Twitter is minuscule, but everything comes through it – Visualeyed
D-Stories | Culture

Twitter is minuscule, but everything comes through it

In terms of users, it is the smallest social network, and it seems to be more backward than the other platforms, yet it still remains a very influential agora for the Western world, and not only.

With only 330 millions of active users, it is difficult to compare Twitter to the subscribers of the other social networks: Douyin, Tiktok’s Chinese version, reaches 400 millions of users in China alone, for instance. Notwithstanding, Twitter still remains a very important and influential platform for the Western world, and not only.

It is easy to forget about Twitter when Facebook and YouTube control increasingly wider spaces of dialogue, but what happens in this social network has often significant global consequences: this is the case, for example, of some of the most important social battles of recent history, such as the #MeToo movement, erupted thanks to a series of tweets in October 2017.

Only recently, Twitter’s importance has made itself felt twice: first, when a cyberattack took control of the accounts of several important personalities and American societies, thus scraping together around 120-thousand dollars with deceitful posts; then, when Bari Weiss, a New York Times journalist, declared in his resignation letter that the true director of the prestigious US newspaper had become, de facto, Twitter.

Ask a journalist who has been fired for an old, dredged-up tweet or a woman or person of color who has been doxxed if Twitter is real life. They’ll say yes.

In the past, Twitter made a difference on the 7th October 2016, a crucial day in the vote campaign of the presidential elections: an old video of Trump boasting that he had harassed women went viral around 16, and half an hour later Wikileaks answered, via Twitter, claiming that they had obtained around two thousands emails of the head of Clinton’s election committee, John Podesta – which contributed to the Republican victory.

«Ask a journalist who has been fired for an old, dredged-up tweet or a woman or person of color who has been doxxed (...) if Twitter is real life. They’ll say yes», the opinion columnist Charlie Warze wrote in the New York Times on the importance of the social network.

Moreover, the fact that politics clearly takes an interest in the social network became visible last March, when the Elliott Management fund, well-known for being a substantial sponsor of the US Republican Party, acquired the 4 per cent of the company shares and expressed doubts on the work done by Jack Dorsey, the current CEO of the company.

Many achieve success in politics thanks to the constant and bold use of the platform – one of all, Donald Trump. Indeed, the tweet format allows for an easy and direct exchange between the users and their followers. As a result, today this small social network finds itself between two fires: on the one hand, a part of the US Left criticizes it because it did not ban openly racist users promptly enough, on the other hand the Republican Right accuses it of being partial, since it blocked the profiles of personalities they admired.

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