@Dril speaks on Musk and Twitter | Update News


With over 1.7 million followers, Dril, known for his ridiculous humor, is the type of influencer who could only appear on an app like Twitter.

Dril created his account in September 2008, just two years after launching Twitter, and as the platform grew, so did its influence. He became the face of what is often referred to as “weird Twitter”, a broad and amorphous coalition of comedy accounts. Now, for many Twitter users, he is a kind of canary in the mine. “If dril leaves Twitter, nothing will be left,” one user said tweeted. “If @dril leaves Twitter, Twitter is basically dead even if it’s not really dying,” another He said.

For Dril, the chaos surrounding Musk’s property was fun, and he plans to review it. “Elon, he invented the Hyperloop,” Dril said in a rare interview, referring to Musk’s vision for a high-speed underground transportation yet to be built. “I think Twitter will be like that. It’s a work in progress, building it from scratch. It will make it prettier, and they will use freedom of speech to limit the bulls—- in daily life. I think it will be a beautiful thing at the end of the day.”

For those trying to predict the fate of Twitter, there is probably no one more representative of a particular part of Twitter than Dril. His posts became meme and copypasta formats, he even made an appearance in one tweet predict the end of Twitter in 2022. Scientists dissected and analyzed his tweets. AV Club, an online pop culture publication, hailed Dril as “the patron of the internet itself” and “a rare rallying point and muse for all, regardless of affiliation or creed.”

Dril is a symbol of what many people loved on Twitter, before musk. His relationship is strange and absurd, often blasphemous, and he’s the type of creator unlikely to thrive elsewhere.

Recently Twitter user Nick Farruggia meticulously cataloged every Dril post. “You don’t want to lose the best poster tweets of all time… here it is: every @dril tweet in chronological order, available and free forever,” he said recently tweeted.

As Musk tries to bend Twitter to his vision, Dril is an example of the kind of center of power he won’t be able to touch: established, popular and indifferent.

“Dril and Elon are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to Internet language,” said Jamie Cohen, an assistant professor of media studies at CUNY Queens College who once taught classes on Weird Twitter. “Dril is a member of the community, he was born from the internet, Elon just adopted him. If Elon wants to be successful and make it work, the person he needs to win over the most is Dril and his community.

“Drill’s tweets are the foundation text for Twitter, they’re part of the structure of Twitter,” said Alex Turvy, a PhD student at Tulane University who studies memes and digital culture. “He’s the godfather of Twitter, and his tweets are a common reference we can all refer to when talking to people online. It’s part of Twitter’s cultural memory.”

When contacted by phone, Dril agreed to talk about the new era of the platform he helped define, on the condition that The Washington Post only refers to him by his Twitter name, due to privacy concerns. This is the kind of interview that needs to be read with a firm understanding of Dril’s role as a comedian so as not to take him too seriously.

The Ups and Downs of Twitter

So far, Dril has said he enjoys the spectacle of Musk’s takeover. “Elon seems to be one of the classic comedy showmen,” he said. “Everything he does is comedic. He’s always trying to laugh, which is why all his cars are suicidal. Just watching everything burn is fun, that’s for sure.”

One thing he’s noticed since Musk’s takeover is that his posts don’t spread as far as they used to. On Friday, Musk declared that “negative/hateful tweets” will be “deboosted and demonized”, effectively thwarting their ability to spread in a practice known as shadowbanning.

Dril said the negative posting ban had already affected his account. “It’s unbelievable what they’re doing to me,” he said. “My freedom of speech has been destroyed.” He expressed frustration with the lack of clarity on what constitutes a negative post. “Let’s say Tesla ran into my son and killed him,” he said, referring to one of Musk’s other businesses. “Maybe I think it’s okay, it’s not negative that Tesla bumped into my son and killed him. That’s good because it’s a work in progress.” Dril explained that Musk had no way of knowing if the Tesla passing his son was actually very positive, so it shouldn’t be viewed as a negative tweet.

Still, he added, “Maybe I was negative from the beginning, maybe I have a negative attitude.”

