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posted by martyb on Tuesday May 23, @12:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the closing-the-barn-door dept.

If anyone knows how important Twitter is to Donald Trump, it's the president.

“Without the tweets, I wouldn't be here,” he told the Financial Times last month.

To which Twitter's co-founder says: Sorry about that, world.

Evan Williams, who still sits on the company's board of directors, recently told The New York Times that he wants to repair the damage he thinks Twitter and the broader Internet have wrought on society in the form of trolls, cyberbullies, live-streamed violence, fake news and — yes — Trump.

“I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,” Williams told the Times. “I was wrong about that.”

“If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry,” he said.

Is Twitter responsible?


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Refugee from beyond on Tuesday May 23, @12:24PM (26 children)

    by Refugee from beyond (2699) on Tuesday May 23, @12:24PM (#514162)

    Sorry for what exactly? Not enough censorship?

    --
    Instantly better soylentnews: replace background on article and comment titles with #973131.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @12:43PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @12:43PM (#514173)

      Maybe it's time to stop giving huge amounts of VC funding to kids. Kids don't have any sense of proportion...unless they've already been through the total perspective vortex. And even then, some of them have egos like Zaphod that don't learn anything from seeing yourself in perspective against the whole universe.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday May 23, @12:54PM (1 child)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @12:54PM (#514182)

        Maybe it's time to stop giving huge amounts of VC funding to kids. Kids don't have any sense of proportion...

        There's a reason Tweeter didn't appear in Europe - they invented a tool better suited to the purpose of terse communication, namely IRC [wikipedia.org]

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by FatPhil on Wednesday May 24, @12:46PM

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday May 24, @12:46PM (#514779) Homepage
          When people ask me how I keep up to date with what my friends are doing, I always answer "the same way I have been since 1993", referring of course to IRC. Right now, I'm on a server that hosts a channel full of ex workmates, another server that hosts several channels full of beer-drinking buddies in the countries I visit most often, and of course on the soylent IRC server. Occasionally I hang around on a much wider range of technical channels (whenever I receive offers of help on #devuan after a question, I hang around until I can offer as much help to someone else, for example).

          Oh, noes, my xterm (running under tmux over ssh on my home server) is unable to display a black-face pile of poo, what a disaster! (I presume such clipart is specifiable, as the colour modifiers are now standardised, and as pile of poo has a face, he should have a specifiable face colour. (Don't give me "but it's not a person" - neither is the vampire clipart, and you can specify Blackula if you so desire. https://emojipedia.org/vampire-dark-skin-tone/ )

          It was my pleasure many years later to work with Jarkko Oikarinen not once, but twice (once he was a customer I was supporting on-site, and once as a near-team-mate when I worked for that client). He was always very modest about what he'd created, it was just a thing that he did in the past, and had nearly forgotten about it. To me, it's a important part of my interactions with most other human beings I interact with.
          --
          I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:20PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:20PM (#514199)

        Nerd alert:

        I guess you didn't make it far enough in to the books... turns out Zaphod went into the total perspective vortex machine while he was stuck inside a simulation created specifically to trap him. So in the false simulation universe was created for him, thus he was the most important thing. However, if it was reality he would've been just as fucked as the rest of us. He massive ego basically guarantees it would have killed him, or possibly brought him to enlightenment, hard to say with the extremes of any curve.

        • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:35PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:35PM (#514220)

          Interesting interpretation. Not sure how you can extrapolate to "...if it was reality..." from DNA's text, given that the whole series is fiction?

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 23, @02:44PM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 23, @02:44PM (#514277)

            Inside the continuity of the books, he was in an artificial universe specifically created for the purpose of, when he went into the Vortex it wouldn't kill him because he *was* the most important person in *that* universe.

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday May 23, @04:52PM

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @04:52PM (#514371)

        Hey, is that a piece of fairy cake?

    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Tuesday May 23, @12:54PM (10 children)

      by butthurt (6141) on Tuesday May 23, @12:54PM (#514184) Journal

      Twitter shadowbans Trump; Trump is elected. Obvious cause and effect.

      /article.pl?sid=16/04/26/227224 [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Tuesday May 23, @02:41PM (9 children)

        by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @02:41PM (#514274) Homepage Journal

        I think there's something very specific Twitter can do to make political tweeting less problematic. *

        Twitter's designed as a "safe space"; there's no thumbs-down. That way, there's no negative feedback on a tweet; you have to look at the replies for that, and obviously, most politicians don't.

        So my suggestion is: For accounts that are political, Twitter does away with the "heart", and goes to a thumbs-up AND a thumbs-down, with independent counts. This way, both the politician and those who view the tweet would have an actual sense of how well the tweet was received.

        Guidance from the public, as it were.

        Right now, all Trump sees is many thousands of upvotes on his very worst tweets. Think about that.

        * Yes, I have sent this suggestion to Twitter.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by bucket58 on Tuesday May 23, @03:08PM

          by bucket58 (1305) on Tuesday May 23, @03:08PM (#514291)

          > For accounts that are political, Twitter does away with the "heart", and goes to a thumbs-up AND a thumbs-down, with independent counts. This way, both the politician and those who view the tweet would have an actual sense of how well the tweet was received.

