Since Twitter became the sole property of a capricious billionaire in October 2022, the timeline has been flooded with concerns about the app’s new policies and nostalgia for its storied past.
The platform hasn’t entirely crashed, as many expected. In fact, it took on a sort of revitalized last-day-of-school energy one might liken to “goblin mode,” the Oxford Languages word of the year that describes self-indulgent behavior that rejects social norms.
For June, a Twitter user also known as @JUNlPER, the site still has a lot of life left in it. She would know, since she’s the one who first tweeted about goblin mode — a concept she totally manufactured. This year they sparked right-wing outrage about the Snickers dick vein.
June, who uses both she and they pronouns, is a 27-year-old from Wisconsin. By day, they work in quality control in the food industry. By night, they are one of our nation’s leading shitposters. She started her account in 2020 to support Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, but quickly found it more cathartic to just make fun of her political enemies.
What makes Twitter special or different from other sites?
June: Giving your neighbor a pot of chili as a good neighborly gift is problematic? Incredible. Men owning female dogs is patriarchal? Just outstanding. Criticizing incest is ableist? In my wildest dreams I could not cook up a take like that. And yes, these are all real posts I have seen on Twitter. How is this not the best website of all time when we are able to see ideas like these?
Will you ever leave?
J: I will only ever leave Twitter if it goes down like the Titanic. As it crumbles I will be there posting. The website will have security openings and hackers will find my credit card info and my Social Security number as the website is collapsing, but I will still be there posting until the last moment the website is online. That or until I get bored of posting, which I can't foresee happening any time soon.
You're responsible for one of the words of the year, which started as a fake trend on Twitter then became a real one. How do you describe goblin mode?
J: It still blows my mind that a fake article headline I made back in February 2022 about how Kanye West broke up with Julia Fox because she went "Goblin Mode" — that I decided to make while I was driving home during my commute from work — caused a domino reaction to that phrase becoming word of the year. One of the many things I'm thankful for is all the support from my friends on Twitter who helped me fool masses of people; without them engaging with and pretending to believe my post there's no way this would have happened. When I made that post I didn't have any specific definition in mind, but as the way language develops, the definition clearly landed on goblin mode being about embracing laziness.
Please tell me the story of the Snickers dick vein. All of it.
J: I have a confession to make. The Snickers Dick Vein story was never on Tucker Carlson’s show. Following my fake headline I made saying that "Snickers was taking out the chocolate dick vein on the candy," in a subsequent post, I posted an edited screengrab from Tucker Carlson’s show with the news chyron indicating he was talking about the Snickers story.
Both of those posts brought out right-wingers actually mad about a news story that didn't exist, and people on the left making fun of how the right often focuses on things like "Two Dr. Seuss books aren't being sold in stores anymore due to wokeness." Right-wingers on Twitter and other online forums WERE getting mad at "wokeness" for taking away an aspect of a candy, [but] it never made it onto Fox News. I wish Tucker talked about this though. It would have made my life if he blatantly revealed the emptiness of the faux-rage machine they have in right-wing media spaces over a story that wasn't real.
Is being woke a virus? Why do you think so many people are obsessed with wokeness?
J: Wokeness is a virus and I'm doing my best to be the largest superspreader of all time. My life goal is to spread wokeness until every human being has pronouns and blue hair. Every argument right-wingers make against "wokeness" is just them being mad that an individual made a choice in their life.
A lot of people think you really work for the New York Times, as your bio suggests. Where did that joke come from?
J: I believe one day I just added it to my Twitter bio after realizing that you can make people believe anything on Twitter without much effort. I didn't come up with this though — it is a long-running Twitter bit to add that you work at a massive news organization, or that you work as an economist, or essentially careers that right-wingers can point out to try to make fun of you while you argue with them.
What has been the most mind-numbing discourse to you? Or was there any that was actually good?
J: I think the truly worst Twitter discourse I have ever seen is that "Anne Frank had white privilege" discourse. I don't think I really need to explain why this is so awful, especially in light of rampant antisemitism we have [seen] spring up on the platform in recent months.
The best discourse, in my opinion, tends to be the ones that have impact directly outside of Twitter. I recall my mutual @halomancer1 finding a flaw in a dating app called Giggle. The intention with this app was born out of transphobia from its transphobic creator, so it has a facial recognition service to "ensure" trans individuals could not use the app, but @halomancer1 easily bypassed this and publicly made fun of its creator. Moments like those are just great fun. Humiliating awful people who deserve the worst with your friends is what makes Twitter special.
If you could instantly ban anyone from the internet, who would it be?
J: Libs of TikTok, easily. While I do believe she is a deeply sad and evil individual, I believe she is emblematic of the type of hyper-online older conservative that we often see in online spaces today. We have seen the trend since the early Trump years of a type of radical conservative mindset that alienates themselves from normal, non-online individuals that they know offline. In the Trump years, I think we all remember seeing stories of Trump voters posting about how their family has abandoned them, and then you see that they post QAnon–tier content and make that their personality. Thankfully, we saw in this last 2022 election that anti-LGBTQ [candidates], more specifically transphobia, did not get a lot of support by conservatives, and in fact those who ran openly transphobic [campaigns] lost their elections that have historically been won by Republicans. So while we do see a spike in this hateful rhetoric by people like Libs of TikTok, it seems to alienate the average American. At least for now.
If you could instantly platform anyone from the internet, who would it be?
J: I follow one individual on Twitter who has like 900 followers and only posts pictures of him in his favorite sports team jerseys flexing near trees and rivers. I don't even enjoy sports or know anything about them. I just respect that this guy is living his life like this. I think he is the only person in the world using the internet correctly and may possibly be the happiest person in the world because of how correctly he uses the internet. All of us posting esoteric jokes and creating endless discourse could learn a lot from how this guy posts.
How did you feel when Elon Musk took over? Do you feel like his reign as Twitter CEO could have gone better?
J: As a longtime hater of Elon Musk, this is entirely in line with every step of every company or project he has ever had a hand in. He overpromises and, in my opinion, intentionally lies to hype up whatever he is working on. At first when he took over, there was a sense of dread of what would happen to the website, but there was a mass realization that we could now bully the richest man alive into potential bankruptcy, and as a leftist, this is incredibly fun.
Do you think Twitter will last?
J: I feel like this could be a "hot take," but I do believe Twitter will last. There's plenty of doomsaying, and rightfully so, in how Elon is handling the website. But I do not believe it will just shut off one day. Personally, I believe the most likely scenario is he loses so much money from Tesla falling apart that he will have to sell Twitter at a massive loss to stop the bleeding. I don't know if that will actually happen, but what I do know is that Twitter will still be there.
Is there anything we can do to make Twitter a better place?
J: I think the only real action we can have to make Twitter better is to continue to bully Elon Musk when we can. It’s shown to bother him on a visceral level that half of the website hates him. Less discourse that just angers people, and start posting the most deranged possible joke you thought of in a cold sweat after waking up at 3 a.m. It's more fun that way.
Who should take over for Musk as CEO?
J: It goes without saying that the new CEO should be @dril. A truly masterful poster who understands the appeal of Twitter as a posting format, far better than Elon seems to understand Twitter as a platform.