well-informed people. I'm sure Joss is smart enough to know how to pick his fights. It's a waste of time and energy dealing with huge swaths of the internet. Better to walk away and deprive them of the oxygen of attention. Trolls and such NEED platforms like Twitter to get any attention at all. The guy who made the top 2 box office openers of all time? Not so much.
I too never felt Joss would stay on Twitter, he seemed like a man out of his time. It's all too... junky over there.

I post, but really have no patience with it all. I check it like two times a week unless there's a big CM thing happening.

Still, I'm sorry he felt compelled to leave, whatever the reason. Joss is wonderful and I love him. LOVE YOU JOSS!
Like many people, I like and use Twitter all the time. As QingTing said, it is what you make of it. Yes, there are trolls there, as there is every place else on the internet. Let's not blame the platform for the behaviour.
And who knows. Maybe Joss got great amusement over what was written to him!
This is my first post. I feel I must say something about this. I AM WITH JOSS no matter how many little hateful trolls decide to attack him,

I believe his work is a legacy of advanced thinking, regardless of whether it conforms to earthly feminist standards, it's about being better people.

Anyone who fails to see that or misinterprets something as sexist is obviously not an 'advanced' thinker.

It must however be utterly disheartening to see that despite your best efforts, people will be people, and will choose to be blind just to follow a twitter trend or some other nonsense and use harmful language against someone who values language so much and has spent his entire life defending the idea that people are 'worth it'.

It makes ME want to leave twitter.
Twitter is often used by celebrities for PR for their projects. Many of them have people who tweet for them. Judging by the content of his tweets, joss did them himself.

My sons are not (yet) a celebrities (though one has a popular band that plays in Philadelphia frequently), but they only go on Facebook to promote their gigs/shows. I think the one with the band is on Twitter, again only to promote their gigs. They both say that being online takes up too much of their time. Could be that Joss, now without anything to promote, has decided the same.

The person who made me eliminate Twitter, ironically, was Nathan Fillion. Loved his tweets, but they would eat up the battery life on my phone, and they would often start at 3 a.m.!

The things people posted are absolutely abhorrent. Things I would never even say to a mortal enemy ... Nothing Joss has done deserves anything close to the disgusting and offensive things said about him or to him on twitter. Things that at best make me want to quit twitter and at worst make me wonder if Ultron and Marty were right.

[ edited by Penthos on 2015-05-05 03:11 ]
@Lioness Let's not put the blame for harassment on the victims, or dismiss abhorrent behaviour as 'oh, it's just the Internet'. There is a problem and this kind of attitude is a part of it.

I know people who were tweeted (TW) images of animals being tortured and rape threats to their partners and children. Or, things like making an account of their dying dog and tweeting at them from that account.

I can assure you a lot of what Joss received was deeply disturbing and not amusing in the slightest.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2015-05-05 03:29 ]
Lioness in no way blamed the victims of harassment. Trolls, harassers, & abusers were not invented on Twitter.
@NYPinTA That's how I read "it is what you make of it".

No, harassment has not been invented on Twitter, but it will continue to thrive as long as we accept that it's the only way to exist online and as long as we keep telling the victims, rather than the harassers, to leave.

Having said that, I don't know if Joss ever really wanted to be on Twitter, but the way we think about online presence should change. We can do better. For example, this site is doing better, as many have noted. This site is also online, yet it manages to be a safe space where people can disagree with each other without threats and harassment.

We can do better. We can expect better. We can behave better. Harassment is not, and should not be an inevitable outcome of online existence.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2015-05-05 04:27 ]
I think "it is what you make of it" was just a suggestion that we should blame the messages, not the carriage service.

"... this site is doing better, as many have noted."

For the most part, but there'a been some emphatic marginalisation and ridicule of some interpretations of a certain Black Widow line which have IMO skirted very close to the line of bullying. That saddens me.

"Horribleness is not inherent to online or anonymity"

I think that was largely Lioness's point also.
If someone were to organize a "send love to Joss" campaign, I'd be all in favor of that.
I think Joss, sleeping on his gigantic pile of money will be okay!
I've heard some really great advice regarding the various trolls and haters on social media. They don't win unless you engage them. Use Twitter to engage your fans and ignore the gibberish.

