This Week in Discourse: Thread Reckoning
Plus: An especially insane finance subreddit and Elon finding entirely new ways to embarrass himself
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Yesterday we talked about the launch of Threads as a Twitter competitor, and competing theories of how social media sites replace incumbents. Threads has now been active for roughly two days, and it’s been an eventful two days! A quick run of some of the news:
Confusingly, Instagram already had a service called Threads which is now shutting down by the end of the year. Nobody really used it and it looks like they’re just recycling the old name.
Threads is designed to be able to be integrated into the open-source ‘Fediverse’ movement that networks like BlueSky and Mastodon are built around. This has caused intense drama on whether Fediverse servers should be open to or block Threads.1
Mark Zuckerberg tweeted for the first time in more than a decade. And it was funnier than anything Elon’s done in that time.
Europeans can’t get Threads yet due to those pesky data privacy laws.
Surprise! Twitter is Very Mad and threatens legal action against Threads for *vague hand gestures and mumbling*.
The two bullet points are the most interesting to me. Europe has always been a laggard on tech, and produces very little in the way of tech innovation. And they seem to be leaning into that identity, casting American tech giants as villains to be slain rather than as success stories to be copied. I can’t see how any meaningful internet innovation happens in Europe in the next decade, with their current political and regulatory attitude.
And I’m not surprised at all that Elon flailed out vague legal threats at Meta. I’m not a lawyer, but a common-sense reading of the situation would be that it’s highly unlikely he has any sort of case. He’s known for dumb, tantrum-like actions. And the really interesting subplot is that this lawsuit shows Threads is a competitor he’s actually worried about.
This is something I’m hoping to dive into in more depth soon, but one of the most interesting places on the entire internet has to be the /r/BBBY subreddit. This is a subreddit about owning and holding stock of the company Bed Bath & Beyond.2 Users discuss the stock from a near-universally optimistic perspective and talk about why they think it’s smart to buy the stock - or vow hold what they already own and never sell, a phenomenon they call ‘diamond hands’.
The interesting part is that Bed Bath & Beyond went officially bankrupt months ago.
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