Freddie deBoer wrote some thoughts after being told a book was “taken down” on Twitter. In this sense, “taken down” seems to colloquially mean something like “entirely refuted.” deBoer takes a stance that is not expressed often enough: Something like a book refutation is not possible within a limited medium like Twitter.
There is no such thing as a damning review of a book in tweet form. Such a thing is beyond the affordances of the medium. A longform book review can do more, but has limits of its own. A book review can be cutting, if it’s rigorous enough - and yes, a certain length is a prerequisite for rigor. A book review can be informative and humorous and generative and entertainingly mean. I write some myself and hope to achieve such goals. But no review alone can rebut an argument expressed over hundreds of words. It might be better, or at least easier, if it were so. But we live in a world of irreducible complexity, and our efforts to wrestle it into digestible chunks to match diminishing attention spans - well, that last part is exactly the contentious issue at hand - don’t magically make life simple enough to understand through maxims or fortune cookies or tweets. It doesn’t work that way.
I wish more people understood the constraints of a platform like Twitter.
→ There is No Such Thing as a Takedown | Freddie deBoer