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Goodbye, Fleets (blog.twitter.com)
369 points by mattyb 65 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 295 comments



Twitter is great when it comes to transparency. I love how they included this

>Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others. We’ll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter. And for the people who already are Tweeting, we’re focused on making this better for you.

It's always nice to know why an experiment/project failed. They didn't have to explain it, but they did and I thought it was a nice touch.


Yeah I actually really respect that they axed something within a timely span, posted about their thoughts, and well, lately the Twitter team has been killing it as far as deploying features and long talked about stuff, so it's all good. The idea of Fleets, whether it was inspired by Stories etc, was another way to engage users and it did have some usefulness. I love the 24hr disappearing thing on IG and I liked it similarly here.


The glaring omission is a time limited typo edit window. Just ducking ship it already.


I wonder if there are technical issues here? It wouldn't be too surprising if "tweets are immutable" (and therefore safe to aggressively cache) is an assumption baked into a lot of their code.


It's not just technical. Jack doesn't want it. https://www.wired.com/story/jack-dorsey-wont-get-edit-tweet-...

> Dorsey was unusually direct: “The answer is no,” he says.

> “The reason there's no edit button [and] there hasn't been an edit button traditionally is we started as an SMS text messaging service," explains Dorsey. "So as you all know, when you send a text, you can’t really take it back. We wanted to preserve that vibe and that feeling in the early days.”


But there is a delete button for tweets...


And tweets can be 280 characters.

I respect the decision itself if he's trying to uphold a certain feel—but "preserving the vibe of SMS" is pretty weak as far as justifications go.


He did expressly state "vibe and feeling."


Edit hurts the vibe but delete doesn't?


Jack really is just a blithering idiot. There are plenty of reasons you could give for not adding this feature, but that one, that's probably the worst.


Why though? It's bad enough when online news sites edit their articles and a later version carries some different information with no or little hint that it was edited.


I mean, yes, that is one good argument for not having an edit button.

But it is not the reason Jack gave.


If you read the next paragraph in the article, he does say basically that.

> Though Twitter has evolved since its SMS days, Dorsey says the static, uneditable nature of posts remains an integral aspect of the platform, as it allows users to retweet and quote tweet others freely without fear that the message they amplified or critiqued could later be altered.


And that is vital. Retweets and quote tweets and replies just fall apart if the parent tweet can be freely edited. Time-limited typo fixing capability is one thing, arbitrary editing is quite another.


> It wouldn't be too surprising if "tweets are immutable" (and therefore safe to aggressively cache) is an assumption baked into a lot of their code

Bingo, that's exactly what Twitter Engineers have stated in the past. Example:

https://www.quora.com/When-will-Twitter-offer-the-option-of-...


I could imagine that, though I think there are likely many efficient ways to implement immutable edits, especially if:

a) You're constraining the time-to-edit b) You're constrained to a single edit

But it could be a lot of work to ensure that it's a consistent experience since you'd have to untangle the "cache this thing for-literally-ever" expectations that may exist.


I would think that a big problem here is to only allow correcting typos, not changing meaning of a tweet - which would suck for a public, fast-paced platform like twitter.

This isn't as simple as counting the number of changed characters, especially when you have to consider at least dozens, better hundreds, of languages.

But then again you can already cram about ten times as much meaning into a single tweet if you write in Chinese or Japanese, so maybe they just don't care.


> I would think that a big problem here is to only allow correcting typos, not changing meaning of a tweet - which would suck for a public, fast-paced platform like twitter.

I feel like GitHub already solved that problem by showing an edit history on comments. Twitter could do the same thing.

Even easier: don't actually publish tweets for 60 seconds, during which time they can be edited.


Facebook already has similar edit functionality and I’m curious how many users click through to see the edits. I’ll be the number is not high.

The speed Twitter moves I think a lot more people are going to mash the retweet button than the “see edits” button.


Facebooks edit history is also hidden in grey text next to the timestamp. I bet putting a "This tweet has been edited" notice actually inline with the content would be effective.


Exactly my thought.


Also will all the retweets be edited as well or do you retweet a snapshot?


One place I used to frequent solved this by disallowing editing of the original content but allowing the author to add a small annotation after the fact. Doesn't really fix the "correcting typos directly" issue but does allow for clarifications, etc., without the possibility of changing the original meaning that people may have RT/QT/etc.

(You could also extend this to allowing the annotation to be added to a run of text and shove it in the entities object for extra clarity / highlighting.)


Having a time where it's not actually posted would work fine but probably not be super effective: after all, you already have an unlimited amount of time to look at the message sitting on your screen before you actually send it. It's just often very hard to read your own writing for typos. Still it would be a step forward. You could even make it opt-in.


Haha, I swear every time I wish I could edit a tweet it's within 5 minutes after I post it. To be fair, at least with my incredibly limited followers, that's soon enough I can just delete it and post it again without losing too much engagement, but still. I'm just not patient enough to proof-read properly, apparently.


How about a preview then?


No one would actually look at that though. You need to cater to the masses or make it exceedingly obvious


It would make it easy to call out anything nefarious, though.


Instead of rendering it as hidden or even as an edit history, render it with an "inline diff" (using the kind of algorithm you see Wikipedia do, or GitHub within a line) as a cross-out of the old content and the next content next to it... changing a lot of text like that would be extremely noisy and obvious--to the point where it wouldn't accomplish any evil goal and would also just be generally discouraged by its nature--and yet would fully solve the vast majority of cases that we want to satisfy.


I don't think it needs to be that in-your-face. I believe an inline "this tweet has been edited" link to a revision history or diff would thwart most abuse.


I think it does need to be that in-your-face-obvious. people reading/responding quickly will often fail to check and edit link/button

Plus, having the strikethru + new_text visibly highlighted could enable whole new formats of jokes


They have! With Twitter Blue (Canada + Australia only, $4/month or something) you can edit tweets within a short window.

Imagine - a $4/m edit button. What a joke.


This is one of those cases where the actual feature isn't that hard to make, but it widely depends on what your vision is. If Twitters vision is that a tweet should remain an unchangeable representation of what you said, then it is not just a matter of shipping it.

Given Twitters toxicity it should probably be done with a huge mark "this tweet has changed" and an option to see previous versions just be not be abused.


They did, like a month ago. You gotta pay for it though...

https://ibb.co/S6WNLvt


wut da duck?


It's a feature like Gmail Undo Send. The tweet remains unposted until the edit window has been exited.


Wondering if you can implement it as a redirect. Instead of editing the original, the tweet redirects to the modified version but the original still shows up as a quote tweet or as a reply (with all replies to the original tweet under that reply)


If only Twitter had a full time CEO. Look at the innovation pace coming out of Square.


One is a useful product people use every day, and earns money.

The other is a hellpit to see who can out-victim and out-woke each other.


…and I like when people aren’t constantly cynical and critical of everything, so thanks for finding something positive here.


Being able to set retention would make me feel better about tweeting.

You can do some of this with third party tools, but it'd be nice to have it built in. I stopped liking Tweets though because it's actually impossible to remove more than 3k old likes. I was eventually able to do so, but it required contacting their DPO office and having them reset the cache each time so I could remove them in batches (entire process of reaching out, getting a response, and iterating took 6weeks-ish).