Now we don't get to enjoy Joss as fans on Twitter. The trolls have won....

But again, Joss is resting on that big ol' pile of money, he's gonna be OK!
Wow, just read all the crap people were writing about him on Twitter. I changed my mind, I think that man could use a hug right now...
I believe what Lioness was saying was that Twitter can be a good social experience. A lot of people were bashing Twitter as being a horrible place to spend time. For many of us it is a wonderful way to connect with friends. Unfortunately there are people on Twitter, as on just about any social media site, who use the anonymity of the Internet to spew hatred and vitriol such as some of the examples in the link above. No way was Lioness or anyone else I read here blaming Joss for anything that was directed his way.

Maybe that was what made him leave Twitter; maybe he had a brilliant idea that he wanted to concentrate on *cough* Goners *cough*; maybe he was just damned tired. Certainly all the interviews I've read and listened to over the past few weeks have sounded like that.

I for one would just like to thank him for all the work he has done with Marvel over the past few years. I've enjoyed all of it - the two movies that were all his, the additions/changes he made to some of the other movies, and for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I don't think he owes us anything.
Aw, nuts. I loved his voice over there.

I started using Twitter during Occupy Wall Street, and I agree that it's what you make of it. Good way to get links to what's going on in the activist world. But also a good way to go crazy if you get sucked into the negativity for too long. I still use it, but not much.

I love you, Joss! Never let 'em get you down! *hugs*
PaperSpock, put me down for the Joss love bomb project. I have no inside people at studios or contacts to get him a, what? Maybe an Award for Twitter perseverance til the end or Happy Age of Ultron opening, Glad You Didn't Expire Making It? I think he might really appreciate whatever "It" turned out to be. :=)
I'll miss reading him there. Still, onwards to other things!
Come to think of it, I also started using Twitter during Occupy Wall Street. It was useful when other means of communication failed, but it's also a venue where it's hard to filter out all the crap on there.

Wow! Finally got to read through the hateful shit people were saying! I don't blame him for shutting down his account. No way he deserved anything like that!

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2015-05-05 07:39 ]
Maybe This means Joss will start posting here again.

We could hope...
And in no particular order:

Firsly - What Lioness said is right. If you are going to hate, you are going to hate. Twitter is just another medium. The Buffy writers got threatened on message boards back in the day. That was unacceptable then as it was now. Before the Internet, so-called fans sent poison pen letters. Equally unacceptable. The problem is that fandom has never been this big before. Fandom is huge and there are more of those who think their behaviour is acceptable. This can have an echoing effect. And drives people away. We need to call this behaviour out a lot more.

Secondly - we're not a perfect site and sometimes we drop the ball. If you think there are issues, please let us know via email. The address is at the bottom of each page.

Thirdly - a better economic status does not make you immune you to social media abuse.

Fourthly - before Joss went on Twitter, some ill-informed people thought @Whedonesque was Joss. We did get a small taste of the abuse he got. Not pleasant in the slightest.

Fifthly - I really like Age of Ultron. Joss did a good job.
I'm in with the love bomb project :)
Here's a bit from an unpublished Rolling Stone Joss interview:

"Brian Hiatt: You quit Twitter for a while and then returned, right?

Joss Whedon: You know, you gotta. You gotta take a break. It's great. It's weird. I've met people I really admire and some great friends. I've had a lot of fun making stupid jokes. I've linked to things all this stuff. I've seen hilarious posts. But, it's also a grenade of hate that lives by your hip. No, I don't need a hate grenade today."
And here's some Whedonverse reactions:

Steven Deknight: "You don't like creative choices in a movie, by all means, express yourself. But some of the vitriol recently directed at Joss Whedon is screechingly psychotic. The proper response to that kind of bullshit is a resounding "fuck you" followed by repeated mashing of the block button. But unfortunately Joss always was a much nicer guy than I am."

Jewel Staite: "I love Joss's work, his brain, his dance skills, and his friendship. He's too classy to say this, but I'm not: All you haters can fuck off."

