Stephen King looks off camera, wearing a red tie and standing in front of a yellow curtain and American flag.

Leave It To Stephen King To Perfectly Sum Up the Dire State of Social Media

Legendary novelist Stephen King isn’t just a horror writer. He’s also an astute commentator on real world events. Which, when you think about it, makes him another kind of horror writer!

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In this case, King is here to say what we’re all thinking about the new Twitter replacement, Threads.

Threads, which was unveiled earlier this week, is a microblogging app connected to Instagram. With an interface almost identical to Twitter’s, Threads allows Instagram users to import their profile and all the accounts they follow when they create a Threads account. The result is a Twitter substitute that instantly took off, thanks to the ease of getting started and users’ desperation to escape Twitter itself.

Why are people so eager to get away from Twitter? It’s not just the technical problems that have plagued the app since billionaire Elon Musk bought the company and laid off half the staff last fall. Musk is actively turning the site into a safe haven for Nazis, transphobes, and the worst of what humanity has to offer. Threads, meanwhile, immediately banned notorious transphobe Chaya Raichik, a.k.a. Libs of Tiktok. It’s off to a promising start.

However, Instagram is owned by Meta, the same company that runs Facebook. Many people have pointed out that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg isn’t much better than Musk. For instance, Meta has turned its users’ chat logs over to police to help them prosecute people seeking abortions.

But, with social media being a critical tool for jobs, organizing, activism, and journalism, what are users to do? Thanks to its glacial rollout and eternal waiting lists, Blue Sky seems to be dead in the water, while no one can figure out which Mastodon server everyone else is going to. Everyone’s frustrated that the choice comes down to which awful rich guy’s pockets you’re going to pad.

Stephen King says it best:

On the bright side, I guess choosing whether to support Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg is better than facing a murderous sewer clown, right?

…wait, those guys are sewer clowns. Damn it.

Stephen King knows how ridiculous the social media wars are

King knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the utter foolishness of billionaires. Last fall, when Musk bought Twitter, he announced that verification—which gave public figures a blue checkmark next to their names in order to prevent impersonators—would now cost $20 a month. Even before the deluge of imposter accounts the new system eventually caused, Elon’s announcement was widely ridiculed. King scoffed at the idea of paying such a large fee, especially since, as a celebrity with millions of followers, he produces content that drives traffic on Twitter. As he pointed out, Twitter should pay him.

Incredibly, Musk then tried to publicly haggle with King, complaining that Twitter needed subscribers in order to pay its bills, and offering him a rate of $8 instead. When King declined, Musk attached a supposedly subscribers-only blue check to his name anyway, trying to make it look like King had caved. King clarified that he had not paid for the blue check.

But all that malarky is in the past now! We’ve got Threads, right? What could possibly go wrong?

(featured image: Leigh Vogel/WireImage)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>