Limiting quote-tweets would also help people since most of the abuse comes from quote-tweeting rather than replies (which you can already limit).

I'm not twitter famous so I mostly only experience the good aspects of twitter.

If you have a highly curated feed and make an effort to interact pleasantly with in-good-faith people it can be a really great place. It requires aggressive blocking and intentionally not following hostile people though. Some better blocking tools would probably also be helpful (block everyone who liked this tweet, etc.)

I'd also love a YouTube Premium style twitter where I could pay $10/month for no ads.

It's cool they have the culture to ship something big like this and decide to pivot - I think that's a pretty good sign.


What I do

1. Bookmark instead of liking tweet if info is worth coming back to.

2. Retweet if I totally agree and want to share my view with my followers

3. Add people to different curated lists instead of following them.

Twitter has some excellent feed curation tools but not many people are aware about them.


I second bookmarking. It's bad that they don't export it on the data export, and you can't scroll down after a certain limit, but at least it's private. And they seem to be planning on adding API support for bookmarks, so in the future we can just export it that way


> I'd also love a YouTube Premium style twitter where I could pay $10/month for no ads

tweetdeck.twitter.com is their first-party client that doesn't have ads (and also gives you an actual chronological feed and some other niceties).

Interestingly, it also never implemented Fleets.


Wow, I completely forgot about tweetdeck. Thanks for the reminder.


> block everyone who liked this tweet

It'd be more efficient to have a twitter mode where you can only ever tweet, and not read anything other people tweet.


And also no value?

I'm guessing this is primarily snark, but there are a lot of tweets that are pretty good signal of bad behavior. I'm not talking about some nuanced difference in opinion. For the tweets I'm talking about knocking out everyone that liked it wouldn't be a big deal.

Sure some may use this to craft an echo chamber for themselves, but they're already doing that anyway - and a lot of people 'hate follow' to stir up abuse intentionally to drive traffic. These people wouldn't find this tool valuable because they feed off of the nastiness to drive engagement and grow their audience.


I use likes to auto bookmark tweets to pinboard. Obviously I could figure out another workflow for this. But right now it’s super simple. It would be nice to not “like” tweets I don’t like myself but want to bookmark. Wonder if there is a low code way way around this.


What's the state of Twitter API these days? Can some company really build their own app on top of Twitter feeds?


You can but they heavily limit the amount of access tokens your app can generate, artificially limiting the amount of users your app can have.


You certainly can if you're a paying customer of their data services. Source: work for a paying customer.


> anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting

Have they, like, asked people?

Also, do they need more people to tweet? It's not like the platform is short of content. Isn't there a role for the comfortable lurker?


I think there's a real concern on Twitter's end with the conversation being dominated by those who are "good with Twitter". That's a big problem because it's kind of a snoozefest to read tweets by a small in-group that you don't know and that won't interact with you. Twitter serves no purpose without interaction.


Which IMO is why Twitter allowing users to lock their replies is actually damaging to Twitter. Now people just Quote Tweet it instead of replying.


I understand the motivation behind allowing users to lock replies, but you don't need Twitter for that type of content. Twitter sucks for just about anything other than interaction.


What should I use instead of Twitter to just keep up with what people are talking about in my topics of interest?


Twitter also sucks for meaningful interaction, in my opinion.


Twitter started off as a low-effort life blog, and is now almost entirely a platform for amplifying celebrities and politicians. It definitely needs more normal people tweeting about normal things.


Twitter has loads of normal people tweeting about normal things, but they are down in the very, very long tail, and ~nobody follows them. Into the void they scream.


Exactly. And most importantly those normal people are not profitable. Even collectively, they do not outmatch the top 0.1% of posters in engagement.


They have to change; their market cap is much lower than the other "majors" and actually the usage level (and subscriber base) is lower too.

It's like the inverse of reddit: reddit has a very high Alexa score yet is invisible in the public media; Twitter is discussed endlessly by the nattering nabobs, called before congress etc, yet has trouble monetizing their infamy.


Most companies would envy this amount of "trouble monetizing": https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/TWTR/twitter/gross...


True, but compared to their peers they are a laggard.


Also, who's going to feel less anxiety when filming themselves vs. typing?


The idea worked for Instagram, where the aesthetic for regular posts ended up so forced nobody wanted to just make random everyday posts anymore.

For Twitter I didn't see the use, though posting a Fleet does bother people less than spamming, they're too hard to make without ending up ugly.

I'd rather see a change where the search doesn't let you stalk random people by searching for what they posted 3 years ago…


Makes me think (and shudder) about how one could make filters for text. I partially regret saying this and also still curious :-)


Microsoft already did it, it was called Word Art


No no, not for the visual appearance of the text, but rather the filter equivalent of "improving" the content.

Almost like applying a GPT-3 editor to spice up my tweets. I type X tweet and then use GPT-3 or something like that to modify my words/sentences to have more of a Shakespeare or Steve Jobs voice to it.

edit looks as if I found an experiment with GPT-3 to do exactly this: https://twitter.com/intuitmachine/status/1287050253103968257...


Yes, they would definitely want more people to Tweet.


Perhaps people are anxious about tweeting because a single tweet can ruin your life?


You're being downvoted, presumably because of the idea that "if you don't say anything stupid, you'll be fine." And yet acceptably edgy jokes from 10 years ago can easily become dumpster fires of controversy today. There's simply no reason to engage in it unless you treat every social media post as something you would say to all future employers. Including private chats.

EDIT to add: I feel like we are have seen a shift in how social media is perceived by society. It used to be an extension of the internet forum days, where there was a reasonable expectation of anonymity and an employer scouring your online persona was considered a breach of trust. But now as more and more public discourse happens online, and places like Facebook enforce using real names, that veil of perceived anonymity (even if it was an illusion at the time) has completely fallen.


This right here is why I just lurk on social media.

There are too many examples of a forgotten offhand remark, a harmless off-color joke, or that one time you had a bad day and thought you were just venting to the handful of close friends who are the only people you think even know about your Twitter account coming back many years later to bite you in the ass when a future potential employer (or goodness forbid the media) decide to go spelunking in your personal social media and essentially treat that version of you from 11 years ago as the same person you are today.

Twitter makes it way too hard to mass delete old tweets or otherwise exercise fine control over whats on there.

With social media, the only way to win is not to play.


Completely agree.

The last warning I needed was one time >10 years ago while listening to a song I really liked I just posted one of the lines from the song on facebook.

A friend of mine saw it and assumed it was a commentary on a political event that had happened that day (it wasn't) and assumed that it meant I held a certain political opinion because of this (I didn't) and then was suspicious of my claims that posting the song lyric meant nothing more than i was enjoying the song and felt like sharing.

Since then I always assume anything I reveal online will be taken out of context and held against me, if not immediately, some day...


That is the reason most of my colleagues and I have no account there, never had, never will. Same for FB, Instagram, etc., the only exception is LinkedIn where nobody is posting anything.


The pseudonymous alt is the way to go for this, unless you're mostly using twitter for things related to work. I bet some of your colleagues have alts :)


This is why I purge my old tweets automatically.

