1. Jack doesn’t seem passionate about product, especially Twitter.
2. Kara seems to lack the vocabulary to talk about product which is both surprising and confusing, given her niche and time spent in it. She also doesn’t understand that Twitter has evolved way beyond Jack. “Why don’t you know, it’s your product!” she kept asking. The fact he doesn’t know says a lot. It’s out of any one persons control. Maybe the AI has already taken over ...
3. The most interesting thing Kara said was when she suggested Twitter be a public utility. More and more I think we need the National Public Internet. She almost asked a great question about needing fire, police and garbage. Then she mixed metaphors and started discussing those things literally, and Jack went off about doxing.
4. The most important take away for me was how unaligned Jack and Kara were. Never did they find common ground. Never were they speaking the same language. Twitter could not facilitate meaningful dialogue between two willing people motivated to be good actors. This isn’t about how bad threaded replies are. It’s about human connection and conversation in the medium of real time public text. It doesn’t work.
Edit: I've tried to clean these thoughts up a bit if you care to read more: https://www.nicholasjrobinson.com/blog/quick-take/karajack-q...
It's hard to find the horse-and-boogie analogy for something that's essentially new, but bumper sticker, or billboard is more apt.
On the public utility front... email exists, RSS exists, the www exists... all open platforms, public by some (the right) definitions.
The problem is that an open field (especially when there're multi-$bn opportunities) is innovative, resourceful and will often outcompete the public utility.
How are you going to stop the next twitter from winning the get users game, ban texting apps?
As a very early Twitter adopter, I keep thinking this may be a fundamental breakdown in any consideration of what Twitter actually is as a product. Early Twitter was a conversation facilitator for pushing people to bump up in person (at for instance conferences, tracking a general zeitgeist of where interesting people were), or into more conversive media such as blogs / forums / IM / IRC. Early Twitter staff even knew this as this is partly the very motivating use cases the platform was built to enable. (The old 140 character limit to make sure that SMS notifications, and sending/responding to Tweets via SMS, were always an option, partly because of that push to in-person meetups in the era of dumb phones. Having mostly dropped out of Twitter in 2018, it's not a surprise to me that most of my remaining interactions with it are old SMS notifications I intentionally left on over the years, as that was the product I originally signed on for.)
A lot of the "we need to be our own conversational medium" standpoint from "modern" Twitter stems almost directly from "we need to monetize as many ads as possible". It's a bad fit for what Twitter was as a product originally, and it's creating so many of these gulfs where people forget that "let's take this conversation off Twitter" is a valid option, much less the best way to handle things more complex than bite-size soundbites. (It's working out for now for Twitter's investors, but how long until they burn out their reputation by being a toxic "conversation medium", because they are bad at being a "conversation medium" yet they need to be a "conversation medium" to sell ads?)
I'd argue that wikipedia, lichess and such are public services already. I personally have more confidence in that sort of a model (os, community run, etc) than a traditional public service model, but there's room in the bed for three.
The problem is the same though. These services need to do more than just exist. They need popularity.
It's very well to say "twitter should be a public service." I have no doubt that it could be. But, it'd still need to outcompete commercial competition.
the last thing we want is state owned and operated social networks and apps. whats next, swipe left to report hate speech? swipe right to report suspicious activity. a site where every picture is subject to scrutiny by government agencies because they were submitted to same?
the idea that twitter should be a public utility vastly over exaggerates its impact in the life of the average person, American or not. If anything that message is tailor made to boost the value of the company. there is nothing twitter is doing that cannot be replicated, you just need time, good marketing, and money. Three needs of every successful business.
Which Twitter dropped support for in 2012.
> How are you going to stop the next twitter from winning the get users game, ban texting apps?
Hopefully the next Twitter will be the ActivityPub-powered Fediverse.
But say something wins big on the Fediverse, becoming bigger than everything else, and pivots to make itself a walled garden, with all the drawbacks of Facebook/Twitter? How could we stop that? Maybe one possibility would to put all content on the Fediverse under a copyright license similar in principle to the GPL, where any website that copies its content has to allow its own user-generated content to be accessed under the same terms.
If Twitters higher ups were serious about "being a utility' they would federate on what is on track to become the browser social protocol from the W3C.
Sure, a lot of people have heard of it, but that seems to be mainly through reporting on other media.
I believe that Twitter is mostly a way for media people to get word out.
As for Mastodon, there is definitely a lot of tech people there, but there is a very large group of users who are not. A lot of them comes from other social media platforms to get away from the negative climate there.
