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PewDiePie quits Twitter, talks about ‘virtue signaling’ on social media

/ 05:08 PM December 17, 2019
PewDiePie

PewDiePie  (Image: AFP/John Lamparski)

Just right after announcing that he will be taking a break from YouTube early next year, PewDiePie (real name: Felix Kjellberg) quit Twitter and talked about how the true essence of “virtue” has been misconstrued on the social media platform.

Despite not directly deleting his Twitter account, Kjellberg has unfollowed everyone he previously did and has deleted all the contents on the platform, except his bio, which reads: “I don’t use Twitter, this account is just to prevent fake accounts.”

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PewDiePie

PewDiePie’s Twitter account. Image: screenshot from Twitter.com/@pewdiepie

Kjellberg slammed the “constant posturing that goes on” on Twitter, saying it has become a “cesspool of opinions” of people who only say rather than do things that make them truly “virtuous,” as he explained in a YouTube video he posted yesterday, Dec. 16, aptly titled “I hate twitter.”

“I hate Twitter, I think about deleting mine all the time,” he said. “People just can’t seem to help themselves from pointing out what is good, and what is bad, and how others are bad and how you are good. To the point where it almost becomes fiction where you satisfy this need.”

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“I don’t mind that this happens, I understand that it does, but what annoys me most about it is that it gets rewarded. Through social media, we get likes, we get engagement by boasting about certain things; it’s very popular,” he added.

Kjellberg then noted the contrast between the “reward” system in sports and on social media today.

“Previously, we have for thousands of years rewarded the winners: the people who act, the ones who run the fastest, swim the fastest, score the most goals, etc. etc. We don’t reward the ones who say they run the fastest [laughs].”

He then goes on to say that social media has somewhat made this “backward,” as people get rewarded for saying things “that make you seem virtuous, rather than acting on it.”

“It explains why the site has become such a cesspool of opinions, and how, more often than not, those that boast about being virtuous often through hiding are not,” he added.

What makes someone virtuous then?

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Kjellberg, an admitted fan of Ancient Greek Philosophy, tried to answer the question he posed by citing Aristotle, arguably the most famous student of the Swedish star’s favorite philosopher Plato.

Digging deep into Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, Kjellberg talked about “eudaimonia,” a Greek word for “happiness,” saying it is achieved when one acts virtuously following Aristotle’s concept of “The Golden Mean.”

“According to Aristotle, virtue is habit. What this means is that, it can’t be taught. You can’t teach someone how to be a good person or how to act the right way. Instead, it’s something that comes through practice,” Kjellberg explained. “One good act doesn’t make you a virtuous person, instead it’s something that you have to keep practicing through action and habit, could achieve.”

He then went on to explain that achieving eudaimonia is knowing your potential and rightly acting upon it and finding the “golden mean.”

“Eudaimonia is acting virtuous because you enjoy being virtuous, and it’s realizing your potential of acting upon it. By the way, f*ck Twitter,” Kjellberg said.

Just as Kjellberg curses at the social media platform, the visual showed a description of the term “virtue signaling,” which is a term used to call the act of saying something intended to boast one’s supposedly good character in public.

The video, which is a departure from his usual light and humorous “meme” content, has garnered around 2.6 million views and nearly 450,000 likes, as of this writing. The YouTube star, however, previously produced a series of similar videos he calls “book review,” in which he also talked about Greek philosophy.  /ra

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