As 2019 winds up, Lowy Institute staff and Interpreter contributors offer their favourite books, articles, films or TV programs this year. Or in this instance...

The best thing I have read this year, and the worst, is Twitter.

Is Twitter an echo chamber? Sure, if you want it to be.

Twitter is the great modern meeting point for Australian political and foreign-policy commentators, offering an unrivalled platform from which to interrogate their views and test one’s own. Twitter also reinforces the natural human tendency among this community to write in ways that will win the approval of their peers. It is an endless source of links to good reading, without which I could not have written my book. It is a pitiless time-suck and a productivity killer. It is occasionally inspiring and frequently very funny.

Is Twitter an echo chamber? Sure, if you want it to be. Twitter is precisely as diverse as every user chooses, though it probably does not contribute to political polarisation or right-wing radicalism.