You may well be right.
If someone builds a new and innovative social network, it will start with 0 users and probably won't be able to compete with existing networks, due to network effects.
But if someone builds a new and innovative social network using ActivityPub, it can piggyback on all ActivityPub's existing users, so network effects help it (and help existing ActivityPub systems).
ActivityPub means that innovation in the social networking space can now succeed, and is thus a game changer.
Specifically, The US government paid for most of it with most of the rest being paid for Great Britain, the Scandinavian countries and maybe Finland. Unless they happened to be next door to an organization that already had a connection, US organizations had to lease a dedicated circuit from a phone company to connect to the internet, but generally did not have to compensate the US government or the organization owning the router they connected to.
The US government tried to transfer ownership of the internet to AT&T in 1977 and again in 1987, at a token price, but AT&T didn't want it because they couldn't see how to make money from it and worried about the potential for disruption of their existing businesses.
Those dedicated circuits I mentioned earlier were not a service that AT&T offered voluntarily: AT&T was required by the US Federal Court to sell one to anyone who wanted one as part of the outcome of an anti-trust case brought by the US government against AT&T. At the time that the requirement was first imposed, most wide-area computer networks in the US were "proprietary" rather than "public", meaning that the network was used to connect the offices of a single (large, wealthy) organization, mostly running protocols developed by IBM. Although the intent of the court ruling was to protect IBM's business in wide-area networks from AT&T's monopoly power, the young internet benefitted greatly from the ruling, too.
Starting in the late 1980s most large US tech companies were connected to the internet, but management's intent in paying whatever costs were involved in getting connected to the internet were to make it easier for the company's scientists and engineers to communicate with their counterparts in other large tech companies or in university science and engineering departments or various research labs. No large tech company at that time saw the internet as a way to generate revenue or sell products or services.
I do not advocate returning to a government-run public network, but I spent a lot of time on the internet in 1992 and I can tell you that there would be lots of intense conversation and lots of publishing on the internet even if we were to remove all the profit-motivated entities.
If you wanted to teach or learn about a particular chronic health condition on the other hand you would struggle to find others on the internet of 1992 who shared your interest.
In 1992 the web existed, but it played a minor role. What was then called Netnews, but would be renamed a few years later (by Time, Newsweek and other news organization who took offense at the name "Netnews") to Usenet was definitely the front page of the internet, and if a particular document was available on the internet, it was more likely to be available on an ftp server (that had been configured to allow anyone to sign in) than on a web server.
The web was the first significant internet service to offer a GUI. before the web you had to use terminal-based interfaces to access any internet service.
The web (and to a lesser extent the discovery of the internet by mainstream journalists) caused a massive democratization of the internet, which had good and bad effects.
The good effects are obvious, so let me give an example of a bad effect.
I recently had the need to learn more about a mental disorder called dissociative identity disorder, which is trickier for humans to think rationally about than most mental disorders are. i.e., it is quite tricky to think rationally about, so tricky that most humans and even many trained psychotherapists fail. I used Google Search and was successful in learning what I wanted to learn. Even though the vast majority of web pages (on this particular subject and in general) have been written since 2000, the 2 most useful documents for my learning were written in the 1990s. One appears to have started life as a web page in 1996 or 1997. The other was a FAQ regularly posted in the 1990s to the newgroups alt.support.dissociation, alt.abuse.recovery, etc.
The point is that most of the person-hours spent on the internet have been spent since 2000, and I would have expected and would have hoped to see more signs that all those person-hours haven't just gone to waste than I have actually seen during my searching and browsing of the web.
I've kind of switched the focus from 1992 to 2000 here. 2000 represents in my mind a kind of high water mark for the internet. I know we cannot go back again to the internet without commercial activity, so I cannot get too excited about the internet of 1992.
There are classes of Google Searches I performed often in 2000 that I have learned to refrain from now because they no longer constitute a productive use of my time. For example in 2000 I spent hours in Google Search trying to learn whether AI research might cause the end of the world -- and I was able to drastically improve my understanding of the issue. These days I still do a lot of Google Searches, but they are mostly about "settled science", e.g., what is a thiol?, e.g., whether any iphone model has an OLED display, e.g., what is a bounding box in computer graphics?
I also continue to search often for information that is easy for me to verify. e.g., if I search for recommendations for a browser extension to block ads, it is relatively easy for me to verify the recommendation by installing the extension, then watching to see how well it blocks ads.
