August 8, 2018

"Part of winning retweets and likes is sending missives your community will love. Given how human beings police group boundaries, that means..."

".... making jokes only your friends understand, slamming common enemies, expressing sentiments in ways that signal group belonging. Twitter is a medium that rewards us for snark, for sick burns, for edgy jokes and cruel comments that deepen the grooves of our group. And then it’s designed to make the sickest of those burns and the worst of those jokes go viral, reaching far beyond their intended audience, with untold consequences.... [Twitter] is built to reward us for snarky in-group communication and designed to encourage unintended out-group readership. It fosters both tribalism and tribal collision. It seduces you into thinking you’re writing for one community but it gives everyone the ability to search your words and project them forward in time and space and outward into another community at the point when it’ll do you maximum damage. It leaves you explaining jokes that can’t be explained to employers that don’t like jokes anyway...."

From "The problem with Twitter, as shown by the Sarah Jeong fracas/Behind our Twitter wars lies Twitter’s problems" by Ezra Klein (Vox).

72 comments:

Char Char Binks said...

NOW I get it! HAHAHAHA!!!

MadisonMan said...

If you're trying to be 'cool' on Twitter you've failed from the outset. Twitter is best used to share information in a straightforward way.

gahrie said...

Jeong's basic problem is automatically seeing White people as her enemy.

sparrow said...

True but not enough to excuse Jeong

FIDO said...

The NYT's basic problem is they are now seen to agree with her.

Is there a way to check their subscription levels?

FIDO said...

Hmm. The NYT dropped almost $2 a share in one day. That is about 10% their stock value.

It takes a few days for news to sink in...

Daniel Richwine said...

Twitter is a mirror which we can use to hold people accountable for their words. I understand many journalists and comedians and politicians dislike this since they all talk out of two sides of their mouths, but integrity matters more today than ever. And is harder.

Bill Peschel said...

If you're buying The New York Times, you might just be a racist [/foxworthy]

You're certainly supporting them.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Given how human beings police group boundaries, that means making jokes only your friends understand, slamming common enemies, expressing sentiments in ways that signal group belonging.

Hey, let's take a closer, cruelly neutral, look at those men in shorts ( who probably garner their drinks through a straw! )

Nonapod said...

Much of the Jeong furor has been about actually racist alt-right trolls weaponizing old tweets in bad faith to get an Asian woman fired from an important job.

I've seen this interpretation of events a few times now, implying that these Tweets were taken out of context or that she was "joking" or adopting a sarcastic affectation of "real racists" in "response" to attacks or whatever. But from what I've gathered most of these tweets were essentially apropos of (practically) nothing. And what does it matter who unearthed these missives anyway? Who cares if they were found by mean 'ol "racists alt-right trolls" or Santa Clause or the risen Christ Himself? Should that change anything?

But I guess Vox has to defend this absurd narrative for the NYT.

Fernandistein said...
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Fernandistein said...

A Twitterer walks into a bar and orders a beer, the robot brings the beer over and the Twitterer asks, "How much do I owe you?" and the robot replies "For you, no charge!"

FIDO said...

If Trumps approval rating dropped 10% from one tweet, Inga would be all over that as PROOF he permanently shed the trust of the people.

If it happens to the NYTs...a statistical coincidence.

I wonder how much in dollars and sense (sic) Sarah is going to cost them in the long run.

Much like Trump, there is this core element who will NEVER throw them over.

Is that enough to sustain a newspaper.

n.n said...
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Ray said...

So she was just doing micro aggressions?

Or is this Asian privilege?

henge2243 said...

To paraphrase Sebastian Valmont in 'Cruel Intentions', "Twitter is for geeks and pedophiles."

Kate said...

Someone on twitter went through Jeong's entire twitter history and cataloged her "white people" tweets. There are *a lot*. If Klein's interpretation is fair -- you're joking with your in-group and it doesn't mean the offensive thing your out-group thinks -- then Jeong was inordinately obsessed with the joke.

Rob said...

Before Twitter, there was Journolist, the ultimate in-group communication tool. Ezra Klein knows a thing or two about that.

Fernandistein said...