Dril said he would be willing to work on Twitter if Musk asked. “I think it would be my duty to answer the call,” Dril said. “I would absolutely do it. I would be his dog, I would follow his every command like a disgusting dog. I’d beg him for mercy and learn to code if he wanted to.”

While other users try to join Twitter’s replacements and find alternative ways to connect with friends online, Dril said he was unable to find an app that met his needs as well. He has established Dril’s official Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube accounts, but he posts very rarely. He also has his own website and Patreon for fans willing to pay a few dollars a month to support him.

Newly emerging applications confuse him. “I’d like to know what those apps are because none of the apps I use are good,” he said. “They ask you for pictures of your son, your father. They are basically useless. They have Russian popup ads and malware. I don’t plan on leaving Twitter any time soon.”

He says Mastodon, which is much talked about as a haven for people fleeing Twitter, is too complicated. “What server should I join?” he said, referring to Mastodon’s many servers. “Good mail server or bad mail server? I do not know. There is no guide, no little blue tick to click on for help.”

TikTok is out of the question because “I have a reprehensible face that prevents me from using any video-based apps,” he said.

He’s worried about Substack. “With Substack, it’s in the name,” he said. “You’re giving up. If you sign up for this, you will be succumbing to a cabal of online content.”

One of the platforms it is open to is the metaverse, a concept recently championed by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Dril has said that he is attracted to being able to interact with people in the Metaverse without wearing pants. “I’ll be the guy there and win every game Zuckerberg tries to make,” he said.

Dril is also open to accepting offers from smaller platforms that can pay him to post. “If any of the apps were good or run by people with more than three or four brain cells, they would see the potential of my posts and offer me five or six hundred dollars to be an ambassador for their new platform and I would take all my followers with me,” he said. “I think they’d all be on board, no matter how… the platform is useless.” If any potential Twitter replacements are reading this, I’d like you to give me your money.”

He’s disappointed that he apparently wouldn’t be able to monetize negative posts under Musk.

“It would be nice to get something in the mail every now and then for all the content I put my blood on the line for,” he said, “but you know, Elon says, ‘I’m going to demonetize you if you have a nasty attitude. Sometimes I have to have a nasty attitude to keep myself safe in this world. The Westworld show, that’s where it is.

“I used to be able to publish without threat,” he said. “Now I’m basically under the gun 24/7 because people keep saying, ‘That joke was better when you said it in 2014.’ I hope Elon will limit things like that because what people say to me is just barbaric.”

While Musk’s proposed verification system, where each user can pay $8 a month for a blue checkmark, has been linked to spreading misinformation, Dril is not concerned. “People like me know the truth when they hear it,” he said. “It hits you in the heart. You feel it in your stomach. When someone is lying, you can see that they are sweating. They look very disheveled and ratty.” But $8 was too much for him personally, so he said he would never pay for the check.

He appreciates the fact that Elon uses his personal Twitter account as a de facto communication channel for company news. “The reason it works so well,” Dril said, “is that if Elon wants to accuse some random guy of being a pedophile, he’s just allowed to do it. …Everything is streamlined with Elon, you don’t want bureaucratic bureaucracy blocking the news cameras, you just want the man himself to vent.

As he looks back on his 14+ years on Twitter, Dril said he has fond memories. He loved the day when a man threatened to sue a cereal company because there were pieces of shrimp in the box, and he enjoyed it when someone called Garfield an insult and was thrown off the platform. He said one of his best moments on the app was being banned by Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Dril’s weak point was that Musk himself stole one of his posts about being drawn into a war of skeletons and he claimed it was his own. “He tweeted verbatim and completely removed my name from it,” Dril said. “His girlfriend Grimes tolerates this behavior. He steals my posts and doesn’t even pay me. He’s threatening to demonetize me when he’s already monetizing my content and I’m not getting a cent.”

If Twitter’s infrastructure fails and the platform goes down for good, Dril said he was resigned to it.

“I think it will be like a cleansing fire,” he said. “It will burn down the house I grew up in, and with it all memories will disappear. I can start with a clean slate, tabula rasa. From there I can try again and hopefully the account will be really good.”


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