          This just makes it an echo chamber. See the various politics based subreddits.

        • (Score: 2) by donkeyhotay on Tuesday May 23, @03:50PM (2 children)

          by donkeyhotay (2540) on Tuesday May 23, @03:50PM (#514323)

          I like that idea. I would even be in favor of extending it to ALL posts, not just political ones -- mainly because it can be difficult to differentiate between what is political and what is not.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @06:39PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @06:39PM (#514449)

            Tweet: "Our newest pay-day load product, Payrolla(R), makes your dreams affordable! Try it now!"

            If shit like that gets downvotes, Twitter becomes less desirable for business. Even less-offensive products won't be worth the risk.

            It's like how Facebook lacks a "Hate" button.

            • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Tuesday May 23, @07:53PM

              by Sulla (5173) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @07:53PM (#514492)

              I have recently been working on an accounting software implementation, I would definitely give a thumbs up to a product that made my payday data load process easier.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @06:10PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @06:10PM (#514432)

          I think you're completely missing the point.

          The way people like Trump and other popular figures use Twitter is not to try to get feedback or focus test ideas, but by using it as a free public publishing outlet. 'Everybody' knows people who actively respond, vote, etc on Twitter are not even remotely representative of reality. As a result the zeitgeist of the Twitterdom is not particularly relevant. I'd be fully in support of removing like/retweet counts from all posts though. Along with follower counts. It'd be nice if communication was actually about communication and not e-peen measuring contests.

          • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Tuesday May 23, @09:51PM (3 children)

            by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @09:51PM (#514538) Homepage Journal

            Yes, I know he uses it as a publishing outlet. So here's the comparison:

            You might see [some tweet by a pol] 1,000 + votes

            Or you might see [same tweet by a pol] 1,000 + votes, 99,000 - votes.

            Either way, you come along, and you read the tweet. You look at the votes. One tells you a thousand people liked it and that's all it tells you. It's a positive impression and nothing else. The other tells you 99% of the people who read it didn't like it. That's not a positive impression.

            So now, with the dual indicators, you have some sense of how the published info was taken by the readers in general. With the 1,000+ only post, you have no such sense. You just think "1,000 people liked this."

            There's the primary value.

            And one more thing: Trump or whoever uses this as a publishing platform, if the aggregate response visible to anyone who looks at it is negative, they will, I assure you, use it differently than they do when all tweets are treated as monophonic measures of sweetness and light. But regardless, it's the readers that are important here, because politicians affect them, and they deserve to have some sense of WTF is going on rather than nothing but a whitewashed + count.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @03:40AM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @03:40AM (#514656)

              What you're saying is contradicted by reality. There has been research [arxiv.org] indicating that downvoting sort of mechanisms have a paradoxically negative effect. It actually encourages further negative behavior and reciprocation. People do change their behavior - they start acting even more extreme and with even greater blase disregard for feedback.

              In any case Trump does not think his messages are well received by Twitter users. He's certainly looked at his comments and it's invariably nothing but people/bots who following him 24/7 just to get a chance to spam his next message with lots of inane memes and trolling. Again another major point here is that though many relevant figures use Twitter as a publishing platform, the actual users of Twitter are in no way representative of the real world. This is something Trump is certainly aware of as well. His messages (and those of people like e.g. Musk) get out to vastly more people than Twitter users, which is the reason for their usage of the platform. The views of Twitter users themselves are not relevant and I see little benefit in trying to magnify them, be they positive or negative. Again, I'd think a mutually acceptable compromise would be to push for removal of all negative and positive feedback. Let messages stand by themselves and let people actually communicate instead of seeing who can game a number the most.

              • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Wednesday May 24, @04:58AM (1 child)

                by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 24, @04:58AM (#514677) Homepage Journal

                People do change their behavior - they start acting even more extreme and with even greater blase disregard for feedback.

                That's precisely what is needed: the bad apples to expose themselves further, and for people to see it happen.

                Rather than a +1,000 all-is-roses echo chamber.

                And for those pols who are actually trying to do the right thing.... that'll work too.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @05:52PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @05:52PM (#514975)

                  Just because something is downvoted hardly means it or the person speaking is a "bad apple." Most social media sites trend towards becoming hiveminds and aggressively downvote anything that goes against their own biases, aggressively upvote anything that confirms them. The only behavior stronger than this is voting not for what is said, but who said it. Trump, for instance, could say the most benevolent, kind-hearted, optimistic message and would be met by thousands of downvotes. The same would be true of e.g. Obama, with biases reversed. Consequently all the voting system turns into is an informal poll of the biases of a site, and given Twitter's extreme detachment from reality I'm again not seeing any value no matter how you try to spin this. Perhaps it would be a nice idea on a site representative of the world, but we're so quick to try to chase away voices that we feel oppose us that everybody is self segregating themselves - no such site with a representative diversity of views really exists.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ikanreed on Tuesday May 23, @02:22PM (1 child)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday May 23, @02:22PM (#514257)

      Uh, trivializing and contributing to the sound-byte culture, mostly.

