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."
Thursday, November 18th, 2010