Tuesday 3 January 2023

Twitter exposes the fibbers

 There has been much debate about Twitter since Elon Musk took over. I can't say I was too worked up about it one way or the other about it. He's not the sort of fella I'd be massively keen to have a night in the Mill Hill Tandoori with talking football, but by the same token, I'm not sure he's the worst of the rather strange billionaires that seem to own just about everything these days. His electric car & battery technology seem to me to be a positive thing. Yes I know about the issues with mining for batteries etc., but we do have to address air quality and emissions and he seems part of the picture in a positive way. I'm not an expert and I've no intention of arguing with anyone who's done a bit more googling of his career than me, sorry I mean research.

Anyway on to Twitter in the Musk era. The most amazing thing is how little has changed. He's let a few rather odd souls back on, some of whom have royally made fools of themselves, some haven't bothered to post anything and some have been slung straight back off. I've always had a bit of a problem with censorship, as I like to know what people have to say, even when it's obnoxious. It allows me, as an adult, to form an opinion. If I decide someone is a bit of a moron, troll or just an irritation who is not worth the effort, they get blocked. The advent of social media and armchair experts has tested my faith in people's ability to see through the crap to destruction. I simply cannot believe how many complete Charlatans are taken seriously by people. The fact that it appears a sizeable percentage of the UK population still believe Brexit is a sensible idea is, to me, evidence that sensible argument is not really possible within the constraints of Twitter. Sadly for many worthy people of reliable intellect, they fail to understand that a Nigel Farage Twitter soundbite can never effectively be answered by a 2,000 word article in the Guardian. Until fire is fought with fire, snappy slogans and shocking pictures, the masses will never even bother to look at the evidence. It is, however, not the job of Twitter, IMHO, to fact check or screen out such things. I don't have any problem with the banning of accounts promoting dodgy medical advice, promoting suicide and self harm, but where things are subjective, such as "Brexit has worked" it is a matter of opinion. For a business owner such as me, who has suffered a material loss, it clearly hasn't. However for a bloke in his front room in Saffron Waldon, who hasn't seen a direct effect and hated the EU, it may well have. To me it is like amputating your leg because your leg itches, but other people take a different view, which is their business. 

However Twitter has made one massive improvement. They have started putting the number of views a tweeter gets on the Tweet. This has, rather hilariously, exposed a few local Charlatans, who claimed millions of views. As soon as this was brought in, they seem to have almost stopped posting. One dodgy character, who regularly claimed to be the "Biggest local social media site" has realised that when people see his tweets only get 30 or 40 views, the lie is exposed. He has taken off his pinned tweet and now only seems to retweet stuff. What is more amusing is that he's paid for a Twitter blue tick, to enhance his credibility. 

The one thing I'd love to see on Twitter is for accounts to have to say who they are. I think that if a Twitter account makes a derogatory account about you, then you should be able to obtain their details. I stuck my name on my account as I don't say anything I'm not prepared to stand by. I don't see why people should be able to slander you and hide. But for now, just seeing that such people are in an echo chamber is plenty enough.

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