Nothing good has ever come from someone digging up old edgy tweets.


archive.org scoops up all kinds of tweets - deleting them isn't really a safe way to get rid of it, just fyi


Deleting edgy stuff at least gives plausible deniability.

"I don't think like that any more, that's why I deleted the tweet" is a good defence IMO.


Do those archive let you search for tweets?


sort of - if you search the wayback machine for something like http://twitter.com/username/* - it will list all the tweets it has - and then a user can download everything and search locally. so, it's not as simple as searching by keyword, but it might be something to be aware about, if you are concerned for that kind of thing


I tweet and I really enjoy it. I get a ton of value out of it.

But I think about deleting my account every day, because it's an enormous risk for normal people.


tweets can't ruin your life any more than talking out loud anywhere else.

the long searchable record is certainly convenient for digging dirt, but public speech is public speech.


The searchable digital record is the key difference. Statements out loud to one or more people are often: A) tailored to that audience, B) carry much more context than a piece of text on a screen, and C) are a way of growing and exploring new ideas without the commitment of recording them to an easily searchable record for the rest of time. The long-term ramifications of saying something stupid in a conversation that isn't recorded are far less severe than they would be if every word you said was recorded and searchable forever.

A tweet is really more like submitting an article to a publication of record with your name and face attached to it. But, the ease with which twitter allows people to post makes it seem more like an ephemeral conversation. Anyone who has been burned by a stupid joke tweet from 10 years ago learned that lesson the hard way.


Easy to find "bad tweets", easy to immediately publicize the "bad tweets" to the entire planet almost instantly, easy to have it trusted that the bad thing was said as the twitter timestamp exists and a bunch of trusted people talking about a screenshot if you delete it confirms it's genuine, not to mention most people don't use twitter imaging themselves giving a rehearsed speech in a public square, merely as a way to share their amusing thoughts to the planet for some immediate validation, the dynamic is pretty different.


>most people don't use twitter [imagining?] themselves giving a rehearsed speech in a public square, merely as a way to share their amusing thoughts to the planet for some immediate validation

and there's the problem.

like any tool, speech is dangerous if you don't respect its power and follow some basic safety rules.


Yup. I mentioned this in another comment but one of the key problems is the discrepancy between the impact tweets really have, and the ease with which Twitter allows you to post them.

Any social media is designed to maximize engagement, so there is almost no friction between "I have a thought and I want validation for it" and hitting that submit button.

In reality, you should think of a tweet like submitting an article to the New York Times op-ed section with your full name and face attached to it. It has the potential to be there forever, and for people to judge you based on it for the rest of your professional life. So tread carefully.


your first point (tweeting is as safe as talking) is entirely invalidated by your second (long searchable record helps find statements to criticize people for)

as for your third point, undocumented public speech (no audio or video recordings and no effective note taking) is vastly different from creating public documents (anything on the open internet).


Please point to one person whose life was ruined from a single tweet, and who didn't deserve it.

Yes, it exposes unapologetic racists and misogynists. That's a good thing. People who genuinely learn from their fuckups are generally called out, but their lives are hardly "ruined".


David Shor - he was impulsively fired by his firm last June for just a tweet linking to academic research (I think by a black academic) that argued that violent protests following the MLK assassination reduced the share of Democratic support in the following presidential election, while non-violent protests increase Democratic support: https://www.vox.com/2020/7/29/21340308/david-shor-omar-wasow.... David Shor is a committed socialist and Democratic data scientist, but that was not enough to protect him from accusations of racism in the post-George-Floyd period.

I think he's done okay for himself after his firing, but being summarily fired for supposed racism always poses a high risk of long-term negative career impact, no matter how trivial the supposed deed was that precipitated the firing - David Shor wasn't even making an edgy joke, or implying anything negative about minorities.


I do agree your example appears wild. Any sort of repercussions no less losing your job is crazy for that. However, that isn’t life ruining if he’s fine after the firing. The OP and others before were talking about life ruining.

I’d consider something like this life ruining:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/03/29/adam-smith-c...

A mean spirited yet relatively insignificant video berating a low level employee for the company/owners bigoted views. The guy ends up losing his job and allegedly can’t get another job for years.


Chik-Filla or whatever is a shit company, but a well paid CFO filming themselves being a shithead to some minimum wage employee is pretty god damn horrific.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg-jzlWcc0E

Dude outed himself as a massive shitbag, so I'm going to lean on the side of "he deserved it". What has he done to redeem himself since then? The name makes it pretty hard to search for updates.


Don’t know. The point of bringing that up is that his life got ruined or close to it. Not the examples being brought up where “cancelling” was a minor life event.


In the responses I read through on twitter, no one accused him of racism. People were upset that in the wake of a tragedy he seemed to only care about getting blue votes, which is pretty insensitive. Also, just like you said, he's doing fine now.

The claim that tweets are ruining lives gets repeated over and over again, but it's a complete myth. It's a conflation of actual actual racists and nazis getting outed and ostracized, and people getting mildly called out for doing something dumb, but those are never the same people.


Perhaps "life ruining" is an exaggeration but losing your job for discussing the effectiveness of different protest tactics is an insane knee-jerk reaction made by the people who fired him. He clearly agreed with the movement and ostensibly wanted to help it be as effective as possible.

> in the wake of a tragedy he seemed to only care about getting blue votes

That's a baseless statement. I would argue that caring about getting votes means he cared about trying to actually help the movement capitalize on its energy at a critical moment. Right or wrong, if people can't even discuss data-driven strategies for your movement without being shamed and ostracized, your movement is dead in the water.


I would never consider getting fired over a tweet as a trivial matter, but he is fortunate to be doing well.

Who do you think was properly fired/ostracized for tweets?


The Rosanne thing was pretty great.

https://time.com/5294313/roseanne-cancelled-abc/


> Twitter is great when it comes to transparency

Are you kidding? This is an incredibly opaque and user-hostile company.

edit: I am one of the moderators of /r/Twitter on Reddit. Come look at my subreddit if you want a feel for where my opinion is being drawn from. This company is in absolutely no way transparent.


I’m guessing the person you’re replying to meant that Twitter’s engineering department is transparent.


I don't know, it just kind of came across as being an astroturfed statement.


> Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting...

That makes sense in retrospect. I have a twitter account but have only used it a handful of times when it was the only way to complain to a company (!). I read tweets only when someone links to them.

Perhaps something even more lightweight would have attracted me but I'd never even heard of this product.

It's a difficult problem to publicize an addition to a service to those non-users who aren't actively looking for features.


> It's always nice to know why an experiment/project failed.

Every failure we can learn from is one which we can avoid for our self. Hence in the startup ecosystem, 'What not to do' is more valuable than 'What to do' but those who are new to the game flock to those selling the latter because 'they tell what one wants to hear'.

The recent #buildinpublic trend is showing some promise. I started my first buildinpublic project recently, A platform to validate minimum viable product but it failed the meta validation and I've detailed the reasons in the twitter thread[1].

But I've noticed that much of the building in public ecosystem is focused upon nocode, Especially flooded with notion related projects. I haven't used it, But I presume the reason is because majority of the people who are watching the #buildinpublic threads are non-coders and are looking to learn how a project is built.