> The web was the first significant internet service to offer a GUI.
No, it wasn't.
> before the web you had to use terminal-based interfaces to access any internet service.
No, you didn't. Most significant internet service had GUI clients before the web; this is certainly the case for all of news, mail, gopher and ftp.
In many cases, there was no compelling reason to use a GUI client, but they certainly existed.
The web however was the first internet service that the majority of its users used a GUI to connect to.
Actually a large number of internet users became internet users simply because they were issued a Sun workstation by their employers, and Sun workstations came with internet clients pre-installed. I believe that a large fraction of the users of internet email in the 1980s were of such a nature, so allow me to qualify my previous paragraph to exclude those users because I don't know enough about their usage habits.
In what ways do you prefer the experience of teaching or learning about computers on the internet of today to the internet of 1992? Do you prefer the web to netnews? (I do, too, but not enough to cancel out the effect of all the web pages containing false information about computers or low-quality exposition thereby making it harder to find the high-quality exposition.)
Personally, I value the ability to watch videos of conference talks while I'm doing dishes or similar, which wasn't nearly so available in 1992 (principally for bandwidth reasons).
NPR and PBS have certainly done a lot of good stuff, stuff that at least at one time might not have been possible on commercial TV, but these media also suffer from the same kinds of bias that privately-run media suffer from, except it's on our dime. They are paid for, in part, by the public, but the public has no say in what they do.
I simply can't imagine a government-controlled social channel being any better. There would be constant fights and protests over what is or is not allowed. Having to police such a channel for truly objectionable content (e.g., everyone reasonable would agree that racist hate speech shouldn't be allowed) will quickly become censorship (e.g., "MAGA" or "Feel the Bern" aren't allowed). It sounds like a slow-motion trainwreck coming from miles off.
Twitter and other social media platforms have major problems by trying to reserve their rights to the benefits of being a publisher and the benefits of being carrier, but trying to dodge the disadvantages and responsibilities of either. There is absolutely no way a government-run version would be better, and many reasons why it would be worse. For one thing, by being a public "utility" everyone would (rightly) feel they should have a say in how it's run.
Twitter sucks (and I don't use it), but it may be the best we can get right now. Anything better can probably only come from the market.
I don't agree with that. There are a lot of reason why government-controlled things can be a positive, even if they aren't better than private versions of those things. Sometimes simply having access for all, even if the access isn't as high quality as private access is useful. Having access for people with disabilities when it's not in the financial interest of private companies to serve those people is useful, for example.
I don't think that works, but a nongovernmental entity devoted to public service might work.
Your conclusion is too broad. It doesn't work on twitter, but I've seen it work just fine on other mediums. In fact I've seen people reconcile and resolve their differences on IRC when they couldn't/wouldn't do it face to face.
You want to put Ajit Pai (or someone like him) in charge of Twitter, Facebook, etc?
> she suggested Twitter be a public utility
Always interested to know how that could possibly work. Not just for twitter but for any other dominant site. The internet now has more users outside of the US  so who is the public, and who manages things?
Twitter already provides a garbage fire service, that's why users are begging for police.
The ideal balance for things like this is a properly regulated social network, where said regulation focuses on holding the social network responsible for spread of fake information and hate speech.
Having a conversation was a learning experience for him and his team?
Such a basic level of unfamiliarity with their own product gives me a lot of pause that he can do anything to guide the company on fixing rampant automated accounts or making it less of a frequently hostile forum.
However, even when I see people do what is effectively a long form blog post on Twitter, I often give up on it before the end because it’s too frustrating.
Want a discussion? Allow comments and make them visually separate and less prominent just like blogs do.
Perhaps what we really need is a million meeting rooms that people can enter or leave as they desire.
I don't use Twitter, but I do use Facebook to keep up with family and friends, but the primary value I get out of it is from the groups I belong to, often private, where people can have (moderated, if needed) discussions about topics of common interest.
And not all blog posts are one-way communication, just like you said, that is why we have comment systems attached to blog posts.
I understand why they did it. They let the site kind of grow organically to see what it could become and embraced how people were using it. And I think they are likely super nervous from a financial perspective about any user loss if they start pulling features.
But I think Twitter has a similar problem as Facebook -- it connects a lot of random people into a conversation system that should likely not be connected. On HN, I'm connecting with people that care about the tech community. On a Reddit sub-reddit, it's specific to some topic. Twitter just seems to encourage too many outliers to get involved in conversations they should probably sit back and simply listen on.
