While You Were Offline: Folks Have Ideas About Where You Can Put Your 280 Characters

This week in "Your faves are problematic" news, Louis C.K. and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, your time has come. But in other news, Eminem has a new song with Beyoncé, which is giving the internet something else to talk about. Is there anything else that had everyone talking last week? Why, we're glad you asked.

Trump's Merger Mission

What Happened: Just how badly does the president hate CNN? Enough to potentially step over the line and interfere with its business dealings? Let's find out.

What Really Happened: AT&T has been in talks to buy CNN parent company Time Warner for a long time now—WIRED even came out against it more than a year ago—but this week, seemingly out of nowhere, the efforts hit a major, unexpected snag.

https://twitter.com/FT/status/928330623336448001

https://twitter.com/MattGarrahan/status/928333392357273600

https://twitter.com/POLITICO_Steve/status/928335024210022400

https://twitter.com/owillis/status/928333290918072320

https://twitter.com/helentbbc/status/928337137803694086

Media immediately started jumping on the news, because the media really loves talking about itself. Meanwhile, others began to delve into Trump's possible involvement.

https://twitter.com/sahluwal/status/928372753219985408

https://twitter.com/democraticbear/status/928440378017173506

https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/928355258606243840

https://twitter.com/mattyglesias/status/928332675366125569

https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/status/928344657188347904

But is there an alternate take on this story to make it look as if it's being done to hurt the president? As a matter of fact…

https://twitter.com/jerome_corsi/status/928376893623193600

Never forget how magical the internet can be for those looking for … almost anything, really.

The Takeaway: Of course, maybe there are legitimate reasons for the Department of Justice to be concerned about the Time Warner deal…

https://twitter.com/RWPUSA/status/928367139928633351

…well, not those reasons, obviously.

So, About That Roy Moore Story…

What Happened: Remember when electability and morality were actual things people cared about? The US Senate race in Alabama might convince you that is no longer the case.

What Really Happened: In order to get you up to speed as quickly as possible, let's just start with this tweet from Thursday.

https://twitter.com/AdamSerwer/status/928681873378856961

That didn't sound good on at least a couple of levels, and when the Washington Post story finally dropped the story about the allegations against Roy Moore, it was a big deal.

https://twitter.com/bethreinhard/status/928682289323823104

https://twitter.com/markberman/status/928686817305653251

https://twitter.com/ThePlumLineGS/status/928684656635076608

How bad could it be? Well, it depended on your political allegiance and your location, it seems, as one reporter found out when he called Alabama Republican figures to talk about the allegations.

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/928730814350811147

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/928732444710326272

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/928734837887954950

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/928740407630016513

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/928741533993652225

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/928756267425943553

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/928758770209042432

It wasn't just Republican officials in Alabama who were dismissive of this story, some folks on Twitter were as well.

https://twitter.com/TheLeftIsRacist/status/928718781072990210

https://twitter.com/StacyOnTheRight/status/928730283024748544

https://twitter.com/ari_russian/status/928748566650261505

https://twitter.com/Pikplum/status/928775363500507136

https://twitter.com/CollinRugg/status/928785155015065600

That kind of response has not gone unnoticed, especially after the White House offered a less full-throated defense. Meanwhile, elsewhere on Twitter, opinions weren't the same.

https://twitter.com/JYSexton/status/928689587114868739

https://twitter.com/AaronBlake/status/928699936027398145

https://twitter.com/TVietor08/status/928701988639879168

https://twitter.com/juddlegum/status/928799162589765632

https://twitter.com/Slade/status/928978799844298752

Man, 2017 sure is a year and a half, huh?

The Takeaway: Still, it's not like it could get any more intense, right?

https://twitter.com/ericawerner/status/928726370745831424

Oh, that's right. 2017.

Twitter: Now with Twice the Characters!

What Happened: It finally arrived: Twitter now let's everyone say twice as much.

