Twitter is a free website. We pay the price for using it in other ways (more on that later), but we’re not putting actual money down to retweet memes and express our hot takes. And, most of the time, it’s hard to imagine wanting to pay for a website that mainly serves as a time suck.
Sometimes, however, there are moments when Twitter seems too good to be free. Why? Because we get to witness hilarious interactions between strangers on the internet. Like a man who thought that LaCroix was a famous philosopher instead of a brand of flavored sparkling water.
THIS WEBSITE COSTS ZERO DOLLARS pic.twitter.com/eN3fiIUiMv— elizabeth (@spindlypete) March 18, 2018
And this exchange between different brands of snack food/fast food is just great.
Uhhh… So for the past 24 hours @Wendys & @LittleDebbie have been hosting a talk show on Twitter.— Alex Zalben (@azalben) March 8, 2018
Their guests have been @MoonPie & @PopTartsUS (subbing in for @DennysDiner, who never showed up).
This website is free, etc etc pic.twitter.com/3cKEiz9kon
Tomi Lahren’s old tweets came back to haunt her, and someone pointed out her hypocrisy:
This man was forced to eat his own words after saying “none come to mind” when someone asked for examples of great female sculptors. The sculpture that was the topic of the exchange, however, was actually made by a woman.
This— Julie Ann Horvath (@nrrrdcore) March 4, 2018
Posting screenshots of tweets with the caption “this website is free” or “this website costs zero dollars” has become something of a trend on Twitter. The format is simple: find an exchange that shows a person owning someone else, a person expressing an ill-informed opinion, or a weird interaction that you could never imagine happening outside of Twitter. It’s an immensely satisfying way to illustrate the ridiculousness of the internet. The tweets are also a way to help us cope with the emotional toll of using a website where harassment is rampant—especially for women.
But if this website emotionally affects its users—and collects data on them— is it actually free? Some people have answered that question with a big fat “no.”
“We pay a small piece of our soul every time we log on,” one person said.
"this website is free"— Sean McCarthy (@McCarthy_Sports) March 9, 2018
What're you talking about? No it isn't. We pay a small piece of our soul every time we log on.
Another person reminded everyone that our “data is mined & sold for profit” and we experience the “emotional labor of seeing bad takes.”
These are all fair points!
"WHY IS THIS WEBSITE FREE"— ALL FRESHLY SQUEEZED BRO (@ALLCAPSBRO) March 18, 2018
WELL THEY'RE SELLING UR CIVILITY AND UR SOUL AND UR USER DATA SO I DUNNO HOW FREE IT IS
Yet the “this website is free” meme seems to suggest that Twitter produces enough gems to make the experience completely worth it. We hope that’s true.