[1] https://twitter.com/Abishek_Muthian/status/13994004552858542...


I didn't even know about "Fleets", maybe that was part of the problem.


Yeah. I’ve heard the same from a few friends/acquaintances who aren’t into tech too much but use Twitter.


Kudos to Twitter for pulling the plug on a high profile feature that wasn't working out.

I saw some reasonably interesting Fleets at first, but it quickly devolved into a low-effort self promotion feature as they noted:

> Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets

Eventually I stopped clicking on them because I knew I'd see the Tweets during my normal scrolling anyway. I suppose this problem is inherent to Twitter, where Tweets are already low effort enough that they didn't need another feature for rapid-fire, low-effort content. Contrast with Instagram where people's posts are generally well thought out, but their stories are made for rapid-fire content.

Twitter didn't have the same divergence, so Fleets and Tweets became the same content in different formats. And of course, the Twitter self-promoters took full advantage of a feature that let them bubble their content to the literal top of people's feeds.


The one thing that Fleets had going for them, that I think Twitter needs more than anything, is the fact that they are fleeting. Many people, myself included, are afraid to tweet something inane on main, lest we forget to delete it (or lest it be archived by a crawler), and have it taken out of context years later in a way that might damage our careers.

But it doesn't follow that "something is fleeting, therefore it is deserving of the rarest real estate on the screen." And the read-between-the-lines reason is that now it's Spaces that are more deserving of that real estate. "Ephemeral Tweets" are something that should be experimented with separately, perhaps as an option on a normal tweet and prioritized within the algorithmic timeline itself... but reusing the Fleets branding and presentation probably isn't the right way to do it!


Ive always wished to be able to put an expiration on tweets. There are a lot of things that dont need to live forever. Here in the south if I go a couple hours without looking at twitter sometimes ill have to scroll through lots of weather related tweets for a current storm system that I would have loved if I was watching twitter at the time, but are useless to me now. And maybe they dont get deleted, but just dont show up in others timeline, but would if you went directly to that account - so replies and all are preserved. (I think something similar could be done to focus a tweet to a geographical area, but I digress)


Yes. Not just for your example, but sometimes it’s obvious a tweet only matters in the moment or doesn’t matter. All of these cases would be great if the tweets were somehow archived or put away (like skipping your email inbox)


There are already plenty of 3rd party services to auto-delete tweets after any condition you can want to specify.


Fleets can be screenshotted, no? You said tweeting something inane. Others on here have said they’re afraid to tweet at all. If the worry is that high, then the worry of a Fleet screenshot being taken out of context should probably be enough to not allow you to do that either.


Most fleets in my timeline were solely to make fun of fleets.


> Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets

this is exactly my problem with Twitter. It's an even bigger echo chamber than FB. As much as I try, I can't seem to escape the oversaturated bubble of a handful of extremely loud mouthed tweeters and their ardent followers. Mix in the toxic conversations, and it's definitely not a place I feel comfortable discussing anything.


Be selective in who you follow, and if you're following someone who shares interesting thoughts but retweets too much, you can turn off their retweets. That in combination with being judicious on the block button makes Twitter one of my favorite social networks.


I am careful but Twitter still shows tweets that people I'm following have liked. And they always seem to be the most enraging tweets (presumably with great engagement).

Basically I want my Twitter to be a politics-free zone, but I can't help it if some of the people I follow occasionally like political tweets.

Also, today it has been sending me a push notification to the same race politics tweet repeatedly even after I keep dismissing it. The author isn't anyone I follow and the tweet wasn't liked by anyone I follow - Twitter is desperately trying to get me to see it though.


Switch to “latest” view instead of “home” and you receive a chronological timeline without seeing the liked tweets. I can’t imagine using Twitter without this. See the instructions on how to switch on this Twitter support article: https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/twitter-timeline


Yes! I forgot to include this particular step.

I've heard that viewing Twitter exclusively through the Lists feature also removes a bunch of cruft, but things aren't so bad for me that I've had to try that out.


Yes, I really wish there was a way to turn that off. I personally use Twitter almost exclusively through a 3rd party Android app (Twidere) which just shows me my timeline in chronological order and nothing else. Seems most of the problems with Twitter comes from it not just doing that.


Change your timeline to "latest" from "home", and you will stop seeing tweets liked by people you follow.


I believe you can add "suggest_activity_tweet" to your muted words under Privacy and Safety. I'm fairly certain this still works.


I found pruning and cultivating collections of 'good' twitter accounts just too much work for what it was worth.

The accounts are all run by human (well I hope they are) and all prone to the same problems that make me not like Twitter ...

At least most folks maintain some focus on the topic / decorum on their blog or in a random article. Most seem incapable of ignoring the attention you get from being a jerk or typical twitter drama and etc.


I agree with you but don't all the actions you mention turn Twitter into an even larger, more strict echo chamber?


To continue the analogy, I might say that rather than creating a larger echo chamber, it's moving into a well-tuning studio space. An echo chamber is cacophonous, a well-tuned room improves clarity by reducing excessive concentration of individual frequencies.

Arguably, the curative approach lets me hear higher quality content from folks who have different perspectives than me, compared to just leaving the floodgates open.


I think that is the difference between an echo chamber, where everybody is amplifying the content, and a gateway chamber where who gets there is heavily limited[0] but the conversation is not. In the first the conversation is limited but participation is not[1] in the second participation is limited but the conversation is not.

An echo chamber is bad, but I think a gatewayed chamber is not only not bad but required for effective communication, learning and development of new ideas. You can't enforce the Chatham House Rule unless you get to choose who gets in.

[0]: This doesn't have to be by any external source, it can be just by whom you choose to follow on Twitter.

[1]: Everybody gets to talk about the need to defund the police or #stopthesteal or whatever position the platform supports because more voices behind your position is more power.


I’m not sure you can make that assumption.

Part of what makes these social networks echo chambers are the unconscious ways we navigate them: how long we linger on a post, stay in the site, etc. I’m not sure whether conscious decisions like being judicious with the follow and block buttons would pull you into more of an echo chamber than the algorithm does, especially if you’re selecting for things other than “this captures my short-term attention span.”


I think that's a cop-out. There are no objective measures of these things, the meaning of "how long you linger" or where you move your mouse are completely made-up by the coders who wrote the algorithm. They don't have to be a signal of anything, but the companies just go ahead and decide it means something. Then Goodhart's Law finishes the job.


I add people to Lists and then let some of their tweets get pushed into my timeline. Another way to manage over-tweet-ers. Didn't know about blocking re-tweets though. Off to do that to a few people.


Absolutely don't use the block button, they can tell you've blocked them and it can open yourself up to harassment. Use mute instead.


You can also unfollow them, or soft block (block and then unblock, which forces them to unfollow you), which are both noticeable but not as bad as a hard block.


> you can turn off their retweets.

How does one do this?


Navigate to the profile of the account you'd like to stop seeing retweets from. Click the circular icon with three horizontal dots to the right of their profile picture. Select the first option in this menu labeled "Turn off Retweets."


I've been waiting for that to be a global option since forever.


Thank you.