James Gunn: "Most of you are aware of this, but anyone who urges a filmmaker to kill himself over a movie plot point needs to seriously examine his life. As fans it's our duty to take what we don't love with what we do & accept not everything will play out onscreen as we imagined. And yes, I realize that 95% of fandom are beautiful, loving, thoughtful, well-adjusted people - and you are truly & deeply appreciated by me"
I miss the good old Bronzer days to be honest. We had haters back then as well but it was somehow less "big".
From my impression Joss wants some peace and quiet right now. Hence all his references to getting naps ;-) I think that maybe the whole hype around him in general got even bigger than he imagined and that probably played into not doing the next Avengers movies. That and introducing even more characters. Avengers works better as a series in my opinion because there´s enough time to deal with all the characters probably.
Anyway when you want some real peace and quiet moving away from the social networks is actually a good thing. I´ve seen other people, famous and not famous, do that and they all said it helped. As for not simply letting the account stay up unused, he probably deleted it to remove the temptation and to prevent it from getting hacked.

Thing is the bigger you get, the more every word of you, every deeds or smile or whatever is getting analyzed. Good or bad. And that can be very tiring.
I think Joss simply wants some time off and he´ll be back. Either on Twitter or here or whatever. He likes interacting way too much to be gone for good.
Our weekly #whedony Twitter meetup turned into an exuberant celebration of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
I skimmed through some of the tweets and it is truely shocking what some of them would write- while none of Joss' work is perfect, no one deserves to have that kind of abuse hurled at them for writing a film.
(Agree with the love bomb project/ protocall/ initiative.)
I am a very recent convert to twitter, and as others have noted obviously the technology is neutral. Where it differs from message boards, or poison pen letters is that message boards can be ignored, or simply not read, poison pen stuff used to be filtered out by agents/management etc. but twitter is like a stream of vitriol and invective beamed directly into your brain. I was astounded at the sort of crap people were slinging his way, no one needs that shit, least of all someone who's spent the last three years of his life pouring his heart & soul into this film. Or to put it another way, what Steven Deknight & Jewel Staite said.

Edited to add: the BBC have picked up on it now:

[ edited by Jack Diamond on 2015-05-05 14:24 ]
Of course while no one here TRULY knows why he deleted his account, I don't think it's crazy to say that the negativity probably did get to him. Based on things he's said in the past (some even on Twitter), Joss seems like the type of guy who honestly does care what people think of him. He doesn't have the kevlar skin some celebrities do. He said he'd be watching Rotten Tomatoes, and I don't think that was a joke. He's SO self-deprecating and I think some of that stems from his own self-esteem. I'm not about to pretend to know if he has low self-esteem or even depression issues...that's presuming too much. However, I honestly feel like Joss needs to see that he's pleased people to an extent. I just picture him scrolling through Twitter looking for those rave reviews, while having to skip over a dozen absurdly hurtful posts. That's what makes me sad about all this.

I hope I'm 100% wrong and he's relaxing on his pile of money drinking margaritas right now.

Also, he absolutely needs to do another Reddit AMA again. That's a MUCH more positive way to engage with fans (trolls are there, but in smaller number and much more easily ignored). Or better yet, let's get an Ask Me Anything on Whedonesque!!! Simon, Sunfire!?! :)

[ edited by SuperScuba on 2015-05-05 14:30 ]
That Beeb article just made my heart fall out, in terms of how it represents joss (and his fans).
After reading some of the messages sent there is no way any of those people were ever his fans.
Oh, totally. I think there's a mixing up of fandom and 4chan here.
"It makes you wonder if it was something Marvel wanted him to have for promotional purposes.

Shea | May 04, 20:21 CET "

I'm thinking this. He never bothered with a public Twitter before he started work on the first Avengers and now his work on the second is finished he deletes his Twitter.

That said if his experience was positive he may have stuck around. Social Media can be a horrible place for the average person and a complete minefield for those who are famous. No matter which side you take, however simple you keep your tweets there's a crowd that will harrass you.
I think we've arrived at the point where sociopaths are no longer a small, aberrant group... they're a demographic.

Or maybe it's always been like that, and social media simply gave a voice to the once-silent majority of psychos who don't go so far as to shoot up a school or join ISIS.
@faneater - he actually joined around the time of Much Ado and he admitted he did so primarily for promotional purposes for his indie. I think once he was on he found it interesting enough to stick around, but ultimately not worth the bother
After this, and seeing how some people were taking victory laps on tumblr,I had to do a lot of unfollows,people who seem fairly decent celebrating and going "I'll take a shit on joss whedon's backyard, I don't care" if twitter can be toxic, tumblr is about a million times worst.

