Tag Archives: people

Retweet-Begging: The Bad, The Ugly And The Positively Grotesque

Retweet-Begging

If social media has served any profound purpose, it’s been to reveal just how phenomenally selfish we are, and how manipulative we can become in our quest to be the centre of attention.

If we’re not publicly screwing over our best friend and flushing our own dignity down the toilet in the hope of a single Like from a low-end celeb who doubtless hates our grovelling, servile guts, we’re trying to use other people’s traumas as a means to put ourselves in the spotlight. If, by the end of a social media thread, we haven’t placed ourselves right at the epicentre of the issue at hand, we’ve failed. And it just wouldn’t be a poverty thread if an affluent influencer didn’t wade in with a ‘quote-tweet’, claming to have had a desperately frugal childhood.

Just like real life, social media is all about status, and on Twitter, status was traditionally measured by a user’s Followers total. However, it’s become increasingly well recognised that the Twitter Followers total is close to meaningless as a yardstick of status or influence. Using follow-management apps, it’s easy to churn up a Followers total of 100,000 or more, virtually none of whom will ever pay the remotest bit of attention. Continue reading Retweet-Begging: The Bad, The Ugly And The Positively Grotesque

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How To Avoid Losing Arguments on Twitter: 12 Modern Strategies

Twitter argument strategies

Never has success in an online argument had less to do with who’s right, and who’s wrong. Indeed, many great debaters would privately maintain that there is no right or wrong. Only good or bad debating strategy. And the debating strategies of Web 2.0 can be a far cry from the exchanges we were witnessing just ten years ago.

Online debating has evolved into a dirty, psychological war, and nowhere is the modern toolkit of dirty debating better showcased than on Twitter. For this post I’ve identified twelve strategies commonly used by Twitter’s big hitters. Here they are, in the manifesto of the professional, and not so professional, Twitter debater… Continue reading How To Avoid Losing Arguments on Twitter: 12 Modern Strategies

How Much Does Social Media Need Mr and Mrs Angry?

UK TV Listings 1971
Central England’s programme listings for Wednesday 1st September 1971, in a vintage TV Times magazine. Image by @JPEGJuice.

Once upon a time, there was no internet, and for Mr Way-Too-Much-Time-On-His-Hands, finding a virtual release valve was nothing like as simple as it is today.

He couldn’t just go onto Twitter and disagree with news bots, or call football managers cretins until he got his enraged little ass suspended.

Nope. If Mr Way-Too-Much-Time-On-His-Hands wanted a reason to get his knickers in a twist in ye olde distant past, chances were that it would reach him via a newspaper, a magazine, or a television. But he’d still want to say his piece. So whilst interactivity was a very slow process in the mid twentieth century, print publications pulled out all the stops to expedite angry readers’ letters onto their sensation-hungry pages. Continue reading How Much Does Social Media Need Mr and Mrs Angry?

10 Major Reasons Why Twitter Is The Best Social Media Platform

Why Twitter is the Best Social Media Site

I’ve criticised Twitter extensively on this blog, and I’m not about to retract any of my whining episodes. But I wouldn’t be complaining if I didn’t care, and the reason I care is that Twitter is not only the best social media platform; for many people it’s the only social media platform. I’m using this post to document why. Please be aware that the following points apply at the time of writing, but that policies can change…

TWITTER LETS USERS POST IN ANONYMITY

Oppressive social sites insist that users publish under their real names, because it increases the value of people’s personal data. The platforms claim they make the real-names-only insistence for safety reasons, but there’s nothing safe about forcing everyone to identify themselves in an unvetted public place. How safe would it be if everyone who walked into a night club was forced to wear a T-shirt with their legal name on it? Clearly, it would be a stalker’s, burglar’s, mugger’s, blackmailer’s and rapist’s charter. That’s the reality of real-name-only policies.

Real-name-only policies also inhibit humour, and other fundamental bases for online entertainment. Broadly, they stifle fun and promote an environment that’s little different from being at work.

Twitter has benefitted enormously from its freedom of identity. Not only does it have a fun and progressive vibe – it’s also become a home to major communities who, precisely because of their dependency on anonymity, cannot legitimately exist on Facebook or other oppressive sites. Yes, anonymity assists cowardly trolls to an extent, but the vibrancy and life it encourages almost infinitely outweighs the negatives. Continue reading 10 Major Reasons Why Twitter Is The Best Social Media Platform

What Does “No DMs” Really Mean in a Twitter Bio?

Twitter No DMs

No DMs!”; long form – “No Direct Messages!“… It’s a prominent chant in certain pockets of the vast Twitter userbase, but why only certain pockets? And is the “No DMs!” admonishment really a necessary inclusion in a Twitter bio? Let’s mull it over…

GENDER BIAS

“No DMs” is much more common among women than among men, which suggests the phrase is largely rooted in a male predatory issue.

The frequent coupling of “No DMs” with “No dick pics” further supports that suggestion. A lot of men do try to use Twitter as a dating site, or a ‘perving’ site, or a ‘flashing’ site, or at least a means to avail themselves of female emotional comforts without having to pay for a premium rate service. However, at first glance, there appears to be some illogicality to the way in which “No DMs” warnings are distributed… Continue reading What Does “No DMs” Really Mean in a Twitter Bio?

Google’s Twitter Connectivity Snapshot

Google Twitter Snapshot

Have you ever found it a bit irksome trying to work out what the deal is with a newly discovered Twitter user? Okay, so you can see their bio, and their most recent tweets, but this may not tell you much about the actual people with whom they’re associated.

One of the most interesting Twitter tricks I’ve found in some time is what I’m calling the Google Twitter Connectivity Snapshot. The idea works courtesy of Google’s Advanced Search, and can provide a quick insight into a Twitter user’s sphere of activity. True, you can read the user’s bio and look at the tweets or retweets on their profile page, but that often gives quite a self-conscious sense of who the person is. Sometimes, it’s more revealing to see what kind of people connect with them, and take a peep at some of the connections. Continue reading Google’s Twitter Connectivity Snapshot

The Cyber Witch Hunt

Cyber Witch Hunt 1

They’re now so common that most of us have witnessed at least one as a live event during our cyberspace travels. We look on in borderline disbelief as a mind-boggling array of angry souls pile in to essentially re-word the same acidic criticism, punctuated only by the odd tirade of abuse, and a passing troll chipping in with a timely popcorn-chomping GIF.

The target, meanwhile, stands alone, quite possibly driven offline. What we’re seeing, is the cyber witch hunt – an ugly manifestation of sustained online gang pursuit and attack. The core characteristic is a sense of gross imbalance, in which just one person – metaphorically “the witch” – is persistently targeted by a growing mob. Continue reading The Cyber Witch Hunt