And yet it is Twitter that has reaffirmed itself as the most powerful antidote to Facebook’s algorithm: misinformation certainly spreads via a tweet, but truth follows unusually quickly; thanks to the power of retweets and quoted tweets, both are far more inescapable than they are on Facebook.
What is the evidence of this? Even if "truth" follows misinformation on Twitter, there's so much noise, how do you find it?
that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty,
Twitter isn't public discussion, unless you consider the following examples of discussion:
Every time I speak of the haters and losers I do so with great love and affection. They cannot help the fact that they were born fucked up! - Trump
Delete your account. - Clinton
Don't tell me that Twitter is a vital part of discussion when public discussion has gotten worse over the past 9 years. This is a long blog post and only the last few paragraphs even begin to touch on "why Twitter must be saved", but there's not arguments beyond the sentimental.
Twitter has existed for less than a decade and society got along just fine without it. It's not as important as people think it is. The author is also absolutely wrong if they believe that Twitter isn't censored similarly to FB.
It's the CB radio of social media and I find huge value in that.
Amazing analogy, far better than any other metaphor I've previously heard applied to Twitter
Take for instance the recent tornado we had off the Oregon coast. I had video/pictures/reports showing up even ahead of the local NOAA site or google news.
Granted, it was the first time I ever went to Twitter for something like this, but I knew that it was /the/ place for the most up to date information.
And I try to avoid Twitter as much as possible, too annoying to read in there.
Generally speaking, it's great for aggregating witness accounts of a real-time event that's going on.
The person you replied to was responding to the idea that Twitter is a good source of news.
We had that. It's called Usenet and IRC.
Look up "eternal September" if you want to understand the demographic of Usenet...
The skill (and motivation) gap between using something like IRC and Twitter is massive.
Usenet, IRC, Twitter, neither is really important for anyone besides are rather limited subsection of the general population.
You might not know people personally, but certainly you're aware of Twitter's role in the Arab Spring. And you've heard of Black Twitter, right?
I had 12000 followers for a twitter account about a specific football club - a specific subsection but not a technical or media one.
I used to randomly look at my followers and while many were "highly invested tech and media people" - the majority were just people who wanted to stay up to date (in particular I used to live-tweet during games which lots of people really enjoyed).
That was a few years ago though - personally I rarely use Twitter any more.
Twitter also very selectively enforces rules about what it judges as hate speech and abuse. Certain people can repeatedly tweet "kill all police", or advocate jihad, or advocate violence towards those who support a particular political candidate, but the moment anyone does even a fraction of the same towards any group that Twitter is in bed with, that person gets shadow banned or permabanned. Note: I'm not advocating hate speech, merely pointing out that Twitter allows it more often than not when it aligns with their politics.
Twitter had a chance to be a platform for open discussion, but its brownshirt employees chose to make it a censorship shithole. Never-turned-a-profit Twitter can go fuck itself – it's not essential and highly filtered.
Last time it was only left wing extremists...
Disclaimer: I'm in the worst spot, since I'm right in the centre, so both leftists and rightists can hate on me all day
The problem is, that is not Twitter(the company)'s goal. For the last several years, their main focus, through user complaints, has been to limit the unfettered flow of information, to produce curated feeds, etc. This is quickly converging with Facebook functionality. A recent major development (from outside Twitter itself) has been the introduction of blocklists, directly contradicting the author's utopia of "incorrect tweet followed by a correction". Meanwhile, Twitter has been introducing similar features for "celebrity" accounts.
Given that the article's stated reason for saving Twitter does not align with the company's goals, the only way to save it would be to get rid of the company currently managing it. However, I don't see any other company actually looking to maintain the model described in the article. News sites are shutting down comments sections, removing the possibility of corrections. College campuses, normally a bastion of open debate and conversation, are looking more and more into punishing "hateful" speech and creating "safe spaces". Social media is heavily invested into curation.
The article states "Twitter must be saved". By who? Even Twitter itself does not want Twitter to remain the way the article writer envisions it, and the other major actors are tripping over themselves to go faster than in the opposite direction.
There are in fact places dedicated to disseminating information with as little filter as possible, unlike Twitter. Off the top of my head, I can think of liveleak and 4chan. Neither of them is extremely popular, and 4chan has an awful reputation. I'm surprised that the author is not extending their support to them, instead of trying to support a company that is actively trying to run away from his vision.
After a cursory glance (it's a long list) I don't think any of the organisations strike me as particularly left wing, certainly not in the traditional economic sense.
Unless you can meet the source in person every time you need a medium to get information, and Twitter serves that purpose.
Twitter doesn't meet that standard.
What did we actually do before Twitter? There was a shooting at my university's library late at night a few years back and I only found out about it because of Twitter. I know about 50 people that were actually physically in the library at the time and a handful of them were live-tweeting. I not only knew what was going on, and that they were safe, I was warned not to go about 200m south at the moment (which happened to be the plan, the bar my SO and I were going to was on the opposite side of campus).
