The internet is on fire (🔥) today as Elon Musk becomes the Head Twit. To leave or not to leave? seems to be the modern question. The Verge reported last night that Elon’s first project is converting the platform’s Twitter Blue subscription from $4.99 to $19.99. Instead of paying to unlock a suite of special features — like a customizable navigation bar and other “perks” — those willing to pay 4x will now be paying for their blue verification check. If the engineers working on the change aren’t ready in three weeks, they’re fired. Not fire, fired.
Angry digital mobs broke out. Everyone from Nate Silver, political tarot-card reader, to David Hogg, Parkland survivor and Harvard undergrad, posted some version of “fuck that.” Countless others raged at the very injustice of it all. We earned those blue check-marks! At the same time, Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter and co-founder, launched the beta for the blue bird’s alternative, Bluesky, no doubt hoping to capture any fleeing throngs. (The name is not to be confused with Blue Sky, the weekly planner company; the brand typography is not to be confused with JetBlue.) Reports surfaced that Musk and Dorsey are in cahoots. Musk tweeted that Nancy’s husband is a patron of the gay arts. Then he took it down. I guess the owner can’t edit Tweets either.
I am happily enjoying a beer on 7th Avenue (it’s beautiful in New York City today), as I debate when I will fly the coop. It’s not really if. It’s definitely when. I’m not much of a Tweeter. I find 140 characters a limiting form through which to communicate anything. Snarky comments thrive with those parameters. I prefer longer-form sarcasm. Political sound bites work well there, too, from both sides of the aisle. Today, sitting Congresspeople re-tweeted Elon’s theory on Nancy’s husband. Junior, that ghastly clown, posted about his Halloween costume. He prefers being a cross-platform moron, posting the same to Truth and Parler, no doubt. Is it Parlor? Parlr? Who the fuck cares? Zero people.
In 14 years, I’ve used Twitter, like most artists, as a way to promote my work. We use it to push out these Medium articles. As the creative industries continue to engage in the type of chokepoint capitalism that Cory Doctorow brilliantly examines, major media and entertainment companies rely on independent artists to be their own one-man marketing…