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James Woodcock
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Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 9:01am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I have steadfastly refused to refer to Twitter as X,
until today when I sat back and thought about my past and
current experiences with the platform.
I used Twitter as an information source - I could see
what both sides were saying on topics, which kind of
allowed me to get a holistic picture on where people were
on topics.

However, since the take over and rebrand, while I still
get that, my feed has become polluted by the following:
Videos of people beating other people up
Videos of people actually dying on camera
Sex videos
Mad conspiracy myth posts that go far beyond what I was
seeing before

So the platform bears no relation to what I was using
before and I must now accept that Twitter is dead and
what I now use is actually X, a totally unregulated free
for all that has algorithms that push seriously offensive
content whether you wish to watch it or not.
Community notes are a decent step, but they don't stop
the content being pushed at you.
What's worse, is that the algorithm appears to not be
based on if you click on something, but whether your
scrolling pauses on something.

What this has done though, is enable me to get a clear
picture of the unifying conspiracy myth that seems to be
prevailing at the moment. Which seems to be this:
The climate change conspiracy is being used to push the
move to renewables and electric cars. This is pushing the
need for lithium.
Countries with lithium are having wild fires started
(under the excuse of climate change) by high intensity
lasers, which apparently can be blocked by painting your
house blue.
Ukraine has high amounts of lithium in the Donbas region
and thus the war in Ukraine.
The saviours of the world and all this conspiracy are
Trump and Putin, the only leaders talking the truth.
They are fighting against a secret cabal who actually run
the world and that is in thrall to satan, involving child
sex gangs and pizza (I'm not too sure how the last one
relates and really don't want to find out to be honest).
These people can be identified by their imagery such as
large black cubes and clothing that leaves one leg
uncovered - so Taylor Swift dancing on a cube while
wearing a costume where one leg is covered and one
uncovered was a dead give away that she is involved.

I mean, it's bonkers on any level you wish to view it,
but the rabbit hole that this all is, is utterly crazy.
And this is what my current X feed is full of,
interspersed with videos of people getting beaten up or
murdered.
Does anyone else have a similar experience?
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Steven Queen
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 1:05pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I'll confirm that a lot of that is out there, but I'd refute "Trump and Putin, the only leaders talking the truth",  I haven't gotten that (but did watch the full Putin interview).

I've also gotten that the case for CO2 causing climate change is coming unraveled, and the WEF is full of a bunch of wankers who actually refer to themselves as "the elitists".

There is a lot to filter (for yourself) these days, but I am generally happier doing that than having someone else filter it for me.

One of the upsides of all the commotion is that I've had to clarify (internally) what "the American experiment" really means to me---and how that's different from a generic blanket statement that "democracy is good".  I've also learned that the term "hate speech" is an amorphous smoke screen for Orwellian censorship---against so-called "mal-information" (i.e. that which is true but inconvenient to the narrative of the government).


Edited by Steven Queen on 12 February 2024 at 1:12pm
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 1:12pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

It's the active pushing of the stuff that I then have to
filter that is my issue.
What algorithm thinks I need to see people beating each
other up, people getting shot, or any of the above, because
i didn't go searching for it - it appeared in my feed and
has spread in its width as time has gone on.

The Trump thing has always been there, but the Putin truth
thing has really ratcheted up the past couple of weeks.
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Steven Queen
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 1:23pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

On Trump:  My take is that even his supporters think he says (mostly) stupid things, but because he is deemed so "dangerous" by the powers-that-be it identifies him as outside-the-system, and therefore preferable to the uniparty/captured-government alternative.

On Putin:  Almost universally I see the interpretation of the (uncensored) interview is that he has an extremely Russo-centric take (and in part false) view of world history, but it's better to understand him that just shallow some narrative of demonization (i.e. pure evil) that the establishment wants to sell (for hard to pin-down "reasons").

Again, this is all coming from a deep distrust of the state rooted in the internet breaking the mainstream media's lock on the distribution of info.  A lot that has always been hidden is now "out there"---hence all these bills being proposed in Europe/Canada to limit "hate speech" and independent journalism.  It's hurting the narrative of the powerful and making them look (at best) inept and (at worst) amoral liars.