If you're using Twitter on a desktop browser, I made an extension which by default removes everything but what the people you're following are actually saying or commenting on, and automatically switches you back to the chronological timeline when Twitter tries to move you back to the algorithmic timeline:

https://github.com/insin/tweak-new-twitter#tweak-new-twitter


I found this extension last year and I love it! Thank you for making it.

No more bullshit injected into by feed or forced upon my eyeballs from the right column and everything stays in the correct order. Twitter is vastly improved by your extension.


> It's an even bigger echo chamber than FB.

The trick is to block early and often. The feed is what you make it.


This simply doesn't work. I've tried every tool and trick available and sooner than later the feed becomes filled with drama, politics and random noise. Partly because humans are inherently social and political, partly because Twitter will throw random tweets and topics at you.


I'm on at least my 15th account. Speaking as something with a barely-serviceable love-hate relationship with the service... You have to add people slowly, and be quick to unfollow if you notice a disturbance in the force. Even though I'm keen on programming and related topics, I don't follow a lot of very-popular IT-type folks because of the drama they bring, ESPECIALLY "infosec" Twitter. I've noticed that's a bubble among bubbles. I love a lot of the folks in that bubble, but I won't follow them because The Algorithm gets heavily weighted with them.


Hah - I was hoping I wasn't the only one doing this. In addition to just not being good at "viral twitter", I never have any followers because I nuke-and-pave probably one a year with a new account.

As you called out, most of what I follow is infosec twitter. And the drama ratio is high. I'll follow someone because they do genuinely create a couple excellent technical posts or links, only to find out they are trash and I spend the next month hearing about it.


I can't block the topics that Twitter constantly recommends.


This is it, no matter what words you mute, no matter how much you block/mute users. Twitter considers it of the utmost importance that they get to push content, politics and news they consider important in a 3rd of the screen, always.

The last thing I care about in the world is what employees at Twitter consider valuable to put in the "What's happening" column.

Twitter could do with taking a page out of TikTok's and oldschool Reddit's book at making their app about me and my interests and passions rather than being a megaphone for a few insufferable bluechecks and twitter employees that I struggle to hear my interests from under the cacophony of things I do not care about.


I agree. Twitter is too unpleasant (for me) to use.

I know there are ways of actively managing it to reduce the toxicity, but that's a lot more work than it's worth to me.

At least as far as what keeps me off Twitter, Fleets missed the point entirely.


You really just need to follow one good Twitter account and they will usually retweet other people who are interesting and usually share a characteristic that led you to followed the original account.


Yeah I dunno why people on HN seem to struggle with Twitter so much. You choose who to follow! It's entirely under your control.

If someone starts being annoying, unfollow them. It's really simple.


Got it, so build a bigger echo chamber.


Or be judicious about who you give attention to. Over the last couple of years, I’ve made a concerted effort to follow smart people who I don’t agree with. Sometimes this has proven that I’m wrong and other times, it’s made me feel more secure in my own beliefs.

There’s a difference between smart and toxic. Some smart people are toxic. Others are smart and passionate. If you work to follow people like that and work harder to read their words with an open mind, great things can happen.


By this standard, any social group is an echo chamber.


I don’t follow anyone on Twitter I agree with on most issues.

However I don’t think your concern here is unfounded but in my personal experience the bigger issue is on the surface non political or non biased organizations or “content creators” who’s bias is very similar to that which the viewer shares.


Who cares? Friend groups are an echo chamber too.


Sometimes I get the impression that Twitter is like an un-moderated comments section, where people comment on comments.

Almost like an infinitely connected comments sections, bringing many of the challenges of the once-isolated comments sections.


I had the same issue and for me it was about "Topics" I followed (e.g., computer programming). They were surfacing nonsensical self-absorbed tweets so I unfollowed these topics, and since then, my feed is a lot better.


I use lists. I found https://github.com/KrauseFx/twitter-unfollow which moves all of your follows to a private list. Then move people from the private list to a topic list.

I also use Tweetbot on my Mac, which allows me to filter retweets. That means I only see what people say. I do use another filter on my National Basketball Association list to block a certain keyword.

The downsides of Tweetbot is that it doesn't support everything that Twitter offers (polls, probably fleets, etc.) and is about $10.


yep, I use lists and it helps a lot with this. Twitter got a lot better for me when I put all the hot take tweeters into a list and unfollowed them, then only check that list when I feel like going there. Which is not often


> As much as I try, I can't seem to escape the oversaturated bubble

Pro tip: Mute words and people.

I can't tell you how much better my experience has been since I started growing my muted words list.


You can't mute anything in a link though, so it can't be used to block spam or people who reply to everything with their gofundme.


Thanks for pointing out that muting words was even an option! That seems like a super useful feature.


You're describing what the algorithm tends to promote -- turning it off (the "latest tweets" feed) may give you a bit more variety.


It is hard to escape, a lot of the people who occasionally post interesting things are also the ones that post 20 times a day.


> .. bigger echo chamber than FB.

I would question this line, FB has a serious challenge to address in this space.


I don't understand how it's even usable if you follow hundreds, let alone thousands of people.


I currently look at Twitter as a destination for socially approved statements.

Twitter is a place where you are either celebrated for having approved perspectives or risk professional destruction.

New users can only be craven popularity chasers. Old users either conform or quit. Why would anyone play in that sandbox if you have any respect for diverse opinions?


Yet the difference between socially approved on Twitter and in the real world is massive.

I imagine that quite a few Twitter-socially approved statements would raise a lot of eyebrows in the real world. for being plain weird, nonsensical, or the listener simply not able to understand it at all.

I imagine a subset of things said on Twitter and/or tactics used will make you wake up in the hospital when applied to the real world.

This is why hardcore Twitter users tend to be so shocked when the election results come in and learn that a vast majority of people do not support their view.


The weird culture around social justice and systemic racism gets treated with the same respect as Jehova’s witnesses, Mormons and Scientologists where I live. What’s commonly accepted as progressive online seems to be widely perceived as rehabilitating race-based discrimination here.

Is that consistent with your experience?


Yes, but I should add that I'm from the Netherlands.

Let's for the sake of simplicity use the word "woke" for the type of politics we're talking about.

We have it too, but it's far smaller. Most of our media is more left than the actual population it broadcasts to. However, our left is more traditional left, not woke left. So it's marginal.

Politically, we're a very different country. We have tons of parties, and therefore are a coalition country. Extremism has no place in such society as it can't produce a working coalition. Hence, dutch society moves between a narrow band from centre-right / center / center-left.

In practice, usually centre-right as the disconnect between left wing ideas and what the population actually wants is stunningly large.

The absolute dumbest thing left wing movements have ever done, and this is an international thing, is to abandon white workers. In white-dominant countries.

Anyway, the dutch are extremely sober, based, down to earth. We immediately reject anything that makes no sense.

So to finally answer your question (sorry): wokism has no place in general society here. You can't speak it at a birthday party, it will be the last one you're invited to.


Thanks for sharing your perspective. Lot of weirdness on the Internet the last few years.


The lack of innovation at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is utterly baffling and points to a serious culture problem.

Feels there are rooms of people now just being paid to clone successful features from other apps and only after those apps have carved their place in the market, literally become followers rather than trailblazers.

