Shock Study: Misinformation Exists on Twitter

created Feb 22, 2020 - updated Apr 3, 2020

I'm surprised that Earth's biggest digital cesspool can be used to spread lies. But here's the good news: Twitter is functioning this way by design.

Recommended book to read:

Yesterday's LA Times story:

We don't need foreign countries to crap-post to social media. We can do it ourselves.

Mediagazer headline for the above story:

At Mediagazer, most of the "discussion" comes from the cesspool. Here's a humorous post:

Nomiki Konst / @nomikikonst: Who needs Russian oligarchs meddling with elections when you have an American oligarch doing so?


salon.com story published today:

Bots? It all counts as engagement, which inspires new engagement, which helps Twitter earn revenue, make a profit, and keep Wall Street happy. Translation: Twitter is operating exactly as it was designed to function.

None of Twitter's misinformation and cesspool qualities are bugs. Those are features.

From the Salon story:

A quarter of climate-related tweets in the studied period came from bots

A new analysis of 6.5 million tweets from the days before and after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to ditch the Paris agreement in June 2017 suggests that automated Twitter bots are substantially contributing to the spread of online misinformation about the climate crisis.

Mmm. Here's my edited version of that above paragraph that probably more accurately describes Twitter, regarding ALL topics.

A new analysis of tweets suggests that Twitter users are substantially contributing to the spread of online misinformation.

A big round of applause goes to journalists, since nearly all journalists use Twitter.

In my opinion, anyone who uses Twitter at least indirectly contributes to the misinformation and the hate that pollutes Twitter because Twitter management has no incentive to make positive changes to its service because engagement is high.

If journalists abandoned Twitter en masse, that would wake up Wall Street, which would demand action from Twitter management.

But instead of real activism, journalists and other Twitter users offer praise for Twitter's new feature that was released this past week.

From the story:

Twitter has tweaked its UI to make it easier to add new tweets to old threads. (No, it’s not an “edit tweet” feature.)

Here’s how it will work: while composing the new tweet, choose which older tweet you want to connect the new tweet to. Then click on the three dots menu in the older tweet and choose the “continue thread” option. The new tweet will now become part of the original thread.

It’s the latest tweak to the threading feature that Twitter introduced in 2017, which allows compositions of tweetstorms all at once, rather than forcing users to reply, reply, reply to tweets in chronological order so that they would be connected.

Wow. This is revolutionary in the world of web publishing.

In 2020, Twitter users can do something that was possible with personal web publishing software 20 years ago.

And apparently, one of the most requested features by Twitter users is the ability to edit tweets. Editing a post, that was also solved with personal web publishing software at least 20 years ago.

Yeah, it's an apples vs oranges comparison when comparing the world of independent personal web publishing to a silo cesspool.

I started my first blog in 2001. I used Greymatter to manage the content. Greymatter was and still is a web-based static site generator.

With Greymatter, I used the web browser to create news posts, and believe it or not, I also updated old posts through the web browser. I could add new thoughts to old posts, and I could edit posts, back in the web dark ages of 2001.

From the Greymatter Wikipedia page:

Greymatter is a free and open-source blogging software package, originally created by Noah Grey in November 2000. It was "the original opensource weblogging software"

The problem with independent personal websites, however, is that those sites don't enable easy, fast, emotional, senseless commenting, especially if those sites don't contain a native commenting system.

Feb 24, 2020

easydns.com - Twitter’s community verification system will be a disaster

HN-related thread

It's unfortunate that so much energy is being used to fix Twitter.

Mar 30, 2020

https://www.thedailybeast.com/naturally-we-now-have-a-cottage-industry-of-coronavirus-truther-assholes

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/why-novel-coronavirus-became-social-media-nightmare-014917035.html

Apr 3, 2020

Doctors turn to Twitter and TikTok to share coronavirus news

But the key part of that post:

"Social media is the disease and the cure. It is responsible for the dissemination of misinformation as much as it needs to be a tool for repairing that," said Rick Pescatore,

That latter may not be needed if the former did not exist.

May 12, 2020

This sounds funny, like rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship.

https://mediagazer.com/200511/p14#a200511p14

Twitter says it will add labels and warning messages to tweets about COVID-19 with misleading or disputed content and plans to expand the labels to other topics

Attached to the Mediagazer link discussion area:

@twittersupport: The information you see on Twitter should be accurate and reliable. That's why we're expanding our use of Tweet labels and warnings to address misleading information. Here's more on how and when we decide to use them:

That's gold. Accurate and reliable information on the world's leading misinformation, cesspool, rage-inducing machine. That statement by Twitter Support is inaccurate and unreliable.

That statement by Twitter Support goes against what has maintained Twitter for years.

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