Episode 25 - The Great Twitter Purge of 2018
I may be on vacation, but I still snuck in some time to put together a show! Decided to go solo this week and focus on Twitter's purging of bots and trolls. There is wide agreement that they need to do something to fix their platform, but there is not wide agreement on what exactly the problem is and what should be fixed. Can they focus on the experience and wellbeing of their end user, or will they fall victim promoting fashionable political trends and end up with censorship?
My Good Twitter Bot:
It’s called @Swarmingnow and it is an automated news service based on check-ins from the Foursquare Swarm app. It shows events and mostly good times from around the world. Give it a follow!
Twitter fighting bots:
Washington Post Article: Twitter is Sweeping out Fake Accounts
Vanity Fair: Can Jack Dorsey Purge Bots without Killing the Bottom Line
Lawfare Blog: War of the Twitter Bots
Recode: Twitter is Prioritizing Network Health over Adding new Growth Features
Accusations of Shadow Banning
On the show, I came up with several hypotheses for what is going on with Twitter’s Shadow banning. This is the accusation that prominent conservatives and republicans were removed (or at least demoted) from the search results. Which one do you think is most likely?
There was no algorithmic unfairness, it was either imagined or made up.
It was a random glitch, bug, or artifact in the ranking algorithm.
It was a bad ranking algorithm, but the issue would be far less likely to have been released had it been unfair to the democratic side because left-leaning Twitter Employees would have caught it.
A deliberate attempt by some Twitter Employees to make political change or remove people they don’t like.
Trump Tweets: Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.
Marc Andreesen on all of the Doom and Gloom predictions for Facebook over the years going all the way back to 2007. Does Facebook have a lot of problems right now? Yes it does! But that prediction list should be a word of caution if you’re going to call the top.
MarketWatch: Facebook pays for it’s Mistakes all at Once
Forbes: 2 reasons Facebook is Dead Money
Facebook defends having Fox News and Infowars – what a ridiculous headline and narrative!
CNBC: Facebook Plunges
Reuters: Facebook misses Target on Monthly Active Users
Nassim Taleb: Is he Bayesian or not? I’m seeing him attack some Bayesian ideas while embracing others. In a future episode, we’ll get to the bottom of this, and I’ll figure out where I stand. In the meantime, feel free to go ahead and dive into this, and let me know at localmaxradio AT gmail.com what you think!