The Twitter Files

Over the last few years I have spent far too much time on Twitter.

It all began with the best of intentions. In April of 2010 the Thai military was running around the streets near Democracy Monument, armed and threatening. Shots were being fired, small explosions going off, and somewhere on a web forum (remember those?) I noticed someone referring to a European tourist “tweeting” from a guest house about soldiers and gun shots and unfolding chaos on Khao San Rd., the iconic center of the old backpacking scene in Thailand, where Leonardi DiCaprio began his journey into the heart of backpacker darkness in The Beach.

I signed up immediately. And it was a revelation. Local journalists were all on, and all were firing messages back and forth, sharing rumors and observations and attempting to determine precisely what was happening. I realized within a few hours that what I was watching was a major part of how “the news” is generated in SE Asia. I was hooked.