In just a few years Instagram is going to seem completely old hat to anyone who didn't grow up with it, my 10 year old niece has a TikTok account where she makes weird minecraft and among us memes, she has over 2000 followers, I've never even heard her mention Instagram, not sure she even knows it exists.

Think Twitter will be relevant for longer just because there are less companies trying to compete but honestly the app that was mostly about reading short form text thinks the future of their platform is half being a voice chatroom? Why? Because Clubhouse the new hotness a few months ago? Again just panicking to clone other services as a feature within their app who cares if it makes sense or complements the platform, lets just pray our existing users opt for doing their voice chat in our app rather than going to that new app.

I'll admit IG managed to clone snapchat stories successfully and pretty much kill off Snapchat, but reels? IGTV? I no longer have any idea where I'm supposed to put my focus or post my content in that app.


I actually quite like the lack of innovation on Twitter. It takes an enormous amount of restraint to keep saying no, and stick to a small, simple vision.

I would hate a hypothetical Twitter that turns into another Facebook amalgamation of 75 products.


>It takes an enormous amount of restraint to keep saying no, and stick to a small, simple vision

They literally just cloned Clubhouse and are going to put it at the top of your feed because it was the cool new app for like 3 weeks last year..... How is that restraint?


They're certainly picking it up more recently with Fleets and Spaces. My point was I was quite happy with the status quo before.


Someone had a "history of MUD sites" in which they describe a two year lifecycle of popularity. I think the same applies to social media on about ten years; there's a cohort of people who join in the first few years, because the site creates a different community that isn't served elsewhere. Then it reaches saturation, slow decay, drama, and gradually exodus to the hotter new things.

Hence all the desperate cloning of new platform features.


> The lack of innovation at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is utterly baffling and points to a serious culture problem.

Yes, and the befuddling long time it takes them to implement obvious features that smaller teams delivery within days, like support for dark mode, or an auto-repeat button on YouTube (seriously wtf is up with that, they have auto-play but not repeat? w. t. f. Google)


I've been thinking of it in terms of convergence, maybe they're all converging on the identical "optimal" social network.


The “optimal” network was mix-and-matching different apps and services as you saw fit. Fool around on IRC/web forums → Invite people to MSN Messenger as you grow closer, trade email etc., increasing and cutting back on the access of information shared with each person as you saw fit.

Herding as many people as possible into one service and corralling them in there seems to benefit the megacorps more than the users.


Established social media companies innovating is how you get new reddit. I think the facebook strategy of not changing successful platforms and continually building/buying new ones makes the most sense.


>Established social media companies innovating is how you get new reddit

I'd argue new reddit isn't innovating, there is no vision or passion behind that product. The team is clearly being given metrics they need to move and all the work is focused around moving those metrics.


"We’ll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter."

Perhaps I can help.

Twitter is always angry. You'll find the most idiotic, extreme, harmful statements from both sides of the political spectrum. Worse, Twitter actively rewards it. The more unhinged and controversial, the more engagement you get.

The replies will be equally angry. Any attempt to add nuance or reason is futile. Because the damage is already done in the form of retweets, likes, quotes.

Hence, the unreasonables run Twitter. And they have normalized a lot of absolutely pathetic behavior. Taking things out of context and applying the worst faith interpretation of it, willingly. Sub-tweeting, screenshotting, exposing private conversations, speaking badly of others within their bubble, and sometimes this triggering further attacks or even cancellations.

This culture of perpetual outrage, hate-addiction even, and the many childish behaviors that come with it, are born at Twitter.

After a Twitter session, one feels miserable and depressed. There is nothing delightful, nothing new you learned, no new friend you met. It's horror. Like the news, but then 10 times worse.

Wait, sometimes there's non-hateful tweets too. 99% of them are self-congratulatory or stupid. Something like: "My 3 year old just commented that an intersectional approach in politics is most effective".

Attention starved, completely made up. Yet for sure it will get thousands of likes. Both hate and idiocracy are richly rewarded.

To stay in line with the ever narrowing Twitter culture, one has to use it at least 6 hours per day. Otherwise, you might miss that word you used your entire life suddenly being problematic. Could even be a particular emoij. Anything triggers outrage. Anything at all. It seems the entire point of Twitter: maximizing outrage perpetually.

It's a Twitter thing and a Twitter thing only. I've never experienced it with such intensity anywhere else, and I'm merely lurking. The reason I hate it so much is that it goes beyond just a website sucking, its effects are cultural.


Honestly I think this is very dependent on what bubble you end up in. There's isn't really any outrage anywhere in my feed.


I think the simplest solution to this would be to simply hide comment/retweet/like counts. It will be possible to sort of figure this out from the engagement, but it won't be easy to figure out if a tweet is popular or wildly popular.


Today I learned that there was a feature called Fleets.


Same here, and I still don't really understand what it was. Even though I've been on twitter for almost 14 years.

EDIT: it seems it was some kind of "stories" like they are called on other platforms, the feature was only available within the mobile apps (I've never used the apps I use the mobile website, this explains why I've never heard of fleets before).


If you think people are held back from tweeting by anxiety, how would you ever come to the conclusion that videos are the solution?


Yeah this explanation smells. Reading between the lines, I'd say that twitter fell prey to a couple of bad predictions. The widely-maligned "pivot to video" that ended up being based on FB fudging the numbers for how much engagement video got, and the idea that duplicating the success of IG or TikTok is just about enabling 30 second video snippets.


Vine was an American social networking short-form video hosting service where users could share six-second-long, looping video clips. It was founded in June 2012; American microblogging website Twitter acquired it in October 2012, before its official release on January 24, 2013.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vine_(service)


Inflated FB video numbers have been known for a long while now - references to it in Sep 2016 https://www.facebook.com/business/news/facebook-video-metric...


The contrast on that text makes me feel like they don't want anyone to actually read it.



I think the idea was the anxiety was that tweets aren't ephemeral enough.


What makes a fleet a fleet isn't a video, it's that it's transient. You can make a text fleet. Or could.

If you've never used a fleet and have read the post, you can use the text from it "Most Fleets include media" to conclude that there exist fleets that do not include media. Video is a form of media. You can then conclude through pure syllogism that fleets do not require video.


Fleets are not videos. They can include videos, optionally.


That's really too bad. I don't tweet much, maybe once a day, but I really liked using fleets, and lots of people told me they loved seeing them, in DM or @'ing: https://twitter.com/simonsarris/status/1415370626303504389

I want my timeline to be mostly thoughts and nice photography that people can go look at as they please, and I don't want to pollute it or waste follower's time with one-off stuff (like making pasta every night, or some weird looking bug, or funny sign, etc). Fleets allowed for that really well. I think its a mistake to look at how Big Accounts are using them and make decisions from there.


What is a baseline for tweets per day per regular user? One tweet per day means 365 per year, it looks huge to some people.


Some "extremely online" people can tweet that much in a couple of days (I made software that measures it, to identify whom to mute or stop following altogether).


I'm not sure about regular user, there's a huge spread. I see most big accounts tweet 5-10+ a day. 10x that for media people.

Paul Graham tweets about once per every other waking hour (though sometimes not for days). Patrick Collison tweets every 2-3 days.


For real, my tweet rate is less than once per year, yet I still regularly use the app just to follow some interesting people.


