Ryan Mac, Mike Isaac, Kellen Browning, Kate Conger: Elon Musk’s Twitter Teeters on the Edge After Another 1,200 Leave (NYT)
Employees were also having difficulties figuring out who was still on staff, and what areas of infrastructure needed more support to keep things up and running.
One worker who wanted to resign said she had spent two days looking for her manager, whose identity she no longer knew because so many people had quit in the days beforehand. After finally finding her direct supervisor, she tendered her resignation. The next day, her supervisor also quit.
Others were spending hours trying to track down which teams they were on. Some said they were asked to oversee duties they had never handled before.
The changes were occurring in a near total information vacuum internally, employees said. Twitter’s internal communications staff has been laid off or left, and workers said they were looking outward for information from media articles. Mr. Musk has increasingly downplayed the role of traditional media over the past few months, citing Twitter as one of the best platforms for the rise in “citizen journalism,” as he put it.
This is a visualization of the process behind @nyt_first_said.
Each day, a script scrapes new articles from nytimes.com. That text is tokenized, or split into words based on whitespace and punctuation.
Each word then must pass several criteria. Containing a number or special character is criteria for disqualification. To avoid proper nouns, all capitalized words are filtered.
The most important check is against the New York Time's archive search service. The archive goes back to 1851 and contains more than 13 million articles.
The paper publishes many thousands of words each day, but only a very few are firsts.
It sometimes seems that automated bots are taking over social media and driving human discourse. But some (real) researchers aren’t so sure.
Defining the bot is a tricky problem; technically, it could be any automated account, like a news aggregator, or amplification software, like Hootsuite. Mr. Kazemi found many bots tweeting about Covid-19, including neighborhood health clinics using marketing software to post daily pandemic P.S.A.s about washing your hands.
He also found that humans were often mistaken for bots. Consider the “grandpa effect,” as he called it: people who were mistaken for bots because they used social media in “uncool or gauche” ways, he said. Users fond of hitting the share button on news articles also resulted in false positives. This led Mr. Kazemi to wonder whether Botometer should be renamed “Normiemeter.” He tweeted: “Can you imagine the headlines? ‘50% of accounts tweeting about Covid are normies.’”
The caricature of Sanders’ vitriolic online supporters has driven political conversations for nearly four years, but at what cost?
And within mainstream American politics, Bernie Sanders is nearly singular in his sustained resistance to the establishment logic that motivates these disastrous decisions. So the thinking goes: For his entire time as an observable figure, he has been right, and nearly everyone else has been wrong. He has never needed to evolve; his positions were fully formed from the start.
This is not exclusively true, but whatever; a record of leftist foresight and nuance that has, on balance, turned out to be mostly correct in comparison to his peers is unbelievably seductive to people cursed with paying attention in a country that broadly does not. If I can pick out a genuinely identifying characteristic among all my friends who support Bernie, from the very online to the very not, it’s that they prioritize this quality. In the context of American politics, he feels like a revolutionary, though of course he is an elected politician. That his congressional record appears middling can be hand waved off with an acknowledgment of his prevailing milieu; it’s not so easy to dismantle institutional power when almost all of your colleagues are dedicated to propping it up. But as president, when public rhetoric and private whipping can force the chains of bureaucracy? Then maybe, just maybe…
And with climate change and the endless wars and the brewing pandemics and shoddy health care and all of the myriad afflictions making life hell for a plurality of Americans, the necessity of electing the one candidate who seems to understand the urgency of wrenching back control feels paralyzingly clear to those who’ve done the reading and allowed themselves to feel one flicker of empathy. Hence the Bernie Bro affect: a righteous and logic-driven correctness about the trajectories and realities of American society, because haven’t you been paying attention, coupled with the combativeness inherent to the internet, where everyone likes to believe they are right, all of the time. Social media and all its related platforms offer an incredible opportunity to be correct, in public, and that Bernie’s overall argument looks so good on paper makes it easily repeatable when faced with the truly astonishing amount of stupid, banal bullshit repeated everyday on the internet. There is always someone to argue with.
That is what I detect most within these collective spasms of Bernie-driven passion: the disbelief at how dumb all of this is, how the evidence for what we need is right there and yet the forces that be (and their followers) believe otherwise.
But that such a niche phenomenon has captivated political discourse for so long reveals fundamental ideological disagreements about how the internet should be used, cutting across generation and gender and race and so forth with no fixed understanding. It is a real issue that sprawls far beyond Bernie, and can’t be as simply waved off as “old people don’t get the internet” — evidence shows it’s plenty of young people, too. One person’s ingrained harassment is another’s victimless shit-talking is another’s revolutionary action is another’s technically right, but being an asshole about it, and in a world where everyone expresses their opinion all at once, there is no easy way to gain consensus.
