, 22 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Unpacking the class and power structure of any culture requires an understanding of its codes and symbols. Here’s a class analysis of this tweet to explain how journalists mock those they perceive to be a lower-class than them on the twitter community. A thread👇🏻
‘This website’ has become an in-group term for twitter used by journalists and other blue ticks who want to minimise the importance of the voices of other users on here, basically implying it’s just a website, a hobby, insignificant, an entity, a distraction.
This focus on the technical aspects of the platform is basically code for ‘insignificant’. In reality, we know social media platforms are more than just a website. They’re a tool for billions to contribute their valid ideas and contributions on any topic - which is important.
‘Je suis’ refers to twitter users who mobile collectively standing up for others they feel have been treated badly. I think in this case he’s referring to tweeps who stood up for John Wren, but it might be anything. Basically saying we’re being silly showing solidarity for others
Reference to ‘Schapelle Corby’ is to imply this lower class of tweeps are conspiracy theorists, believe anything, follow each other blindly down a rabbit hole and if we were just a little smarter (like a journalist), we wouldn’t be so easily fooled.
‘Takes’ mocks people’s individual contributions to aforementioned conspiracy theory. The concept of a ‘take’ is not usually in the context of mockery, but in this tweet it implies an illegitimate contribution to a silly conspiracy theory.
‘Getting around’ again aims to minimise the importance of collective action on social platforms. Just as you ‘get around’ in a T-Shirt with a brand name, this I think implies a casual association with a cause, perhaps again linking to idea of hobby, and clitivism, wasted energy.
Boogie board emojis in a username is no doubt in reference to the mass adoption of blue tears added to usernames in response to lack of media scrutiny of #Watergate. Our symbol of unity, purpose and protest has become something else to mock us about.
To call the whole tweet a joke is actually the fascinating part. Of course jokes are only jokes because all the codes, signs and symbols in them are recognisable within a culture. The joke in this tweet is on us -lower-class twitter users are being made fun of.
Ever told someone they’re being sexist and their response is ‘learn to take a joke’. When you’re the butt of the joke, you shouldn’t be expected to laugh. Power is exercised in many ways - one way is through mocking those without power. Let them eat cake.
These are the little jabs, sub-tweets and ‘jokes’ that represent the journalist class pushing back against those of us without power, using social media to gain a little more power than we once had by acting collectively.
As well as being mocked and called a conspiracy theorist, you’ll also get called a worthless troll, you’ll be dehumanised as too emotional, you’ll be told what you do has no value and you’ll also be called a partisan cheer leader who can’t be objective. That’s a normal day for me
You’ll notice if you ever do push back - like I do - or when you point out snobbery of journalist class etc you get others from same class or their sycophants piling in to defend journalist, usually also mocking, telling you you don’t understand their little world or how it works
I do understand how it works. I’ve been on this platform for almost 10 years and I’ve seen the upper-class journalist sub-culture grow. I’ve seen the journalists always assume their ideas are more legitimate than anyone from the lower class of twitter users.
I’ve seen them only talk amongst themselves and when they do talk to one of us, it’s only to tell us we’re wrong and they’re right. Have you ever seen a journalist congratulate a non-journalist tweep for an excellent contribution? If it happens it’s incredibly rare.
I’ve also seen the way they mock and deride anyone who criticises their work. I’ve seen them circle the wagons around their ‘mates’ - even from other outlets - when they’re criticised. They have solidarity only within the confines of their institution, never outside.
What I’ve also seen is they absolutely don’t want to acknowledge how threatened they are by contributions to public discourse from people outside of media establishment. They talk about disruption only in a technical sense - advertising dollars etc - not in a cultural one.
Before there was social media, journalists’ power was absolute. They decided what they wanted to talk about, write about, and with their editors, monopolised discussion of culture, politics, morals, sport, everything.
Within the comfort of this powerful position, they grew an expectation that they would never be spoken back to. Their voices were legitimate, and that was that. Their legitimacy is, in their mind, unquestionable. It is what they sell. There is nothing without it.
So when you question it, they protest. On Twitter, that has led to them mocking us, just like above tweet. The #watergate movement - small blue tears - has become a symbol of lower class revolt against upper class journalist power.
Same thing happens by the way whenever power is challenged. Big business hates unions. Patriarchy hates feminism. Many white people hate black activism. Twitter has its own power structures, counter movements and predictably, power pushes back. End.
As I said - when you criticise them, the blue ticks swarm to back up their mates. Ain’t power grand!
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