Use this link to see what your Twitter feed looked like 10 years ago today

In February Xeni tweeted a history of the Twitter experience over the last 10 years or so:

Twitter was like good weed & an espresso

Then it was like crack

Then for a while PCP

Now I’d say we are in bath salts or krokodil territory

If you miss the good weed and espresso era of Twitter, use this link, which lets you see your twitter feed ten years ago.

Image: By PiXXart/Shutterstock Read the rest

Court rules that Trump can't block people on Twitter

A New York federal judge has ruled that Donald Trump can't block people he doesn't like on Twitter, because he uses Twitter to communicate his edicts and policies as President of the United States, and the US government can't exclude communications based on viewpoint, as this violates the First Amendment. Read the rest

Explaining marine invertebrate reproductive strategies to the lobster-obsessed Jordan Peterson

Alt-right darling Jordan Peterson is a big fan of hierarchies, which he says are innate to the human condition, something he knows because lobsters have social hierarchies. Read the rest

Bandai is manufacturing armored cats

Bandai created armored cats ("Nekobusou") as a jokey tweet whose unexpected popularity inspired the toymaker to go into production with a like of armored cat figurines ranging from $5-14 each. Read the rest

Workers bring the snark on bad stock photos of their jobs

The #BadStockPhotosOfMyJob has had some worthy entries so far, like OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Gunter's comment on this gem: "I always give a thumbs up after a pelvic exam, it’s so not creepy at all." Read the rest

Bite-Sized Linux: a zine collecting awesome *nix tutorial webtoons

Julia Evans's Twitter feed is a treasure trove of her Bite-Size Linux comics that explain core concepts in Unix system use and administration in friendly, accessible graphic form. Read the rest

Justin Trudeau's no-action tweet offering help to refugees harmed by Trump's #MuslimBan created chaos

Amid the chaos of Trump's illegal ban on refugee claimants and other migrants from Muslim-majority nations, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada." Read the rest

Is Stormy Daniels being shadowbanned on Twitter?

This afternoon, Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress and director to whom Dear Leader's lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid hush money weeks before the 2016 election, tweeted the following:

It's true. If you search on her name, and hit the Latest tab, you see lots of Trump-linked tweets and tweets where Ms. Daniels is mentioned, but not a single one of the recent Tweets from Stormy Daniels herself. [Note: her posts don't appear when you click the "Latest" tab, but her posts do appear in the "Top" tab -- Mark]

Hey Twitter? What's up with this? Is she being shadowbanned? It actually appears to be a redirect to Trump tweets. Who might be doing this?

Image: mkhmarketing/Flickr. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Read the rest

For a mere $105,000, John McAfee will tweet about your cryptocurrency

Creepy (no, seriously) 1980s villain John McAfee has 812,000 Twitter followers, some of whom are not bots, and for the low price of $105,000, he will tweet to them about your cryptocurrency. Read the rest

What social media is now

Simple comedy, perfectly executed, by voice actor SungWon Cho. Here's his YouTube channel. Read the rest

Twitter's anti-abuse algorithms unfairly target #BlackTwitter

Surprise! The Root shares a well documented case of anti-abuse algorithms gone wrong, and then Twitter mercilessly stripping a user of their account. A decade of tweets gone without a chirp!

Genie Lauren did nothing but poke back at a few well deserving Twitter trolls, and Twitter's automated systems victimized her in return. This entire story is well worth reading.

Twitter’s algorithm decided that my tweet was racist, and since tweeting hate speech is against Twitter’s rules, I apparently violated their conduct by calling an actual white lady a “typical white lady.” At no point in the process did Twitter present me with a way to dispute these findings—because algorithms are perfect, right? We’ve never found instances of algorithms actually protecting hate speech, right? There’s no way a company that possibly fudges its numbers to obscure the fact that it’s still overwhelmingly white would be capable of creating an algorithm that targets black people while allowing overt hate speech from white people to remain on their platform days after being reported multiple times, right?

Screenshot: @FrancesFrancine (Twitter)

Right?

(I know for a fact that the above tweet has been reported for hate speech at least twice, yet at the time of this post, it’s still up over a week later.)

There was no point being salty, since there was no way to actually right the wrong, so I moved on.

It progressed with another diss.

Twitter Stole From Me and They Can Steal From You, Too by Genie Lauren via The Root Read the rest

Silence retweets with the aptly-named Retweet Disabler

Retweet.RIP is a service by Will Cosgrove that, once given access to your Twitter account, systematically turns off retweets for everyone you follow. You can turn them back on again, too, but let's face it—you probably won't.

If you're a power user who has spent a lot of time fine tuning which accounts you get retweets from and which you don't, this tool is not for you. It will heartlessly ruin all of your hard work. So don't click either button.

Read the rest

Myspace hasn't tweeted since 9/11, and we're starting to worry

Myspace picked a symbolic day to stop tweeting: September 11, 2017. What happened? Are they among the exodus to other cooler platforms like everyone but the most hopelessly addicted? Maybe they got sick of the porn spam and the cesspool of trolling all-stars, aka verified users? Read the rest

Escaping Twitter's numbers game with the Twitter Demetricator

Everyone knows about the trolls and nazis, but The New Yorker's David Zweig wrestles with the other strange pallor that descends on Twitter: the feeling that every moment is a self-conscious baring of oneself in pursuit of the metrics and measurements it applies, "a shameful interest in all those prominently displayed numbers." He installed Ben Grosser's Twitter Demetricator, which hides all that from Twitter (from yourself, if not from others.)

Twitter, perhaps even more than Facebook, runs on its users’ obsession—witting or not—with metrics. ... After three weeks of using the Demetricator, the nature of Twitter, for me, changed completely. In some ways, it became lonelier. Part of the fun had been feeling like part of a crowd, seeing a joke or an idea or an observation become something that fifty people, or fifty thousand, could share. But I’m willing to accept the loss of this superficial sense of community for all the gains. Not seeing any numbers at all made content itself the king. I came to appreciate, disconcertingly, that knowing what was popular before had not only often distorted but also sometimes completely overtaken my experience.

This was part of why I made txt.fyi, to make it easy to post things without the "ersatz quantifiers" of social capital, and is presumably why I wake up every day to requests to add user accounts and other features to it. Read the rest

A census of leading Italian politicians' Twitter followings finds a horde of zombies and bots

As Italy heads into a national election in which mass inequality and food poverty have disrupted Italy's always-shaky political equilibrium, La Republica publishes its analysis (Google Translate) of the Twitter followers associated with each of Italy's political superstars and finds some pretty intense inflation in the numbers. Read the rest

The intrinsic comedy of a self-inflating airplane emergency escape slide

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In the USA, Trump supporters are the most prolific users and sharers of "junk news" (a mix of untruth and distastefully presented materials)

Oxford's Computational Propaganda Project surveyed 13,500 "politically active" US Twitter users and 48,000 publicly visible Facebook pages, coding them for political affiliation, then measuring how much "junk news" (a news article that fails to live up to three or more of the following: professionalism, style, credibility, bias, counterfeit) was consumed and share by users based on their political affiliation. Read the rest

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