Posts tagged ‘social media’

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 🤯

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(external link). The addictive qualities of social media are getting increasingly recognised, I guess. I know I’ve recently seen some Micro.blog(external link) 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.

Trump self-hosting his own microblog(external link) may not be the endorsement of the concept I would prefer, but I guess it’s bringing it to wider public awareness? As the TechDirt article puts it:

On the whole, though, this is a good thing. I’m glad that Trump has set up his own site (no matter what happens with Facebook). More people should do that themselves as well, and recognize that then you get to set your own moderation rules and your own system, and don’t have to deal with not violating someone else’s rules. But it also shows how Facebook and Twitter removing him wasn’t censorship – it was just them saying he needs to find somewhere else to speak.

Generally speaking, I think, it is the marginalised who have more to gain from indie microblogging than the rich and powerful (Trump being an exception only because he went so far off the deep end that even other rich and powerful people turned on him). While there’s definitely something “icky” about the idea of Trump becoming the most prominent example of it for now, it is a concept that I think should catch on more broadly.

For a while I’ve been itching to try the Glitch-Soc(external link) variant of Mastodon, which has some improvements over the original (for example, allowing some formatting in posts). So, today I took the plunge and made a new account: @jayeless@toot.cat(external link). I’m expecting it to co-exist with the original account, with the original one becoming more political (suiting the instance it’s on) and the new one being more laid-back and about “fun stuff”. I might well find that these two things are not as sharply delineated as it might seem, though. At any rate, if you have an account on the Fediverse feel free to follow me there!

Link: “How Facebook will benefit from its massive breach” by Cory Doctorow

Original post found at: https://pluralistic.net/2021/04/05/zucks-oily-rags/#into-the-breach

Facebook has such a sweet racket. First, they used the Roach Motel model – data checks in, but it doesn’t check out – to trap you and all your friends in a mutual hostage-taking situation, where you can’t leave because they’re there, and they can’t leave because you’re there.

All those address books they imported, the data they gathered from publishers' websites through the Like buttons (which gather data whether or not you click them), the data they bought or snaffled up through free mobile SDKs is now permanently siloed inside of FB.

a cartoony avatar 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.