Twitter Agrees To Sell Itself To Elon Musk For Roughly $44 Billion

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ZombiePie

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#1 ZombiePie  Staff

In a deal that seems as if it was building up to this point for weeks, Elon Musk is in agreement with Twitter to buy the company for approximately $44 billion. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who is set to receive $42 Million if terminated by Musk, informed all employees at Twitter that “Once the deal closes, we don’t know which direction the platform will go.” For the rest of Twitter's shareholders, the terms of the deal are the following:

Shareholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter stock they own, matching Musk's original offer and marking a 38% premium over the stock price the day before Musk revealed his stake in the company.

A growing proportion of people who use Twitter have indicated a desire to leave the platform citing grievances with Elon Musk. Musk has faced repeated criticism over his use of Twitter and many of the companies under his ownership have faced lawsuits or are currently under investigation over U.S. labor law violations, perpetuating a hostile work environment, and engaging in rampant racism.

However, Musk has maintained that he will maintain free speech as the bedrock of a functioning democracy and Twitter and shared in a press release that under his ownership he wishes to "make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans."

Feel free to share your thoughts and impressions of the news, as well as fears.

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Efesell

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I hate Twitter and Elon Musk, two bad tastes that taste worse together.

Personally, I suspect very little will actually change but weird Musk fans are about to be annoying on an unprecedented scale.

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Nodima

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#3  Edited By Nodima

When I listened to the The Daily and Plain English podcasts about this when it was first making waves a couple weeks ago, both Michael Barbaro and Derek Thompson as well as their guests approached the whole thing as a mostly humorous example of corporate gamesmanship, a real opportunity to speed along some much needed changes for Twitter and, perhaps, the death of the product. Considering that those two guys are likely among the 1% when accounting for how much they actually engage with the platform (to here Thompson tell it, using Twitter "correctly" can amount to something like taking courses in higher education over time) and make use of it in their work, I found it telling that it really sounded like as long as Twitter was OK, it doesn't much matter to its biggest users who's in charge of the thing. It's not like Jack Dorsey was a saint either, right?

Maybe some people boycott the platform, but for what? Telegram? Tumblr? The media and tech spheres have romanticized so much of Twitter's early days and incorporated so much of it into their daily hobby routines and actual workflows that it seems impossible for it to matter who actually owns the thing as long as it continues to work and provide the platform that it does.

Personally? Back when I was an aspiring music journo I gave Twitter a modest shot and found a lifestyle where TweetDeck is always open and always scrolling, or my phone is always pinging me with follows and hashtags, to be a supremely exhausting existence. It's also not fun at all to try and revive that account years later as a personal account and realize if you aren't part of an insular community of some kind you really are just shooting absolute junk into the void. I really don't get why people outside of journalism, academia and tech have any passion for the thing at all and I'm happy to consume my random Twitter intake from various subreddits and other forums.

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AV_Gamer

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#4  Edited By AV_Gamer

There was a time that monopoly rules were in place to keep the super rich from buying everything, but those days are clearly over. Still, a man playing 44 billion dollars just to unban Donald Trump from a social media site is crazy. Anyway, I don't use twitter or facebook, tik tok, instagram, etc. All I have is an email address, that is good enough for me.

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Ben_H

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I just don't understand from any point of view how Musk possibly could think this is a good idea. There's already legislation from the EU coming up for social media, and Twitter hasn't been in the news for a good reason for a long time now. Sentiment towards Twitter from both users and those outside of it is quite negative and it seemed like it has more or less levelled off in terms of growth. They've started doing the same thing Facebook did and have changed how they report their numbers so it's hard to gauge how many people actually still use Twitter.

And yes, as was mentioned above and on The Very Online Show, to properly use Twitter nowadays you basically have to put in a bunch of work to curate your feed because otherwise they will shovel nonstop toxic garbage at you constantly. I have had to mute a ton of words and unfollow a bunch of people just to get my feed somewhat readable but even then their algorithm will ignored muted words for the "What's Happening" section and for ads.

How Musk arranged the funds for this also sounds really shaky and it seems like it could go very badly for him if either Twitter takes a nosedive or any of his other businesses experience problems.

Hopefully he'll have an ROI similar to what Yahoo had with their purchase of Tumblr. It couldn't happen to a better person.

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Lab392

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the site sucks. it functions largely to shove annoying takes and half-baked opinions in everyone's faces. i hate twitter. i hate that it became an important force in politics and culture. i hate that people treat twitter posts and "the discourse" like something important. i hate the sense of importance it gives to any narcissistic freak who can build a following. deleting my account was one of the best decisions i could have made. i hope musk ruins it.