When I looked the next morning, there was one (1) article about it on a local website and nothing in national or regional media. Later that afternoon a ton of info came out and hit the media, but until then, there really wasn't anything. That showed me the power of Twitter (however stupid and cliche I sound saying that [look typing?]).
Just because something isn't necessary to survive as a human being, or to allow society to function properly, doesn't mean it shouldn't be fought for (again, not necessarily saying Twitter as a company, but the idea of a social network that allows for immediate sharing of ideas and news) or at the very least appreciated.
Do you not see the utility or are you just being a cynic?
It's the easiest way for a random person to hold their own press conference. People can easily ask short questions, and get short answers. All from their phone
The Internet serves that purpose. You don't need Twitter, there's a ton of other ways to get news directly from the source. If you're arguing that "Twitter makes it visible", then yes, if you follow the right people or other share you interests, but in that case even Facebook would work.
I don't know about "human", but being "biased" is something like "consistently straying from the truth in spite of available information", but there's nothing right there that says that everyone must be biased. In so far as someone is biased, they cannot be free from their "own biases" only in the same sense that I cannot think anyone's thoughts but my own. Still, nothing stops them from trying to improve.
Now, if you mean that we cannot avoid living in some particular information bubble, that's not a bias (at least in the psychological sense). That's an issue of incomplete information.
of course, thats my biased opinion.
So, your statement, "Twitter isn't public discussion, unless you consider the following examples of discussion:", does not follow. You also say that "unless you consider" the aforementioned quotations to be public discussion, you therefore can not possibly view Twitter as a tool for public discussion, which is a false dilemma.
I agree with your last line though about Twitter being censored in a similar fashion to Facebook.
All you have to do to confirm this is to visit their homepage and see all the left wing political ideology on it day in and day out.
I haven't seen anything on the Clinton email saga that has dragged on for months now and not a peep on the home page about the rising costs of the ACA premiums. Nope, just love and happiness about having the first female president. Besides that, it was a constant stream of Trump hit pieces from traditional Liberal newspapers and media outlets. It's like they didn't even try to be objective.
If you want to make your platform about public discussion, then maybe you aught to give a slightly more balanced view then the completely slanted, partisan garbage you post on your homepage. It might just give the appearance that you see things in a slightly more objective light.
That's not to say that Twitter was useful for wikileaks, but I don't believe that it was instrumental.
1. Find some capital to fund it
2. Build it
3. Attempt to sell services across it
4. The prices will be set to recoup investment + return. These prices will be too high for the market.
5. Go bust
6. Get bought for a song
7. New owner sells services at market-friendly rates.
It merely remains to find VCs to sucker into step (1). More than one internet backbone got built this way.
I leave unanswered the question of whether Twitter can be treated as infrastructure, and in particular do not mean to suggest their investors are this naive.
This is pretty common in private capital-heavy ventures. From the early railroads in the UK, to canals in the US, to the Chunnel. It's the second owner that makes money.
Something fishy in your story here.
Can you elaborate? Which ones?
Try using it for a month and make the same argument.
I have posted ~5000 tweets in the last couple of years. I can guarantee you that neither me nor my family ever got threatened with rape and murder.
This is an issue, but those affected are exceptions, not the rule.
I have never said it is not a problem. In fact, I indicated that it is. But it is a problem that affects a minority of Twitter's users. Are they doing enough about it? No. Can they stop it completely? No. Are you able to claim that this is something that happens to everyone? No. Hence why you're getting downvoted.
So let it die and use GNU Social . Non-techies don't need to know how to run their own instance and join the federation, but they gain all the benefits of Twitter, better control of their own data, and don't need to rely on a company known for censoring views it dislikes.
"Social" can move. See the migration from Digg to Reddit or MySpace to Facebook. Twitter to GNU Social would be grand. ;)
So rather than having to raise alarmist blog posts about "saving twitter", any one GNU Social service can go down and the rest will keep on working fine without them. You can finally have a competitive market of social networks - in the same way all cars have the same gas nozzles and take the same oil, its time for all the social media message transports to standardize on an open protocol, the same way instant messaging needs to standardize on Matrix.
I think next steps would be for a nice, neat little deployment/installation package for many users (ok, not all non-tech users at first) to be used on one's own website (to have one's own online presence). But even cooler; if all/most news websites/platforms would begin to standardize use of gnu social, then they would win a little more authority (away from silos like twitter). And, it would allow the news sites to "own their own content"...And it would be decentralized to help avoiding putting all eggs in one private company's basket.
Either way, I'm with you!
Like, yes, it's workable and usable. It's okay. But the user experience is absolutely awful, especially on mobile.
Maybe if HN started its own GNU Social server and started using it, we'd see some interesting stuff happen.
Sure it needs a bit more love on the UI side but it's not that bad. The Twitter Website is btw. not that great, too.
> especially on mobile.
I use Twidere  for both Twitter and GS, works well.
