Twitter’s Pantomime

First published in December 2017.

If Twitter asked when it’s golden age was, the audience would shout ‘it’s behind you’. It’s now full of advertising, hate speech, self promotion and stupid people. It’s not open to developers creating innovation, but it is open to lazy journalists cobbling together reactions to any news story. It’s both ubiquitous and misunderstood, it’s probably dying. 

I joined Twitter late in 2006 the year of its birth, you could Tweet by text as there were no mobile phone clients and little mobile internet, you could tweet from the website; pretty much to no-one. So I Tweeted my first Tweet, an embarrassingly direct answer to the question ‘What are you doing?’ which used to precede the input box, and then nothing for at least six months. 

But almost exactly two years later, Twitter was alive with people and possibilities, with camaraderie and community, with news and not news. And with pleasure and pantomime: Twitpanto.

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