WATCH: Twitter Turns 5 (Video)

Twitter's fail whale.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Like the first telephone call (“Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you”), the world’s first tweet lacks a certain gravitas. “Just setting up my twttr” 29-year-old Jack Dorsey wrote five years ago today. Since then, notes the Guardian:

[Twitter] has woven itself into tumultuous events: the news that a plane had crash-landed in the Hudson River (with picture); the election protests in Iran; the rapid dispersal of the news of an 7.8-magnitude earthquake; updates from the ground about the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Not bad for a kindergartener, don’t you think? [Read MoJo‘s 2009 interview with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone here.] But lest you (still) think Twitter is all Beliebers and #tigerblood, the star-studded cast of Twitter’s promo cake-and-candles video shows off the platform’s wider range. Per the LA Times:

Entrepreneur Richard Branson, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, decorating maven Martha Stewart, US Speaker of the House John Boehner, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli and entertainer Snoop Dogg, all explain how they use Twitter. One of the best moments: Snoop Dogg follows Stewart because “she loves to wake and bake with the big Snoop Dogg.” And Nespoli offers a breathtaking view of Earth from the International Space Station.

Below, watch this year’s Twitter birthday video:

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate