Thursday, November 18th, 2010

The Hate Retweet

The problem with explaining the Hate Retweet is I can't really point you to any examples, because it 1. ruins the (kinda mean) fun and 2. it'd be rude to display an example to people who don't get or haven't noticed they've been hate-retweeted. But there is, for instance, a journalist in New York who's become a vigilant, expert hate-retweeter. It's pretty great, if sometimes breathtakingly cruel—it's done completely without commentary, of course, just straight retweeting. The commentary is all in the broadcast—just the holding up of something someone said. And I imagine that most of the people retweeted by him have no idea what's going on—that he's really rebroadcasting such things out of spite or incredulity or just general eye-rollingness. On the other hand, it must be acknowledged that we are pretty much all, to a person, at times (or maybe at all times!) incredibly stupid or privileged or just plain embarrassing online, particularly on Twitter, which is literally designed to bring out the worst in people. So in a way this is shooting blind albino fish in the bottom of a barrel inside a cave somewhere near the center of the earth. Still, it's an interesting undermining of a system that's designed to be about validation and friendliness. File under "new ways to be amused and/or bad on the Internet."

33 Comments / Post A Comment

Hamilton (#122)


saythatscool (#101)

The Sarah Palin thing, right?

Hah, Pareene does do this for sure, but sort of on a larger scale. Also Pareene tends to editorialize. This other journalist (haha I just called Pareene a journalist???) hits closer to home and also doesn't do celebrities, which makes it crueler.

jfruh (#713)

Choire, are you implying that Sarah Palin isn't a "celebrity"? Because I think you'll find that this is not the case. SHE HAS A REALITY TV SHOW.

if i ever got hate-retweeted, you would tell me… right, guys? guys? where are you going?

ericdeamer (#945)

I'd kill for a hate retweet right about now.

deepomega (#1,720)

I only hate-like on tmbllblr

Sometimes on Fckbook, too. Otherwise I screencap and then hate on Tumblr. Have to mix it up, you know?

I do this but only with celebrities. Of course, now that the person I most want to hate-RT is regularly referring to herself as a celebrity, maybe she's fair game.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

grimes swiff Twanky Twaplan.

saythatscool (#101)

Good call. He's been doing it A LOT too. Including some regular commenters around here.

BadUncle (#153)

WTF are you people talking about? Tweet me a clue.

Slava (#216)

RT @BadUncle: WTF are you people talking about? Tweet me a clue.

C_Webb (#855)

NOW I'm paranoid.

JHenryWaugh (#212)

Those tend to contain commentary though, so I'm not sure that's it.

HelloTitty (#830)

Srsly, someone post a link to the hater already.

Jim Behrle (#3,292)

I'm going to ironically Facebook Like this

katiebakes (#32)

Unable to solve this very important blind item (oh god, if you can't spot the sucker etc) but I can direct you to this, good for some hearty laffs/mild terror.

David Cho (#3)

It's not you. We both know this.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Julia Allison tweets? How exciting.

sox (#652)

So much cleaner than a grudge fuck, and still perfectly cigarette worthy!

NinetyNine (#98)

"They like their media criticism watered-down and insidery, generally."

petey (#8,666)

have seen some awesome isolated examples lately! so come on come on, who is it, who is it. just another little hint?

fek (#93)

What's it called if you retweet someone who hates you, who you don't really have a grudge against, but your simple little recourse is to retweet them and proliferate their meanness and hatred? I occasionally do this.

hockeymom (#143)

So this is like Mean Girls, only for nerds?

Tuce (#427)

Christian Lorentzen does this, but mostly to people who share his surname.

Tully Mills (#6,486)

I hate retweet the same person pretty much 2-3 times a week. I make no bones about it, too! It's in my Twitter bio.

lauraolin (#6,259)

Remember Still here, still amazing for these purposes as well.

JohnSmallBerries (#8,679)

Do you have a citation for the claim that Twitter is "literally designed to bring out the worst in people"? Because that sounds quite interesting, if true.

I don't use Twitter enough to be passive aggressive and bitchy on it, but now I really wish that I did. It's like the internet equivalent of passing some weird guy on the street and elbowing your friend in the ribs to ask "friend of yours?"

atwb (#2,743)

Choire only follows 282 people, probably only half of whom are males, and a smaller subset of whom are recognizably journalists. Anyone with enough time on their hands to check 100 or so Twitter accounts for multiple hate RTs?

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