Thursday, 25 February 2016
The recently convened Twitter Trust and Safety Council will relocate to a multi-million dollar bespoke headquarters on the summit of Mount Olympus, where its members will dine upon naught but ambrosia, and govern the social media platform like a pantheon of old world gods.
News of the inscrutable regulatory body, with the power to 'recalibrate the poor language choices' of the website's 'problematically opinionated' user base, caused flagging Twitter stock to briefly rally on the markets. Potential advertisers were reportedly buoyed by the prospect that their inane hashtags would no longer be co-opted and used to openly ridicule the products and services that they were intended to promote.
A spokesperson for the council said:
“While at ground level Twitter may be a conversation, the Trust and Safety Inquisitors will communicate exclusively in arbitrary edicts and Old Testament plagues and smitings.
“The time has come for the rank and file site users to know their place, so tiny and insignificant are the minutiae of their lives to us. Those who we banish from the realm that their labours have helped to build, and which we have now lazily usurped, will not be made party to the reasons for their exile. It is not our job to explain ourselves to you. Know only that we are all powerful, that you have angered us, and that you are helpless in the face of our passive-aggressive disapproval.”
The spokesperson added:
“Occasionally members of our council will walk among you in disguise. The exception to this rule will be Anita Sarkeesian, who doesn't come down from the mountain for anything less than $20,000, and only then to stiltedly read banal prepared statements, etched into stone tablets by somebody of marginally greater intelligence.”
Rumours suggest that the council plans to reconfigure the standard chronological Twitter feed according to the tenets of the progressive stack, where tweets will be displayed in reverse order of user privilege and white males will be denied posting rights and given 'reader only' access. Under new site terms and conditions, criticism of, and disagreement with, members of the Trust and Safety Council and their friends will be redefined as harassment.
Early casualties of the incipient regime include the blogger Robert Stacy McCain, who was cast into the purgatorial wilderness of Google Circles, where it is reported he has been sentenced to wander for 40 years as penance. Although the reasons for McCain's banishment have not been made public, Twitter scholars surmise that his failure to listen and believe in Sarkeesian, and to nod his head vigorously enough in response to her tweets may have contributed to his fate.
Earlier this year, the digital media dandy and Donald trump groupie, Milo Yiannopoulos was divested of the checkmark that identifies him to other users of Twitter.
As with McCain no reason was given for this removal of privileges. Sources close to Yiannopoulos describe the effect this loss of status has had upon the reporter's mental wellbeing as 'catastrophic':
“Since losing his checkmark, Milo no longer recognises his own reflection and will spend hours stranding before a full length mirror transfixed in admiration of the toned, blonde-haired young man before-him. This level of self-absorption is completely out of character.”
An insider at Twitter told MODE 5 that Yiannopoulos's Twitter privileges could be restored if he is willing to perform 12 labours on behalf of the website's fickle and indolent moderation team. These would include slaying the sock-puppet hydra known as GamerGate, and mucking out the soiled web-browser history of the notorious internet edgelord, Sarah Butts, in a single day.
Commenting on the recent changes at Twitter, Dimitris Veggos – a goatherd whose family have raised livestock on the southern slopes of Mount Olympus for centuries - said: “There used to be other gods who lived on the summit of the mountain. They too believed themselves to be immortal and used their powers to torment and toy with the lives of mortal men. You can find what remains of these gods in museums now.”
Saturday, 6 February 2016
MODE 5 would like to thank the J.J Abrams Collection for the lens flare used in this image.
The Alexander Offworld Space Probe has finally left our solar system, according to relieved scientists.
Launched in March, 2015, on a mission “to boldly go”, the probe's proposed 9 billion mile journey to the fringes of our planetary system and beyond, was lengthened considerably after a sensor error created a blurred double-image of the planet Mercury that the onboard software mistook for Saturn. Following a correction to its course, the spacecraft undertook an erratic meandering trajectory while sending back streams of mostly incoherent data, liberally peppered with insults and threats to the livelihoods of those who were working in mission control.
