Tag Archives: lifestyle

What Are Social Media Algorithms and Are They Really So Bad?

Social media algorithms. The concept of them is so unpopular that some alternative social platforms actually trade on the fact that they (supposedly) don’t have them. But in this post I just might change the detractors’ minds. I’ll explore the reality of algorithms, explode some of the myths that surround them, and find out whether they really do us a favour or a disservice.

WHAT IS AN ALGORITHM OR ALGO?

In the context of social media, an algorithm – algo for short – is simply a sorting mechanism. A system of priority for the display of content or profiles.

The most basic social media algorithm is a reverse chronological display. That’s newest posts always at the top of the timeline, with no filtering – i.e. nothing removed. Despite the order being very simple and basic, this is still an algorithm. And by default, any social app you can find on an app store will filter out some sensitive matter. They won’t be accepted by the app stores if they don’t. So essentially, all social networks with timelines use some type of algorithm – even those who claim not to. You can read some more network-specific details in Finding The Best Alternative Social Media Platform.

Most social platforms, however, additionally manipulate their basic, reverse chronological timeline. They’ll filter out more than they’re required to filter out by the app stores – most often to avoid endless repetition and valueless spam. Then they’ll start to interfere with the chronological order, so that popular or more personally-relevant posts are placed at the top of the timeline, even when they’re not the most recent. Continue reading What Are Social Media Algorithms and Are They Really So Bad?

“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

‘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

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.

This post was written in May 2019, before the rise of the #TwitterPhilanthropy tag. I’ve done a full update taking into account more recent events in the #TwitterPhilanthropy Cash Messiah post, but I’ve also left this post intact for historical reference… Continue reading Will Twitter Ban “Cash Giveaway” Accounts?

Twitter Unfollow Practices: Spammers Are The New Inactives

When ManageFlitter and Crowdfire sat at the epicentre of Twitter follow management tools, usage of those apps helped spread a notion that one of the best targets for unfollowing was the inactive user. And the Twitter ‘manage’ apps made the process of following so-called “inactives” very, very simple.

But in January 2019, a range of Twitter unfollow apps, including both of the aforementioned, had their API access disabled by Twitter. This rendered the best known unfollow tools inoperable. And because these and other apps had such an enormous presence among Twitter users, the effective shutdown of their core functionality actually changed the Twitter landscape – even for those who never used them.

For example, you may recall that this time last year, if you went more than 30 days without updating your timeline, your mutuals would start to unfollow you. That was because ManageFlitter and its derivatives had an “Inactives” unfollow category, which used a 30-day filter to determine who was, or was not, still using Twitter. The implication was that app users should unfollow accounts in the “Inactives” category, and many did. Continue reading Twitter Unfollow Practices: Spammers Are The New Inactives

10 Reasons Why Social Media Loves To Build Closed Platforms

Walled Gardens and Closed Platforms

One of the questions I see asked a lot on the social web is: “Why does [whatever network] not allow unregistered users to see what I publish?” I understand the frustration. Social networks of this type are normally known as “closed platforms” or “walled gardens”, and they heavily restrict the reach of their members.

In this post I’m going to examine the question, and provide ten separate answers. Just why do some social networks keep all their content locked behind a login and refuse to show it to anyone who isn’t a member? Here goes… Continue reading 10 Reasons Why Social Media Loves To Build Closed Platforms

The De-Centralisation of the Adult Industry: Part 2

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In Part 1 of this article, we explored how the adult entertainment industry has evolved since the birth of the Internet. We saw that control of the business has shifted from male-run ‘production houses’ to female entertainers, working autonomously, often from home, with very low personal overheads.

Here in Part 2, we’re going to focus on some specific good, bad and ugly consequences of the new situation.

THE GOOD

BETTER BEHAVIOUR AMONG HIRERS

The de-centralisation of adult entertainment has broken down a lot of the malign power within the industry’s hire market. Continue reading The De-Centralisation of the Adult Industry: Part 2