Star Trek Star Wil Wheaton Reveals Why He Left Social Media

In August, Star Trek: The Next Generation star Wil Wheaton left Twitter. Now he's posted an essay to his website explaining in more details why he felt the move was necessary.

Wheaton left Twitter as part of a larger protest referred to as DeactiDay. The event was intended as a digital mass walkout in protest of some of the problems that users have had with Twitter. This includes what some see as Twitter's unwillingness to police harassment. The major inciting incident was Twitter's refusal to ban controversial conspiracy-theorist Alex Jones.

"Twitter is broken," Wheaton said in his final tweet. "You deserve better than an app that tolerates and welcomes the spreading of abuse and misinformation. Being part of this is not doing us any good. Personally, politically, socially. For a day, a week, forever: your call. It's just a good time to go."

As he explains in his new post, Wheaton hoped to find a better social media home elsewhere. He wanted someplace where he could enjoy the positive aspects of online interactions without the negative. He gave new microblogging network Mastodon a try but was disappointed.

"I found a harsh reality that I'm still trying to process: thousands of people who don't know me, who have never interacted with me, who internalized a series of lies about me, who were never willing to give me a chance," Wheaton says of his brief experience with Mastodon. "I was harassed from the minute I made my account, and though I expected the 'shut up wesley's and 'go f**k yourself's to taper off after a day or so, it never did. And even though I never broke any rules on the server I joined (Mastodon is individual "instances" which is like a server, which connects to the 'federated timeline', which is what all the other servers are), one of its admins told me they were suspending my account, because they got 60 (!) reports overnight about my account, and they didn't want to deal with the drama."

Wheaton then decided to leave the entire concept of social media behind and instead focus on his more satisfying life offline.

"I don't deserve to be treated so terribly by so many random people, so I'm not going to put myself in a place where I am subjected to it all day long," he says. "Please do your best to be kind, and make an effort to make the world less terrible."

It is worth noting Wheaton also has a history of anxiety and depression, something he has written about recently.


What do you think of Wheaton's decision to leave social media behind? Let us know in the comments!

[H/T] AV Club