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Vulpius

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If this is what it takes to make people abandon Twitter en masse, then so be it.

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wakka

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Well, free speech is more of an issue than some would like to admit. Chris Hedges, long ago, was booted from NYT for opposing the wars in the Middle East; he was then pushed to the margins to Truthdig.com, which was sent into oblivion when the workers tried to unionize; finally, he landed on RT (AKA Russia Today), which has recently been de-platformed because of its affiliation with the Russian gov't (all of Hedges' "On Contact" episodes have been scrubbed from YouTube, for example). Abby Martin is an example of another journalist who has been caught in similar, censorious crosshairs. These are progressives I'm talking about, so it's not like conservatives or Trumpists are the only ones having an "inclusivity" issue.

If Musk's perspective is that the breadth of acceptable free speech on the platform is constrictive for both progressives and conservatives alike, I agree, and I wish him good luck with his mission ...

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splodge

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hashtag booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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CyrusRaven

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It won't happen because people are cowards but if the whole world or even a large percentage of it just stepped away from Twitter well that that would be just incredible.

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tartyron

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@wakka: that isn’t his mission. I don’t know what he is after, maybe soothing his ego or trying to one up other rich assholes, but trust me, dude does not give a fuck about free speech for anyone but himself and those that so loving swallow his bullshit.

Not that Twitter’s board did either. The real best thing that could happen is the company goes under like MySpace and we all move on as a species. But we won’t.

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Onemanarmyy

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#12  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I'm sure there was thought put to this but i can't help but see the 5(4.20) and think about Elon enjoying his fav Clancy quote If you can control information, you can control people, and then making the decision that Twitter = The information stream = The pathway to control people. It all sounds pretty dystopian, let's hope reality will be nicer.

Also let's hope he won't make a Twitter themesong with Grimes that autoplays as you open a twitterlink.

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ZombiePie

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#13 ZombiePie  Staff

@wakka: I have to issue a slight clarification to at least one of your points. Abby Martin faced criticism for their journalism because of their prior support of the 9/11 truther movement. While serving her capacity as a journalist, she claimed 9/11 was "an inside job." She was de-platformed and went to RT to further this narrative while reporting for the Russian-backed news network. In 2014 she retracted her support for the 9/11 truther movement, but the damage to her reputation was done.

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mAAArii

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People keep trying to make the internet more than what is. It is for paying bills, backing up photos, porn(video delivery), news, traffic, weather, price verifying, D&D (gaming),and light-weight stalking (tindr). The opinion aspect has run rampant. Opinion is just alt.newsgroup from the 90s. Printshop is more sophisticated so you can trick people with images and video. Twitter is another essential service i've avoided. Outside of Wario64 and i've stopped doing even that because you're bound to see some junk that you don't need in your life. Other than the incorporation of 911 services and traffic alerts centralizing nothing good has come of twitter. Retweet this if you want a chance to win $1,000 in dogecoin.

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FacelessVixen

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Welp, I guess I'll start following my favorite rule 34 artists on Newgrounds.

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brian_

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As a human, I can't wait to be authenticated.

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MVHVTMV

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I don't fully understand the hate some people have for Twitter (above and beyond social media itself). It's filled with toxic dickheads, but no-more than any other part of the internet. The things that make it the most dysfunctional social media platform also make it the best IMO.

It's so incredibly easy to block every single brand that hoves into view, and most of the more annoying blue-checkmark dorks too. Once you've put in a tiny bit of effort you're left with an ad-free feed of mostly interesting folks.

I think it gets a bad rap for toxicity because of the way political bubbles end up rubbing up against each other in ways that don't really happen much elsewhere. That ends up being unpleasant sometimes, but it does help expose folks to ideas they wouldn't have encountered otherwise (for better and for worse I suppose).

It certainly isn't a good place for long-form discourse, but it's held it's place as the social-media-for-annoying-politics-nerds for a reason.

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tartyron

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#18  Edited By tartyron

@mvhvtmv: in my case, it’s just one arm of the social media monster. I deleted everything a few years ago and my mental health has been a lot better. It’s not a magic bullet solution, as I still sadly doomscroll the news and whatnot, and participate in forums like this one which is itself a social media of sorts. You are correct, Twitter isn’t really any better or worse than others, it’s just more famously toxic due to an ex-president using it to terrorize the country like a drunk step-dad, and that he might get his account restored scares reasonable folks.

