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Essay Beach Cleaning

Late last night, 2/20/2018, Twitter cracked down on fake accounts, or "bots", by removing them from the platform completely. The majority of these "bot" accounts were following conservative-leaning people on Twitter. As a result of this mass removal of these accounts, a major chunk of conservative Twitter accounts lost anywhere from 10 to 100,000 followers, and then were "locked-out" of their accounts. People who were "locked-out" were redirected to a page to verify that they are real people, after which, their accounts get restored.

This is now being called the "Twitter Lockout".

I don't want to spend this article talking about the procedures behind the "Twitter Lockout". I don't know enough about the Twitter team to understand their reason for removing these accounts now, or for locking certain people out of their accounts. I, personally, lost about 200 followers (but have regained about 160 of them), and I don't even post "conservative" content. I wasn't really hit by "Twitter Lockout", but a significant amount of accounts have lost thousands of followers, albeit "fake" followers.

I lay out all of this information for you so I can talk about what I would like to see happen after this has now taken place.

I try to engage with a fair scope of people on Twitter. My main reason for having Twitter is to promote my writing and share ideas with others. I follow, and am followed by, Libertarians, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and so on. I have noticed that, even though I try to hear a variety of ideas on Twitter, the majority of people that I follow tend to stick to their "team". I wrote about this "team" mentality in my last article.

Basically, liberals only engage with liberals, and conservatives only engage with conservatives. Now that "conservative Twitter" has had a good amount of their follower base taken from them, I think conservatives should extend an olive-branch to liberal Twitter accounts. We could all turn the "Twitter Lockout" into a positive experience.

We have yet to see something like the "Twitter Lockout" before, which is why it's such a great reset-button on the way we could potentially communicate now. Imagine the conversations we could start if the conservatives, trying to regain a follower base, branched out to accounts they might not have before.

The "Twitter Lockout" could potentially wake people up to the fact that a lot of people they thought were their supporters were actually "bots". This might actually lift the veil off other ways in which they view Twitter.

Lifting the veil off the way we all view Twitter is the main thing I want to happen. Initially, Twitter was just another social platform that people would use, mainly, to follow celebrities. Twitter has now morphed into sets of echo-chambers. The platform is self-serving, only because you get to be selective about who you are in contact with. This goes contrary to reality, where you have to face people in the real world who don't share your same ideas.

I think if people want to make this "Twitter Lockout" a positive experience, we need to go back to the basics of communicating with someone because they are a human, not because they are of the same political party.

Here at HC CNU, we’re surrounded by water. This water has helped provide tons of seafood and fun for Captains and local residents. Not only do we have the James River, but we also have the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean just a car ride away. If you asked most CNU students, one of the number one things they like to do when the weather’s warm (besides hang out on the Great Lawn) is visit Huntington or Buckroe for a good swim and cookout.

But, things are hardly ever perfect. According to Ocean Conservancy, debris in the ocean and beaches can create problems for marine wildlife and for ships as they try to navigate the oceans. If we don’t start focusing on cleaning up our beaches, we might not be able to enjoy watching those amazing sunsets or hosting Greek mixers there. In 2015, there were over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, according to National Geographic. Because of these numbers and the prospective negative outcomes from not fixing this problem, we’ve partnered with Her Campus at College of Charleston to participate in their #HCxSea campaign to help promote awareness for beach cleanliness -- and we’re so excited about it!

If the reasons we just gave you aren’t enough to get you to understand why it’s so important to conserve the beaches, below are five more.

Think of the dolphins

Photo Courtesy of PhotoPin

No, seriously. Think of them, and all the other marine wildlife found in large bodies of water -- they’re in danger. All the cute and funny sea lion memes will no longer be relevant because they’ll all be dead from ingesting plastic, which is toxic for most animals.

People might lose their livelihoods

Photo Courtesy of PhotoPin

Okay, so this one’s a little more controversial. While certain practices of fishing, like drudging, are seen as degrading to the aquatic environment, they won’t have the chance to become more environmentally friendly if we continue to neglect our beaches. There are so many men and women who earn their living by providing us with seafood, and it isn’t fair to them to kill off the things they provide us with. Which actually leads me to my next point…

People will get sick

Photo Courtesy of PhotoPin

Mercury poisoning occurs when you ingest something that has toxic levels of mercury in it. More recently, a variety of fish and other seafood have been found to have high levels of mercury in them. This is mainly due to the fish ingesting other fish that have ingested things with mercury in them. EcoWatch explains that this is why tuna is one of the fish that humans ingest that has a lot of mercury in them; they’re at the top of the marine food chain and eat a lot. High exposure to mercury can actually lead to insanity -- and we definitely don’t need more insane people in this world.

If you want to help sustain marine wildlife and keep our beaches clean, help HC CofC with their #HCxSea campaign -- purchase a shirt and get out there and start cleaning your beaches!

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