Lovers of literature have been shocked by the latest changes to Twitter, after the microblogging website announced a tightening of its 140-character maximum rule for postings. Now all mentions of any literary work that contains more than 140 people will also be prohibited.
Hence any book which features large-scale battle scenes, such as the Bible, Tolstoy’s “War and Peace’ and the complete works of Andy McNab will be excluded . In addition, Twitter’s Terms and Conditions now state: “Any literary work that attempts to deal with the complexity of a society, whether contemporary or over a succession of generations, will be deemed to be in contravention.” This rule will see an end to any discussion of, for example, Charles Dickens’ “Hard Times” and Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children”.
Explaining the changes, a Twitter spokesperson said: “Since we serve busy people who function best when reading 140 characters or less, we believe they certainly don’t want to be bothered with reading about books that contain more than 140 people. Seriously, who has the time?”
Novelist and cultural commentator Melvyn Bragg tweeted #bigmelsez “Twitter has gone too far this time. It’s dumbing-down of the worst kind, and should be opposed by all who value literature. I’d say more but I’m afraid I’ve reached the lim”