      You know, if I had to guess from his other projects, like medium.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @10:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @10:43PM (#514555)

        How does medium contribute to sound byte culture? There's some long reads on there.

    • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday May 23, @02:28PM (4 children)

      by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @02:28PM (#514260)

      My thoughts exactly. This is akin to gun manufactures apologizing for gun violence.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday May 23, @04:12PM (3 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday May 23, @04:12PM (#514343)

        Butbutbutbut tweets don't destroy nations, tweeters do! :v

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @04:32PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @04:32PM (#514354)

          Well, it's true. Twitter didn't force anybody to vote one way or another last November. Twitter itself also isn't a satisfactory scapegoat in my mind for the state of our culture such that a service like Twitter can sway elections.

          But I think I'm comfortable staying silent in the event of Twitter-control measures even if that runs counter to the First Amendment. Who knows, maybe the right to keep and bear tweets can be reinterpreted as a collective right.

          • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Tuesday May 23, @05:17PM (1 child)

            by quacking duck (1395) on Tuesday May 23, @05:17PM (#514386)

            But I think I'm comfortable staying silent in the event of Twitter-control measures even if that runs counter to the First Amendment

            Twitter is a private entity, and they aren't a regulated utility, so they aren't restricted by the first amendment.

            • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @08:23PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @08:23PM (#514508)

              Same AC here. Of course Twitter can control Twitter all it pleases. I clicked up the comment tree, and I see where I might have created confusion. Gun manufacturers are free to apologize all they want for gun violence, just like Twitter is apologizing here for... ¿tweet violence?.

              These Twitter-control measures would be exactly like gun control measures, enacted by the government, which is why I picked that wording. They would have to dance around the First Amendment the exact same way gun control measures have to dance around the Second Amendment (which in my personal view is an individual right but not to digress).

              Not only that, but if we're talking about a law to regulate Twitter specifically, that sounds a lot like a bill of attainder, which would be another no-no. So it'd have to be some kind of regulation directed at short message services With a Computer™ On the Internet™ (so as not to be confused with regular cellular Short Message Service).

              And of course the final disclaimer, where I enter dangerous territory by, er... not speaking up when they come for the twits. If I understand how the Illuminati or whoever do this thing, it'll be Trump in power until 2024 and then we'll get some D team person in power until 2032 who would presumably start the initiative for Twit Control Legislation. Afterwards, in 2040, if there hasn't been a violent and even-more-bloody-than-the-first second civil war, it'll be an R team person in power who will then be able to craft Twit Control Legislation of their own.

              But I'll be retiring then so I only have an extremely limited amount of fucks to give.

    • (Score: 1) by linkdude64 on Tuesday May 23, @06:47PM

      by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @06:47PM (#514456)

      He's sorry like White People are sorry for slavery - willing to destroy their freedoms, tax their business to the brink of outsourcing, and allow riots and other childish shows of force go regarded as "Peaceful" movements over it.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday May 23, @12:46PM (7 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @12:46PM (#514176)

    I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas,

    One can hardly call "information and ideas" something limited to 140 characters - yes, a tweet is an expression of something, but that something is rarely worthy of an expression. If you think this isn't remotely true, you deserve being governed by Trump - your thinking horizon is closer to a geometrical point.
    (do you remember that "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." saying? Actually, it's incomplete: there isn't just one, there are zillions of such simple answers)

    “If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry,” he said.

    Hammers have been used for centuries for a whole range of purposes. I can't remember any blacksmith apologizing for making a tool that was used for bad;

    “I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,

    Aside of "tweet == exchange information and ideas", the Internet has made the word a better place. In spite of it being "for porn" and for distribution of ads and a way for TLA spying on people.
    The "exchange information and ideas" is a good thing™ - one needs to look no further than S/N (grin) - just that thunking of tweeting as a mean to carry this exchange is, as any delusion, bad.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:40PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:40PM (#514227)

      Twitter is going to be replaced by Hollerith which is limited to 80 characters.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday May 23, @02:11PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @02:11PM (#514249)

        Mmm... you mean IBM cards - I might have a stack of them somewhere.

        Otherwise, the original Hollerith cards [wikipedia.org] weren't actually standardized and the number of rows/columns was application specific.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @05:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @05:48PM (#514419)

        Hopefully also in ALL CAPS ONLY. Would read.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hyperturtle on Tuesday May 23, @03:38PM (2 children)

      by Hyperturtle (2824) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @03:38PM (#514308)

      Interesting in that you chose a hammer as your example. Hammers cannot be applied to all things, as the arguments often end up being more complicated than how simple a nail is.

      Considering the hammer and any blacksmith's remorse or regrets for the application of hammers, I have read that the Nobel Peace Prize was selected as one of the prizes by Nobel, due to his misgivings about various inventions of his being used for warfare--as well as for productivity. It appears that he had his doubts about some of his inventions.

