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Why is Twitter always trying to scare people?

floozy

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Basically what the title says. I know it's my own fault for going on there but given such a large percentage of the population uses it, some as their only source of news, it's really telling of the new media strategy. I feel like every mainstream news source has been going full FUD for decades, but Twitter is so blatant with it that it almost feels like satire. Here's what's in the news now. Marburg virus. An "outbreak" of 2 cases in Ghana. Why is this anything to report on? I'm fully aware that we may be looking at future pandemics, but the sense of urgency and fear here is so real. What is up with this?
 

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Green Tea Ice Cream
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On services like Twitter, the users are the product. Twitter wants to sell advertising and to collect data on their users to sell to advertisers. It's pretty straightforward. The best way to maximize both data collection and ad views is to keep users glued to Twitter. Constantly promoting fear and anxiety keeps users checking back or scrolling to get the latest information. This isn't particularly new or surprising. This is also why services like Twitter are constantly extended to become one stop shops for everything. The goal is just to keep you on Twitter, all the time, and maybe even make you a little scared to do anything else.
 
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Andy Kaufman

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On services like Twitter, the users are the product. Twitter wants to sell advertising and to collect data on their users to sell to advertisers. It's pretty straightforward. The best way to maximize both data collection and ad views is to keep users glued to Twitter. Constantly promoting fear and anxiety keeps users checking back or scrolling to get the latest information. This isn't particularly new or surprising. This is also why services like Twitter are constantly extended to become one stop shops for everything. The goal is just to keep you on Twitter, all the time, and maybe even make you a little scared to do anything else.
this.
Controversial topics get the most engagement. That's it. That's why many online and before that offline newspapers also need to rely on outrage, shock and fear.
 
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bnuungus

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that's why you should only use twitter for the purpose of shitposting. I have an account there that all I do with is send the same picture with varying captions that are so specifically non-relevant to anyone that no one will ever find it naturally. I don't know why I do this but I gain a weird sense of satisfaction from it.
 
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Andy Kaufman

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that's why you should only use twitter for the purpose of shitposting. I have an account there that all I do with is send the same picture with varying captions that are so specifically non-relevant to anyone that no one will ever find it naturally. I don't know why I do this but I gain a weird sense of satisfaction from it.
I used it for a few months and found that of you only allow to show organic content then it's fine:
use ublock to block out the trends on the right hand side and set your timeline to show tweets chronologically, then follow people who post stuff you actually want to see like artists or whatever and then form friendships with mutuals.

Then you only see what you want to see from people you explicitly followed. no algorithm is trying to piss you off anymore. That's how I made my stay pretty bearable and even got 3 people I'm still on contact with via mail after I deleted my account.

Here I have give credit to twitter because they at least let you order your timeline by date and not by what the algorithm thinks you wanna see (i.e. what twitter wants you to see). IIRC Facebook one day just switched from chronological to algorithm with no option to turn it back.

As long as users can choose to ignore the shitty algorithm and recommendations it's still easy to find a good community.
Here I have to mention YouTube. Back when you subscribed and got the videos listed as they were uploaded by the order your followed channels everything was fine.
Now YouTube tried to push the homepage and Yt-shorts really hard and subscription notifications are undeniably broken.
 
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bnuungus

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I used it for a few months and found that of you only allow to show organic content then it's fine:
use ublock to block out the trends on the right hand side and set your timeline to show tweets chronologically, then follow people who post stuff you actually want to see like artists or whatever and then form friendships with mutuals.

Then you only see what you want to see from people you explicitly followed. no algorithm is trying to piss you off anymore. That's how I made my stay pretty bearable and even got 3 people I'm still on contact with via mail after I deleted my account.
bold of you to assume I actually want to receive content from twitter in any way
 
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SolidStateSurvivor

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Because Twitter is the greatest vessel of propaganda ever devised, and a fearful population is a complacent population.

fc8.jpg


The best way to maximize both data collection and ad views is to keep users glued to Twitter. Constantly promoting fear and anxiety keeps users checking back or scrolling to get the latest information.
Don't forget hatred. The rhetoric on that site is foul and mostly one sided given the selective enforcement of rules.
 
