The Atlantic

Tweeting Mao's Cultural Revolution in Real-Time

A historical Twitter account made for surreal reading in 2016.
Source: Ng Han Guan / AP Photo

Can we agree on this much? Twitter was terrible in 2016. Too many tweetstorms, too many Russian troll-bots, too much game theory. For the blank slate of 2017, may I suggest you follow the 50th-year anniversary of the Cultural Revolution in real time.

Fifty years ago this past May, Mao Zedong declared the beginning of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and in 2016, someone had the idea to livetweet that tumultuous period on a half-century delay.

@GPCR50 has about 1,500 followers, which is frankly on the low end of modest. But I’ve been one of its avid followers because this was an uncanny year to see the events of the Cultural Revolution swirled together with

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min read
What Stories About Racial Trauma Leave Out
The poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong depicts the everyday effects of prejudice in a way readers can’t leave behind.
The Atlantic5 min read
Where Bernie Fails the Progressive Purity Test
The senator from Vermont’s record on guns is once again under attack as he hopes to solidify his front-runner status.
The Atlantic5 min read
The Enemy of Poor Americans
Over the past half century, the Supreme Court’s empathy for the poor has been replaced by hostility.