It was incredibly annoying how it took up significant real estate at the top of the screen and there was no way to disable the feature. Good riddance.


It didn't though. It took up 1/8th of the screen and it wasn't sticky. If you scroll down it's off the screen. Is it really that big of a deal that you can't see an extra tweet when you are all caught up?


More like a 1/7th of the space previously reserved for the timeline, and considerably worse on older phones with smaller screens (eg iPhone 7). The fact that it disappeared when scrolling down but reappeared instantly when scrolling up made it even more annoying. Tyrannising your scrolling behaviour. The fucking audacity.


Exactly, I hope it will not be occupied by Spaces instead (which I also do not care for).


There was a way to disable it. You could revert to an earlier version of the Twitter app on Android. Version 8.68.0 was the latest version without this feature. As soon as they added it, I uninstalled and then side-loaded the older version and turned off automatic updates. In 2 weeks I'll be able to update again!


Is it just me or does the word "learnings" make others cringe? There's a perfectly cromulent word, "lessons" that are the nouns of the things that you "learned" as a verb.

Along with "socializing" instead of "distributing", it's the latest in using stupid words to sound "business like". It reminds me of the kitty in the Lego Movie bouncing through shouting "numbers, numbers, numbers, business, business, business" to avoid detection.


Maybe someone can correct me, but I don’t recall ever seeing a website fundamentally change itself or evolve and grow whereas I have seen time and time again something entirely new coming out and being the thing people use instead.

If you compared Twitter today to Twitter’s first tweet, it’s the same thing. Nothing’s changed with the site itself; I can see people talk about how they ate a sandwich then and still today.


Instagram copying Snapchat's Stories is the canonical example of this working, which makes sense that Twitter tried Stories as well.


Reddit started out as a text-based discussion forum for use on desktop and has slowly morphed into endless-scroll-of-images/gifs/streams on mobile.


Threads is a successful feature they added and it's not the same as at the beginning.


> We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts. We hoped Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on Twitter.

If anyone from twitter reads this, here's one thing that could get me to post more:

Give us pseudonyms.

Guarantee that you won't leak them to media or mobs.

I understand you'll have to givw them to the police sometimes but the police is far less scary for me than the mob.

While you are at it: Let me post to different channels or topics or something. Why should people who follow me because of programming have to suffer my gardening tweets and vice versa?


What's the difference between this and simply making multiple accounts?


Convenience.

And the promise. Edit: since this is transparent Twitter we could even get an high level explanation on how to make sure such pseudonymous accounts technically cannot be linked back unless three persons in three jurisdictions - of which at least one is a customer ombudsperson - agree that there is a valid request from a law enforcement agency and then electronically sign it.

Seems a tall order when you can just create more accounts? Well creating new accounts forces you to give up your phone number meaning you are a sitting duck the moment anything gets leaked.


Twitter doesn't require you to add a phone number, you can sign up with just an email address.

In some cases, if your account gets flagged, they'll ask you to add a phone number to unsuspend it (which makes it a little harder to dodge bans), but I think that's a rare case.


I cannot create one from Norway without a telephone number.

I could try with a VPN but I guess that would just make it harder.


The feature name "Fleets" was terrible. I know it was a pun on "fleeting tweet", but the word "fleet" just makes me think of a fleet of ships.


I just heard of it today and I assumed the same, like it was a fleet of people getting together or something, not 'fleeting'.


and tweets makes me think of birds it really doesn't matter


IMO this should be the default feature of Twitter.

I can't think of anything I'd be SUPER embarrassed of in my Twitter history, but context is important and something I might have Tweeted 10 years ago would look bad today, maybe.

Still, I make it a point to delete all my tweets after they're a week old or so. Not interested in my random musings living on for all of digital eternity.


In my opinion, there are a few issues with this strategy:

- Your Tweets may be archived on another site anyway

- You may delete a Tweet that others hold onto for spite (screenshot, archiver, etc.) and then you don't have the surrounding Tweets to link to in order to show context

- If your good Tweets get linked to/embedded from other sources then those links will go bad

I've found the only safe strategy with social media/society is just to be very careful/clear/explicit with what you Tweet in the first place so that it can't be taken out of context. Perhaps that's unfortunate, but that's reality.


> Your Tweets may be archived on another site anyway

Or in the databases of one of their data stream customers, or in the database of someone that customer made the data available or on-sold it to. If you're a Twitter customer you're supposed to read and apply their stream of updates and deletes to your database, so that when someone deletes a tweet in Twitter you delete it too, but in practice Twitter doesn't seem to care or enforce that this happens. It's also just a lot from a technical perspective, the volume of these changes is large.

The only reasonable behaviour is to assume that your government (local police, military, whoever - probably multiple separate agencies) has all your tweets, forever. Not because they hacked Twitter or had the NSA tap the lines - they just bought the data from someone Twitter sold it to. Twitter probably doesn't even know who these down-stream buyers are.

(I know for a fact this is happening)


> I've found the only safe strategy with social media/society is just to be very careful/clear/explicit with what you Tweet in the first place so that it can't be taken out of context.

Twitter, as a medium, is anti-context. The UI, the character limit, the behavior of the most prominent voices on the platform, everything encourages you to post hot takes that require as little context as possible to drive engagement.

Being "careful/clear/explicit about what you Tweet in the first place so that it can't be taken out of context" is equivalent to not Tweeting at all.


> everything encourages you to post hot takes that require as little context as possible to drive engagement.

> Being "careful/clear/explicit about what you Tweet in the first place so that it can't be taken out of context" is equivalent to not Tweeting at all.

No, I don't think it's the same as not Tweeting at all. In my experience it just requires self control (which we all lack sometimes and mess up as I certainly have). I mostly use Twitter to tell my friends and my small number of followers what I'm working on and my opinions on things related to domains I have some education or experience in (software, economics, education, etc.). You can use Twitter for mostly professional and anodyne topics. Saying the constraints of the platform encourage you to post hot takes is like saying the constraints of modern working life encourage you to eat junk food. It's true, but it is by no means forced.


> Saying the constraints of the platform encourage you to post hot takes is like saying the constraints of modern working life encourage you to eat junk food.

I don't think that's the correct analogy. I would phrase it more like, "The constraints of being at a bar encourage you to drink alcohol." Of course, you can go to a bar and order a Coca Cola or whatever. But that's not what the bar is set up for. Similarly, you certainly can go on Twitter and post anodyne thoughts about anodyne topics. But that's not what Twitter is set up for.


> Still, I make it a point to delete all my tweets after they're a week old or so.

I do the exact same thing, I think it's the only sane way to use twitter.


I use Tweet Delete[0] to auto-delete my tweets older than a month. I see no value in keeping old tweets around, especially compared to the risk that I inadvertently become briefly well-known and some wokes decide to trawl my timeline, take some tweet from 12 years ago out of context and convince my employer that I'm racist or something. Seen it happen too many times.

[0] https://tweetdelete.net/


deleting tweets is somewhat pointless when you consider existence of things like wayback machine.


I was surprised to find Twitter doesn't block their crawler.

https://web.archive.org/web/20061109101219/http://twitter.co...