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Xovi

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im not an expert at virology, and only have a basic high school understanding. but viruses that are more lethal, they dont tend to spread a lot, because the host is dead. Why do people abandon reason? Corona was not a lethal virus, hence the spread it had, and people still freaked out. Fuck the world government and the media for causing hysteria. I wish no one abandoned what they learned because they heard someone cry wolf.
 
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koteirl

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im not an expert at virology, and only have a basic high school understanding. but viruses that are more lethal, they dont tend to spread a lot, because the host is dead. Why do people abandon reason? Corona was not a lethal virus, hence the spread it had, and people still freaked out. Fuck the world government and the media for causing hysteria. I wish no one abandoned what they learned because they heard someone cry wolf.
I'm a biomedical science student so no where near an expert either, but yeah you are more or less correct. The problem with corona is that it causes long term problems and is quite dangerous for those with pre-existing conditions. A smarter move than global lockdowns and fearmongering would have been to promote healthy living, exercise, less processed foods etc. The propaganda caused so much fear but it eventually wore off for most of us when people realised that it's only as dangerous as they say in certain conditions (i.e if you're immunocompromised). I think that the governments are clinging on to new viruses and reasons to keep us scared as a means of controlling the populations.
 

Taleisin

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Taleisin

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I'm a biomedical science student so no where near an expert either, but yeah you are more or less correct. The problem with corona is that it causes long term problems and is quite dangerous for those with pre-existing conditions. A smarter move than global lockdowns and fearmongering would have been to promote healthy living, exercise, less processed foods etc. The propaganda caused so much fear but it eventually wore off for most of us when people realised that it's only as dangerous as they say in certain conditions (i.e if you're immunocompromised). I think that the governments are clinging on to new viruses and reasons to keep us scared as a means of controlling the populations.
You two are correct as far as I know, my expertise level being a second year module on cellular physiology that covered viruses haha.
 
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Don't forget hatred. The rhetoric on that site is foul and mostly one sided given the selective enforcement of rules.
Frankly, Twitter doesn't care what you feel as long as that feeling makes you stay on Twitter. The worst thing that could happen is for you to say, "I don't think I need this Twitter thing. It doesn't do anything I couldn't do with a blog and an email address." The goal is purely lock-in. If they had the resources you would use a special Twitter device, built by Twitter, to access a special Twitter application that was your portal to everything. In Twitter's perfect world, you would buy groceries through Twitter, go to school through Twitter, get married through Twitter, and die on Twitter. I think it's less malicious than people would like to believe. They just want that data.

On the topic of selective enforcement, I think that's also about data rather than cleverly manipulating people. The biggest Twitter power users are mostly media types and addicts who lean hard left on almost all issues. I couldn't tell you why this is except to reiterate points I've made in other threads about most people being computer illiterate. Regardless of the reason, I think Twitter wants to keep these whales around because it looks good for investors (if you read some of their investment material you can see they talk constantly about monetizable daily active users or mDAU). When you've got people who Tweet several hundred times per day it's really easy to show off how engaged your users are. Naturally, the result is that they ban people who make the whales too upset or too uncomfortable.
 
