Tag Archives: people

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?

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

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

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 probably doesn’t exist. And even if it does, how would you know?…

If you just came to this post looking for clarification on which of these profiles are outright scams, try out the Twitter Scam Detector Tool. It’s a simple, one-click routine that will take you straight to any reports or discussions of suspicious activity for a user of your choice. There’s also some additional reading in the #TwitterPhilanthropy post, but don’t let any of this stop you reading on…

The “cash giveaway” scene is rapidly growing. It’s a world where the winners may never even be mentioned, let alone identified. Broadly, 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?