I wonder if a certain group people are attracted to this places, to fandom spaces for attention, I know there's at least a couple of manipulative sociopaths around.

I was wondering yesterday if maybe these people are just really young or immature or if this is their first fandom experience or what
I think, as the Stanford Prison experiment showed

that this is a depressingly common phenomena, add the anonymity of 'ter interweb multiply by herd mentality = incoherent shitstorm. That most of this stuff reads like it was written by semi-literate pre teens and is almost comically far off the mark (transphobic? how? what?) doesn't lessen its impact.

I'm naturally thick skinned, and work in an industry which makes it pretty much a requirement, but that stuff is just vile.
I agree. People celebrating running him off twitter makes me unhappy, to put it mildly. It's not worth celebrating. In fact, these people have made it that much harder for those of us who are willing to communicate in a civil manner wiout insult or abuse the deep problems we find in and criticisms we have of his work.
Yes, more than any other social media site I've encountered, Tumblr seems to encourage people to not just jump to conclusions, but to then violently defend those conclusions without any kind of critical analysis.

And the worst part is that the topics so often at hand are incredibly worthy of discussion and analysis.

Personally, I didn't have major issues with Black Widow's storyline or characterization. But I think it's entirely valid (if not really important) for those who did to voice their concerns. But that kind of reasoned conversation gets drowned out by people who are not interested in starting conversations, so much as demonstrating how informed and socially aware they consider themselves to be.

It's a really awful phenomenon that I think does a lot of damage to activism in the long run.
People lack boundaries with social media because they feel distanced from their actions. It reminds me of the vile behaviour you get on the roads where minor incidents have people gesturing and mouthing obscenities because they are about to drive away. It feels pretty damning if this is how people react with a bit of freedom from consequence and showing glee at making someone feel so affected by the behaviour of others that they remove themselves from the situation is just more of the same. *sigh*
This sucks so much. I really enjoyed Joss' tweets, and I thought he stuck to it much longer than anyone could have expected.

I'm a fan of using twitter, in general, but double-yeahs to this.

Sunfire: I think it just requires a lot of effort to find signal in the noise...

I have no idea what it actually feels like to be a high-profile twitter user like Joss, though I can imagine...

Also, let me fix the header fruom that BBC article:

"Director Joss Whedon has deleted his Twitter account, following criticism the barrage of hate and bile directed at him after the release of his latest film, Age of Ultron."

Joss is not new to criticism of his work - he's been receiving it regularly since the 1990s. But there's no reason anyone would want to stick around for the piles of ugly invective currently being hurled at him, especially since AoU's release. As he called it earlier: hate grenades. (And I keep thinking about his kids: sooner or later, such a high-profile person's children get included in the online abuse - I'd imagine he'd want to preclude that. At the very least, they must be old enough to get online now & then, and who wants their kids to see that crap?)

I especially liked James Gunn's post today on Facebook about not getting angry about/at the folks who verbally abused & threatened Joss - that they are messed up & unwell. I needed that reminder.

"So, again, it's easy to be outraged by these tweets. But whatever these angry tweeters are in need of, I don't think it's more anger and more rage thrown back at them on Twitter. I actually think that's what they're seeking. But what they need is something different. Compassion, maybe? A kind request for boundaries? I don't know. Maybe you guys have some ideas."

I also don't think the abusive bile comes from fandom, per se - I think actual fans who are critical post actual criticism, not hate & threats.

Anyway, Joss may come back sometime, who knows? This is his second departure, after all. (BTW, it was my impression that he first started tweeting to promote Much Ado About Nothing, from which account he originally began tweeting.)

But much as I'll miss him, I hope he takes a good long cleansing break, and also maybe sages his page, to remove the toxicity. ; ]
Yes, he initially joined just to promote Much Ado About Nothing. EW interview.
Sorry if this is a repost, but I thought Patton Oswalt said it best.

“There is a “Tea Party” equivalent of progressivism/liberalism. And they just chased Joss Whedon off Twitter.”

This movement of liberal PC crazies is getting just as bad as the holly rollers on the right with censorship in the US. It is starting to destroy comedy and any art that pushes the boundaries of what is accepted. While there should not be a law against it, I think US news companies and bloggers need to stop getting their articles from Twitter which gives theses Twitter twits validation of their hate and anger issues.