      Publically, he said no such thing--but did create the Peace Prize as one of the categories for reward. There has been no real reason provided as to why that category had been created amongst the others; the fact that his hammers had been used for things other than the common good may very well have been the motivating factors.

      It is not ill-conceived to believe that someone thought high-mindedly about their inventions or ideas, only to find what happens when people with somewhat different scruples come into contact with the idea and repurpose it for their own benefit. The inventor might have wished to have perhaps done things differently, if they only could.

      Regret is not a bad thing, but sometimes regret is misplaced. I think the real issue here is that not all people are the same and it is not realistic to expect that everyone will behave as a high-minded academic. Maybe if it wasn't for free, he'd have attracted only people that had something worth paying to read.

      However, it initially was created as a means to defeat SMS text messaging fees (or so I recall anyway--that was the rationalization at the time that I remember people saying), and so charging for it was out of the question. I am not sure why it was opened up for public access to read whatever wasn't marked private, but I guess the sharing economy has its drawbacks, especially since Twitter has not really found a way to be profitable from their mistakes.

      • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Tuesday May 23, @09:08PM

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Tuesday May 23, @09:08PM (#514522)

        Hammers cannot be applied to all things, as the arguments often end up being more complicated than how simple a nail is.

        It can be used for all repairs. One can take you very quickly from "this doesn't work and I don't know why" to "this doesn't work and we need a new one".

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday May 24, @11:56AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 24, @11:56AM (#514755)

        the fact that his hammers had been used for things other than the common good may very well have been the motivating factors.

        I oscillate quite a long time between Touche and Insightful.
        Thanks for giving me the reason for doing so.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday May 24, @01:49PM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday May 24, @01:49PM (#514804) Homepage
      > One can hardly call "information and ideas" something limited to 140 characters

      "Do unto others as you would have done unto you."

      "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."

      "The King is dead. Long live the Queen."

      "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in 5 minutes"

      Many insightful and informative things can be expressed in 140 characters or even way fewer.
      --
      I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:03PM (#514192)

    Hardy har har.

  • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Tuesday May 23, @01:11PM (2 children)

    by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @01:11PM (#514197) Homepage Journal

    “I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,” Williams told the Times. “I was wrong about that.”

    Keep in mind a lot of Trump's opposition is also united and communicating through Twitter and other internet-enabled communication.

    --
    ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday May 23, @01:32PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @01:32PM (#514213)

      The principle is sound

      Yeah, righto.
      Only that the application of this principle is... what... noise?

      (grin)

    • (Score: 2) by Arik on Tuesday May 23, @01:57PM

      by Arik (4543) on Tuesday May 23, @01:57PM (#514241)
      Keep in mind that tweeter has nothing whatsoever to do with people being able to speak freely and exchange information.

      That's the most risible and self-righteous pile of utter bullshit I've heard in some time.

      Tweeter is and has always been absolutely opposed to such things, just like all the other walled gardens parasites.
      --
      Friends dont let friend enable ecmascript.
  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday May 23, @01:33PM

    HA ha!

    --
    ( o Y o ) <---- Look, boobies!
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @01:36PM (#514221)

    Trolls - Already existed in IRL, just less visible.
    Cyberbullies - Already existed in the form of physical bullies, so FAIL.
    Live-streamed violence - Violence without streaming hurt as well, so FAIL.
    Fake news - Media concentration spewing rubbish unimpeded for decades are now toast, so FAIL.
    Trump - Tell people that they should let themselves be replaced and shamed. Without media censorship they will act. Maybe it would not happened without Twitter etc. Another way to avoid it is to be truthful and not try to screw people over.

    So electronic media enables some bad. But a lot of good too. If anything it enables people to crack through the bubble of local village zombies.

  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Tuesday May 23, @01:40PM (5 children)

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @01:40PM (#514228)

    What makes this guy's speech meaningful at all is the implicit idea that electors are idiotic sheep. True or false, does not matter. Obviously being surrounded by propaganda since you are born affects you.

    The solution is not to make sheep great again (nobody wants that among the non sheep, obviously), but to further control the propaganda fed to them.

    This guy's speech is no less dangerous than any dictator's ever.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday May 23, @02:06PM (3 children)

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday May 23, @02:06PM (#514248)

      I am pretty sure the belief that the public are sheep is a bipartisan idea

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @12:31AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @12:31AM (#514600)

        Folks in Rust Belt states really REALLY hated Hillary.
        The other thing that they saw on TeeVee was Trump.
        ...so they voted for Trump (who offered zero specifics, just empty slogans).

        Clearly, hose folks didn't look to see who else was on the ballot.
        ...so they overlooked a candidate who has a program [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [ontheissues.org] that is similar to one which had worked before when the nation/world was in a GIANT slump.

        I think that "sheep" pretty well covers it.

        bipartisan

        Thinking that your choices are binary is another form of sheep-like behavior.
        Congratulations for proving the point.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @03:49AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @03:49AM (#514659)

          Bwahaha! Folks over here in flyover country (yeah, I called the place I live "flyover country," alt-snowflakes!) voting for a.) a woman and b.) a leftist "elitist" from the eco hippy "feel bad because you're white" party? You tell some pretty good jokes!