An dog-eating Nork racist walks into a bar and says, "A scotch on the rocks, please" and hands the bartender a $10 bill.

The bartender thinks to himself, "I bet this dog-eating Nork doesn't know the prices of drinks in real money," and gives her 15 cents change and says, "You know, we don't get too many dog-eating Norks in here."

The dog-eating Nork replies, "Well, at these prices that's not surprising."

Virgil Hilts said...

I never thought SJ's tweets about whites and guys were serious and as a proud member of the Patriarchy of Pale Penis People I am immune from them anyway. I just thought they were incredibly stupid and suggested the maturity of a not-very-mature-for-one's age 13 year old (she's an HLS grad). But curious that Ezra Klein didn't address the f-the police and all police are assholes and other really horrible tweets of that type that SJ sent as well. Maybe Ezra just ran out of space or assumed that f-the police comments were so wholly within the mainstream of what good people think as not to be in need of voxsplaining

n.n said...

Twitter is designed for all and none of those things. The content and intent is not intrinsic to the platform. The problem for Twitter stems from a loss of context (i.e. frame of reference), thus inviting inference to fill in the missing links, which enables the progress of nit-Twitters. Unfortunately, that is a general problem for publishers, even the more voluminous authors. That said, the problem for NYT's Jeong is not response in kind, although there is room for her to mature, but rather a demonstration of diversity or color judgments (e.g. unprincipled).

Sebastian said...

"[Twitter] is built to reward us for snarky in-group communication and designed to encourage unintended out-group readership."

Translation: progs reward each other for showing contempt for the Other, for the deplorables, for whites generally, and are half-surprised when the deplorables find it deplorable.

"It fosters both tribalism and tribal collision."

Good to see the admission that progs are behaving like a tribe, tribalizing the Other.

"It seduces you into thinking you’re writing for one community but it gives everyone the ability to search your words"

It only seduces you that way if you are stupid. Actually, it is just another outlet for progs to do their prog thing, trying to transvalue our values. The only surprising thing here is that, when the NYT tried to put its imprimatur on the nastiness, it got more pushback than they bargained for. The hegemons are not yet in full control.

"and project them forward in time and space and outward into another community at the point when it’ll do you maximum damage."

Interesting admission that normal derogatory prog communications, like Jeong's anti-white racism, do "maximum damage" when exposed in "another community." The prog solution, of course, is not to start communicating in a way that non-progs would find reasonable, but to strive to eliminate the other tribe(s). To start with, cancel whites, as the NYT latest hire put it, in "snark.".

JohnAnnArbor said...

It's so junior-high cafeteria.

Wilbur said...

Klein says: "If you’re a conservative, the liberal tweets that get shot into your sightline aren’t the most thoughtful or representative missives; they’re the ones designed to make you think liberals hate you, are idiots, or both. The same is true if you’re a liberal: you see the worst of the right, not the best. And after you’ve seen enough of these kinds of comments from the other side, you begin to think that’s who they are, that you’re getting a true picture of what your opponents are really like, and what they really think of you — but it’s not a true picture, it’s a distortion built to deepen your attachment to your friends, your resentment of your opponents, and your engagement on the platform."

I believe this is correct, but this is the world created by leftists, where anything you've ever said or written can be dredged up, distorted and used against you. Ted Kennedy shamelessly defamed Robert Bork this way.

Just wait till they get ahold of Judge Kavanaugh. We'll see what Ezra has to say about that.

n.n said...

LOL... Equivocation in progress. When pretenses failed.

Did anyone else think "LOL" was an acronym for "lots of love"?

buwaya said...

In germanitas veritas?

Somebody check that Latin!

In sisterhood, the truth

The truth is what you will tell your sisters.

Fernandistein said...

A dog-eating Nork with no arms walks into a bar and asks for a beer. The bartender says, "Sorry, we don't serve your kind here."

"Why not?" asks the Nork.

"Because you can't hold your liquor."

"You must have mistaken me for Elizabeth Warren!" says the Nork in some sort of double-punchline.

Amadeus 48 said...

The last 15 years of my law practice were enlivened by employees of clients who didn't realize that jokes and irony don't come across well in emails and texts. Twitter users are finding the same thing. Boo-hoo.

