The Verge is deeply invested in doing service journalism; we report on companies’ misdeeds, we review expensive products to tell you whether they’re worth your hard-earned money, and speak to industry leaders to get their insights on the issues affecting their companies and their customers.
It is in that vein that we brainstormed some ideas for social media theme parks in Florida.
See, the Sunshine State passed a law this week that blocks social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter from “knowingly” deplatforming politicians and even algorithmically ranking content, with fine ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 per day (The law, which is a mish-mash of broad speech regulations, has already been challenged in court by the tech companies’ trade organizations, which called it “a frontal assault on the First Amendment.”)
But there’s an easier way. The law has a hilariously corrupt exemption for any company that owns or operates a theme park or large entertainment complex in the state of Florida. Republican state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia said that exemption was included so that the Disney Plus streaming service “isn’t caught up in this.” The Disney World park in Orlando brings in significant tax revenue for Florida, of course, a state which relies heavily on tourism dollars.
So all Twitter, Facebook, TikTok et al have to do to comply with the law and avoid the knotty First Amendment issue of government speech regulations is build their own Floridian theme parks.
Here are our suggestions for the parks including some ideas for appropriately themed rides that the venues might offer:
- Has a secret nightclub called Slides
- Sells drinks called Canoes
- The Ratio is a dunk tank where you get dropped into water for your bad takes
- Whac-A-Mole is instead Block-A-Troll
- A water-themed ride where you’re sailing along and random guys try to pull you into the water: Reply Guys, the ride
- Rollercoaster goes sideways
The only problem with Twitterland is that it keeps opening amazing rides and then letting them completely fall apart.
- All the rides suddenly pivot to video without warning
- A haunted house attraction called Facebook Moderation
- Instagram and WhatsApp once had separate parks, but they have been annexed into the main Facebook park and turned into shopping malls
- The water park has a slide into radicalism
- If you get detained by security, they put you in the Racist Uncle Time Out Room
- An Instagram hall of mirrors that features mirrors that give you an Insta-ready body with lighting made for photos and then leaves you feeling terrible when you come to the last mirror, which has heavy shadows for lighting and no body editing whatsoever
- A hall of mirrors that shunts you through random rides with absolutely no information or warning, gradually tuning your experience using the sophisticated biometric monitor in your admission wristband
- Alternately, the whole park is just the set from the Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime show where a Backyardigans song plays on a loop
It’s just a bunch of themed photo booths that produce those little photo strips, but you have to wait in line and read 200 words before you can ride the Recipe Rollercoaster.
- A giant haunted house which closed eight years ago but high school kids still break into at night
- The entire park littered with discontinued Google products
It’s just one big infinity room where you enter and hear men talking at you and over each other about Bitcoin.
A Renaissance fair that ended up sharing its property lease with a prison, thanks to an awkward misunderstanding in the C-suite. Many guests are incredibly devoted cosplayers in delightful historically accurate costumes. Many are petty criminals. A few are serial killers. Try to guess which ones!
- Has a ride where you appear to climb higher and higher forever, but then perilously fall to Earth after a botched apology
- To enter the park you have to smash the like button
- The Thumbnail Ride promises nonstop conflict but is really just a pretty chill afternoon
- Every ride is at least 10 minutes long so it can include a midroll break
- If you make a wrong turn at the bathrooms, you’ll occasionally run into an off-brand superhero ride that ends in a spike pit. No one knows who paid for or designed these rides, but children find them inexplicably compelling
- You can’t leave unless you ring a bell, and then you will be sent notifications reminding you to return to YouTubeLand for the rest of your life
- Really big and expensive and in many ways the gold standard for all the other parks, but no one appears to be in charge at all?