This is the only thing i've ever used Twitter for. It's the best place to find out about problems on my local transit system. Long before the company ever gives an alert, there'll dozens of people tweeting angrily about the problems.
They would easily test for this and fix it. They do not care.
They aggressively optimize for a panoply of metrics that make them appealing to advertisers. Often this means hacking the algorithms governing the interactions between users (viewership, timeline visibility, feed) until the outcome yields satisfying metrics, meaningful or not.
At this point a complex web of chaotic feedback loops has formed and it becomes hard to change anything. The system's stateful complexity far exceeds the engineering/product team's understanding of it. It's like trying to debug a neural network.
Unless this was explicitly meant as a test, and not simply an online interview.
Many people are knowingly doing a kabuki theatre version of a conversation where they are specifically trying to get attention and grab more followers and retweets. You can see it in how responses are framed. There's a lot of attempted "mic drop" moments.
Real people don't have conversations like that, because they're not playing to an audience. In real conversations, people also don't just walk away from each other at the first jab, but that happens on Twitter constantly.
It's similar to how 95% of Reddit's content is posted by 1% of its user base. Most Twitter users aren't tweeting, they're voyeurs to online meltdowns (real or orchestrated), celebrity gossip and slapfights between political commentators/media/trolls.
I have never understood how MySpace became unfashionable because it was "too gaudy/immature" while Twitter has been a wildfire of horrible UX, hate speech, bullying and user surveillance for over a decade now.
Although for Twitter, I think they absolutely know the site has a problem with toxicity, but they 100% do not care. Angry people will spend longer on the site arguing, post more, and see more ads. They may say they care, but their actual business incentives push them towards maintaining the current state of discourse.
I've found pretty much the same thing, just good for trading headlines & brief insights. Though, its constraints do cause me to improve the focus of some ideas to express them briefly and clearly, so that's a good exercise.
I think he knew it was going to fail, just not the many ways how it would.
Just in the last couple of weeks, he's been making himself available for long form discussions. He was on Sam Harris and Joe Rogan and other podcasts. He participated in this Kara interview.
He's been a bit more behind the scenes before, and now he's more visible and active and participatory. He doesn't have all the answers yet, but maybe this effort will lead to improvements.
Not a twitter user myself, but I've seen a lot of people use their twitter handles like they'd use an E-Mail address. They say "this is a twitter handle send me a DM if you want to talk with me" instead of "this is my E-Mail address please send me an E-Mail if you want to talk". So they do derive conversational value from twitter.
Of course not. It's boilerplate CEO speak. It's a way of "answering" the question without making any commitments and seems to terminate any further discussion.
Joe Rogan and Sam Harris discuss this on Joe Rogans podcast #1241
It seems people shmooze and make big deals happen. But they have no idea how their own product works, often.
There are notable exceptions: Elon Musk. Warren Buffett. Jobs and Gates and Bezos. That’s why their companies rock.
But like, Apple after Jobs, not so much. I am not convinced the higher-ups really are in touch with what’s the main user facing issue. Like how Apple repeatedly allowed the entire Mac app store certificates to just expire leaving all apps broken , or how they released an iOS where no one could click a link in safari!! 
But that’s actually still a very high level of competence of tons of people in the company. Just the executives and lack of processes to catch this surprise me.
Google doesn’t have such problems. It only has problems of product roadmap, shuttering Google Reader and Google Plus after making the entire userbase embrace it, or replacing Talk with three different products like Hangouts, Allo, Meet, etc.
But most of all I just realized how much successful B-level people are just... well, they make so many spelling mistakes in email, often paint by numbers and don’t really think out of the box on the most basic things the way someone would if they were constantly learning about their space and their problem. Like oh A and B don’t go together? I guess it won’t work out. Oh, just one tiny thing had to be tweaked in B and suddenly we have a huge revenue stream coming? Huh, would you look at that. And here I was about to focus on something else.
Has anyone else noticed this? I am not sure if it was always the case or think it’s a general sense of ADD that came over the business world. Hardly anyone reads books. Emails have to be 5-7 lines long. Spelling and grammar mistakes make you seem important. People - especially busy businesspeople - dont have time to read 2 lines of instructions when onboarding - they zip past them and then scratch their head what to do on next screen. I have seen it.
Is this the prequel to Idiocracy?
 https://techcrunch.com/2015/11/12/all-mac-store-apps-stopped... and teo years later it happens again https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/02/20/apple-issued-deve...
