The Question Isn’t Why Joss Whedon and Jaden Smith Quit Twitter — It’s Why Any Celebrity Would Join in the First Place

If you’re at all interested in the activities of Joss Whedon, you’ve probably read that he quit Twitter over the weekend. Shock, horror! Also gone from social media this week: Jaden Smith, who deleted his body of pseudo-profound sentence-case tweets and made his Instagram private. The public always seems to react with surprise when a celebrity cracks and quits Twitter. How could they? But really, the question is: Why on earth would anybody want to be on Twitter in the first place? … Read More

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Activists to Twitter: New Abuse Protections Don’t Go Far Enough

It’s openly acknowledged, even by the company itself, that Twitter is the pits when it comes to protecting users from abuse. In February, a leaked internal memo quoted CEO Dick Costolo as saying, “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years… It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.” An official op-ed last week reiterated the point. “Freedom of expression means little as our underlying philosophy if we continue to allow voices to be silenced because they are afraid to speak up,” wrote Twitter’s general counsel Vijaya Gadde. … Read More

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The Apartment Atop the Eiffel Tower: Links You Need to See

Did you know that The Eiffel Tower was also an apartment building? At least, it was home to one small apartment, which designer Gustave Eiffel used to get away from — or at least above — it all. If you’re getting jealous, as the Parisian elite did at the time, and pining after a secret place of your own, you could always go on a scavenger hunt for secret bars hidden across Britain.  … Read More

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The Real, Obscured Message of ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed': Humiliation Doesn’t Work

In Jon Ronson’s interview with “Mercedes,” a 4chan activist, for his controversial nonfiction book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, she offhandedly explains why controversial site operates the way it does: “On the Internet, we have power in situations where we would otherwise be powerless.” … Read More

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Here’s the Cover for the Mysterious New David Mitchell Novel That Started on Twitter

Slade House, the forthcoming novel from David Mitchell, is apparently “a taut, intricately woven, spine-chilling, reality-warping novel,” one that is “[s]et… Read More

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Inside the Weird World of Twitter’s Celebrity-Impersonating “Parody” Accounts

At 4:50 on the afternoon of March 1, @BillMurray tweeted a joke to his 497,000 Twitter followers: “I always say ‘morning’ instead of ‘good morning.’ If it were a good morning I’d still be in bed instead of talking to people.” His fans responded enthusiastically. “I knew we’d have something in common,” replied one follower; “Thanks for the laughs this am,” replied another. A third took the opportunity for a personal connection: “I watched Meatballs today for the first time in roughly 30 years. It was a good morning with some good memories.” In all, the joke was re-tweeted 1,243 times, and 1,587 Twitter users favorited it.

There’s only one problem: the person tweeting as @BiIIMurray isn’t really Bill Murray. As those with even a passing knowledge of the comedian and actor’s personality could guess, Bill Murray isn’t on Twitter. But “Bill Murray” is. … Read More

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