• David Wolfe Bender

It's a New Day: All of My Tweets Are Gone

There is a phrase that could potentially define Twitter: "Most of Twitter is created by a very small portion of its user base."

A 2018 Pew Research Center report proved that. Excluding institutional accounts, they found that statistic to be true. In fact, nearly 80% of tweets are generated by only 10% of Twitter's user base.

When I created my account in October 2015, I quickly joined that 10%. I would tweet daily, on nearly every topic that you could think of. One minute, I would be talking about sports; the next minute, I'd tweet about competitive robotics.

But what filled the majority of my timeline? Political opinions. My favorite 2020 Democratic candidates. My feelings on President Trump.

Meanwhile, over the last seven months, I have found ample opportunity as a student journalist, finding possibilities that I never thought would open. In the Summer of 2018, I became one of WFYI News Radio's General Assignment Interns. I gained so much from that experience, but I also had the opportunity to report on some of the nation's most decisive leaders.

In late July, many Democratic presidential candidates spoke in Indianapolis at the National Urban League Conference. As I stood in the Press rafter in the back, I listened as Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Senator Kamala Harris pitched their ideas to a room full of potential voters.

South Bend Mayor and Democratic Presidential Candidate talking to reporters after a speech at the Young Democrats of America Convention

Just before that, I stood literal feet away from South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the press gaggle after the Young Democrats of America convention. The same night, a friend of mine and I talked to Indianapolis City Council candidate (and now-City Council Member) Kieth Potts.

Those opportunities were life-changing, and I hope that, as I continue to push forward student journalism throughout my collegiate career, those opportunities will continue to show.

The best journalists remain as objective as possible. I would be doing a disservice to the term "journalist" if I continued to tweet as irresponsibly as I used to. Therefore, I made the decision this week that I will discontinue all tweets that expose my political opinions and ideologies. I also decided that I would remove all political tweets from the last few years.

To be clear: I make no apologies for the political opinions I supported over the last few years, nor do I believe that they warrant any type of apology. What I will apologize for is the reckless tweeting I did in the past.

After examining the 6,000 tweets from my account since 2015, I quickly came to the realization that the only practical way to remove the political tweets was to remove all tweets from my account through a bot.

So there you have it, my friends: my Twitter timeline, once holding over 6,000 tweets, is now empty. Don't worry, though. I will not stop tweeting. I will continue to tweet about politics; this time, however, it will be done objectively. And you can fully expect that I will be back in that 10% bracket soon.

(And because a few of my friends asked when I told them of my plans: No, I will never stop supporting or tweeting about my favorite sports teams, so please expect that my fandom for the Washington Capitals, Wizards, Mystics, and Nationals will continue, along with my love for D.C. United and Chelsea FC.)