Twitter has been making a series of moves to improve its platform, and one in particular has drawn attention by raising the profile of a pro-Trump meme used to troll liberals. If you've been seeing lots of references to "NPC," this would be why. Kevin Roose of the New York Times has an excellent explainer of what's going, and the BBC also digs in. Some of the highlights:
- What is NPC? It's a gaming term that means "nonplayer character" or "nonplayable character"—that is, the game controls what they do. Trump supporters on Reddit and 4Chan adopted the term to refer to liberals who oppose the president. They say these critics don't think for themselves, just blindly follow people like John Oliver. Think "snowflakes."
- The origin: The link seems to have started with a 4Chan user in 2016, per the BBC. "If you get in a discussion with them it's always the same buzzwords and hackneyed arguments," he wrote, using the NPC comparison. "It's like in a [video game] when you accidentally talk to somebody twice and they give you the exact lines word for word once more."