          ...

          Yes, they are all sheep, baa go the sheep, you sexist dumbfuck sheep :(

          • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Thursday May 25, @03:01PM

            by nitehawk214 (1304) on Thursday May 25, @03:01PM (#515488)

            That's not the rust belt. Rust belt is Chicago->Baltimore. With the exception of WV and more recently Ohio, traditionally Democrat territory. The Democrats had to know they couldn't shove Clinton down their throats, but tried it anyhow. They figured PA and Michigan would roll over for them as usual.

            Do I think this will change anything? Not a bit. They are still pointing fingers instead of pointing the fingers at themselves.

            --
            "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 23, @02:40PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 23, @02:40PM (#514271)

      he wants to repair the damage he thinks Twitter and the broader Internet have wrought on society in the form of trolls, cyberbullies, live-streamed violence, fake news and — yes — Trump.
      “I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,” Williams told the Times. “I was wrong about that.”

      Sounds like they're taking a page from Reddit's playbook and deciding that free speech is a problem. To which I say, they can go fuck themselves.

      The answer to fake news is not to prevent it being published (which will rapidly snowball into censoring political viewpoints in general you don't like), it's to exercise your brain and not believe every goddamn thing you read!

      Doxxing and SWATing are problems that can already be legally handled, but otherwise people are a bunch of whiners quick to label anyone they don't like "trolls."

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by looorg on Tuesday May 23, @01:45PM (8 children)

    by looorg (578) on Tuesday May 23, @01:45PM (#514233)

    It's kind of interesting how all these outlets be them Facebook, Twitter or just "news" think that they somehow elected Trump to president. People elected Trump, they liked what he had to say -- or they hated what the other gal said. What he said could have been complete shit, largely that depends on your views of things but somehow they picked to vote for him over her anyway. Perhaps they felt he was right, or perhaps he appeared to be the lesser evil or perhaps a million other reasons why people pick one thing over another. Whatever it was that elected Trump. Not your shitty 140 character "social media". Did it help? Perhaps or probably, it could be worthwhile to investigate how many people that actually picked their leader based on communications outlet. It's one of those things that are rarely caught in polls - why people do things that they do. It's hard to formulate into easily asked questions and you usually frown upon having open ended box questions where people get to explain themselves and even if you do people don't usually like filling those in. Instead you have to generalize over other know variables such as race, gender, income, educations or your views of certain things. But the question usually remains in the end.

    Did Alexander Graham Bell or the Post office ever apologize about their inventions or service for them doing various things? I seriously doubt that. They (Twitter, Facebook, whatever) are just overestimating their own importance in the grand scheme of things.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 23, @01:57PM (3 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @01:57PM (#514242) Journal

      "It's kind of interesting how all these outlets . . . somehow elected Trump to president."

      Yep. Presumptuous, pretentious, egotistical assholes, aren't they?

      And, I'll bet their most pressing R&D projects now, involve swaying public opinion in time for the next election. You can bet both cheeks of your ass that lame-stream-media is doing exactly that.

      --
      This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @05:17PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @05:17PM (#514387)

        I used to have views opposite of yours, but now that you said "lamestream media", I've seen the error of my ways. All those dumb sheeple rooting for Obummer on lamestream media!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @10:07PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @10:07PM (#514545)

          Yep! Runaway convinced me with that comment, too! So now I am going to insist that Trump replace Pence with the true destined White Horse Prophecy Vice President of the United States of America: Sarah Palin! If we do not do this, those evil progressives will brainwash us all with there "learning" and "facts", "objective reality" and "science". Smug, arrogant elistist bastards! Runaway1956 for Secretary of Education!!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @07:56AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @07:56AM (#514718)

            Me, too! But for me it was more the part about "betting both cheeks of my ass". This seems to be a Runaway fetish of late, super effective! And much better than Eth's strange and bizarre obsession with the underarms of young female domesticated animals. Eeewww!

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @02:17PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @02:17PM (#514253)

      It's kind of interesting how all these outlets be them Facebook, Twitter or just "news" think that they somehow elected Trump to president.

      They were definitely filled with drivel like "orange one with small hands" or "he eats pizza with a fork", etc. It can't be good to have "your side" associated with stuff like that.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday May 23, @03:22PM (1 child)

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @03:22PM (#514298)

        Exactly, nothing fired up the voters like seeing newscasters cry on TV. Decades of having to listen to some pompous arrogant asses blathering, now their tears are like the sweetest champagne, and its all because of Trump, that guy must be awesome gotta vote for him, can't wait to see the next media POS freakout on TV. But hatred of the media, although extremely popular, is probably not mass movement sustainable.

        Some of the Trump win was weaponized arrogance. So trust in congress is at an all time low and hatred of "congress in general" is at an all time high. I know, we'll manipulate things such that the two D party candidates are both east coast legislators, because the american public hates them as a class more than at any time in history what could possibly go wrong with that choice? Then we'll get a bunch of arrogant congressmen like Paul Ryan etc to denounce Trump, because being arrogant they can't help but bellow. They just aren't thinking it thru that if 95% of the American public hates congress, then the face of congress saying they hate Trump, makes Trump an automatic folk hero...

