Twitter’s toxicity, and what China’s protestors want

By Scott Wiener, a California state senator who represents San Francisco and northern San Mateo County.

A mere 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 Jewish Democratic elected official from San Francisco.

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

Since finalizing his purchase of Twitter, Musk has brought some of the platform’s most notorious banned users back to the flock. The reinstatement of 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, it validates and enshrines their rhetoric as pillars of Twitter’s platform going forward. Read the full story.

What Shanghai protesters want and fear

Nearly three years after the pandemic started, protests have erupted in cities and towns across China. People have taken 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 trapping those who died. 

It’s the largest grassroots protest in China in decades, and it’s happening at a time when the Chinese government is better than ever at monitoring and suppressing dissent. However, while discussions among foreigners have too often reduced the protests to the most sensational clips, the reality is more complicated. While all the protestors are against the zero-covid controls, their reasonings—and motivations—for pushing change vary wildly. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yang

This story is from China Report, our weekly newsletter giving you the inside track on everything that’s happening in the country. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday.

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