Twitter's war on the web continues apace

Some time in the last couple of days, Twitter removed the HTML-only page you would get on with Javascript disabled. The only way to access it now is with Javascript in a browser that is less than a year old.

Presumably they did this solely to make screen-scraping harder. Accessibility issues? Fuck you. Using an old browser or old phone because reasons? Fuck you.

Twitter has always been, and always will be, a garbage company.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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20 Responses:

  1. gir says:

    heard of they have reverse engineered twitter's internal api and provide a nojs-frontend for it. their source lives at .

    • gir says:

      urgh, the comment ate my url.

      • jwz says:

        Cool, but the fact that someone was able to put in a huge amount of fragile engineering effort to work around Twitter's war on the web does not in any way make this situation ok.

        (Your typos ate your URL. URLs work fine.)

        • nate says:

          It kind of reminds me of when I was a kid in the 80's, staying up late trying to watch the porn on over-the-air broadcast TV without a de-scrambler. Oh wow, I see a boob!

  2. Dude says:

    Oy... between this and Instagram's recent severe cutting off of access to non-members, the "platform[s] for everyone" are making it clear who isn't invited (nazis still allowed on both, though).

    • tfb says:

      As a Facebook holdout I now find myself in the weird position where I am occasionally commissioning other people to make use of it for me, the price being small gifts of alcohol and sweets. I'm not sure how I feel about this: they're already users so their souls are forfeit, but am I encouraging them to deeper levels of hell so my soul can remain unstained, and in that case does it, in fact, remain unstained? Certainly there are theological difficulties here.

      On the other hand there's an opportunity for some kind of mechanical-turk-like business where customers will pay anonymously for services from those who have already been fully engulfed byFacebook.

      • Dude says:

        Yeah, it sucks. I never had an Instagram (nor will I ever understand its appeal?) and stopped logging into FB in Nov. 2015 (I logged back in on Nov. 2018... to delete my account forever).

        It sucks to miss out on big moments like weddings, births, or knowing who just died of cancer; but it's also a bummer when, even pre-COVID, a lot of them would only post notices about events on FB or Insta. I get why, but it means I'm less likely to be able to support their great work because I don't even know it's happening.

        Still, I have no regrets. Unless there's a specific event notice I find out about, I stay away from FB and its subsidiaries as if they were a COVID super-spreader wedding in Texas. (Seriously, read that short article all the way through - the final line killed me.)

        • tfb says:

          Well, I make photographs semi-seriously – I've spent more time than I perhaps should have although less time than I want to watching the magic of silver and light in darkrooms – and I think that if you want to make it as a photographer (and probably as a lot of other things) instagram/FB is not really optional. So the option is to sell your soul to fascist plutocrats, or give up. Which is a shitty choice: I chose not to sell my soul, although I'm not nearly good enough for it to matter.

          (Of course, given that I take pictures of gypsy fairs, marches &c, and I don't want to kill anyone or die, I've taken about 10 frames since March, so, well.)

          • Dude says:

            Hey, a love of photography is why I have a still-active Flickr page. They still allow nudity instead of flagging the slightest butt-crack like a mid-century Hollywood censor.

            I honestly still love Flickr as a website, despite the way Yahoo! fucked them up. I just wished they'd improve the goddamn app! Seriously, all the times Flickr has changed hands and all the resources they've had, somehow they never tried to improve the fuckin' app.

  3. pinback says:

    You were what, 3 cubicles away, from the heinous butthole who added javascript to the browser at Netscape in the first place, yet you feel no regret over that? Instead it Twitter who you name as assholes? Sorry man, I just don't know any way to see it like you do.

  4. Erin M. says:

    All the more reason for me to avoid Tw*tter (a platform that continues to host a well-known, strangely orange-colored fascist proto-dictator for the sake of profits). I block javascript using NoScript in Firefox unless I feel I can trust the source. If I don't trust the source or know what it's doing, no thanks.

    • Dude says:

      How's NoScript workin' for ya on the latest desktop Firefox? I used to have it until - what, a year-or-so ago? - they weren't able to work on the then-latest Firefox update. I've been using uMatrix since (except on Firefox mobile because that one no longer supports uMatrix, so I do use NoScript on that one).

      I mean, I love how uMatrix better identifies untrustworthy sources on websites, but I wish it had NoScript's ability to remember your selection across websites.

      • Erin M. says:

        Hi Dude - I've been using NoScript for many years without any major issues. You pointed out the reason I still use it vs. uMatrix - the ability to save settings across sites. It seems to be okay after firefox updates, but I have noticed a couple times now that NoScript suddenly was disabled. So I've had to manually turn it back on. This has happened twice in the last 2 months or so - first time immediately after a firefox update. So... that's a little odd, but I keep an eye on it and it's behaving for the moment.

        • jwz says:

          I spent a few months trying to run with JS off by default, and my experience was, nothing works. That's just how the web is now.

  5. Freiheit says:

    People with old browsers, old computers, old tablets, old phones, visual disabilities, disabled JavaScript and/or any kind of ad blocking are not good targets for advertising campaigns and are therefore irrelevant.

    Take off the glasses that let you see the naked black and white BUY CONSUME OBEY and enjoy the circuses. (sorry, no bread anymore, since circuses scale better)

  6. Jim says:

    You know that JavaScript isn't mandatory yet because Google Search rewrites results to redirectors for click tracking instead of using onClick, at the cost of so much customer time and lost customers.

  7. Bobby Jack says:

    Their lazy UA-sniffing fucks my link checker — thanks, Twitter. What do I do, send a fake User Agent to the whole web just because twitter implements policy stupidly? Or add a stupid special case JUST for twitter? Both suck.

    (Maybe the answer is "report all twitter links as broken, since they're not strictly safe to use anyway"...)

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