Another thing is that it continues this trend of consolidation of communications mediums to fewer and fewer executive-level people. Even if Musk were the Tony Stark heroic figure he seems to want to present as, it still moves an entire communications network into one persons control with no real checks or balances. Now considering Musk has never done anything heroic and is just a suit that happened to make money in tech, not an actual engineer or scientist and no motivation to improve the world, instead just wanting to keep his bank account and ego up, it makes people nervous because misinformation has been proven time and again to cause violence and civil instability. Now, those motivations were ALSO Jack Dorsey’s and the Twitter board of directors, so maybe it’s just gonna stay the same anyway, but one thing is for sure, this isn’t progress. It’s stagnation if we’re lucky and a step backwards if we aren’t.

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AV_Gamer

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#19  Edited By AV_Gamer

There is a difference between free speech and speech that spreads disinformation and incites violence. It's pointed out in the law, you can't scream "Fire!" in a crowded room and then claim free speech when people trample over each other to get out of the building causing deaths. There were many people on Twitter spreading false information and hate speech which led to many real life domestic terrorist attacks that caused deaths. So Twitter was not wrong in banning those voices off of their site. Unlike Zuckerberg with Facebook who not only allowed those voices to continue, even lying to the people about removing them, but would go after the people calling them out.

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mellotronrules

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#20  Edited By mellotronrules
@av_gamer said:

It's pointed out in the law, you can't scream "Fire!" in a crowded room and then claim free speech when people trample over each other to get out of the building causing deaths.

...unless you're the the sitting president and shout "rigged election!" to a mob of domestic terrorists during the transition of power, causing deaths.

maaan- if the net outcome of these 1.5ish years is trump gets reinstated and comes out relatively unscathed (legally and socially speaking)- what an utterly debased people we will have truly become.

also i'm reading that jack dorsey tweeted a link to radiohead's 'everything in its right place' as a show of support for the purchase- which is just the most exquisitely horrific misuse of sentiment, it surely joins the hall of fame along with the regan administration using springsteen's 'born in the usa' as a campaign theme.

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sub_o

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There's a small influx of users into Mastodon right now.
I hope that people like Wario64, bomb crews, and some raccoons / opossums posters will start using it too.
Jeff has finally posted again on Mastodon after such a long time.

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cikame

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I've never used Twitter so this doesn't really bother me much, i assume there are far worse people who could own it?

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apewins

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#23  Edited By apewins

Better him that Microsoft or some other tech giant. I don't use Twitter so I don't really care, but seems like a bad deal for a company that has struggled to make money all its existence, and while he has his fans there are also a lot of people who don't like Musk and will likely leave the platform. Could go down as one of the worst deals in history even, but I think he's motivated more by vanity than profit so maybe he gets what he wants out of it.

I don't get the point of Twitter at all. Seems like all it is is a platform to people to argue in, with the added inconvenience that they are limited to a small number of characters which encourages oversimplification.

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BaneFireLord

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I continue to be glad that I deleted my active Twitter in 2015 and haven't lurked in over a year.

I sympathize with the "sky is falling" reactions, but I can't help but feel that if Musk buying Twitter is the thing that finally ushers in mask-off American fascism in perpetuity, things were already beyond hope to begin with.

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Lab392

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@apewins said:

I don't get the point of Twitter at all. Seems like all it is is a platform to people to argue in, with the added inconvenience that they are limited to a small number of characters which encourages oversimplification.

bingo

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TheRealTurk

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I don't really see how it changes anything really. Twitter was a shitty service filled with shitty people that no one should use before the takeover. It will still be a shitty service filled with shitty people that no one should use after this takeover.

People should delete Twitter. Of course, they won't do that because without Twitter there'd be nowhere for them to sanctimoniously post about how bad Twitter is.

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MeierTheRed

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@apewins:

Twitter is weird as hell and it seems like everybody has their own way of using it. Personally i have used it for years as kind of a RSS substitute. In other words getting "news", if there has been one thing that the shithole has done well its deliver current events in real time.

So in my case im not a US based citizen, which means by following people like Austin Walker former GB staff or someone like Laura K Buzz who is a British trans woman working in games media. By following those two alone i have gathered so much info about race and gender that i would literally never have if i wasn't in that Twitter bubble.

Over the last 8-9 years i have grown a lot in aspects that deal with foreign politics, war, gender, race. All these things delivered raw from ordinary people around the globe with no filter. That's what i always liked about it.

