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There are many signs that Twitter hates its users. People ask for simple updates, like the ability to edit tweets or control the rampant harassment, and the service ignores them. Instead, we get design tweaks like circular avatars and a like button. Recently, Twitter offered concrete proof that it really wants to watch us all suffer: Julian Assange was part of the group of users selected to have the longer, 280 character limit. Twitter, in all its wisdom, the website that serves up daily horrors, gave him more space to type complete nonsense. Now Assange is taking the opportunity to write a bunch of super long and incoherent tweets.
Check out this work of art that he tweeted a few days ago:
So much to unpack here. Is he including himself in this category of male feminists? Is he implying that male feminists are “sex traitors” because they claim to support women? What is going on in this tweet? Many other people on Twitter were also confused.
What does what he wrote even mean??— Rob Fields (@robfields) October 21, 2017
Who at @twitter was like ah yes you know who needs 280 characters? Julian assange to bless us with this content.— spooky pantaloOones (@kpantskpants) October 22, 2017
Why did Twitter give @JulianAssange 280 characters, just so he can say that men who believe in equality are evil?— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) October 22, 2017
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Assange has drawn negative attention on Twitter. In August, he was ridiculed after revealing that he spends his free time Googling articles about himself.. But now that he can send 280-character missives out into the world, Assange’s tweets are getting stranger. A day before tweeting about male feminists, Assange tweeted that he has “never been charged with sex anything.”
What does that even mean? You’re just digging yourself into a deeper hole, dude.
His tweet about #metoo, a hashtag used by women to share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment, was also unsurprisingly bad. The tweet seems to imply that women lie about sexual assault, and it’s hard not to read it as a bitter response about a rape allegation made against him.
Assange also used his extended character count to describe his personal hatred of Hillary Clinton:
And to try to explain journalism:
And to express his frustration that the “Trump ‘pussy’ tape” upstaged his WikiLeaks story.
Even though he has 280 characters, Assange is still unsatisfied with Twitter. He used his 280 characters to talk about it.
Assange’s longer tweets are not going over well.
The worst person with the 280 upgrade is currently Julian Assange. No arguments.— House ofCentrist Dad (@Neue22) October 24, 2017
I hate whatever algorithm gave Julian Assange 280-characters to express his nonsense; it was bad enough in 140.— Elizabeth M. (@_ElizabethMay) October 21, 2017
I have to ration every punctuation mark but Twitter gave Julian Assange 280 characters to mansplain feminism https://t.co/Pq7w0zdzcE— Sulome Anderson (@SulomeAnderson) October 21, 2017
alright i've tried to stay silent but julian assange getting 280 characters and not me is the final straw— boy waterdan (@DanxDeathcore) October 22, 2017
women: Hey! Why are these rapists and harassers still on twitter?@Twitter: But what if we gave Julian Assange 280 characters?— Celia (@_celia_marie_) October 16, 2017
Julian Assange now has 280 characters to tweet with and is using every one of them, for better or for worse.— Steve Kinlan (@SteveKinlan) October 16, 2017
ALERT: Julian Assange has 280 characters. Block him if you want to keep your sanity!— Cat (@zuessgirasoleme) October 16, 2017
Twitter has yet to make its 280-character count seem like a good feature. It allows people to be less succinct, which is extremely pronounced on accounts that were already churning out dumb stuff with 140 characters. Soon, we’ll see nothing but long, rambling tweets on the website. But for now, only select people are tweeting in 280 characters, and Assange is unfortunately one of them.
Tiffany Kelly is the Unclick editor at Daily Dot. Previously, she worked at Ars Technica and Wired. Her writing has appeared in several other print and online publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Popular Mechanics, and GQ.