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Canadian psychologist and bestselling author Jordan B. Peterson announced that he is “departing” from Twitter after finding an “endless flood of vicious insult” on the platform.
“I recently stopped accessing Twitter for three weeks as an experiment,” Peterson began in a thread on Twitter. “I had some of my staff post video links etc. It was a genuine relief. I started to read & write more. I started using it again, a few days ago, and I would say that my life got worse again almost instantly.”
“The endless flood of vicious insult is really not something that can be experienced anywhere else,” the psychologist added. “I like to follow the people I know but I think the incentive structure of the platform makes it intrinsically and dangerously insane.”
So the psychologist said he was “departing” from Twitter.
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“So I told my staff to change my password, to keep me from temptation, and am departing once again,” Peterson added. “If I have something to say I’ll write an article or make a video. If the issue is not important enough to justify that then perhaps it would be best to just let it go.”
He also teased a forthcoming article on “the technical reasons that Twitter is maddening us all very soon,” before signing off, “Bye for now.”
Peterson, who taught psychology at the University of Toronto from 1999 to 2021, rose to prominence after releasing a series of YouTube videos criticizing Canada’s Bill C-16, which barred discrimination on the basis of “gender identity and expression.” Peterson argued that the bill would make the use of certain gender pronouns “compelled speech,” and tied this move to political correctness and identity politics.
Peterson’s lectures and conversations garnered millions of views on YouTube and by 2018, he put his clinical practice and teaching duties on hold, publishing the influential book “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.” After health struggles throughout 2019 and 2020, he published his third book, “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life,” resigned from the University of Toronto, and returned to podcasting.
Critics have condemned Peterson as “pro-patriarchy,” a charge Peterson has denied.
Shortly before announcing his departure from Twitter, Peterson responded to a YouTube video entitled, “Jordan Peterson Weeps Over Climate Activism.”
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“I was speaking of the unacceptable demoralization of young people,” Peterson responded. “I’ve seen it all over the world. And this cynical dismissal is all you can muster? How utterly pathetic.”
“How do you think endless apocalyptic catastrophizing affects children?” he asked.
Twitter has gained renewed attention in recent weeks amid Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s pending acquisition of the platform.
Musk said last week that his acquisition of Twitter is in hold pending details about spam and fake accounts on the platform, yet he added that he is “still committed” to the purchase of the social media company.