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Viral Twitter Threads With Full Movies in Two-Minute Increments Stay Up for Almost 24 Hours

Universal Pictures

In the latest chapter of “Everything Is Burning on Twitter,” prompting users to roast marshmallows over the platform and Elon Musk to serve as a repellent for advertisers, full movies and other copyrighted video material are being uploaded to the site and staying for hours and, in some cases, days. The most high-profile example of these phenomena was a user, on November 18, posting the first three movies in The Fast and The Furious franchise in full, via threads of 2.5-minute clip tweets.

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Yes, that’s a lot of tweets. Unless you have Twitter Blue, which is currently being revamped less than 2 weeks after the failed launch of its latest version, you’re limited to 2.2 minutes, which is exactly what the now-suspended account @anally_retended used for these threads.

Account posting full movies and one amassed two million views. Image: screencap.
(screencap)

Even after Twitter finally took down The Fast and the Furious 19 hours later (in which it amassed almost three million views), 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift stayed up for several hours. The user proudly shared the 49 takedown notifications in their email (just for the first movie) that cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Three hours later (hitting 22 hours since the original upload), the account was taken down entirely. The lawlessness—let’s be real, Twitter was always a lil fun like this—prompted others to post entire movies in a similar format.

The Saturday night @anally_retended was banned, I saw Hackers, Need for Speed, and at least one SpongeBob episode uploaded in full on Twitter. Forbes reported sightings of clips showing the 2022 World Cup on the site for hours, too. Some people that don’t want the full ban-hammer, but still want to join in on the fun, are making these slow-mo, psychedelic versions of movies and uploading them in under-3-minute clips. For example, @dvdvision posted something called “The Slow and the Serious” (2023) and boasts a 260 tweet-long thread.

Why did this happen?

Account posting full movies. Image: screencap
(screencap)

Now that Twitter is kind of paying attention due to the press coverage, most of the videos left up when you search “full movie” are jokes about the debacle and lots of adult video, per usual. There’s no one, clear idea on what happened and no way to find out because the Twitter “communications team” is now just a r/pol billionaire, and the Twitter workforce is in disarray at best.

Many are pointing to the gutting of critical departments and how Musk’s approach to leadership involved not understanding how Twitter worked before looking to adjust it, like the average person banging around the inner workings of an airplane mid-flight—emphasis on the average person and not experts because Twitter has previously had updates regularly with less fanfare and site-breaking events.

There have been similar videos posted before—never a whole freaking movie, but definitely an episode of something short here or there. However, they usually get taken down pretty quickly. I have a meme/news share time with my partner almost every day (mostly Twitter and TikTok), and normally, these videos get taken down way before we have time to share. However, these stayed up for almost a day. Even still, after 49 DMCA takedowns, the account stayed up for hours after. Major platforms like Twitter have DMCA triggers that will find copyrighted material before it goes viral. The fact that so many movies and now big events have had to be manually found leads me and others to think this feature (like 2FA) is broken or not enabled.

As if the rampant impersonations and inviting high-profile white nationalists and antisemites back on the site weren’t enough, having a copyright system that appears to run manually is not a great look when you’re trying to appeal to advertisers—something former employees exiting Twitter are saying makes up 90% of the budget of the platform, which is already running at a deficit.

(featured image: Universal Pictures, edited by Alyssa Shotwell)

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(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.