Online harassers have poisoned Twitter, but we can still find space for normal conversation, right?

Photo: filadendron/Getty Images

Hello. My name is Andrew, and I’m a Reply Guy.

Twitter is my life’s one major addiction. The same way gambling addicts feed quarters into a slot machine hoping for a jackpot, I refresh my timeline for breaking news, calls for pitches, snarky jokes, and other miscellaneous inanities more often than I care to admit. (There’s actually plenty of research into this comparison if you’re looking to pity me even more.)

Until recently, a browser tab was almost always open to my timeline while I worked my dead-end day job, and my phone still makes the app all too available…

“Today, for the first time in history, a young American can enlist to fight in a US war that started before he or she was born.” — Buzzfeed News

I’m a soldier in the Afghan War, have been for going on eighteen years now. I come from a family of Afghan War soldiers. My daddy was an Afghan War vet, same as his daddy, and his daddy before him. I can point to four or five families on this street alone that come from the same kind of stock. Armed overseas conflict — well hell! That’s all we’ve ever known…

Good morning, everyone. My name is Clarice Starling. I’m an FBI trainee, and have been assisting with the Bureau’s recent investigation into a string of serial murders supposedly linked to an individual some of the more macabre among us dubbed “Buffalo Bill.” This anonymous killer terrorized the country for the months, prompting national law enforcement to involve themselves in trying to ascertain and apprehend the person responsible. …

Bernard and his buddies are beating Mike Cernovich, Baked Alaska and other far-right personalities at their own sordid online games — but how low is too low?

Photo: Stock Catalog/Flickr

It took roughly four hours for Nathan Bernard to build a direct line to the president.

Bernard, an app developer and self-taught coder, noticed the same handful of pro-Trump Twitter accounts consistently responding first each time Donald sent out one of his grammatically questionable, 140-character-or-less messages in the months leading up to the 2016 election .

“I built a faster bot than those guys,” Bernard says over the phone.

At the time, Twitter’s mobile timeline was chronological, so it only needed to be quicker by a few fractions of a second — but it was. Bernard’s responses to the Republican…

Credit: Marvel Comics

Welcome to San Diego Comic-Con, everyone! I know you all have been waiting in line all day for our big Marvel panel, and what a panel it’s been so far! Did y’all like seeing Chris Evans moonwalk across the stage? I sure did. So…we’ve got one more announcement for you. I’m so pumped to reveal our newest, largest, and most comprehensive crossover event in the history of Marvel Entertainment! I, for one, could not be more excited to reveal what we have in store. Can someone dim the lights, please?

After years of interweaving plots, countless characters entering and leaving…

Hey, Malachai, thanks for taking a moment to talk with me. I know you’re a busy kid, what with managing the flock and getting ready for the evening sacrifice and all that. Wanted to get your opinion on something real quick, feel free to toss it back my way — I’m beginning to think our system of sacrificing people once they turn sixteen to He Who Walks Behind the Rows might be a bit, what’s the word, outdated? I mean, I just got back from stealing non-corn related supplies from the next town over, and would you believe, they all…

Wow. I don’t know what to say, reverend. You and your congregants have outdone yourselves, really. This might be the biggest single donation this synagogue has ever received. I’m truly speechless. I’m sure you heard about our building’s structural problems, and just how much it would cost us in repairs. Heck, the board of trustees couldn’t even afford to bring someone in for an estimate, much less entertain the thought of fixing it all. Every Shabbat, I’d watch as that crack in the sanctuary wall got bigger and bigger. Lost my train of thought during my sermon last Friday, even…

How an online repository of horror fiction feels more real than ever in a post-Trump world

Image: Sasha R/Flickr

There’s something particularly — some might say obviously — horrific about the boogeymen of the real world. Everything they do, no matter how corrupt, vile, or sadistic, occurs within a realm of possibility, and no amount of reassurance changes that. Whispering “it’s only a story” doesn’t work. Every headline seems to bring us closer to the brink of something calamitous, a disaster that could easily be avoided by a more-competent group of degenerates. We’re watching franchises that will never stop churning out sequels because it’s too lucrative for their profiteers.

Framed against Capitol Hill’s B-movie villain contingent of greedy nihilists…

Andrew Paul

a gigantic peepshow of utter horror, but extraordinarily to the point. |

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