100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Get all your news in one place
Latest Technology news:
Barnes & Noble’s next Nook is as entry-level as e-readers come
The GlowLight 4e is bare-bones and $30 less than its predecessor.
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
First F-150 Lightning Retail Customer Takes Delivery In Michigan
The customer opted for an F-150 Lightning Platinum model and paid the sticker price of $90,874 for the top-of-the-range pickup.
Play it cool: This company is building a cryogenic gas station in space
ETA Space is trying to solve one of the biggest problems with space travel. It might just have a solution.
I can’t get enough of Spotify’s depraved, hyper-specific playlists
The addictive subreddit r/weirdspotifyplaylists focuses on the stranger user-generated playlists one can find on the streaming service.
Record 2021 Revenues Bump Tesla Up 35 Places On The Fortune 500 List
It has jumped from spot 100 to 65 after its profits went up more than 600 percent last year.
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Zotac’s VR backpack straps an entire gaming PC to your body
This is actually the fourth-generation of its VR Go backpack that untethers your from your desk for any VR application.
Tesla May Follow Through With Musk's Drive-In Theater Supercharger
Musk has talked about the potential for a drive-in diner/theater as part of a Supercharger station. Now, the company has…

Data the dog: Twitter turns its privacy policy into an old-school video game

By Luke Winkie
starting image from Twitter Data Dash shows a dog in front of a city
Twitter Data Dash plays like a vintage side-scrolling video game. Photograph: Twitter

On Friday, Elon Musk announced he was pausing his $45bn purchase of Twitter because he had only just discovered some of the accounts on the site were fake.

But that’s not the strangest thing that has happened to the beleaguered social media platform this week. Because on Tuesday the current top brass, perhaps trying to demonstrate their vision for the site, released a Super Nintendo-style browser game that recaps Twitter’s private policy.

The platform unveiled Twitter Data Dash, which plays like a vintage side-scrolling platformer that’s been draped with a healthy dose of disinformation anxiety.

You take control of a blue-hued puppy named Data and are tasked with retrieving five bones hidden in each of the game’s Day-Glo urban environments. (Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was the analog I kept returning to during my gameplay.) After you complete your objective, the level ends and Twitter blesses you with a distilled talking point from its ethics board. Case in point: once I collected my first set of bones, a message popped up on screen informing me that I could opt out of Twitter’s targeted advertisements if I wanted. The second time around, I was given instructions on how to filter my DMs.

game image shows underwater scene with sunken ship and a message that says ‘Data slid into a sea of DMs! Catch friendly messages to float back up and avoid ones you don’t want.’

I get the instincts here. Everyone on the internet has been conditioned to blindly scroll through every terms-of-service agreement we come across, so the idea of condensing some of the finer points into a chibi, interactive browser distraction does make some utilitarian sense. After all, the company has just rewritten its privacy policy and could certainly use some positive PR. But some of the messaging in the game is self-contradictory. In the opening sequence, we are told that Data wants to avoid all of the intrusive “cat ads” in their way. Sure enough, you’ll run into a few felines, brandishing feline-embossed propaganda, which Data must dodge in order to not take damage. But how does that translate to the actual platform? Is Twitter telling me that I should scroll past every ad I see on my timeline? Is it acknowledging that in order to participate on social media, one must be constantly evading the algorithm?

“If Twitter actually wanted to be accurate with this level, then you wouldn’t be freely running around a city, dodging bad guys and collecting bones of somewhat questionable origin,” points out the tech site Gizmodo. “Instead, the bad guys are unavoidable, and they’re not only actively piling on top of your poor Data pup and crushing his tiny lungs, but you, the player, need to live with the knowledge that Data will keep on being smothered long after you exit the game.”

The more important issue with Twitter Data Dash is that the game isn’t very fun. The controls are too floaty: right now the jump button is mapped to the up arrow, and that’s just crazy. If we must gamify our private policies – if that is the nightmare we must live through – then I demand Elden Ring-like precision. At this point, it’s the least Twitter can do.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.