all atwitter
May 27, 2019

President Trump responded early Monday morning to a tweet made by foreign policy expert and NYU political science professor Ian Bremmer.

Bremmer on Sunday tweeted a fake quote attributed to the president, which he later deleted after backlash from journalists, political analysts, and Twitter users everywhere. Bremmer attempted to justify his fake tweet before deleting it, saying that the quote was "kinda plausible" and that that was "the point."

(Screenshot/Courtesy Mediaite)

Trump fired back early Monday morning, panning the "age of Fake News" and the news media. "People think they can say anything and get away with it," Trump tweeted.

Trump, who has 233 statements rated as false on PolitiFact, called for libel laws to be modified to hold journalists accountable. But it's unclear whether he has the power to do so, Fox News reported. In response to Trump's earlier calls to change libel laws, Brian Hauss, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said that "the president does not have the authority" to change libel laws, since they fall under state, rather than federal, jurisdiction.

Read more at Fox News. Shivani Ishwar

November 9, 2017

If you don't have a blue checkmark next to your name on Twitter, it might take awhile before you get it.

The company announced on Thursday it is taking a closer look at how it decides which users get verified and temporarily suspending the service, following outrage over the verification of Jason Kessler, the organizer of the white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. "Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance," Twitter said. "We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon."

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has said he takes seriously the issue of harassment on the site, and on Oct. 13 tweeted the company "decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them." Kessler, who was verified on Tuesday, has previously flouted those rules, tweeting that Heather Heyer, the woman killed at the Charlottesville rally, was "a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time." He deleted the tweet, first saying he was hacked, then claiming he tweeted after combining alcohol with prescription drugs, the Los Angeles Times reports. Catherine Garcia

March 27, 2017

If you read President Trump's latest tweets and set aside a quarter for every time he says "Russia," you'll have enough money to buy a used copy of The Art of the Deal.

In the first of a series of tweets sent Monday night, Trump said he thought an investigation into Russian ties to the United States was a good idea, so long as the focus was on the only name he utters more than his own — Hillary Clinton.

After repeating a falsehood about his former opponent, Trump moved on and hit his next target: the House Freedom Caucus, the ultra-conservative group that did not support the Republicans' health-care bill. Their refusal to back the American Health Care Act, along with opposition from moderate Republicans, forced GOP leadership to call off the vote Friday.

After that confusing attempt at a burn, Trump ended his late-night tweet-storm with a promise. Catherine Garcia

March 20, 2017

President Trump's official @POTUS Twitter account was active Monday while FBI Director James Comey was testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. Though the account did not highlight Comey's announcement of an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia or note Comey's admission that neither the FBI nor the Department of Justice had "information to support" Trump's wiretapping claims, it did seek to note Comey's refusal to comment when asked whether he'd briefed former President Barack Obama on any calls involving ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn:

In his introductory statement, Comey made clear that he may not be able to discuss certain topics because of ongoing investigations and other restrictions. "Please don't draw any conclusions from the fact that I may not be able to comment on certain topics," Comey said.

Less than 10 minutes later, @POTUS tweeted again:

Though neither Comey nor NSA chief Adm. Mike Rogers had evidence to back up that "any votes were changed" in particular states, the intelligence community has concluded Russia launched an "influence campaign" to interfere in last year's election. "They'll be back," Comey warned of Russia. "They'll be back in 2020 and they may be back in 2018."

So what was the point of these tweets highlighting very specific moments from the wide-ranging hearing? Senior New Republic editor Brian Beutler has a theory. Becca Stanek

December 12, 2016

Donald Trump is too busy to hold a scheduled press conference, but was able to carve some time out Monday morning to tweet out criticism of Lockheed Martin, whose shares ended up closing down 2.5 percent.

Trump tweeted that "the F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th." He did not elaborate on how this money will be conserved. Lockheed Martin said there are three variations of the F-35 set to replace older fighter jets used by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, and the program's general manager, Jeff Babione, told reporters Monday the company "understands the importance of affordability, and that's what the F-35 has been about."

In March, the Government Accountability Office reported that as of December 2014, the total cost for the F-35 program, including research, development, and construction, was almost $340 billion. Last week, not long after the Chicago Tribune posted a story about Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg encouraging Trump to stop making anti-trade comments, Trump tweeted a claim that Boeing was "building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!" Catherine Garcia

February 12, 2016

It's been less than 24 hours since Kanye West debuted his new album, The Life of Pablo, in a splashy live show at Madison Square Garden — but true to form, the album is already stirring up controversy. Much of the backlash has stemmed from a couplet from the song "Famous," which seems to throw a cup of gasoline on the dying embers of West's long-standing feud with Taylor Swift: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that b---h famous."

In the hours that followed, several members of the Swift camp reacted; her brother Austin posted a video of himself throwing away a pair of shoes from West's Yeezy fashion line, and friend Jaime King deleted her initial, enthusiastic posts about West's show, declaring herself, "so sad right now & disappointed right now."

Kanye West, being Kanye West, responded to the controversy via his preferred medium: a typo-laden tweetstorm, in which he claimed (1) that he ran the lyric by wife Kim Kardashian first; (2) that he had an hour-long phone conversation with Swift, in which she said the line "was funny" and "gave her blessings"; (3) that the line originated with Swift anyway, who allegedly told a mutual friend that she couldn't be mad at Kanye because he "made [her] famous!"

Does that settle things? Probably not, since Swift's rep has already issued a statement claiming that Swift was totally unaware of the specifics of the lyric. Instead, the rep says, she declined a request from West to promote the song via her Twitter account, and "cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message." For now, it's he-said/she-said — until West starts tweeting again. Scott Meslow

February 6, 2016

Don't panic, but Twitter might shake up your reverse chronological feed as soon as next week, BuzzFeed News reported Friday. They're already testing a new feature — an algorithm designed to put tweets you want to see near the top of your feed — with a small number of users.

There's reason to believe the switch, which would look a lot like your Facebook feed's out-of-order posts, will be optional:

Twitter declined to comment on feed changes. Julie Kliegman

January 27, 2016

Decades from now, when historians go back to analyze this thing we call Twitter, they'll be able to point to one day that simultaneously exemplified the apex and the nadir of the medium: January 27, 2016, when an almost impossibly dumb tweet-feud broke out between rappers Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa.

The trouble began around 13 hours earlier, when Khalifa tweeted some fairly benign thoughts about the new title of Kanye's upcoming album, WAVES, arguing that Max B — a hip-hop artist currently serving a 75-year sentence for murder — is the true "wavy one." Seven hours after that tweetstorm, Khalifa tweeted this:

It's here that Kanye took objection — interpreting "kk" as a veiled reference to his wife, Kim Kardashian. He responded with his own long, angry tweetstorm, full of shots at Khalifa and his ex-wife, Amber Rose, who previously dated Kanye:

Khalifa quickly responded:

This might sound like an unconvincing dodge. But Urban Dictionary — surely the most authoritative source for such things — backs Khalifa up: The sixth most popular definition for "KK" is "Khalifa Kush." Khalifa Kush even has its own page on the marijuana review site Leafly, which calls it a hybrid with notes of "sour lemon and pine" that was bred specifically for Khalifa.

No matter. Kanye, perhaps sensing his mistake, pivoted by starting a hashtag for Khalifa's cool pants:

Kanye went on for another 19 tweets, and you can check them out here if you care, but trust me — it didn't get any better than that. Scott Meslow

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