"according to Miller on Wednesday this week, he found himself answering questions — for 34 minutes – from an officer from Humberside Police... On that account, Miller says things such as ‘trans women are not women’" https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/01/is-it-now-a-crime-to-l...
"In 2016, British police detained and questioned 3,300 people for making ‘offensive’ comments on social media " https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/11/will-making-jokes-abou...
Twitter is a broadcasting service, and you're responsible for how it is read. You don't get a pass because you totally didn't mean it that way. I can't get upset about this one.
2) & 3) Doesn't sound like arrest/prosecution? I don't doubt a lot of things got reported to police, and they followed up by talking to the person.
There does not need to be 100s of successful prosecutions a year for there not to be consequences of police action (whether it be warnings, being detained, arrests, prosecutions, jail) and for there to be serious chilling effects.
> You don't get a pass because you totally didn't mean it that way
I'm no lawyer, but isn't intent a critical part of analysing someone's actions in prosecution (and perhaps why Liberty mentioned it)?
Proving intention used to be the case, but I think a lot of speech laws being made aren't taking this into account, and this is incredibly dangerous. You used the words "gypped" or "scot-free"? Well, those terms are an implied racial (cultural really) slur.
"Hocus pocus" originally comes from Protestant mockery of the Latin words of Consecration from the Catholic Mass. Catholics could, in theory, be offended by that. (I'm Catholic, but I just see it as an interesting piece of historical linguistic trivia, although I know it wasn't always so).
You used the words or "niggardly" or "snigger"? Neither of which have any negative racial or cultural connotations. The first is of Scandanavian etymology, and the second is of Dutch etymology, but they sound a lot like a word that is insulting. If someone takes offense at your racial insult, when you were using a perfectly innocent word, can you use that as a defense? Will it matter when social media has already tried and executed you, and are marching for your punishment?
People are being arrested for using the wrong pronouns. There's no way it can matter whether that was intentional or not. Hate speech laws are defined based not on what someone does, but on how someone else reacts to it, and it's impossible to list all the ways it could be applied. For all we know, people can get into trouble for something that started out as a 4chan prank.
There's no way to prove it one way or another. Proving intention to murder or conspire can be made using physical evidence, but how can you prove you were doing it with or without malice aforethought?
Were you warned and then persisted in your behavior? OK, maybe that would count, but it could still be a slip of the tongue or a typo. This is about as Orwellian as it gets.
That's why hate speech laws, even the best intentioned, scare the crap out of me, not because I support hate-speech, or use it, but because I know that it's way to easy to turn them into a witchhunt, and to prosecute people for completely benign behavior.
Teenager was found guilty of "sending a grossly offensive message" because she cited lyrics of a song in memory of a dead friend.
Implicit in all this nonsense is a "right not to be offended" which is absolutely impossible to enforce and protect without Orwellian levels of tyranny, which a lot of people seem to think is perfectly fine. Language changes, slang changes even faster, people like 4chan like to stir up trouble by showing how easy it is to manipulate the public perception. There's literally no way to define "hate speech" in an objective way without having to constantly modify the definition. And just as it is possible to be inadvertently guilty of "hate speech" because of ignorance (e.g., I didn't know the word "gyp" was a slur against Romani.) it's even more possible to engage in hate speech without using any of the explicitly proscribed language.
As an example, for this conversation, I'm going to define "grot" to be a racial slur against someone I am hypothetically prejudiced against. Does me calling someone a "grot" count as hate speech, when no one knows what it means? What if the word catches on among my friends (who are also hypothetical bigots) enough so that a common acquaintance knows what we mean when we use it. Does that count? How many people need to recognize this meaning of "grot" before it becomes something you can't say on TV? How many people need to recognize this meaning before you can be arrested in the U.K.? What if I can incite a crowd to violence by chanting "Grot!" over and over? Yeah, we'd all probably agree that's problematic speech, but where's the dividing line?
If you ask me, people who make "hate speech" laws are a bunch of grots because it's impossible to enforce them objectively and consistently.
Context matters. Saying otherwise is either uninformed or dishonest. Performing a song containing "the roof is on fire" is different than just yelling the phrase. And yes, how others perceive your behavior is partially your responsibility. Just like people might kill you in self-defense if they perceive you as threat, even in case your gun was just a theater prop.
