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#RIPTwitter is a hashtag reacting to reports that Twitter would be replacing its reverse chronological feed with an algorithmic timeline similar to Facebook. In mid February 2016, the service was released as an optional feature for Twitter users without replacing the reverse chronological feed.
On February 5th, 2016, BuzzFeed reported that Twitter was planning on launching a new "algorithmic timeline," which would prominently display popular tweets in the feed rather than in reverse chronological order. That day, many tweeted their displeasure with the reported timeline change, including Nerdist social media manager Michelle Buchman who posted a GIF of the RMS Titanic passenger liner sinking with the caption "RIP Twitter" (shown below).
RIP Twitter. ¯\(ツ)/¯ pic.twitter.com/IHE1FJ4xsO— michelle buchman (@michelledeidre) February 6, 2016
The same day, YouTuber Mark Dice posted a video titled "R.I.P. Twitter", comparing the reported timeline changes to "the way Facebook's algorithm censors material" (shown below).
Also on February 5th, 2016, NBC reporter Josh Sternberg tweeted that his sources at Twitter claimed the "algorithms are strictly opt in" (shown below). Meanwhile, BuzzFeed published a follow-up article titled "Everyone is Freaking Out That Twitter is Switching to an Algorithmic Timeline."
On February 6th, the hashtag #RIPTwitter began trending on the social media platform in tweets condemning the reported changes (shown below). That day, Redditor SausageBarm submitted a post titled "Why is #RIPTwitter trending on Twitter" to /r/OutOfTheLoop, where it gained over 2,600 votes (93% upvoted) and 290 comments.
Jack Dorsey's Response
On February 6th, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey posted several tweets responding to the #RIPTwitter hashtag, claiming the company "never planned to reorder timelines," citing the service's "while you were away" feature as a example of what they planned to release.
Trust & Safety Council
On February 9th, Twitter announced its new Trust & Safety Council consisting of "experts working for safety and free expression," which included Anita Sarkeesian's Feminist Frequency Twitter feed among the inaugural members. Following the announcement, many critics used the hashtag #RIPTwitter in protest of the Feminist Frequency inclusion, comparing the council to surveillance symbol "Big Brother" from the 1949 dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (shown below).
On February 10th, Twitter announced the new timeline's release on their official blog, noting that the reverse chronological order would remain even if the feature is enabled by the user:
"Here's how it works. You flip on the feature in your settings; then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you're most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline – still recent and in reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always."