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Entertainment Weekly


J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and more authors slam Twitter's expansion to 280 characters

Dan Hallman/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock; Lou Rocco/ABC/Getty Images; David Levenson/Getty Images

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“Brevity is the soul of wit,” goes Shakespeare’s famous line.

While celebs and others across social media have been publishing their hilarious, outraged, and/or perplexing reactions to the news that Twitter was officially doubling its character limit for all of its users — now sitting at a luxurious 280 — authors’ responses have been, let’s say, a bit sharper on average.

Twitter formally made the change on Nov. 7, and in the days since, some of the most prominent living writers have spoken out against it, believing it to undermine what made the social media platform so unique and often witty. J.K. Rowling wrote “Twitter’s destroyed its USP. The whole point, for me, was how inventive people could be within that concise framework” — kicking off a Twitter chain of opposition that spread to Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and more.

Meanwhile, other scribes, including Little Fires Everywhere author Celeste Ng, have been arguing that the platform has much bigger problems to worry about than how to crowd their timelines. And still others are being blunt about their feelings: As King later tweeted, ‘F— that.’

Read on for a sampling of how authors are reacting to the new expansion.

Of course, not everyone was left outraged. Some authors provided more clever, pithy responses.

And what do the academics say?