A History of the Twitter Flame Wars, 2006-2022

A PROLONGED and gruelling era of interpersonal conflict is to end as Elon Musk buys and dooms Twitter. This is its history.

2006: Twitter founded

A load of tech blokes rush in and steal all the good names while trading 10,000 Bitcoin for a dollar.

2009: Twitter grows

Journalists colonise Twitter like noisy seabirds. Stephen Fry will tweet you back. Graham Linehan is a popular follow. This golden age, when journalists played witty Beatles-pun games without being bothered by normies, will never be forgotten. Trump joins Twitter.

2014: Gamergate

Too-online teenagers with anime avatars invade the site having heard there’s enemies you can shoot. Twitter discovers it loves a fight in 140 characters or less and resolves to start one in every community. Rise of Trump continues.

2016: Trump gets elected

The thing that the people of Twitter feared most and did most to achieve happens when Trump becomes president. It couldn’t have happened without Twitter, so Twitter users redouble their efforts.

2017: Twitter goes up to 280 characters

You can now write twice as much so naturally this becomes the GIF era. Everyone accuses everyone else of arguing in bad faith and everyone is right. Knitter fights knitter, K-pop stan fights K-pop stan, quote-tweet pile-ons become the norm. Graham Linehan is no longer a popular follow.

2020: Mask off

The expressions ‘do your thing, Twitter’ meaning ‘ruin this person’s life and get them fired’, and ‘the main character of Twitter’ meaning ‘the person having their life ruined and getting fired today’, become popular. Twitter users continue to believe they are righteous dudes. Elon Musk likes that idea.

2022: Musk buys Twitter

The very thing the people of Twitter feared most once again happens – what is with that? – and Musk buys Twitter. Users tweet about it incessantly to boost profits for the man they hate most in all the world. A troll says nasty shit and they reward him with 350,000 quote tweets. Everyone threatens to leave the platform but no one does.

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How to get through bonfire night if you're a dog, by a dog

BEING a dog is f**king brilliant, except on bonfire night. Here’s how to make it through the shivering, whimpering, crapping nightmare.

Talk to someone who gets it

It’s tough this time of year when most of the mates whose bums you sniff in the park are shut up in their own houses by the time the thunderous sky explosions begin. If you can, have a good bark through the wall with another canine who knows what you’re going through, and perhaps a frantic, noisy scratch at the sofa. It’ll help you feel less alone.

Try to relax

Being still is a great way to lower your heart rate, so have a lie down, preferably somewhere comfy like on your owner’s bed. And if you need to release your bladder or bowels, don’t hold back. This is the one time of year that you won’t be shouted at and sent out to the garden.

Be in the moment

Many dogs are intimidated by the idea of mindful meditation, which makes sense as we have an attention span of approximately seven seconds. Try panting deeply and keeping your eyes trained on a single object, such as that packet of ham on the kitchen worktop. Or  just jump up and eat the ham, it will keep your mind off the noise for a few blissful seconds.


There’s no need for a strenuous workout to relieve stress, a quick bout of panicked pelting round and round the kitchen, sending wine glasses and pans flying, will release a load of anxiety-busting endorphins. And don’t forget to vocalise: the louder you bark/howl/whine, the more you will calm your nerves.

Ask your owners what the f**k they think they’re doing

Why do humans profess to adore their pets and then scare the shit out of them, literally, by setting off explosives? It’s not just bonfire night either, there’s also New Year, Diwali and, for the Americans next door, the Fourth of July. Unfortunately you can’t talk, because you’re a dog, so show your displeasure instead by chewing up their shoes and vomiting them back up on the expensive rug.