        I mean, if I could get Paul Ryan and Hillary Clinton to denounce me, I (VLM) could win the presidency... The lesson is to weaponize your arrogant enemies who are hated by the general population. Seriously the D party playbook last election was like having Darth Vader stand up and say "please don't vote for Yoda" and then acting surprised when Yoda wins.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday May 23, @07:31PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @07:31PM (#514478) Journal

          They just aren't thinking it thru that if 95% of the American public hates congress, then the face of congress saying they hate Trump, makes Trump an automatic folk hero...

          Exactly. A couple of progressive buddies of mine were waxing all righteous last week about the prospect of impeaching Trump. They watch Rachel Maddow and hit refresh on DailyKos all day long. They were ecstatic at how the chatter there was spiraling into certainty that it was a done deal. "He has a historically low approval rating at 40%!" they crowed. I countered that the last poll on trust in the media was something like 25%, and that Congress's approval rating was bordering on single digits, so how did they think that was gonna work out for them?

          So your points are well taken. Many people hate Trump, but nearly everyone hates the media and Congress. If they're seen to take down the Whitehouse, about 100 days after the administration has gotten started, it will send a very different message to the public than they're expecting, and it will have a much different effect than they suppose. To me it seems like the branches conspiring to chop down the trunk because of its odious personality, when the fact is the trunk is what holds the whole tree up.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by sgleysti on Wednesday May 24, @02:41AM

      by sgleysti (56) on Wednesday May 24, @02:41AM (#514638)

      "People elected Trump"

      A minority of voters, but yes, I take your point. My gut reaction to the article was, "I blame the electorate."

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @02:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @02:34PM (#514267)

    Failing platform setup to limit censorship rails against success of ideological opponent despite deploying censorship against them.

    This ass-clown is giving himself too much credit. He thinks he is responsible for Trump being elected... He is destroying the narrative! Maybe he didn't get the memo from his Party, I thought it was the Russians!

  • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Tuesday May 23, @02:46PM (2 children)

    by Sulla (5173) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @02:46PM (#514279)

    Okay guys, looks like free speech was a mistake! Lets wait until we have a dem president and go full dictatorship so this can't happen again!

    Other than being an ass, what has Trump done that has been so bad? And what he has done bad, show me that any of the prior four presidents or major opposition candidates would not have done the same.

    1) He did bomb Syria, but he did not keep bombing Syria? So I guess he breaks from Clinton policy there.
    2) Killed TTP, radically different than everyone.
    3) Weapons sold to the Saudis. If selling to human rights violators is apples to apples, same as Obama who sold to Vietnam.
    4) Tariffs on Canadian softwoods. This is pretty interesting, wood prices will go up but my neck of the woods might actually be able to make a profit selling wood again, which will drastically help our local schools.
    5) Be a general ass. This is in excess of probably the past four presidents combined.
    6) Has made no "changes"/"progress" to health care, wall, most of his platform.
    7) Made some really bad hiring decisions. I personally would like to see Flynn with some prison time.
    8) Made Christie eat meatloaf
    9) Had two scoops of icecream
    10) Had his hand batted away by his wife
    11) Apparently has Alzheimers
    12) Is overweight
    13) Is orange

    We need to make sure to impeach him for the last 8-13 as that's how he is really destroying America.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @06:49PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @06:49PM (#514459)

      And what he has done bad, show me that any of the prior four presidents or major opposition candidates would not have done the same.

      So Trump is at least as much of an authoritarian scumbag as they are? Is that it? I don't see how that's much of a defense. Or were you not intending to defend him at all?

      • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Tuesday May 23, @07:57PM

        by Sulla (5173) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @07:57PM (#514494)

        I am happy everyone everywhere is bitching, I am mad they will shut up and stop caring as soon as Trump is gone but the government continues business as usual.

  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Tuesday May 23, @03:05PM

    by turgid (4318) on Tuesday May 23, @03:05PM (#514289) Journal

    Twitter is the medium of the soundbite. The information content of a Tweet is tiny. Obviously, it's a very inefficient medium. It is impossible to have any discussion of depth on Twitter. The result is a perpetual torrent of low value gibberings. And people love it!

    They say that people get the government they deserve.

    --
    Don't let Righty keep you down.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday May 23, @03:12PM (2 children)

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @03:12PM (#514294)

    Its not really a censorship story or even a politics story.

    Look, twitter has no viable business model and has known it for some time.

    The solution for the last couple years has been trying to buy into co-opt the legacy dying media. So lots of money has gone into inserting twitter and hashtags as a must-see component of reality TV, etc. Because if your ship is sinking, the best plan is to lash your ship to an even bigger sinking ship (LOL, they must be desperate).