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RalphMoustaccio

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A free free speech lesson to anyone that wants to listen: nothing about this has anything to do with the First Amendment. Twitter has been, and will remain, a private entity (even when they are/were a publicly-traded company), and can have any terms of service that they want. They can ban anyone and everyone at their whims, or not, hence why Nazis continue to run rampant threatening the lives of others on the service while I have to approve a post telling a shitty right-wing ghoul to fuck off. Yes, I meant what I said, Twitter.

Freedom of Speech means that the government cannot prevent you from engaging in any form of speech, provided that it does not immediately cause risk of harm to others (e.g. the shouting fire in a crowded theater example). Since speech doesn't cause immediate harm in almost any case, Freedom of Speech is broad, but it does not apply to private entities in most cases.

Musk buying this is not about free speech in a generic sense. It's about his free speech, and his desire to platform the worst people on the planet without recourse under the guise of being somehow egalitarian. Remember that this is the moron who thought that he could just accuse random people of being pedophiles under the auspices that it was a "joke." The shittier and more active the user base is on twitter, the more money he'll make, I'm sure he thinks.

The only lesson to take from this is that capitalism continues to be godawful, and people who claim to understand the constitution generally have no fucking idea what any of it actually means.

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FacelessVixen

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On the bright side, maybe he'll buy Giant Bomb if we start posting embarrassing pictures of him.

Your move, Musk.
Your move, Musk.

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TheManiacsGnome

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Don’t use social media. There I fixed everything, now where is my prize? I deleted my account awhile ago now, I don’t know if my life has improved, but I know I don’t need to read some idiot going on about how all governments are run by a shadow cabal of pedophiles.

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Undeadpool

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I don't really see how it changes anything really. Twitter was a shitty service filled with shitty people that no one should use before the takeover. It will still be a shitty service filled with shitty people that no one should use after this takeover.

People should delete Twitter. Of course, they won't do that because without Twitter there'd be nowhere for them to sanctimoniously post about how bad Twitter is.

I've been trying to find an answer, from the people losing their shit over this, of "how will Twitter get demonstrably WORSE."

Dorsey and his board ran the site with a "both sides" narrative that was farcical, punishing people for attacking bigots and misinformation brokers before being pressured to ALSO punish the bigots (not so much the misinformation brokers).

I'm not looking forward to cable news breathlessly reporting on Donald Trump's tweets either, but it's not as if you MUST tune in...

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sweep

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#32 sweep  Moderator

To the people asking how twitter can get any worse; for a lot of people around the world it's one of their primary communication tools. And now it's controlled by a manbaby who blocks anyone who criticizes him and posts 2B fan art.

And yes, anyone who complains about "freedom of speech" or being censored doesn't understand what that actually means.

No Caption Provided

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mellotronrules

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#33  Edited By mellotronrules
@sweep said:

To the people asking how twitter can get any worse; for a lot of people around the world it's one of their primary communication tools. And now it's controlled by a manbaby who blocks anyone who criticizes him and posts 2B fan art.

not to mention- irrespective of personal opinions and use- twitter very much does have real world impact, whether you engage with it or not.

musk himself has recently gotten into 'shit' (i say derisively as there's a very limited, toothless amount of 'shit' a multi billionaire can get into) with the SEC for market manipulation. and there's that orange guy that was in office not too long ago in which staffers were literally getting policy cues from tweets. and then as @sweep mentioned- there are people outside the north american sphere that rely on it as a primary source of information.

it's a sad state of affairs, but this is the world we've built- so you kinda need to pay attention to the platform unless you want to ostrich it.

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AtheistPreacher

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NotSoSneakyGuy

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I doubt anyone believes that the shareholders were investing in Twitter for a platform of reasonable free speech.

They see the Musk as a sucker capable of holding the biggest bag in the world.

When is the next time anyone would want to buy Twitter all at once? Anything that happens afterwards is not their problem.

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Adamot

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The crazy son of a gun pulled it off. Now I wonder what he's going to do with it. I heard something about him privatizing it but who knows with Musk.

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prolurker

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Most people I talk to IRL either seem indifferent to or actively dislike twitter. I don‘t know how to improve such a platform, to me it feels like bite-size takes where no topic is ever truly fleshed out and understood. Perspectives are misconstrued and few people actually talk to one another human to human. I don’t know if/how musk could improve a platform. Making the algorithm open source seems like a good thing to me, personally. shrug

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personz

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I don't really care since I have no real desire to use twitter at all.

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Ramone

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Twitter in small scale communities can be sort of cool. On a larger scale it fucking sucks and is riddled with exactly the same problems as "old media" where conflict and controversy is what drives the platform.