NPR

What Should We Make Of The 'Tweetstorm' or 'Thread,' Or Whatever You Call It?

They're all over Twitter: Strings of tweets about politics or Russian plots or long thoughts. Maybe they're a new way to tell stories, but they say just as much about us as they do about the platform.
It is time for us to assess the pros and cons of the tweetstorm, the thread, the whatever and figure out just what it all means. Source: diego_cervo

When you hear Alana Hope Levinson talk about the death threats she got late last year, in response to a Gizmodo story she wrote railing against "manthreading," she speaks so lackadaisically, you could almost forget how serious it all was.

"I had to alert security at work," she half-jokes, as if that really didn't happen. (It happened.) "Yeah, I mean people were just tweeting at me that they wanted to kill me, and stuff like that."

"Threading" is the practice of repeatedly replying to your own tweets on Twitter, without mentioning yourself, in order to create a (usually rapid) series of tweets "threaded" together that can weave a longer narrative than 140 characters ever could. In her piece, Levinson defined manthreading as when men, usually obnoxious men, do it. "They are typically 'intellectual' dribblings from men who love Explaining Things To Me (essentially a subtype of Online Mansplaining)," she wrote.

Here is the first tweet in a 127-tweet thread/storm Levinson called out in her essay:

Here is the 127th tweet:

Levinson says the "manthreading" piece, which she meant as a joke, turned out to be the most controversial story of

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