BTW, both Patton and I are very big liberals, but there is always a small group of people that ignore the facts and just base their opinions on their own preconceptions instead of fact. I think that is who Patton is referring to.

[ edited by Jayne's Hat on 2015-05-06 06:06 ]

[ edited by Jayne's Hat on 2015-05-06 06:07 ]
I'm pretty sure that we can't be sure who is behind much of the bile Joss has been getting. There are all kinds of reasons that various groups/loose affiliations have for promoting the notion of other various groups/loose affiliations being the promulgators of this crap.

At this point, I'm no more willing to hold "liberal PC crazies" any more responsible than I am any other combination of political/social/religious groups, etc. Patton Oswalt may believe it, but it doesn't make it true.

There are a number of folks that have had it out for Joss over the years, all of whom have motivations for 1) jumping on the bandwagon of trashing Joss, and 2) wanting to make it look like others are doing it.

I'm not firm in my mind about who all the players are in this latest round of Hunt The Joss, but it behooves one to look beyond the immediate appearance of this crap, and see who might have "reasons" to be pissed at Joss and the things he's said both inside & outside of his work.
I am shocked at the level of hatred and just plain meanness being aimed at our big damn purple hero. I can't tell you all how many times I've laughed, cried and was prfoundly moved by the words and thoughts that originated in the mind of Joss Whedon. (I realize I'm kinda preaching to the choir here...)

Is there somewhere very public The Black could post Joss' Equality Now speech?
I don't see what posting his EN speech would do. It's hardly a secret. Certainly what critics he does have on the feminist side of things aren't unaware of it. It's existence doesn't preclude criticism.
Thanks B!x, I didn't say it precluded criticism. And while it is not a secret, I bet Whedonesque is getting a lot of eyes that it normally doesn't and it might be nice to share. I wasn't actually thinking it would be a response to feminists but more of a commentary on who Joss is as a human being.
I thought Mary Elizabeth Williams writing about this on made a good point or two (bolding mine):

"...there isn’t a single social group in the world that doesn’t contain deeply disturbed jackasses with thumbs, ready to actively hate you for whatever you say or do. And the bottom line is that if you’re threatening or abusive, you’re threatening or abusive first, whatever the declared allegiance you hide behind second."
Since I saw Joss' 2013 Equality Now Genderist speech, I've often thought it should be embedded on the main Internet page of every Social Media platform there is: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, Google+, The Times, Rolling Stone, all of them. But no more. "He's an awful person" - that's from a young woman in the EW comments section about the Twitter leavetaking. That simple statement hit me about as hard as any of the vile things that upset me over the past several days. How would she know he's awful? Because you disagree with him, he's an "awful person"?

I now conclude after attempting to sort of reason with someone else there who responded to my thoughts, someone who didn't give a shit Joss' mom was instrumental in helping create Equality Now, or what kind of man Joss is, what Equality Now is, or stands for, that any attempt to do this, no matter what James Gunn thinks is preferable or possible, is about as useful as tits on a log. You could put the Genderist speech up on a huge screen in every town square and it would not change the mentality or discourse of these Internet thugs. Something will have to occur, some shift in the zeitgeist. Perhaps we, the sane ones, will have to walk away from social media and meet up in protected forums like this one to have meaningful conversations. I don't know if there even is an answer. Yet.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2015-05-06 05:42 ]
I do generally feel though, that we shouldn't conflate people who do take issue with Joss' particular expressions on certain issues (like myself, though understanding that Joss is well-intentioned, believe he, for example in his genderist speech since it was brought up, misses certain points, but this thread is not about that) with hateful people who create toxic environments on social media and treat this more like a point-scoring contest that proves they're "socially aware" rather than bringing to light certain flaws in a particular media text and its creator and asking they improve and do better.

I do not think people who are simply critical and generally disliking certain strains in his work should bear the brunt nor should those who hurled insults and hate be used as a pretense to keep criticism away from social media and from being directed at a creator. Harsh criticism does have its place, when not peppered with profanities or death threats or cap lock or exclamation point slamming.