Thread by @JuliusGoat: "Me: *throws you down a pit* / You: my leg's broken / Me: I'm sure you have proof. I'll wait."
Me: *throws you down a pit*
You: my leg's broken
Me: I'm sure you have proof. I'll wait
You: YOU THREW ME DOWN A PIT
Me: so sick of people always bringing up pits
You: YOU THREW ME DOWN ONE
Me: wow victim card much
You: A PIT
Me: that talk's exactly why you got thrown down a pit
Thread by @modernserf: "I know a lot of people identify with this article but the divide that this article presents makes zero sense to me"
Discussing the CSS-Tricks article ‘The Great Divide’ (https://css-tricks.com/the-great-divide/) that discusses the difference between ‘full-stack’ and ‘front-end’ developers.
I think my main problem with this article might be that its core premise is accurate -- the job market for frontend developers undervalues skills around markup, a11y, UX -- but it _reinforces_ the divide, rather than challenging it
Ashley Feinberg: Jack Dorsey Has No Clue What He Wants (Huffington Post)
A Q&A with Twitter's CEO on right-wing extremism, Candace Owens, and what he'd do if the president called on his followers to murder journalists.
The reason his impassioned defenses of Twitter sound like gibberish is because they are.
Lindsay Zoladz: The #Art of the Hashtag (Pitchfork)
Thanks to Twitter, the hashtag has become an important linguistic shortcut. But while everyone from Robin Thicke to Beyoncé has used the symbol as part of their art, only a few have truly taken advantage of its culture-jamming possibilities.
Will Oremus: Instagram privacy uproar: Why it's absurd, in three nearly identical sentences. (Slate)
On the bright side, by interpreting the confusing policy in the most alarming possible light, the tech press has forced Instagram to toe the line more carefully than it otherwise might have. That's a win for users
There are jailed dissenters around the world, with harsher sentences for lesser crimes, wasting in silence. We shouldn’t forget them and we shouldn’t forget the message Pussy Riot was trying to spread. However, we should let rebellion and reform grow organically from within a country and then foster and support it with an outsider’s perspective; we shouldn’t place ourselves and our lives and our Twitter feeds directly into someone else’s story and someone else’s struggle. If it’s not about you, don’t make it about you.
Paul Ford: Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out (New York Magazine)
Tens of millions of people made a decision to spend their time with the simple, mobile photo-sharing application that was not Facebook because they liked its subtle interface and little filters. And so Facebook bought the thing that is hardest to fake. It bought sincerity.
GRAEYALIEN: @TriciaLockwood nailed it tricia! if i could just add a couple of quick rejoinders?
Regarding Patricia Lockwood’s appreciation of @graeyalien’s tweet about Aaliyah.
‘when aaliyah "makes the decision" to engage in the bestial behavior of reaching compulsively for the first thing to appear in front of the field of her sensory organs, the bread of the material world, she ultimately dooms the flight.’
Adrian Chen: How I Found the Human Being Behind Horse_ebooks, The Internet's Favorite Spambot (Gawker)
‘Alexey Kouznetsov is a 30-something Russian web developer. Kuznetsov has been designing websites since at least 2002, and on his portfolio site, he markets himself with this modest tagline: “If… you want your pages to be more impressive and dynamic than before, contact the author of this site to order elaboration, introduction and development of new graphic effects on your pages.”’
Giles Turnbull: Twitter by Post (The Morning News)
‘A letter back then might simply ask one question. The reply would answer it. Just that. A letter might describe a single event, or pass on a single piece of news. I’m pregnant. Your father is dying. I was sent on patrol last night, and I survived. I love you. I still love you. I no longer love you.’
Forbes: Andrea Spiegel's de.tech.ting: The Real Story Behind Charlie Sheen Joining Twitter
“If you didn’t hear, yesterday Charlie Sheen joined Twitter. Today he very well may reach 1 million followers (as I type he’s already passed the 900K mark). How did it happen? Why all of a sudden did he wake up and decide it’s Twitter time? And how was it that Charlie Sheen went from non-twitterer to hardcore twitterer overnight? Short answer: he got a lot of help from a team of experts at Ad.ly, a small Beverly Hills start-up that focuses on celebrity endorsements via Facebook and Twitter.”
Vulture: Arcade Fire, and the ‘Never Heard of It’ Grammys by Nitsuh Abebe
”…the tweets offer a funny reminder that one kind of center really does hold: That no matter how dominant and predictable something might be in your world, it is still a weird, marginal thing to most everyone else.”