The Wayback Machine isn't searchable, or at least not nearly as searchable as Twitter itself. If I have a fight with you now, I can just go to search.twitter.com and put in "bad word from:AzzieElbab" and find any of your bad tweets. To use the Wayback Machine to get you in trouble, I have to know ahead of time what you said and at what URL to use it against you later.


One thing I never understood about Twitter, and what keeps me from tweeting, is why on earth everyone needs to see how many likes, replies, and retweets my tweet has? I will never be a Twitter influencer, and have no desire to be. I just want to tweet one-off learnings or thoughts I have without the awkward struggle of trying to compete with others.


If it helps if you can't see them, then you can use Ublock Origin and block on

    ##div[aria-label$=" like"]
    ##div[aria-label$=" likes"]
And you will probably kill off that bar below your tweets.


> Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting

Those anxieties are driven by the fact that every week someone destroys their career or even life with a single Tweet. In the worst cases, people have been driven to suicide by the backlash to a Tweet of theirs. Unless you are an aspiring celebrity trying to build a career or get a book deal from your Twitter persona, the rational move on Twitter is to not play.

Twitter has the levers to fix this -- they can reduce the exposure of highly viral Tweets, especially by non-celebrities (i.e. people without a lot of existing followers). However that would greatly harm Twitter's business model because people love mobbing on someone and punching them in the face. So the answer to, "why are people hesistant to Tweet?" is that Twitter has decided that it's in its best interests to encourage a highly toxic form of entertainment on its platform.


In typical Twitter fashion, all of the horror you describe its users would call "accountability".

But yes, when people are afraid to use their own name, auto-delete tweets, and do all of this for not getting in trouble for middle-of-the-road views, you know you're in an extreme place.


Big tech companies especially Twitter and Google have zero longevity when it comes to new products. How about they add subscriptions to Fleets before giving up, I’ve enjoyed a few really great conversations there and it’s a decent product like much of Twitter it just needs some love in terms of features and how they work. For example why on Earth am I not allowed to read someone’s public tweets when blocked. Twitter is kind of the definition of getting lucky over being brilliant IMO, how it doesn’t have an edit function yet is beyond me.


Are you really asking, why Twitter doesn’t allow to edit tweets after publishing them? I think this is a feature, it means you can’t change what you wrote. If this would be possible after you get responses, you could change the meaning of these responses.


If you use your imagination you can still edit tweets and also have them be immutable. Loads of systems have an edit history or alternatively just a means to delete and recreate a tweet in the first 5 minutes after publication. There are probably other even better ways to solve this.


Or you could clone HN with a single-threaded UI.


But you can anonymously edit your messages on HN?


Oh, you must be looking for a Wikipedia clone then.


Much shorter articles and only one editor…


If I block you, I want it to prevent you from reading my tweets. Obviously you can use a logged-out browser window, but that extra step is supposed to be annoying enough to prevent most non-psycho people from reading your stuff.


Why do you care if I read your stuff that’s public on the Internet, surely we should all be trying to understand each other’s point of view more not less?


To prevent context collapse. Some people are unable to understand what I say and take offence. That could be because of the way I'm saying it or because of them. Either way, I don't care. I would like to expend energy on my audience. Ideally, I can talk to my audience and to no one else.


Great, make your account private then… or do you want all the benefits of a completely public account without any of the costs? I’m not suggesting blocked people should be able to interact with your content, just that they can still read it. This applies especially to information being disseminated by government.


I mean, I could just as well say "Log out of your account then". That will negate the effect of the block.


Yes, it’s inconvenient though, I’m trying to be informed about what everyone thinks, even very thin skinned people who hit the block button at a tiny difference in opinion, some of their opinions are informative and helpful to me so yes as the information is in the public domain it should still be easy to access.

The difference here is that my change to blocking doesn’t affect the things you’ve said one bit, how will someone misunderstanding your tweets but not being able to interact affect you, you’ll never interact with them misunderstanding you! Why you want Twitter to lie to you about the availability of information you produce is not really for me. Maybe you should be clearer in your tweets if people outside of your audience are misunderstanding you?


My audience knows that when I tell it to kill all the Apaches, that it’s advice to kill each forked process of Apache2. The consuming madness that causes others who do not speak the language to conclude that I am calling for genocide is not something I choose to engage with.

I have a tool. It is effective. Cope with it or don’t. It’s not my problem. Having just realized this tool isn’t going away, I no longer feel the need to continue this conversation.


I find your arguments quite disingenuous to be honest. It’s a complete straw man example you’ve made up that doesn’t support your argument (nonsense about people being so stupid as to misunderstanding technical and genocidal tweets is absurd). If the information is public you can still be confusing no matter how many people you block. How will you know that people are confused by you if they can’t interact with you? You are right though, Twitter are not getting better at product any time soon.


twitter is way better than most social platforms in terms of being open and be able to view the content with out logging in. I think the main purpose of blocking is to prevent you from engaging with the said user / tweet. if you really don't want your tweets to be made public you can make the account private and only allow your followers


That’s exactly my point, I should still be able to hear what someone I disagree with says and even agree or understand their thinking on occasion. Blocking seems like an extremely blunt tool.


Why did Twitter kill Vine?

This is why pretty much why TikTok exists and filled that space very quickly.


I don't use twitter, in fact, I deleted my account and created a new, blank account in case I got sent anything on Twitter. Twitter is, to me an ugly place dominated by cliques with everyone else trying to shout the loudest in the hopes of being noticed by said cliques.

I in no way feel safe or comfortable contributing to a platform that is that toxic and has a long track record of people trawling through every little thing you have ever said in the hopes of destroying your career and life.

And people who say the solution is to follow specific people or use certain ways of viewing your timeline underline the other problem which is if the platform requires me to make a significant time investment to get a non-toxic, non-awful experience, then I'd rather go without and be blissfully ignorant to anything happening on that platform.


I use twitter daily and fleets was nothing more than an annoyance to me. I would click on someone's profile picture to view their profile, and it would automatically make me view their fleets instead. Even after watching them (or skipping through to the end), I would click it again and it would still take me to their fleets. Getting to their profile took several taps on tiny sections of the screen instead. The UX was pretty terrible imo and made me frustrated more than anything.

I like the idea of fleets, but I think it was implemented poorly. They just copied the same 'story' format that's been recycled 100x over. I think an alternative exists out there, twitter will just have to be a little more creative.


Maybe just blindly copying what your competitors are doing isn't the greatest strategic plan.


Looks like we've still got:

- Snapchat Stories

- YouTube Stories (Google)

- LinkedIn Stories (Microsoft)

- Instagram Stories (Facebook)

- WeChat Time Capsule (Tencent)

- Weibo Stories (Alibaba)

- Naver Snow

https://miguelrochefort.com/blog/tech-giant/#65-stories-35


And Chrome's Web Stories:

https://stories.google/


Never heard of all these services? How comes? It's like Poly that closed in June. Never heard of that until I heard it was closing:

https://blog.google/products/google-ar-vr/poly-browse-discov...

Is there a full list of active services provided by Google (or other big tech) somewhere?


> Is there a full list of active services provided by Google (or other big tech) somewhere?

I'm only aware of the opposite: https://killedbygoogle.com/


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