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The upsurge in news-by-crisis has caused Twitter, the primary weapon in the digital news-by-crisis armoury, to explode from 140 characters per tweet to a massive 280 characters per tweet. This doubling in size is caused by the over consumption of crises that now prevails in news, both fake and non-fake.
The first instances of the obesitised version of a Twitter storm, now upgraded to a Twitter Hurricane, to reflect the recent aggrandisement, have been named Twitter Hurricane Weinstein, (THW) and Twitter Hurricane Spacey, (THS). In both instances, the centres of the hurricanes, Weinstein and Spacey, have asserted they will ‘seek treatment for’ or ‘look at’ their behaviour, which is not much use to their victims, but it does let justice systems and police off the hook. More tweeting is expected, well up to the 280 character limit.
Despite their being no government in Northern Ireland, the new obese twitter activity continues unabated with a gale of hot air emanating from the Twitter community adding to the heat coming from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) enquiry. RHI was a corrupt government licence to burn public money, given out under cover of a scheme to shift businesses, who could afford it, to renewable energy consumption. It may also have served to buy votes and influence. The enquiry stuttered into flame, with non-Twitter users – the vast majority of the world’s population – wondering what all the fuss was about, exclaiming to each other directly: “Tell us something we don’t know.”
Salvation may be on hand for the newly obese Twitter with the announcement that the President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams is to step down from his day job to devote more time to his tweeting, an activity at which he is particularly avid. The Twitter community await with bated breath. The rest of the world’s population just carry on breathing, as best they can.
Immediately following the announcement by Twitter, two UK government ministers left the Cabinet run by Frida Kahlo fan and Prime Minister, Teresa May. Michael Fallon, former Defence Secretary and keen advocate of selling fighter jet bombers to the already oversupplied regime in Saudi Arabia, left the Cabinet in the face of a variety of allegations of sexual harassment, summed up, with tongue firmly in cheek, by one female Westminster staffer, who described Michael Fallon as ‘dodgy in a taxi’. And more.
Another minister, Priti Patel, resigned from the Cabinet because she blurred the line between work and holidays and didn’t tell her bosses. Or perhaps she did and the problem was that more people found out. Or that she didn’t tell them enough and when a second ‘show and tell’ session was required, she was forced to resign. Twitter, well, binged.
Further pressures on Twitter’s girth, causing it to expand two-fold, came from the ironically-named Paradise Papers, which showed that prime-time tv comedy actors, a racing car driver, a sovereign and her family, a football club owner, among others, aided and abetted by well-paid accountants, bankers and lawyers, were moving their cash assets (money, to the non-rich) internationally to evade and avoid paying taxes in their countries of residence.
Some of the people named in the TV programme that investigated the papers are so rich that they didn’t know that this was happening, like you put your hand in your pocket and find a coin and exclaim “Wow! I didn’t know I had that.” And then you tweet about it.
Twitterphiles were disappointed to hear that, obese or otherwise, the Pontiff in Rome is not having any tweeting going on at Mass. Questions of solemnity and attention to a divine ritual were raised, though habitual mass-going tweeters cite their ability to be humourless multi-taskers as an adequate response to the Pontiff’s anger. He is reported to be considering a tweet in response, but Twitter may need another boost in character-numbers to cope with his ire. God has not yet tweeted in response, thus far, though the Twitterati are confident s/he will.
Lead-Twitterer in the world, the US President, eased back on tweeting recently, reportedly because he is not sure he has the vocabulary for 280 characters. Those reports were blasted – where else?- on Twitter by observers of the US President’s visit to China. They noted that the US President couldn’t be expected to maintain his usual level of tweeting with lavish entertainment, banquets and military displays so occupying him. Tweets by other people confirmed that the US President couldn’t rise to a 280 character tweet while consuming weaponry-laden spectacles, accompanied by extravagant buffets of jiaozi and bakpau.
“Tell us something we don’t know” is the widely felt and sometimes expressed reaction to all tweeting, slim and non-slim, be it in the worlds of politics, finances or the widespread field of older men harassing younger women and men, sexually and otherwise.
The old dramatist’s saw applies: show, don’t tell, now amended to: show, don’t tweet. (Check: 15 characters?)