WATCH: Twitter Turns 5 (Video)

Twitter's fail whale.

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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:

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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