The downside of all the info floating around "loose" is the old adage: "Opinions are like a**holes...everyone has got one."


But...yeah...the algorithms on X are not great.  You should personally have more control via knobs.


Edited by Steven Queen on 12 February 2024 at 1:26pm
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 3:19pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

For the most part, no. I've carefully curated my experience there by either failing to click on the toxic stuff, or clicking "not interested" on the suggested stuff.
So mostly I get fantasy art, comics, science, history, cats, and so on.
If you engage with trolls or MAGA hats, etc., the algorithm will think that's what you want to see because you clicked on it, or lingered on it reading it.
I've managed to get it way less obnoxious than Facebook ever was (which I quit).

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Casey Sager
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 3:19pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Or, it could be a lot of morons with too much time on their hands whose lives are so empty and miserable they feel the need to latch onto any conspiracy theory no matter how nutty it is.
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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 4:43pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I've noticed that algorithms on Twitter (when I used to frequent it) and YouTube trend towards the right, if you don't take care to manage your feed. This may not be the case for everyone, given one's specific interests, but the slide from watching a Bill Maher clip to having a Jordan Peterson clip show up to some kind of men's rights thing is surprisingly fast. With Twitter, a friend of mine is a climate change denier, so merely being friends (following?  linked to?  not sure what the term is) with him suggested to Twitter that I wanted an endless stream of that content.

Using Twitter as an info source has to take into consideration the way that the algorithms work, and to recognize what demographic box you fit into.  The idea that it's somehow a more direct and less curated source of democratized and trustworthy information is ludicrous. It may have started with that as the goal, but that's nearly two decades in the rearview.  It's now a bubble generator, where opinion is stated as fact, and the best you can hope for is a bowlful of confirmation bias - and given that it's run with stated prejudice by Musk, said bias will likely skew right regardless of the path you choose.
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Steven Queen
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 4:55pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Every now and then it veers left in response to a news event --- almost in a coordinated way and makes me wonder if the bubbles just collided.

I did used to enjoy the X Files too. Just saying. :)


Edited by Steven Queen on 12 February 2024 at 4:56pm
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David Miller
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 5:44pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I maintain a twitter account that has been curated to follow the craziest
right wing accounts. For the most part I use it to observe and understand,
although it’s sometimes fun to make fun of people who insist Trump is still
president or insist they’re not one of the crazies who thinks Trump is still
president, just fair-minded independents who recognize Trump’s objective
claim to being Rightful President For Life, or to tell small, crawling things
like Mike Huckabee to go fuck themselves.

During the 2016 election in particular it was extremely valuable in keeping
track of right wing misinformation as it bubbled up from the fever swamps
through the Republican Industrial Entertainment Complex and ultimately
farted out by anti-Democrat left wing “progressives”. Plus it was instructive
to witness the media credit outright fabulations in their reporting — eg
“Republics may refuse to admit Biden won the 2020 election, but
Democrats refuse Trump won the 2020 election, therefore both sides share
responsibility”.

I’m very conscious of how the presentation of information and
misinformation shapes my perception of reality. At the same time I think it
inoculates me; even as I might instinctively roll my eyes at Sleepy Joe Biden
The Alzheimer’s President, I recognize where that comes from and take
care not to succumb to it.

Anyway, since Musk bought Twitter the general feed has been identical to
my curated right wing crazy feed. Musk is determined to platform right wing
lunacy.
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 6:04pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

David>>I maintain a twitter account that has been curated to follow the craziest
right wing accounts. <<

Bill Clinton once said he watched Fox News because he liked yelling at the TV.  I understand the impulse, but jeez it's depressing.

Considering the crazy is pretty much impossible to avoid outside of Twitter, I'll stick with the good stuff on Twitter, just to remind me it's actually there.  And the world isn't completely crazy.
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Craig Earl
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 6:05pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I haven't used Twitter (or X) for a few years now. I hardly ever go on Facebook, and don't use Instagram, Pinterest orTik-Tok.

I don't feel the need to start either....
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 12 February 2024 at 6:20pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Twitter had "twit" right in its name, so I've avoided it since its inception. 

A desperate rebranding will not serve to get me on board.
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