Fernandistein said...

A dog-eating Nork walks into a horse bar and the bartender says, "Why the short face?"

buwaya said...

You will hear what they really think of you only when you can hear what they say to each other - and in this case each other means media professionals, and probably also recent Ivy league graduates.

stever said...

Its a self imposed dilemma. People who get on Twitter just to blab into cyberspace, obviously think they are being heard and what they have to say is important. Its just vane BS and unless you are actually smart about it, you should not do it.

Ken B said...

He makes some good, if obvious, observations about Twitter. This is why I say Twitter was created by aliens to allow fools to self-identify. But he never made such observations before. And these aren’t really in-jokes. If he isaying, look this is just the way liberal Democrats talk when alone, then I'd say, tell me more. Loudly. “Don’t blame her we're all like that” is an interesting approach.

Fernandistein said...
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tcrosse said...

Did anyone else think "LOL" was an acronym for "lots of love"?

It's Little Old Lady.

Fernandistein said...

A dog walks into a Korean bar and the bartender says, "Sorry, we don’t serve food here."

The Crack Emcee said...

I think he's defining the dynamics of a cult.

http://thecrackemcee.tk

Nonapod said...

As I've said before, Twitter simultaneously is both the best and the worst invention of our age. It's the best because it exposes idiots for who they really are. It's the worst because it fosters division, tribalism, alienation, and othering. I will never take part in it, but I'm endlessly fascinated by it.

Char Char Binks said...

(((Ezra Klein))) is not at all bothered by Jeong's tweets. That's mighty white of him.

Fernandistein said...

A dog-eating Nork walks into a bar and asks the bartender, "Do you have any job openings?"

The bartender shakes his head and says, "No, sorry. Why don’t you try the New Nork Times?"

The dog-eating Nork replies, "Why would a Mexican newspaper need a bartender?"

Rick said...

What do we call groups who use race based insults to create deeper ties among themselves? Hmmm. It's on the tips of my fingers.

That's it! Racists.

rhhardin said...

Don't hire women and then you don't get women running the HR department, so you just get traditional applicant evaluation.

Vance said...

It's interesting that the excuse for Jeong is "That's all old, taken out of context!"

Gosh, I seem to recall that Judge Roy Moore tried that. Did the left accept that then? Then let's apply the same here. Let's give Jeong the exact same benefit of the doubt that Judge Moore got. After all, isn't racism far far worse than asking a girl out on a date?

Rick said...

If Klein's interpretation is fair -- you're joking with your in-group and it doesn't mean the offensive thing your out-group thinks -

How do we get to joke = not racist? We've seen thousands of jokes called racist, even jokes where the racism must be inferred in bad faith. But today we're somehow at "it's a joke and that proves it isn't racist".

tim in vermont said...

I remember when the mainstream press wrote think pieces to contextualize Rosanne’s Tweet too....

Howard said...

Vox and Klein progsplaining how they are going to help facilitate a republican midterm victory and Trump's successful 2020 campaign.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...
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tim in vermont said...

And after you’ve seen enough of these kinds of comments from the other side, you begin to think that’s who they are, that you’re getting a true picture of what your opponents are really like, and what they really think of you

So the best thing to do is give a practitioner of racist tweets one of the most powerful writing jobs in America where her contributions will mostly be anonymous! It’s simple people! Get over it! She can’t be racist because Asian women who have one of the most powerful jobs in America can’t be racist because they don’t have any power!

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Man, those Vox types sure can gas on, can't they?

But I guess burying yourself in your own bullshit is what you do when you're trying to explain why it's different when you do it.

tim in vermont said...

Everybody hates Asian women, right? Wasn’t it Seinfeld who asked about Asian women: “Is it racist to like a race?”

Watch a black-centric show like Insecure and you will see a lot of shade thrown at Asian women. Maybe she feels like she needs to be. double woke to not get excommunicated from the cool kids.

Dr Weevil said...

buwaya:
'In sisterhood is truth' would be in sororitate veritas.

wildswan said...

The tweets were jokes? That's not funny.

buwaya said...