What Really Happened: It's something that everyone literally knew was coming—really, it'd been expected since September—but Twitter officially rolled out its new 280-character limit wide last week, unleashing all manner of coverage from a media obsessed with the illusion of change. But how did the new character limit go over on Twitter itself?

https://twitter.com/JasonIsbell/status/928057570627026945

Well. Yes.

https://twitter.com/saintlyskarsg/status/928060328457441281

https://twitter.com/acornfriend/status/928061540019916800

https://twitter.com/MoonEmojii/status/928063176960245760

https://twitter.com/ThomasSanders/status/928068271806566400

https://twitter.com/Geolololol/status/928073445543309313

https://twitter.com/chrissyteigen/status/928086812836487174

https://twitter.com/ariannahuff/status/928095639568896000

https://twitter.com/jeszelmarie/status/928096317762519040

https://twitter.com/faizalhamssin/status/928098812572213248

https://twitter.com/marcbernardin/status/928102818363326464

But the final word on the switch, according to many who quoted this for truth—or, at least, entertainment value—was, apparently, this:

https://twitter.com/IsiahWhitlockJr/status/928312886459535366

The Takeaway: Thankfully, someone was willing to speak truth to power.

https://twitter.com/Chazer11/status/928056479646498816

(We also didn't need 50-character display names, but that also happened last week.)

A Verified Debacle

What Happened: Apparently, being a white supremacist is newsworthy in and of itself.

What Really Happened: Doubling the amount of characters per tweet wasn't the only hot water Twitter managed to get itself in last week, as it turned out. You know that whole "verification check mark" thing that's been a thorn in the company's side since it started being rolled out last year? Well…

https://twitter.com/ehananoki/status/928364633588752385

https://twitter.com/melreynoldsU/status/928433284165578753

https://twitter.com/jules_su/status/928442476364550144

https://twitter.com/thejournalista/status/928424776212844546

As the backlash got in full swing, Twitter attempted to use those 280 characters to dig itself out of the hole that was rapidly forming. Somewhat unsuccessfully.

https://twitter.com/TwitterSupport/status/928654369771356162

https://twitter.com/subtlerbutler/status/928656844364578817

https://twitter.com/firescotch/status/928656884005048320

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey got personally involved.

https://twitter.com/jack/status/928658511311097856

But did that help…? Let's go with "no."

https://twitter.com/chrisdejabet/status/928656303651737600

https://twitter.com/CaseyExplosion/status/928660111274512385

https://twitter.com/RedIsDead/status/928659103949381632

https://twitter.com/faizalhamssin/status/928098812572213248

https://twitter.com/JonathanLHoward/status/928675733299441665

The upshot of all of this? Well, at least everyone knows that verification is trash…? It's a start. A start of what, we can't quite tell, but it's definitely starting something.

The Takeaway: In this of all weeks, Twitter's position has not been the best look.

https://twitter.com/notquitefrodo/status/928740781174661120

Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus

What Happened: Perhaps it's time for a musical interlude. Just don't listen to the lyrics, whatever you do.

What Really Happened: Look, it's been a long, exhausting week. Let's end with something stupid. Or, at least, something that's not as smart as it thinks it is.

https://twitter.com/Dori_Klein/status/928243860953882626

Yeah. That's the ticket. I mean, it's not clear at all from that tweet what is actually being said or whether it's an endorsement or something else, but still, it's definitely a ticket. Maybe someone would like to explain, perhaps?

https://twitter.com/TasteOfCountry/status/928285092224651265

Oh, OK. That's a little bit more of an explanation, but what is the hot topic in question? Not the store, surely…

https://twitter.com/JustJared/status/928318742563639296

Oh. Oh. Actually, let's save the "oh"s until after you've listened to the song for yourself, because it's certainly something. Hey, Twitter, why don't you tell us what you think?

https://twitter.com/hillibusterr/status/928350918734688256

https://twitter.com/jeannakadlec/status/928373150550814720

https://twitter.com/maxwelltani/status/928384596382756865

https://twitter.com/JillianSed/status/928392476192399360

https://twitter.com/kaidiablo/status/928406233178169345

https://twitter.com/nowwhylater/status/928412660214804480

https://twitter.com/JeniferChampion/status/928394652901892096

https://twitter.com/Shakestweetz/status/928664256463155200

One thing's for sure, however; no matter how good or bad the song is (it's bad), this is certainly the most mainstream attention for a Keith Urban song in… forever? Please don't take this as a foolproof method to return to relevance, faded music stars of yore.

The Takeaway: For those who were already preparing to ask "But when do the men get their song?" don't worry, you're already covered. (Outside of, like, the rest of the history of popular music.)

https://twitter.com/baddestmamajama/status/928411323481784320

Read more: http://www.wired.com/