Posts categorised ‘Internet’

OK, I have to share this because it makes me crack up every time I go back to it. You might remember a while back that Hawaiians got a false alarm of an incoming missile, caused by someone “pressing the wrong button”. That was terrifying to many people, and not the thing that cracks me up. However, the incident did spawn this great meme, riffing on poor web design practices to explain how such a thing could occur… (via)

animated GIF of a cursor going to click on a ‘Send Test Warning’ button, but an ad loads above it so the cursor instead clicks on ‘Send Actual Warning’

Link: “The dark side of TikTok's algorithm”

Original post found at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-26/tiktok-algorithm-dangerous-eating-disorder-content-censorship/100277134

TikTok is one social media platform I’ve never even tried (I’m a “give me text, not video” kind of person) but this 4 Corners investigation – written up in the article here – was pretty informative as to what it’s like and why I made 100% the correct decision to stay away 😂

In particular, the algorithms sound like everything people complain about with YouTube but 100x worse – e.g. the second they detect interest in really bad content like pro-ED material or racist or sexist shit, they start flooding your feed with it – and their moderation process regularly shadowbans left-wing content and content by POC and disabled or even “ugly” people 🤯

Link: “Why self hosting is important” by Solène

Original post found at: https://dataswamp.org/~solene/2021-07-23-why-selfhosting-is-important.html

I remember when I was a kid and told my dad I wanted my own homepage (early 2000s), his reaction was to go, “OK, here’s where you can learn how to run your own web server,” which is definitely not where my mind was at the time 😂 These days I’m actually kind of tempted, if not enough to have actually made any steps towards doing so yet, so I found this an interesting read.

For the past few days, I’ve been taking a break from Twitter. In recent weeks it had been irritating me more than anything else, and FOMO was starting to be a source of stress – feeling like I “had” to scroll through it just in case, even though it was annoying me. I’ve written about this predicament before, but this time I mustered up the willpower to just stop it. No more Twitter, at least for a while. (Long-term, I think I might be happier just following a small number of selected users in a feed reader. But a break first, to work out what I really miss.)

Convenient timing that today I came across this article, You Really Need to Quit Twitter. The addictive qualities of social media are getting increasingly recognised, I guess. I know I’ve recently seen some Micro.blog people celebrating milestones since they quit Twitter, too. It almost seems ridiculous to me, this idea that stopping checking a website could feel like a big deal? And yet. Here’s to time spent more productively… or at least spent doing things that make me happier 🙂

Link: “Twitter considers letting you limit tweets to ‘trusted friends’”

Original post found at: https://www.theverge.com/2021/7/1/22558731/twitter-trusted-friends-facets-features-pre-announce

omg, “facets” is a feature I’ve wanted social media platforms to have for ages – a way to allow followers to subscribe just to certain topics (I’ve always thought of them as “channels”) instead of everything someone posts. And “trusted friends” is a feature I really really wanted Twitter to have like, over a decade ago. At this point it’s kinda too late for me to make much use of either of them, and Twitter has helpfully said they’re not actively developing either feature anyway, but 🤷🏻‍♀️ they’re still good ideas.

Wiki: Small Web

I’m quite interested in concepts of the “Small Web” and adjacent topics, but it is definitely true that “small web” itself is a vague term that different people use to talk about different kinds of projects. What unites all these different concepts is the kind of web they define themselves against; that kind of bloated, corporate, algorithm-ruled and ad-ridden mess …

Read more…

Link: “The Rotting Internet Is a Collective Hallucination”

Original post found at: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2021/06/the-internet-is-a-collective-hallucination/619320/

A long read on “link rot”, essentially. I do think there are times when it’s better to let old content slip into inaccessibility (this article gives the example of a hasty Facebook comment), but it’s also true that there’s a lot of useful material that just disappears over the years. I find a lot of Wikipedia citations are no longer actually available to be checked, for example, and this article talks about projects to try to mitigate that kind of thing.

If you’re going to make a website where you sell stuff, it really, really helps to make clear what currency you’re displaying your prices in. Especially if you’re not even based in a dollar-using country, but you display all your prices with a simple dollar sign. Then I have to make a guess whether your site is localised, so you mean AUD, or whether your European or whatever company just charges everyone in USD despite that making no sense. (You would think the former, but the latter is the case like 90% of the time.) Just three letters and potential customers could actually know what your prices are, how radical ✨

Wiki: digital garden

A good starting point to understand this topic would be Maggie Appleton’s A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden.

In brief, a lot of personal websites and presences on the web these days are in strictly chronological format: you post, then never touch that post again. Social media silos in particular often don’t even let you edit your post. As a result, we’ve also come …

Read more…

photo of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.