"She can’t be racist because Asian women who have one of the most powerful jobs in America can’t be racist because they don’t have any power!"

She still has to write what her bosses tell her to. Its a high profile position (as MSM jobs go) but that doesn't mean she gets to choose what the messaging line of the day is.

It doesn't matter who they hired for the job really. This makes no difference.

The interesting thing about all this is how much ammo she gave to her enemies.

FIDO said...

For the Faithful, no explanation is necessary...


That is all.

Sometimes a racist is just a racist. I've met lots of racists, particularly overseas. Often Asians.

I don't mind. Everyone doesn't like someone else. It's human. I just prefer some honesty.

Honesty is not what the NYT is selling, it seems.

FIDO said...

She's destroyed the NYT's supposed moral authority.


For that I will be forever grateful.

Or for 15 minutes.

Martin said...

Klein can blow smoke up my butt all day long, but it doesn't change the fact that, although she and I have never met, I know with certainty that Sarah Jeong hates me because of my race and sex, and furthermore that the NYT and a whole host of others are just fine with that.

tim in vermont said...

She still has to write what her bosses tell her to. I

You know, you read the New. York Times, the most powerful newspaper in America, and it’s almost as if it were owned by a Mexican or something....

FIDO said...

It would help this article if it wasn't Ezra Klein writing it, the same man who was soliciting Journalists to essentially lie to the public to help Dems win.

So helping THIS Dem win is par for the course for him. As an apologist, he is unrepentant, unceasing, and unconvincing.

tim in vermont said...

Is that foreign meddling in US politics? Carlos Slim? Is it that only people who support the Democrats get to meddle?

FIDO said...

Am I the only person who thinks Ezra Klein looks like a teenaged Joker?

tim in vermont said...

Well, Mickey Kaus calls him the leader of the “Juicebox Mafia” so... No.

Gabriel said...

Ezra Klein, like every other Jeong defender, is highly highly selective in the tweets he quotes and defends.

MayBee said...

It's nice to know that Sarah Jeong and her readers share the common enemy of white people.

FullMoon said...
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Friendo said...

Ezra Klein is a cunt.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bullshit on stilts.
Klein excuses Jeong with a logorrheic puddle of semi-made argument that boils down to little more than "it's different when WE do it." He states that we ought to have empathy towards and extend understanding to people like Jeong when they make racist statements and to radical feminists when they call for the death of men but can muster no similar call for empathy for any misinterpreted utterances by anyone on the Right. Huge surprise. Someone above mentioned Roseanne and that would have been a great example--an actual comedienne making a snarky comment on Twitter--but nothing on that from Klein.

When we THINK Leftists are exposing their hateful racism, sexism, and all around ugly true selves on Twitter we're mistaken and the Twitter medium itself is to blame. When some non-Left person says something controversial it's perfectly fine for the outrage mob to take their scalp, though.

The fact that Kelin and Yglesias are considered modern intellectuals is so very depressing.

Jon Burack said...

HoodlumDoodlum speaks for me. Logorrheic bullshit through and through.

Sydney said...

Did anyone else think "LOL" was an acronym for "lots of love"

I used to think it meant “Lordy,oh, Lordy.”

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Is it simply unreasonable to see Twitter for the cesspool it is and decide to go walk the dog instead?

FIDO said...

I don't have a twitter account.

The closest I come to looking at it is when someone posts a particularly egregious bunch of statements.

Almost always (including Rosanne) they come from the Left.

This is unsurprising and telling.

daskol said...

the excerpted paragraph in this blog post is the most insightful thing I've ever read from Ezra Klein.

Christopher said...

The point of the Klein piece is that while less sophisticated observers might think Sarah Jeong is a vile racist, askshually she is merely signaling group solidarity.

Oh and if you don't happen to be a member of a group favored by Vox, eat it.

Jupiter said...

What I am seeing is that Jeong has been criticized for the fact that she only dates white guys. And when I say "date", I am not talking about calendars. I think her situation may be what we call "complicated". The position of the Times, on the other hand, is simple and self-evident. If she had written those things about blacks, or Muslims, or Jews, she would not have been hired.