* Gnu Comrade-gram
* Gnu IMeer (like rocketeer, but also not coincidentally sounds like "I am here")
* Gnu FreeMess (as in "free messaging"...no not free in beer, but free as in liberty, because it allows for...doh, nevermind!)
* Gnu LibPost
* Gnu SocMe (short for social media)
(have not launched yet)
It will be something like a mix of twitter and reddit, but open source, decentralized, and GNU Social compatible.
I signed up for your newsletter...no pressure, but I (and many others!) really hope you succeed! :-)
Think back to the earlier email days...there was no central search for "discovering" others' email addresses. Nor was it easy to "host one's own email"; at least not without some time, effort, and tech elbow grease. I believe this sort of thing starts slow; for example, people share their emails at live get-togethers, and introduce other parties virtually via email, etc. I suppose this could help with decentralized social networks like gnu social...and then there are popular instances of gnu social, such as https://quitter.no
And, who knows...maybe for parents, family, or less-tech-savy, less adventurous users, they don';t hop onto this decentralized stuff at first...We leave it only for us...at least for now; to get all the kinks out. Then, later when software is easier to incorporate, install, use, etc., the regular users/masses will follow. As i noted above, they might typically join bigger/established servers, but could still connect with you. I've drastically and optimistically over-simplifying of course. But i think its possible. Hey computers were once considered the domain of geeks only, and now look how many people use them throughout the world. ;-)
A good number of them have a very minimal simple sign up form: Display Name, Email, Password.
As for finding friends/family, that isn't really the point of Twitter I feel? That's what Facebook is for. Twitter is more of a news aggregate or social/niche center. For example, I can follow all my favorite Cosplayers and major ___-con hosts to get updates on Cons and Cosplay. If you had family into racing or cars, they could follow their favorite racers or car enthusiasts, etc.
If you want to keep "up to date" for your interests, Twitter is fantastic for that by following leaders or major players in the industry/niche.
Which yes, is something GNU Social lacks and I admit that. But Twitter isn't required to fill that role. It just requires people to move to the better option.
Unless you're in an industry that depends on it for PR, like entertainment.
I've actually worked on these sort of campaigns, you never just rely on a single platform and pray for traction.
More to the point: investors with irrational expectations are not the kind of investors who deserve to have their expectations met.
They are if the profits were greatly overestimated. Paying a billion for a dollar of profits isn't smart. Not to mention, Twitter isn't profitable. (They lose half a billion dollars a year.)
About a month ago I said I'd find Twitter a possibly reasonable buy at a third its current valuation . To make that work, a lot would need to change. And Twitter's current investors would surely lose.
By selling posting increased posting quotas to news organisations?
Extra integrations (webhooks etc) to companies?
I'd say they make enough money to keep twitter running, just not as much as shareholders hoped.
I'd prefer something like diaspora* to gain more traction. Open, decentralized social network without pointless limitations on post length.
Btw, could anyone enlighten me on why jabber (xmmp?) never took off in any major way? It seems nice?
XMPP was sabotaged by major IM participants not using it. Especially Google. They first were pushing XMPP a lot, but later betrayed the whole effort.
This is actually an advantage. Example: HN
Can't say I see that much that needs saving as an average user of the service. I'd actually rather it crumble and see what someone more competent can do in the space.
This seems like a non-sequitur. What does this article have to do with traditional journalism?
Do you use twitter? I see a lot of misinformation and rumors started by "journalists" which gain a lot of popularity but seemingly disapear once the true source confirms or denies said claims. And it is easy to navigate this on twitter. I'm mainly talking about sports or entertainment news.
With other forms of media the turnaround time is no where near as fast to (1) notify the source and (2) have the original poster edit their article.
Neither twitter nor facebook embody any of those things. Both are machines for turning clicks peppered by "original content" into money. The author should look elsewhere for the messiah.
I remember creating a couple of years back a simple script where you input a subdomain or a top level domain and it would try loading the most common feed locations (like /rss, /feed etc.) and returns the location of the feed if it gets 200 as a response. All I had to do was to check for like 10 different locations (think: one or two for every major CMS) and it worked in like 98% of the time.
It might be worth noting that both were notorious as abject failures.
The argument hasn't really been strongly focused on whether or not Twitter is useful (it's not useful for me, but YMMV). The major problem has been "How does Twitter make money to stay in business?"
You can't ask investors to keep tossing money down the Tweet-hole without getting something for their money.
Whom twitter chooses to censor is strange...
Fast news, breaking news events, what else?
And if it dies, let it be. Another one will come up.
Most of them responded.
I mean how can anyone have a meaningful conversation or make a point in 140 characters or less? The only person capable of doing the latter ("making a point") is the Republican Candidate for President - Donald J Trump i.e. @RealDonaldTrump - and what does that tell you?
( * = Unpleasant side-effects of the 140 character limit include 1) "longer tweet" sites and services that would link a 140+ character statement to their site, so you go elsewhere to read it and 2) celebs and influencers sending a series of tweets 1 after another, and the media and others have to piece them together painfully in order to make any sense of the tweets.