All posts by Bob Leggitt

“Trust Me, I’m a Male Feminist!”: Twitter Feminism For Men

What’s the difference between a male feminist and a female feminist? It’s not a gag – there’s a simple and thought-provoking answer. The difference is that the male is in a position to actively address some of the issues he’s fanfaring about. For example, if he believes there’s an unfair gender pay gap of 22%, he can send 11% of his salary to women’s groups. If he believes men should not be invading female spaces, he can take his unsolicited commentary out of women’s Twitter mentions. Is he doing those things? If not, why not?… Continue reading “Trust Me, I’m a Male Feminist!”: Twitter Feminism For Men

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If You’ve Had This Experience, You May Be Remembering A Time Near Your Birth

If you’ve ever heard anyone say they remember being born, the subsequent tale was probably a pretty conclusive demonstration that they definitely don’t. Any stories that conform to an adult understanding of the environment are inevitably going to be false.

But far-fetched internet threads that begin with “I think I remember being born”, then rapidly reach “…And there were two nurses talking to a doctor”, and end with “…And then the Lord Jesus Christ said…”, don’t mean the retention of exceptionally early memories is impossible.

I’m hard to convince when it comes to scientifically unproven concepts. I’m not religious, I don’t believe in life after death, and I reject astrology. But I do believe that long-term memory begins much earlier than most research will acknowledge, and as you’ve probably already guessed, that’s down to personal experience. Continue reading If You’ve Had This Experience, You May Be Remembering A Time Near Your Birth

‘New’ Twitter for Desktop: Pros, Cons, Solutions & Why Twitter Is Forcing It Upon Us

Twitter original desktop Dark Mode
Above: Wave a tearful goodbye to the old, server-based Twitter desktop site.

It’s been available on desktop for many moons in the form of Twitter Lite, but now, the so-called ‘new’ Twitter interface is rapidly being forced upon desktop users as the only fully-featured environment. It’s not just a visual redesign. It’s a completely different way of delivering content. And whether you like the ‘new’ Twitter or not, the chances of the old desktop site surviving in any form whatsoever are basically nil.

Why? Well, it wasn’t really that Twitter wanted a new desktop site. It was that they wanted rid of the old one… Continue reading ‘New’ Twitter for Desktop: Pros, Cons, Solutions & Why Twitter Is Forcing It Upon Us

How To View The Quote Reactions (RT With Comment) To a Given Tweet Or Twitter User

Twitter’s threading of the @replies to a tweet, means we can read all of the reaction in a handy infinite-scroll, right? Unfortunately not. As we saw in the Quote Tweet post, a large proportion of Twitter users have now substituted the Retweet With Comment function for the Reply function, and that means their reaction won’t be included in the thread. So unless we already follow them, we won’t see what they had to say.

Worse still, the kind of people who use RT With Comment vice the Reply function often provide some of the sharpest and most incisive reactions. We could be missing the best stuff. So how do we find all those quote reactions – the reactions that won’t appear in the thread? Continue reading How To View The Quote Reactions (RT With Comment) To a Given Tweet Or Twitter User

Could Twitter Reward-Share on “Quote Tweets”?

The “Quote Tweet”, or “RT with comment” function, is undeniably a useful facility on Twitter. Like many of Twitter’s functions, it became a trend in user behaviour first, and was then officially integrated into the platform’s toolkit. But many people have come to see the “quote tweet” as a monster. Why is that? And if it is a monster, might Twitter tame it with a system of reward-sharing?

HISTORY OF THE FUNCTION

Before 2013, the notion of a “quote tweet” was simply a user copying text from an original tweet, pasting it into their own tweet in quotes, and then adding their comment in the remaining space. Given that tweets were limited to 140 characters back then, the scope for combining both the original tweet and the comment in that hard one-forty was restrictive in the extreme. Continue reading Could Twitter Reward-Share on “Quote Tweets”?

Twitter Detective MasterHack: How To Retrospectively Find A User ID Number

I wrote in my Old Usernames article about the importance of Twitter’s User ID in keeping tabs on slippery people’s behaviour. The User ID is a unique account identifier which remains the same however many times the user changes his or her @username. If you know the User ID, you will always be able to find a given Twitter profile (or at least find what’s happened to it) via its numerical URL. The Old Usernames article has more info on the basics.

But what happens if you discover that, say, a group of account @usernames have been switched, and you need to actually prove that the switch has taken place? This can happen with account networks when they try to cloak their origins. And it became important recently when the lead profile in a network of raving political activist accounts rebranded as the main promo feed for an alternative social media platform claiming to be politically impartial. I know, you couldn’t make it up, could you?

I’m not going to publicise the account in question, but it turned out to have gone through at least six @usernames, and it was originally a promo feed for a pitifully unprofessional “travel site”. I wanted, however, to be 100% sure that my old username tracking investigation was entirely accurate. Before I presented the info to anyone else, I needed to be right. And to be absolutely certain, I needed to retrospectively access the User IDs of accounts in the network – as they applied in the past. That would confirm beyond doubt that the usernames had been switched. But how would I get that confirmation?… Continue reading Twitter Detective MasterHack: How To Retrospectively Find A User ID Number

Will Twitter Ban “Cash Giveaway” Accounts?

If you haven’t yet seen one, where have you been? On Twitter, supposed “cash giveaways” have become a means for the self-styled “benefactor” to build a vast following, elicit unnaturally high levels of compliance from the public, and make a lot of money. But if there’s no separate terms and conditions page, the cash prize almost certainly doesn’t exist. And even if it does, how would you know? This is a world where the winners are almost never mentioned, let alone identified. It’s just tweet after tweet of…

“RT, Like and Comment to win £5,000 in cash. Must be following me, and must tell me what a fantastic guy I am in the comment, blah, blah.”

That’s the kind of character we’re talking about. Not just spectacularly manipulative, but also childishly egotistical. And there’s no “Congratulations to the winner”. Aside from their occasional, staged convincer ruses, these dudes can’t even be bothered to pretend someone actually won. New day, new giveaway, and it never ends. Continue reading Will Twitter Ban “Cash Giveaway” Accounts?