IN JANUARY, ON the heels of @realDonaldTrump’s second year in office, shortly after Elon Musk had been fined $20 million and Kevin Hart’s Oscar-hosting gig had been canceled because of controversial tweets, and weeks following Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s return from a 10-day silent meditation trip to Myanmar, about which he praised the food and the beauty of the monasteries but neglected to mention the ongoing regional genocide, Twitter made it clear that some things were about to change.
Just not the tweets. Though the company had spent the better part of the year promoting “healthy conversations,” it wasn’t much interested in putting the screws on its users. Debates, disagreements, the occasional blow-out controversy—that was all stuff that made Twitter Twitter. No, instead, Twitter decided to change itself from the outside in. It was time to give the experience of using Twitter a makeover.
EVERY TIME SOMEONE in a position of power (for example) says that a cold snap in winter proves that climate change is not a thing, a dutiful chorus responds with a familiar refrain: Weather is not climate. Weather happens on the scale of days or weeks, over a distance relevant to cities or states. Climate happens over decades, centuries even, to an entire planet.
The problem is, guess what timescale and space-scale people live on?
The question of what can make human beings understand climate change is literally an existential one. It’s complicated by humans’ pathetically short lifespan and their attention-span, roughly akin to that of a cat in a laser-pointer QA lab. How can anyone expect people to grasp the planetary, millennium-encompassing implications of their half-remembered actions? There’s bad news on that front, and as is customary with bad news, it comes from Twitter.
From VCs crying “bubble” to Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca crossfire, we did a retrospective on the year by digging up our favorite Tweets.
At first, these Promoted Tweets will only be seen on Twitter’s site, not through any client (including mobile clients like Twidroid and Tweetie as well as desktop clients like TweetDeck), and they’ll only be linked to search keywords. Use a mobile app, or use the Twitter site without searching, and you won’t see any ads–for now.