And that is truly what people who feel the need to disregard their own tone are doing. They're, in the end, destroying our ability to criticize--even harshly if that's what is necessary, harshly but respectfully worded--those works and creators we feel could do better. Should do better. As well-intentioned as Joss is, he is not a woman in today's American culture, he's not a person of color, he's not (as far as I am aware) a non-straight non-cis person, and if these communities feel he has done or written something offensive, they were able to reach out and properly inform him. Those who truly are trolls and hateful have taken away that ability. So now Joss, for all his good intentions, becomes that much farther from community feedback in an age where it should be easier to inform content creators, including high profile creators like him, when and where they are unknowningly and inadvertantly stepping on toes.

[ edited by TenTonParasol on 2015-05-06 05:40 ]
I understand your points but I actually feel as though the man/person Joss is, is what informs every bit of work that he does through the creative process. If he had had no inner Buffy trying to get out, she would never have been born. Obviously, he does not have a free and unilateral hand, or perhaps AOU would have been a bit different (I haven't seen it yet). I bring up the genderist speech because I think that it does show how he grapples with language and meaning, and so many people do not understand that he means well.
I have an account but I almost never check it. I started to read the tweets about Joss but I have no desire to soil my brain. The internet is really becoming a shrieking mob.
It started out as a unifying communicative force, but now it seems to have been taken over by bullies, trolls, propaganda and horror.
Of course I wasn't on back in the days of the Bronze so maybe it was always bad. So much good, so much bad, just like humanity itself.
Yeah what TenTonParasol said.
No one is perfect. No one will ever be able to be fresh, honest, real and off the cuff and be 100% sure of offending no one anywhere at anytime. The standards at which we hold people are ridiculous and seem intentional in order to tear them down and apart with bloody glee. It's vicious and sick. We all do our best and the best of some is a whole lot better than many of us will ever achieve. I'm disgusted with this whole fiasco. Fandom has pissed me off and disappointed me greatly in the past but not sickened me to this point. Black widow is awesome. Joss is awesome. I adore Age of Ultron. I am a feminist who decided not to breed. WTF is the problem?
Harsh criticism does have its place, when not peppered with profanities or death threats or cap lock or exclamation point slamming.

I've seen too many cases of fandom not knowing when to stop with the harsh criticism. There's no sense of restraint. It builds up and builds up until critical mass. We're not yet at that stage of having an equal relationship with those involved with the making of the things we like. Maybe one day. And I'm not even convinced there should be an equal relationship.
This has already been touched on by several of you, but I think "intent" is often completely ignored by the critics and "haters." Of course Joss might not always use the perfect words or ideas, because nobody's perfect! So rather than pick apart any SINGLE opinion or statement he puts forth, people need to understand his "intent" for entering the discussion. Anyone with eyes and/or ears can easily Google Joss and find out ALL the ways he's tried to support feminism and promote strong female characters in fiction. Sure, you can pick apart his Genderism speech if you think he misrepresented the cause in some way, but no one can deny that he's TRYING to help. That's what makes me saddest. Here's a MAN in a position to really benefit the cause, but some people would rather knock him down than try to feed off the ideas of his that they DO agree with. If you're trying to build an army, you don't send home one of your strongest soldiers because he's wearing the wrong color shoes...sorry, that metaphor was weird :)
No, I think the metaphor apt. You tell him to change his shoes. He is trying, which is what I do believe, and he is open to changing his shoes. And I do agree that there's too much tendency to assume people are static and unable to change if needed when given proper input, support when they do get things right (I always learned, critique starts with what you like, it's considered good form), and respectful feedback.

As far as harsh criticism, Simon, I do agree there too. Fandom, especially in the younger, have no sense of how to properly word, how to properly temper, and how to properly restrain. I feel like capturing ants with honey is lost in favor of vinegar these days. I read many of the comments and I get a real sense nobody's ever workshopped anything before. (Granted, majority of people haven't so the point is pointless.)

Do think everyone's voice should be weighed equally? Of course not. But I do believe we should move in favor of having more people express their opinion, and the creator will have to reap what they feel necessary. It is in the end the creator's decision and they can disregard what they like, bad advice, good advice. I do think an audience should be allow express it though (with the understanding that content creators--while we can try to expect them to do better, to better execute their intentions, and to give em feedback regarding this--make their own decisions in the end.)

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