Regarding your "where is the line"... communication always requires interpretation and there will never be an "objective and consistent" line. I'm sure i could easily rewrite your example to fit a law of every country in existence. As for the US, I could go for "Defamation Per Se", in other words were implicit in all this nonsense is a "right not to be talked bad about" which is absolutely impossible to enforce and protect without Orwellian levels of blah blah blah
So yes, we will always argue about were line are drawn, just like others will try to overstep them without consequences. That's part of life.
Sorry for the Daily Mail link but it looks like the mainstream press hasn't catch up on the subject. Afaik transphobia is not on the same level with "bomb threats or holocaust denial" but apparently people get arrested for it.
There's a culture war going on, trans people are the current wedge issue, and people like Boris are absolutely part of it.
Again, we need the underlying facts, which I suspect include a longer history of targeted harassment rather than a driveby twitter insult.
paganel, when you say "Sorry for the Daily Mail link" it sounds like you know you're citing a source that will be extremely untrustworthy on this topic, and then did it anyway.
Not that baseless insults should be encouraged.
I'm not quite so sure about that. Most people don't hurl insults face-to-face. If people acted like their twitter personalities IRL, I would expect to see a massive uptick in fistfights.
From taking public transit, waiting in bus stops and walking through blue collar neighborhoods most insults are either ignored or get another insult in return.
IRL, gobs of people are out insulting each other neither in the lower classes, nor in the upper classes. Yes, it happens MUCH more on a place like Twitter, but not at all IRL.
Now, I do hear indirect insults in white collar circles where they insult other people not present (for example berating working classes for the choices in life they make) but we’re not talking about indirect insults. We’re talking the ones where there is the potential for direct retaliation.
Possibly? Absolutely. The foundation of Twitter is the retweet. Without it, there is no sharing, and stuff can't 'go viral'. Most people don't insult each other, but they sure do like and retweet insults, false facts and other negative stuff ruining online communities.
Retweeting is the ultimate cop-out, because you didn't have the guts to say those things, but had no issue having it show up on your feed and those of your followers. You were just "sharing".
I think you're wrong. I think most people do hurl insults face-to-face. They just don't do it often. Most people, especially of the working class, can very easily get into these kinds of spats in the real world.
In the UK we have the wonderful mix of various repressive speech offence laws  and an underfunded police force that like to scan Twitter
I saw this TED talk by Jon Ronson from 2015 titled "When online shaming goes too far", largely a teaser for his book on the topic, but nevertheless rather sobering. Basically how we're all one tweet away from disaster.
NOTE: NSFW due to using quotes of "normal" discourse on Twitter.
The Twitter page I've cultivated has low/no rage and even interesting conversations. Sure, if I venture to gender, race, or politics, Ill be greeted by the rage machine. So volitionally choose to stay out of it.
Cultivate who you follow to a narrow tech field, and be very careful that whom you choose doesn't invest in hate and rage mechanics.
Facebook, for me, is the rage machine every few posts interspersed with cat/dog pics.
My Twitter use dropped off a cliff. The people I follow write interesting articles or give good talks, but are incredibly boring on Twitter, or retweet stuff that once more puts me face to face with the 'regular Twitter' dumpster fire.
"Microblogging" works for traffic or service updates, and commercials. Its use case narrows to almost nothing when it comes to human interactions, which require more substance than what a <textarea maxlength='280'> provides.
To her credit, at least she apologized.
It's funny how the people who claim twitter, social media, etc are toxic are the ones creating the toxicity.
Twitter, like anything else, is a tool. If it is toxic for you, then it's mostly likely because you yourself is a toxic person.
The Covington Catholic School incident is a perfect example of made up news originating from Twitter.
Well, yeah. And cars are a terrible way to travel across oceans. The world discovered this ages ago. Kids, back in my day we only had 140 ch
Seems like neither side were being self aware in this case.
I'm also not sure exactly what the product problem is with Twitter. The only exposure I have to a group of people upset about Twitter are the folks that Joe Rogan had on his podcast, and their complaints are just that it's toxic.
However Twitter unlike Google and Facebook is the least functional as a utility, so refraining from using it if you don't like it seems like a no brainer. You're not losing anything functional
Speakers would define the hash tag at the start, and then many would project the post stream up front and respond to questions or comments from the feed on stage. The audience would also discuss what was being said amongst themselves.
It’s really just too big and too public for that to work anymore. It almost needs a feature where posting to a certain hashtag requires a password or being a certain user, then the 2 of them could’ve posted to that hashtag exclusively and been the only thing in the feed, and easily followed.
Obvious problem there is that hashtags don’t really scale like that, but it gives you some sense for strategies they might take to tackle the issue.