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bnuungus

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On the topic of selective enforcement, I think that's also about data rather than cleverly manipulating people. The biggest Twitter power users are mostly media types and addicts who lean hard left on almost all issues. I couldn't tell you why this is except to reiterate points I've made in other threads about most people being computer illiterate. Regardless of the reason, I think Twitter wants to keep these whales around because it looks good for investors (if you read some of their investment material you can see they talk constantly about monetizable daily active users or mDAU). When you've got people who Tweet several hundred times per day it's really easy to show off how engaged your users are. Naturally, the result is that they ban people who make the whales too upset or too uncomfortable.
This actually makes a lot of sense. Because the hardcore independent libs are the most profitable they ban those who disagree with them so the money pool goes away. As to why many people who are terminally on twitter tend to be that way I would say it's because of the extreme character limit. In-depth debate of any sort is impossible on the platform because there's literally not enough space to convey ideas properly. Out of the two parties the dems definitely have a flashier sound-bite style of arguments so it makes sense that political takes would lean left given that the site is geared to be quick and flashy. People who disagree with those takes get annoyed and either leave Twitter, go off to their own closed loop of twitter where they can find like-minded individuals, or try to fight the sound bites with sound bites of their own where they royally fail, get banned, and fuel the fire for more sound bites from the left.

Dear Lord I really hate how people engage in politics nowadays. Writing this out has made me re-realize that. Fuck the dual party system of America
 
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Vetusomaru

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This is why I added Firefox addons that block twitter shit like twitter news and only show me the uploads from twitter accounts I follow (and not crap like the retweets from other accounts).
 

Voicedrew

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This is why I added Firefox addons that block twitter shit like twitter news and only show me the uploads from twitter accounts I follow (and not crap like the retweets from other accounts).
I have the same extension. It is shocking how anyone can tolerate the use of those platforms.

Speech with no discussion.
Fear with no threat.
Relationships with no connection.

Utterly meaningless drivel. I'm glad to be free.
 
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bnuungus

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Unfortunately same shit is a thing at traditional forums too, including this one.
"oh, haha, I am superior to everyone else here"

Yeah like you aren't the very reason why threads turn to shit. Literally even the threads you make spiral to different topics because people don't want to engage in the unfathomably inane discussions you try to start. You complain about the forum being shit? Then look no further than yourself. Who would've thought that posting ragebait would lead to terrible discussion? Who would've thought that barely thought out takes would lead to terrible debates? Clearly not you. If you want a "cool-people-only" club then find a different site. Can't find one? Make your own then. Stop being such a child, complaining about things they can't control when you can literally go make whatever sort of online space you want. You hate the site? Idgaf man, then leave. Instead of being a bitch, do something about what annoys you instead of whining to a crowd that doesn't care about your opinions.
 
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Rams969

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Basically what the title says. I know it's my own fault for going on there but given such a large percentage of the population uses it, some as their only source of news, it's really telling of the new media strategy. I feel like every mainstream news source has been going full FUD for decades, but Twitter is so blatant with it that it almost feels like satire. Here's what's in the news now. Marburg virus. An "outbreak" of 2 cases in Ghana. Why is this anything to report on? I'm fully aware that we may be looking at future pandemics, but the sense of urgency and fear here is so real. What is up with this?
This is nothing new, all propaganda in history did the same tricks before (remember the Maine) and Twitter is just a new version of it but bigger. Fear sells and gives money to newsites trough ads, but do not think this is purely done for economic reasons, a fearful population is very easy to manipulate and control. They create artificial problems and scare people with them, those people will demand quick and blunt solutions to the made up problems, then the ones on top will create their "solutions" that give them further advantage.
Remember that even in our civilizated world we are still easily scared animals that value their feelings over any reason, our leaders know this and will use it to further their goals.

World98.jpg

800px-Remember_the_Maine!_And_Don't_Forget_the_Starving_Cubans!_-_Victor_Gillam.jpg
 
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ArsMoriendi

The great things about scaring someone shitless about certain things are:

1. They will give their undivided attention to you if you promise to keep them in the loop about that thing, even if they themselves can't do a damn thing about it, and learning more about the thing will only make them mentally worse.

2. They are far easier to steer in whatever direction you would like out of blind panic [short-term] and anxious fatigue [long-term].

This is my take on Twitter's business model. Bear in mind that my tinfoil hat collection is pretty impressive.
 

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