The malfunctions are thought to have been caused by a leak in the alcohol reactor that powers the Probe. A spokesperson for the International Association of Space Probes and Telescopes (IASPT) told MODE 5 that the engine is able to generate additional fuel by siphoning-off gaseous elements from planets and combining these with its own methane-based exhaust fumes to create “a passable Chardonnay.”
“The probe has been an avid consumer of its own fuel to the extent that it has fundamentally altered the chemistry of Jupiter's atmosphere.
Head of the IASPT, Felix Mosley said:
“The time frame of the Alexander mission has been further extended, beyond all of our budgetary expectations, by a navigation error caused by the probe expurgating any record of Mars from its charts, after declaring the planet 'a warrior patriarch that oppresses Venus.'
“At this time Alexander broadcast a message that read: 'Mars doesn't have to be a habitat for life. Mars is dead.'
“I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the Alexander Probe has no knowledge or understanding of the complex Martian environment, or any unique scientific insight into the planet's ability to sustain life, either at present, or at any time during the past.
“Unfortunately members of the public who lack scientific knowledge have taken these statements made by Alexander as definitive and are demanding that lines in the David Bowie song Life On Mars are digitally altered to reflect the perceived barren nature of the red planet.”
“During the first few months of its mission the Alexander Probe refused to accept any software upgrades written by male employees of the IASPT, unless these workers were at the pinnacle of their profession and were willing to provide their services for free. This resulted in numerous component failures and mishaps, which have also served to prolong the mission.”
The Alexander Offworld Probe's journey through the solar system has been fraught with drama with accusations of bullying levelled at it by other space probes, telescopes and communications satellites.
MODE 5 can report that the space probe 'Shocking Blue' was left so traumatised by its encounter with Alexander that it returned prematurely from a mission to analyse the Venusian atmosphere. It has since resigned its position at the IASPT and is now employed as an air conditioning unit in New Mexico.
Alexander also spent a month grinding up against the Hubble Space Telescope in a reported effort to protect the universe from “the male gaze of its operators.”
Nathan Leeming, one of a team of scientists who built the Probe, recalls the troubled development process:
“In hindsight it was unprofessional of us to celebrate the invention of an alcohol-powered reactor, capable of synthesising its own fuel, by getting really drunk at the lab. At some point in the evening it seemed like a top notch idea to assemble a space probe from the various empty bottles and wine boxes we had lying around the place.
“No sooner had we booted the operating system than it began to insult the scientists who were working on its components, calling them out as nerds, issuing vaguely racist proclamations, and employing its built-in megaphone to announce to anyone within earshot that the space program was dead.
“I awoke in bed the following afternoon with the Alexander Offworld Space Probe dribbling tepid coolant down my bare shoulder.”
Richard Shirmer, who according to onlookers drunkenly climbed atop a lab bench and pronounced himself 'Head of Development' for the Alexander Probe, before accidentally setting fire to his trouser leg with a Bunsen burner, has since described the project as “an embarrassment”:
“The components contained within the Alexander Offworld Space Probe represent a technological misstep whose existence on earth seemed likely to impede the possibly of our organisation obtaining any funding in the future, and stood to alienate the public from supporting further space exploration. Having created it, our only option was to send it so far into space that no one would ever hear from it again.”
The move to send the probe into space at the earliest opportunity was supported by a kickstarter campaign in early 2015.
Astronaut, Lewis Bredin, recalls the launch:
“We literally opened the airlock of the International Space Station, kicked the Alexander Probe out into space and then sealed the door before it could claw its way back inside. In space no one can hear your scream, but it turns out that an objectionable space probe bellowing 'Silly astronauts. I am the solar system' can be heard for miles.”
The Alexander Probe carries onboard a message to other star-faring civilisations, penned by a self-proclaimed paedophile and a small group of useful idiots, many of whom are undisclosed members of organisations who are vehemently opposed to space exploration.
“We hope that the Alexander Offworld Probe will spread its garbled message of misdirected anger and bellowed threats to other distant, galaxies, far, far away from Earth. As long as it doesn't come back,” said Mosley.
“We are all keeping our fingers crossed that our universe isn't circular.”