...this is better somehow?
I don't think I've ever seen the same on Twitter, ever. It usually devolves into something worse.
I do think there are parallels between Reddit and Twitter that encourage a level of snark that is just never appropriate when talking to a human in real life, unless you know them well.
It's why the "happy birthday" messages in Facebook have always felt so hollow (especially because facebook is really nudging you to do it), but those same words sent via text message to the person are received differently (or even via Messenger within Facebook).
When someone is being doxxed, and mobs are forming, it's usually happening on that platform.
His recent interviews and (lack of) leadership have shown that he bludgeons no one, and the stubborn person is him. He's just an unusual kind of stubborn: unwilling to make any decision at all.
He also refuses to let inside forces impose order on it. He doesn't do anything at all. I would call Twitter a camel -- a horse designed by committee -- but it seems it's not even that. He apparently just consults committees ad infinitum and then does nothing.
> The following extract shows how a messaging client's text entry could be arbitrarily restricted to a fixed number of characters, thus forcing any conversation through this medium to be terse and discouraging intelligent discourse.
> <label>What are you doing? <input name=status maxlength=140></label>
-- Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group, https://html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/input.html#attr-input...
Isn't it on Twitter, you know the ones running and presumably most familiar with the platform, to request how the interview be done rather than for the interviewer to know the nuances themselves?
But I guess all publicity is good publicity.
1. We have evolved our polices.
2. We have prioritized proactive enforcement to remove burden from victims
3. We have given more control in product (like mute of accounts without profile pics or associated phone/emails)
4. Much more aggressive on coordinated behavior/gamingAlso this wasn't a real-time face to face conversation, so you can be sure
Aside from #3, all of these sounded like CEO-speak to me. No specifics, so nothing to attach personal responsibility to.
It begins to become a bit hollow, like Zuckerberg saying they’ve made mistakes and need to do better.
Look at recent bans, across the technology sphere (and more recently the financial sphere with Chase), and a clear pattern emerges. Nobody denies what the pattern is. The only argument is whether or not you support banning certain ideas.
From where I'm sitting we're seeing the formation of a new form of exile (I write that without hyperbole). Why bother setting up prison camps or penal colonies when you can completely remove someone's ability to publicly communicate, find gainful employment, or even open a bank account? We are inching closer to a world where, if someone engages in public wrongthink, they can immediately be shamed into poverty and banned from the public square.
And this is so different from the entirety of human history how...?
Tribalism and social ostracization of "deviants" is nothing new.
This way your timeline becomes total chaos. Unless you only tweet a single 280 chars text and never add anything to it.
Otherwise, I would use it to post topics I am interested in. Reply to those topics to add more text or when new information becomes available. And have a discussion with people interested in those topics. I wish there was such a platform. It would be like everybody can run their own mini HN.
Twitter is a weird sort of blog platform.
It is chaotic by design: the chaos is consequence of its distinguishing features. Everyone does get their own 'mini HN', i.e. a forum. But they lack the tools to rule over that forum. It's idealistically anarchic. Everyone's expected to get along peacefully, totally in public. There's no ownership over threads.
But that puts a big barrier in front of your content and the Twitter users. Visiting a website is usually a horrible experience. So people are very hesitant to do so. Click through rates from social media to websites are abysmal.
User hesitation to follow links out to the open web is lamentable, but wholly understandable.
Perhaps some 3rd party service with a recognisable URL could establish itself as a non-horrible, useful supplement to add extra structure to one's posts.
(Although I was suggesting something to use instead of Twitter, not something to use with it.)
And Travis Kalanick isn't either, I assume most have figure out by now.
And Evan Spiegel.
If you are a Product CEO, or Founder, which tends to be even more Product focus than any succession CEO, and you don't know the basics of your product, then the company has a problem. Even more so when these "products" are gazillion times simpler than everything Apple were doing.
The article gives an example of each user trying to discuss and reply 4x branches of a conversation in 280 characters. At best, this can be mitigated on Twitter by "one person replies with a sequence of tweets", and the other then replies to that sequence.
I don't think brevity is the main reason for a lack of healthy arguments, though.
"smart, healthy arguing" is a hard game for people to play, so it's "almost impossible" to have anywhere. (Let alone on a site where replies are open to anyone who might have had a bad day and wants to vent, or whatever).
:-) Twitter's user-experience can also be quite different for users with different following / follower counts.
Not saying Twitter doesn't have problems, just that this seems to be an interview constructed to support a narrative right from the start.