    Now legacy dying media is dying at least partially because every survey shows its hyper partisian basically a propaganda outlet for the legacy dying democratic party. So D party membership is over 95% for legacy dying TV news infotainment journalists. Or almost all decision makers at the prime time production studios are D party members to a similar percentage. Those are basically single party industries. I mean there's more democrats working at gun manufacturers than republicans working in journalism or legacy media in general.

    The way the far left identifies itself isn't thru going to NRA gun shows like the right or sharing pepe memes on /pol/ or /r/the_donald/ in between the hired shills or listening to "the right stuff radio" podcasts, what the left does is signal their allegiance via the usual shared political bullshit. So twitter doesn't really give a F about Trump any more than my local TV weather girl does, but the cool kids know what to say to fit in, so you end up with meaningless chatter that signifies group allegiance.

    This is merely the verbal form of showing the alliance with dying legacy media, in the same way as seeing the hash tag flash on screen during an episode of "Survivor" or some televised sportsball game or similar at some talking-idiot-heads infotainment shows the same alliance.

    You gotta hand it to twitter for sticking to an alliance and doubling down. Or... is chaining themselves to sinking ships literally the best business plan they can hope for? Thats kinda dismal but might be true.

    I mean, OK, lets say tomorrow the relationship is over and they don't have to submit public oaths of fealty to the legacy media, the love affair is over. Twitters business plan will be to somehow align with or generate revenue from ... who exactly, if not the dying legacy media? If they were not kissing up to the propaganda arm of the democratic party national committee, they would kiss up to ... who? Would they dare to just outright work for and maybe merge with the DNC, that sounds kinda crazy. Maybe accept (foreign) government bribes to promote agendas (as if they don't, maybe that well is being pumped already as fast as it can)?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday May 23, @07:43PM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @07:43PM (#514488) Journal

      I had the same question when Twitter started getting a lot of press, because it was journalists and press junkies pushing it. When Ron Burgundy clones tell you something is a good idea, it's a good bet that it isn't.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 23, @10:34PM

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @10:34PM (#514550) Homepage

        Part of the reason that mainstream media gravitated towards Twitter is that it was a perfect fit for the average journalists' attention span. As in, your typical journalist has the curiosity of a cat and the attention span of a gnat. And this shows up in a lot of ways, not the least of which is that they're easily distracted by any stupid thing that comes their way while missing very important stories going on right out in the open if they ever bothered to look.

        --
        If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
  • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Tuesday May 23, @03:21PM

    by DECbot (832) on Tuesday May 23, @03:21PM (#514297) Journal

    Evan Williams should be ecstatic! Finally a good use case for Twitter that the marketing types can capitalize on. They should charge AP and other reporters to access and advertise the shit out of the political tweet streams. Here is a use case that actually shows that Twitter might be worth something, and they apologize for it. Yeah, the content is garbage, but so is broadcast TV and most of the internet. As a member of the board and a co-founder, he should finding a way to monetize his product like Google & Facebook, not spinning gears fretting about the political correctness of each of his users.

    Evan, make your platform better technically and make it self-sustainable without relying on investors for payroll and operating expenses.

    --
    cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
  • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Tuesday May 23, @03:23PM (7 children)

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Tuesday May 23, @03:23PM (#514299) Journal

    Imagine that you have hacked Trump's twitter account. You are sure that you cannot be traced. You have maybe an hour before they figure it out and regain control - perhaps longer if you can make your Tweets look convincingly Trump-like. You might even be able to make a few posts and then restore the account so that no-one would ever be able to prove that the account was hacked at the time. What would you post?

    *Disclaimer. Obviously the right and proper answer to the above question is "I would immediately inform the account's rightful owner that he had been hacked, hand over the login credentials, and then inform Twitter of the security hole that I exploited so that they might properly secure their systems. Sadly, this answer is also very boring. Treat this as what it is: A chance to have a laugh at a hypothetical situation.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @05:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @05:53PM (#514423)

      cock pics

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @06:58PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @06:58PM (#514461)

      Seth Rich had 95% survivable injuries, but corrupt DC police kept doctors from attending to him.

      Where is the police body cam video of Seth Rich? What are the cops trying to hide?

      Bernie looked coerced when he endorsed crooked Hillary. Did he fear ending up like Seth Rich?

      The culture that allows killing Seth Rich originates from the leadership, even if they are unaware of details.

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by aristarchus on Tuesday May 23, @10:19PM (2 children)

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday May 23, @10:19PM (#514547) Journal

        Well, it has come to this! https://xkcd.com/1022/ [xkcd.com] Sean Hannity posting on SoylentNews as an AC! Well, I never!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @02:18AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @02:18AM (#514626)

          These things always come in threes. First Bill, then Roger, and now Sean. Looks like Fox News has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams!

          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Wednesday May 24, @05:30PM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday May 24, @05:30PM (#514963) Journal

            And it seems that Twitter may be giving Sean Hannity an outlet for his self-destructive tendencies. From last nite:

            Liberal Fascism. Mmfa is targeting my advertisers to silence my voice. They hope to get me fired. Rush, O'Reilly, Beck, Imus, & now me.

