The toxicity of Twitter and what the Chinese protesters want


By Scott Wiener, a California State Senator who represents San Francisco and Northern San Mateo County.

Just a day after Elon Musk reactivated Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Twitter account, she tweeted that I’m a “communist groomer,” presumably because I’m a gay Democrat Jew from San Francisco.

In the past, when Greene has pursued me with homophobic or transphobic tropes, I’ve received more and more abuse on social media, but that was an escalation beyond what I’m used to. And this escalation, particularly pronounced after the Club Q massacre, was due less to Greene than to Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk.

Since completing his purchase of Twitter, Musk has brought some of the platform’s most notorious banned users back into the herd. Reinstating these accounts, including Donald Trump and Kanye West, will make Twitter far more toxic than it was before. And bringing them back not only forgives their past behavior, but validates and enshrines their rhetoric as pillars of the Twitter platform in the future. Read the full story.

What Shanghai protesters want and fear

Nearly three years into the pandemic, protests have erupted in cities and towns across China. People took to the streets to mourn the lives lost in an apartment fire in Urumqi and to demand that the government roll back its strict pandemic policies, which many blame for setting up those who died.

It’s the biggest popular protest in China in decades, and it comes at a time when the Chinese government is better than ever at monitoring and suppressing dissent. Yet while talk among strangers has too often reduced protests to the most sensational clips, the reality is more complicated. While all protesters are against zero covid checks, their rationales and motivations for pushing for change vary wildly. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yang

This story is taken from China Report, our weekly newsletter that gives you information on everything happening in the country. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday.

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