It is interesting that this discussion on Twitter about discussions on Twitter ended up being a disorganized mess. It illustrates the problem with Twitter so well.
I consider Twitter a major step back in online discussion and sharing of ideas. It not just made that worse but it changed it in a qualitative way and it infected how people interact in other online communities and maybe in real life as well.
I call this process "twitterification of discourse". Short phrases, sarcastic quips, thrown back and forth are terrible way to build consensus, digest information and participate in meaningful discussions. It can be entertaining and give the poster a false sense of "victory" in "beating" an opponent but mostly just leads to sowing resentment and dividing people rather than bringing them together. "Oh I am a stupid idiot, for thinking this way. Well thank you, I appreciate your thoughtful comment and I'll reconsider my position" said nobody ever. Heck people might be well meaning in posting their short retort but the medium itself brings a coldness and negativity to it by its very nature.
Before this process was mostly happening in the media with talking heads spewing their positions quickly between commercial breaks. But now that has spread and everyone can talk and interact that way. Isn't it great!
Another insidious aspect of "twitterification of discourse" is that it cements people's positions. Once they promote some cause or state some opinions for everyone to see, but then later find out they have been wrong or misled, it becomes much harder to change their position because well their posts were there for everyone to see and now they are judged as hypocrites for example.
Short, terse comments are not new. The systemic factors that cause it are somewhat different for twitter. But it's not a new occurrence.
It would be nice if he gave a publicly accountable timeline with actual consequences for failure.
I mean, what was it?
Was it a test?
Then why make it so public and high profile?
I mean; what the heck was Jack thinking? The whole thing was a confusing mess that at best will be forgotten.
It's very strange to see a CEO of a 11 digit public company put something out there like that.
Some report having good experiences by following a very selective group of people with shared interests.
But it’s interesting that both Facebook and Twitter evolved into these negative, emotional, politically charged, environments when they moved from a chronological list of updates from your curated set of friends and followers, to an algorithmic one that shuffles in “popular” content.
It’s hard to have a nuanced conversation in a noisy stadium. Much easier to chant along with the crowd.
Because that's where the money is? fake outrage, drama, division and negativity. Reddit is no different. People love dirty laundry and scandals. These social media are the new tabloids, you know, the magazines nobody buys but everybody reads...
True. I wonder how many are actually looking for a conversation. I use it regularly. I occasionally reply to some tweets. Most of the time I just scroll, like and retweet :)
I would have liked to make a higher effort post about twitter's UX, but if you want a platform that lets conversations happen, is there anything more important than this? They've done work to privilege the OP's responses, but giving one party that ability would seem even worse for conversation.
I wonder if they just pay famous people to use it and others follow?!
I don't think anyone would complain that making blog updates in Slack via pinned messages is difficult.
She epitomizes everything wrong with journalism today. It's not about truth, facts or news. It's about ideology.
Hopefully it's a temporary phase and things will get better.
Ha! I need to see this episode of Silicon Valley
I literally don't know how to write a sentence with more than one asterisk in on HN, and I've been here several years. Formatting is hard but Reddit at least follows a known standard and has a "formatting help" link right under the comment box if you need it.
Come to think of it, is there a definitive guide to HN comment formatting? Implementing a preview feature in  would be doable if the markup is documented.
It's hidden behind the FAQ.
This is a solved problem. Word solved it back in 1990.
Regarding rich text editors for the web, surely there must be one that's ok after all these years.
Those two features made something like usenet with a good news reader easier to use compared to reddit or Hacker News.
I agree that Usenet is fantastic for discussion, too bad it fell out of popularity...
By index, I mean a threaded list of messages that one can scroll through without having the message body present. In an email/news client, you would typically see something like:
Subject Some Author Date
Re: Subject Another Author Date
Re: Subject A third Author Date
Re: Subject A fourth Author Date
Re: Subject A fifth Author Date
Re: Subject Some Author Date
This is a case of trying to force a use case on a platform that isn't designed for it.
Edit: It's getting very tiring to receive downvotes at every comment.
But then, can we really call it a conversation when potentially twitter user base is included in the event? It's more like lotsa people on a town square, shouting. Including the town idiots.
I'd be annoyed if my text messages started displaying out of order.
The only reason I know is because I'm going through a big project and the big stakeholders are frequently communicating via text messages as well as phone and email. I've considered moving us to WhatsApp but we're nearing the end so its not that annoying, we just know to use it less.