Reactions to Twitter’s New Character Limit Top This Week’s Internet News
This week in “Your faves are problematic” news, Louis C.K. and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, your time has come. But in other news, Eminem has a new song with Beyoncé, which is giving the internet something else to talk about. Is there anything else that had everyone talking last week? Why, we’re glad you asked.
Trump’s Merger Mission
What Happened: Just how badly does the president hate CNN? Enough to potentially step over the line and interfere with its business dealings? Let’s find out.
What Really Happened: AT&T has been in talks to buy CNN parent company Time Warner for a long time now—WIRED even came out against it more than a year ago—but this week, seemingly out of nowhere, the efforts hit a major, unexpected snag.
But is there an alternate take on this story to make it look as if it’s being done to hurt the president? As a matter of fact…
Never forget how magical the internet can be for those looking for … almost anything, really.
The Takeaway: Of course, maybe there are legitimate reasons for the Department of Justice to be concerned about the Time Warner deal…
…well, not those reasons, obviously.
So, About That Roy Moore Story…
What Happened: Remember when electability and morality were actual things people cared about? The US Senate race in Alabama might convince you that is no longer the case.
What Really Happened: In order to get you up to speed as quickly as possible, let’s just start with this tweet from Thursday.
That didn’t sound good on at least a couple of levels, and when the Washington Post story finally dropped the story about the allegations against Roy Moore, it was a big deal.
How bad could it be? Well, it depended on your political allegiance and your location, it seems, as one reporter found out when he called Alabama Republican figures to talk about the allegations.
It wasn’t just Republican officials in Alabama who were dismissive of this story, some folks on Twitter were as well.
Man, 2017 sure is a year and a half, huh?
The Takeaway: Still, it’s not like it could get any more intense, right?
Oh, that’s right. 2017.
Twitter: Now with Twice the Characters!
What Happened: It finally arrived: Twitter now let’s everyone say twice as much.
What Really Happened: It’s something that everyone literally knew was coming—really, it’d been expected since September—but Twitter officially rolled out its new 280-character limit wide last week, unleashing all manner of coverage from a media obsessed with the illusion of change. But how did the new character limit go over on Twitter itself?
But the final word on the switch, according to many who quoted this for truth—or, at least, entertainment value—was, apparently, this:
The Takeaway: Thankfully, someone was willing to speak truth to power.
(We also didn’t need 50-character display names, but that also happened last week.)
A Verified Debacle
What Happened: Apparently, being a white supremacist is newsworthy in and of itself.
What Really Happened: Doubling the amount of characters per tweet wasn’t the only hot water Twitter managed to get itself in last week, as it turned out. You know that whole “verification check mark” thing that’s been a thorn in the company’s side since it started being rolled out last year? Well…
As the backlash got in full swing, Twitter attempted to use those 280 characters to dig itself out of the hole that was rapidly forming. Somewhat unsuccessfully.
Twitter boss Jack Dorsey got personally involved.
But did that help…? Let’s go with “no.”
The Takeaway: In this of all weeks, Twitter’s position has not been the best look.
Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus
What Happened: Perhaps it’s time for a musical interlude. Just don’t listen to the lyrics, whatever you do.
What Really Happened: Look, it’s been a long, exhausting week. Let’s end with something stupid. Or, at least, something that’s not as smart as it thinks it is.
Yeah. That’s the ticket. I mean, it’s not clear at all from that tweet what is actually being said or whether it’s an endorsement or something else, but still, it’s definitely a ticket. Maybe someone would like to explain, perhaps?
Oh, OK. That’s a little bit more of an explanation, but what is the hot topic in question? Not the store, surely…
Oh. Oh. Actually, let’s save the “oh”s until after you’ve listened to the song for yourself, because it’s certainly something. Hey, Twitter, why don’t you tell us what you think?
One thing’s for sure, however; no matter how good or bad the song is (it’s bad), this is certainly the most mainstream attention for a Keith Urban song in… forever? Please don’t take this as a foolproof method to return to relevance, faded music stars of yore.
The Takeaway: For those who were already preparing to ask “But when do the men get their song?” don’t worry, you’re already covered. (Outside of, like, the rest of the history of popular music.)
Author Graeme McMillan