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Here’s what Twitter king Dril thinks of Musk’s chaotic reign
The ‘patron saint of the internet’ tells The Post he’ll never pay for verification but will learn to code if Musk offers him a job
With over 1.7 million followers, Dril, known for his absurdist humor, is the type of influencer that could only emerge on an app like Twitter.
Dril started his account in September 2008, just two years after Twitter launched, and as the platform grew, so did his impact. He became the face of what’s often referred to as “weird Twitter,” a broad and amorphous coalition of comedy accounts. Now, for many Twitter users, he serves as a kind of canary in the coal mine. “If dril leaves twitter nothing will be left,” one user tweeted. “If @dril leaves Twitter, Twitter’s basically dead even if it doesn’t actually die,” another said.
For Dril, the chaos of Musk’s ownership has been entertaining, and he plans to see it through. “Elon, he invented the Hyperloop,” Dril said in a rare interview, referring to Musk’s vision of high-speed underground transport, which has not yet been built. “I think Twitter will be just like that. It’s a work in progress, he’s building it from the ground up. He’s gonna make it nicer, and they’re going to use freedom of speech to cut down on bull---- in daily life. I think it’s gonna be a beautiful thing at the end of the day.”
To those trying to predict Twitter’s fate, there’s probably no one more representative of a certain part of Twitter than Dril. His posts have become meme formats and copypasta, in one tweet he even appeared to predict the end of Twitter in 2022. Academics have dissected and analyzed his tweets. The A.V. Club, an online publication devoted to pop culture, declared Dril “the patron saint of the internet itself” and “a rare rallying point and muse for everyone, regardless of affiliation or creed.”
Dril is a symbol of what a lot of people loved about Twitter, pre-Musk. His account is strange and absurd, often profane, and he’s the type of creator unlikely to thrive elsewhere.
Twitter user Nick Farruggia recently painstakingly catalogued every one of Dril’s posts. “Refuse to lose the tweets from the best poster ever... here it is: every @dril tweet in chronological order, up & free forever,” he recently tweeted.
As Musk seeks to bend Twitter to his vision, Dril is an example of the sort of power center that he’ll be unable to budge: established, popular and indifferent.
“Dril and Elon are on opposite sides of the spectrum, when it comes to internet-based language,” said Jamie Cohen, assistant professor of media studies at CUNY Queens College, who once taught a class on weird Twitter. “Dril is a community member, he was born of the internet, Elon merely adopted it. If Elon wants to succeed and make this thing work, the person he has to win over the most is Dril and his community.”
“Dril’s tweets are a baseline foundational text for Twitter, they are part of the structure of Twitter,” said Alex Turvy, a PhD researcher at Tulane University studying memes and digital culture. “He is the godfather of Twitter, and his tweets are a shared reference we can all call on when talking to people online. He’s part of Twitter’s cultural memory.”
When reached by phone, Dril agreed to chat about the new era for a platform he helped define, provided The Washington Post refer to him only by his Twitter handle, because of privacy concerns.