Before I start let me tell you, I’m so invested in this that I had Bald Elon staring back at me as I put together this header in GIMP. This is pure Y2K in the school computer lab level vibes.
Back in a simpler time we had ljdrama before it got booted off the LiveJournals #sadtimes. LiveJournal back then was arguably the first OG social media site before the name even existed, and really started the whole blogging bandwagon. So much so that in 2005 a company called six apart rolled on in to buy LiveJournal.
six apart which the community called 6A or 666Apart (I have a personal affinity for the latter), was basically running blog sites and software, they had TypePad, VOX, and MoveableType before swallowing up LiveJournal to make that sweet ching-ching on a new niche market.
6A now only seems to promote MovableType, which is no longer free, and TypePad still kind of exists but it is a little broken as they’ve got history with fuck the user and find the cash. VOX closed down and LiveJournal got sold to SUP 🇷🇺 a couple years later because LJ was / is super popular in Russia and money, obvs.
It wasn’t long after the acquisition of LiveJournal that 6A got on the bad side of the community by suspending journals (which they had to reverse), changing policies, pushing ads and other monetisation bullshit.
It was the first real foray in to corporate types ruining the internet before VC vultures existed and really set the tone for the next years until the current crisis we find ourselves in.
You’re probably asking, what the fuck does this all have to do with White Supremacist Mine Baby, which is valid, I’m not a professional writer so like I hope I at least padded the bed to transition to teh birb syte.
I joined Twitter back in September 2006, a couple months earlier than the user who has the
@k handle, I’d be jealous but I also have
@mmn so momma got her short one too. Back then it was kind of a cool thing to do with SMS which was all the rage in Europe but not very popular in the US. It then kind of transitioned, since I really wasn’t that invested in it I can’t really tell you the history. You see I was clinging on to LiveJournal for dear life and I’ll die by that sword.
I passed in and out of Twitter, for most of the time it wasn’t really popular but people managed to get it to become a thing for them, staring hashtags as we know it,
@user as well. People created a place for their community, what we basically did back on the LiveJournal. There is (and was) a lot of problems with Twitter no matter the management, but LiveJournal had the same thing, online communities are consistent if anything.
Twitter survived rich white men fighting over the top position, kicking each other out, making dumb rich people decisions, but the community still really just did its own thing. Until the more recent rich white dude, but we continue to that.
Even during the rough years on LiveJournal, in the midst of chaos and the implementation on Russian law (which at the time was not great for a large section of the LJ community - being mainly weird kids and queer kids were mostly weird back in those days, who grew up with that place), you had to live for that sweet drama. Corporate masters make a change, community reacts, and corporate drone has no fucking idea how to deal with it.
That was fun, a special kind of fun that you could sit back in your mid Y2K computer chair and laugh at. It was also the kind of thing you couldn’t walk away from, you just had to watch.
With Twitter (let’s just admit really it is all Elon here) though, this is something else, far beyond the petty back and forth of the early internet. Full on watching a nuclear bomb go off, with real consequences. LiveJournal never mined users for as much data as they could handle to sell to advertisers / anybody who asked, and as far as I remember they didn’t have journalists or other political organisers (this could have been much different in the Russian speaking sphere of LJ).
But watching thin skin narcissist who buys criticism factory at face value is really spectacular, more so that the veil of branding Elon build being pulled off to reveal SpaceX have employed handlers to keep him occupied, Tweeting constantly showing in real time that he was in fact a racist conspiracist idiot, running polls to make decisions then not doing what he said he’d do, the firings, being a real asshole to Iceland’s greatest export, and honestly the list just doesn’t stop. If you don’t believe me, go ask Twitter is Going Great!
The problem with this particular brand of drama, is unlike ye olde dramatica, this one likes to be spoken about, it gives him more power by going on about it, and creates more drama. We also have the current economic catastrophy that people want to escape from 40% price increases on food items that they’re already struggling to afford, which drama certainly brings a distraction in plenty.
It is at this point in the post that I literally can not figure out where I’m going with this post, I don’t plan these things, I just write my thoughts and honestly, no idea what I’m thinking at the best of time. Does this give you any kind of closure ? No, obviously not, so I shall end it with a few points before I run out of characters :
- LJ Drama was different drama, but funny
- Twitter / Elon drama is hilarious but exposes the people who actively ruin our planet and societies
- Feed not the thin skin narcissist who wishes he was a troll
- You’ll find another community, ideally one that is decentralised
- People gonna be talking about this for a long time, the LJ community did for ages (and we’ve never forgiven Mena and Ben either nearly 15 years later)
Also, shout out to clementinecreative.co.za for the background I used on the header
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