                    — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 24, 2017

                    Why do they not go after @nbc hosts or @CNN hosts? Serious questions will now be raised on funding, tax status, and political agenda. https://t.co/CLODSzUotY [t.co]

                    — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 24, 2017

                    Why didn't they go after HBO Real Time? Colbert? Simple, MMFA only wants to silence conservatives. Who funds them? Who are political friends https://t.co/iEkj9i7xWl [t.co]

                    — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 24, 2017

                    Not giving up at all. I'm working harder than ever to get to the truth the family wants and deserves. Stay tuned. https://t.co/dVjWT6PZyh [t.co]

                    — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 24, 2017

                    How much $ total has Soros given to MMFA? https://t.co/ZZfbNW3z2d [t.co]

                    — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 24, 2017

            http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/hannity-rails-against-george-soros-and-liberal-fascism-in-epic-early-morning-twitter-meltdown/ [rawstory.com]

            Poor Sean! Just because you are paranoid, that does not mean, etc., etc. Of course, it also does not mean they are!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @07:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @07:07PM (#514468)

      The wall costs less than the yearly cost of illegal aliens. We could buy a new one every year and still save money.

      Mixed families, with both legal residents and illegal aliens, are welcome to leave together as families. We should help them do so.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday May 23, @07:46PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @07:46PM (#514491) Journal

      If I wanted to damage Trump, I'd tweet material making it seem like he was lampooning his supporters.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday May 23, @03:29PM (1 child)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @03:29PM (#514303) Homepage Journal

    Okay, let's turn this upside down, or on it's side or something...

    Did twitter help elect Trump because he was using it effectively, or did Hillary NOT get elected because she DIDN'T use it effectively?

    She had a huge budget (she even had most of Sanders budget!!!), but couldn't get the job done of passing on her message.

    Did he use it effectively, or did she NOT?

    Maybe the wooden lady (cardboard lady?) just COULD NOT get any message out that said "I am NOT a crook", and the Tangster effectively painted her as such.

    Don't blame Trump, don't blame Twitter.
    Sanders should have been the DNC leader... (Hillary loses, and immediately disappears LEAVING SANDERS TO LEAD THE PARTY AND MAKE APOLOGIES, ETC).

    Hillary was just a poor communicator and came off as fake, a crook and a bad leader. NOTHING. TO. DO. WITH. TWITTER.

    --
    --- I wish i had a cig for every sig i've ever had: i'd have cancer and wouldn't you feel bad for looking here. ---
    • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Wednesday May 24, @02:05AM

      by Sulla (5173) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 24, @02:05AM (#514623)

      While she herself might not have used it correctly, the Correct the Record PAC used it to great effectiveness. Both sides did more work trying to disenfranchise the other side than they did trying to win people to their own. I think in the end Trump did a little better because he didn't act entitled, but not by far.

  • (Score: 2) by nobu_the_bard on Tuesday May 23, @03:39PM

    by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Tuesday May 23, @03:39PM (#514309)

    Don't be sorry. It's not your fault people voted for him.

    He'd have just found another way. Facebook or Twitch or SnapChat or something. He'd have done it.

    It's unfortunate in some sense, for you, that Twitter is associated with him now... but don't be sorry.

    We all made it possible, together, for better or worse. I refuse to allow any one person to try to take the blame.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @03:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @03:58PM (#514332)

    Twitter is just a tool, or another service. How the people choose to use, abuse, or ignore it is up to them. I don't think they have anything to apologise for.

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by Grishnakh on Tuesday May 23, @04:12PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23, @04:12PM (#514345)

    They should be sorry, but being sorry isn't good enough. You need to back up your apology with real actions to properly atone for your mistake. And this mistake is a seriously grievous one. So for Twitter, the answer is that they need to simply shut down the service and dissolve the company. That's the only way they can properly atone for this mistake, and humanity will be much better off with them gone.

    After that, we can figure out how to get rid of Facebook.

  • (Score: 2) by pgc on Tuesday May 23, @05:44PM

    by pgc (1600) on Tuesday May 23, @05:44PM (#514416)

    People all over the world do exchange ideas and it is becoming a better world. Sorry for him that he had to find out that there is a difference in opinion about what a 'better world' is.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @07:42PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, @07:42PM (#514486)

    All these major characters in our information landscape and most seem to be sorry for not censoring more or manipulating information well enough to trick the populace into choosing the "right path" according to their beliefs. From the MSM to talk shows and Reddit and other places being twisted from the top. Their brand of sorry means not being treacherous enough, and for not producing a populace more in the dark.

    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Tuesday May 23, @09:12PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Tuesday May 23, @09:12PM (#514524)

      Their brand of sorry means not being treacherous enough, and for not producing a populace more in the dark.

      I think the sorry stems from uninformed people making decisions based on who presents the more exciting 140 character blurb or 10 second sound bite, instead of doing a little research into what it is they are actually making a decision about.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @04:48AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, @04:48AM (#514674)

    Clearly we need to censor trump and apologize because this is bad because we don't like him so we have to make sure we can censor people we don't like in the future because reasons!

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