While You Were Offline: Hey Y’All, Remember to Set Your Doomsday Clocks Forward

Hey, Starlee Kine. We still miss Mystery Show, but while we mourn its disappearance, why don’t you tell everyone what this past week has felt like?

Yep, pretty much sums it up. This has been the week where reality has been rejected by those in charge, and perhaps with good reason, considering how badly reality is working out for… almost everyone? But if you’ve had the good luck to have been busy doing other things for the past seven days, here’s a quick roundup of what you might have missed over the last week of World Wide Web-spinning.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It and This Is Fine

What Happened: So, turns out that the Doomsday Clock was updated this week, for those of us having trouble dealing with the anxiety of the modern world.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: But perhaps all this naysaying and doom-mongering is just paranoia, and things aren’t as bad as they seem. Let us just check in with what the big brains at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists—you know, the people behind the Doomsday Clock—are saying to get some perspective.

Well, crap. So, what brought us that little bit closer to apocalypse? According to the official announcement, none other than the new President of the United States. Well, him and a general worldwide push towards nationalism. “Disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons made by Donald Trump, as well as the expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change by both Trump and several of his cabinet appointees, affected the Board’s decision, as did the emergence of strident nationalism worldwide,” the release explains.

The change was, of course, picked up by multiple news outlets as everyone tried to just pretend everything was fine.

Certainly, there were plenty of doubters on Twitter:

At least some people had a certain type of gallows humor…

That’s the spirit! Chins up, everyone
The Takeaway: Well, this feels appropriate:

#SpicerFacts

What Happened: How do you know you’ve made it as White House Press Secretary? When your very first press appearance in the role turns you into an Internet meme.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened:
New White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had a rough start to his new job last weekend, when his first appearance at the podium proved to be an argumentative one, as he basically said many wrong things about the size of the crowds for President Trump’s inauguration and everyone called him on it. The resultant online kerfuffle immediately became a meme as #SpicerFacts started trending and everyone offered up their own versions of reality:

Unsurprisingly, the media couldn’t resist reporting on this meme, especially considering Spicer’s ire was directed towards the media. Soon, the very idea of #SpicerFacts had gained enough currency that it got a Twitter account of its very own, the surest sign that something had gone mainstream. Well, one of the signs, at least.

So how could the White House fight back against this widespread acceptance of the idea that its Press Secretary had, in his very first official appearance, revealed himself to be unfamiliar with the truth? KellyAnne Conway had an idea: double down.

Yes, that’s actually a government official arguing that Spicer wasn’t actually being untruthful, he was just delivering “alternative facts.” Anyone want to make a guess at what became the next hashtag to trend on Twitter?

As sales of George Orwell’s 1984 spiked almost 10,000 percent (it is, after all, a book filled with alternative facts, or as it’s called in the book, doublespeak), the war on truth continued with Sean Spicer’s second press conference, in which he told reporters, “I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts.” If he seemed unclear about what words mean, thankfully the dictionary was there to throw some shade in his direction:

The Takeaway: Sometimes, the truth is out there all along, just mixed up somewhat.

Did You Mean…?

What Happened: Sometimes, search functions give you what you need, if not necessarily what you wanted.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Call it the surprise search gift of the week.

Note: This isn’t still the case, so don’t go rushing to Twitter to try it for yourself right now. But, up until Wednesday evening, this was entirely true:

The @realDonaldTrump account would also come up as a suggestion if you searched for “tiny hands,” although that was discovered after the fact. Twitter, meanwhile, was rather excited about this new discovery.

Turns out, Twitter wasn’t the only place people got excited about this search suggestion; unsurprisingly, it got a lot of traction in the media. And why not? If Twitter was trolling Trump it would have seemed an awful lot like making a dig at the guy who has made the service very newsworthy in recent months.

But what if it wasn’t trolling?

The Takeaway: Whether it was a legitimate algorithm or strange glitch, Trump was removed from those results pretty quickly after it became public. It was over almost as soon as it began, but let this serve as a lesson to randomly search for things on Twitter and see what comes up. (That is the lesson here, right?)

There Is a Tweet Tied to an Argument For Torture, What Do You Do?

What Happened: Turns out, Twitter is not so impressed with your ridiculous hypothetical moral dilemmas.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Funny story: our new ppresident believes torture “absolutely works.” As people try to come to terms with what that actually means (FWIW, new Defense Secretary James Mattis disagrees), British comedian Lee Hurst took to Twitter with what we can only assume he thought was a compelling thought experiment.

Let’s just say that Twitter, en masse, didn’t agree.

The Takeaway: There’s no way to avoid it: this pun just might have made the whole thing worthwhile:

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source : https://www.wired.com/2017/01/internet-week-104/

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