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Close to giving up on Twitter


pl1

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Most human beings seem to want to be among people "like themselves" and some even want to gain power in an attempt to force other people to be like them.

So the Twitter and Facebook algorithms are just pattern-matching and pandering to this aspect of human nature.

Facebook knows very little about me. It doesn't even have real information (DOB, town, etc.) and the "wall" is filled with things that it suspects might be relevant, but in reality since I only follow three Italian people, comes up with bizarre things like "Do you know (person name)" in an ever-increasingly desperate attempt to try to get me to import my contacts, make friend requests and so on.

So it basically assumes that whatever those three people like, I will like.

Clearly I have some common interest with the three people I am "friends" with or follow and that is Italian music. However to suggest that I will automatically be interested in the same things as those people or share their views on anything in particular is flawed and so the "wall" is comprised of Italian people making puddings, daredevil stunts, random photos of people vaguely related to my interests and so on.

YouTube is actually quite good at building a matrix of music and does indeed play suggestions that I like. It's a great way to discover new music. But most people into, say, electronica, do not go looking for blues or rock intentionally. The interest is arguably more "tunnelled". Algorithms are good at this. But less good at more nuanced political pattern-matching especially when they don't have much to go on.

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1 hour ago, DTMark said:

YouTube is actually quite good at building a matrix of music and does indeed play suggestions that I like. It's a great way to discover new music. But most people into, say, electronica, do not go looking for blues or rock intentionally. The interest is arguably more "tunnelled". Algorithms are good at this. But less good at more nuanced political pattern-matching especially when they don't have much to go on.

I'm constantly telling YouTube's "recommendations" where to go. I've no desire for it to try to build up any picture of me, and I only sign into it to see if there's anything new on anything I've deliberately subscribed to (any Google cookies can go **** themselves, YouTube login session ones being the only ones I let through).

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I think forums etc have their place, and I have learnt a lot of interesting things from them and also had quite a lot of support from perfect strangers during difficult times. Alan Bennett wrote in his diaries that he once saw someone had written on a wall in a New York subway 'Pray for me'. A few days later someone had scrawled 'sure' under it. Forums are a bit like that, I find. Twitter not so much, if at all - it just strikes me as an echo chamber which is popular with journalists because it saves them having to telephone celebs for their opinions.  

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