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If some rich dude can buy the public square, then it wasn't the public square.

@irwin It wasn't the public square, it was an iPhone store, and people just stopped going there after it changed management.

@irwin tbf privatization amd commercialization of actual public space(s) isn't entirely unheard of, but I generally agree.

It never was from the very beginning.

Public squares aren't owned by Corporations and Twitter has been owned by a Corporation since Day 1.

That's like saying Disney's Main Street is America's Main Street.

@irwin The Birdsite was never a public square. No centralized platform is.

@theexplorographer @irwin 💯- it always was the coliseum for the gladiators and the spectators that egged them on

@irwin Sadly, despite what many have thought, it was never the public square. This #fediverse is more akin to a public square than the birdsite will ever be

@irwin people called it the public square, but the whole joke was trying to explain anything happening on twitter IRL made you sound totally insane.

@dell @irwin

For at least a decade now editorial and panel programs the world over have been running segments where they put tweets about the topic under discussion up on the screen and guests respond to them. Legislators and policymakers make statements on twitter.

No, it never was, but we've been foolish enough to try use it that way anyway.

@irwin
If a corporation can own the public square then same.

@irwin Right. Also the analogy only works if the public square is a place where everyone yells each other in an endless game of toxic one-upmanship, and where walking through involves the risk of random strangers hurtling rotten vegetables at you.

@irwin if a few corps own entite sectors from seed to the bakery it's not capitalism either. It's a closer to a feudal estate or centrally planned cokmand a control monopoly

@irwin A mall... along with Ts, Cs and security guards 🙄☹️

@irwin the rich dude is the very fortunate village idiot

@werwolf @irwin Not sure I follow. Public would imply gov. owned/controlled. The gov rents out public space (e.g. you can buy a parking pass to park your car on public space). Why couldn’t the gov sell off public space? I seem to recall Greece doing that with some whole islands.

@irwin @werwolf I think in some parts of the US public freeways are sometimes sold & then become privately owned toll-ways. Don’t quote me on that though.

@irwin yup. It was always the mall food court, not the Forum Romanum.

@irwin Did you really think twitter was the public square??

@irwin More like a POPS (Privately Owned Public Space), so pernicious in urban planning these days.

@irwin it was never a public, you just happened to like who owned it.

@irwin
Thats the thing when some rich dude declares his place a public square after setting up some billboards and later on sells it to another rich dude wo doesn't like the idea or thinks that the billboards won't make him enough.

.@irwin public squares are performed, they aren’t just legal distinctions. it was a public square because we all treated it as such and it will cease to become a public square until we can’t.

@irwin I mean yeah, but have you seen how cheap some politicians are to buy?

@irwin But it doesn’t mean it wasn’t *used* as the public square.

@irwin I agree! The definition of the public square seems to be changing, depending on who is making reference to it. Some dislike inclusivity, choice, and diversity, while at the same time using the term public square to exclude. Maybe I'm not making sense, but that's the feeling I have.

To me, Musk's Twitter can never be a microcosm of the public square because he wants to exclude many. People with disabilities, for example. He made that clear by firing Twitter's accessibility team and closing its Human Rights Department.

@irwin what if some government can shoot you if you protest there

@irwin The "public square" you are talking about was always owned by a company. So it never was a public square, it's was just a website.

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A small group of people who remember when social media was more social, and less media.