The follow-but-mute antipattern

by @edent | # # | 8 comments | Read ~247 times.
The Twitter logo drawn in circles.

I received a rather distraught DM from a Twitter friend last week. They were upset that I was following an account which did nothing but spew out racist bile all day long. Did this mean that I endorsed their hateful views. I was confused. I didn't recognise the specific account, and didn't recall seeing any…

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What I learned from reading *all* my old tweets

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~170 times.
A list of columns with Tweets in them.

Every so often, a celebrity is castigated over their "youthful indiscretions" i.e. racist Tweets they sent when they were a teenager. I don't think I've posted anything too horrific, but I wanted to check. I searched Twitter for a variety of slurs sent from my account - and all seemed clean. But... there's a lot…

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"Looks like I´m single again" Why can't Twitter deal with this spam?

by @edent | # # | 6 comments | Read ~769 times.
Montage of several accounts, all posting the same media.

Twitter has never really solved its spam problem. It is a constant irritation that ordinary people get booted off the service for minor infractions, while large spam rings go unpunished. For the past few months, some of my old tweets have been getting liked by random women. I'm sure you've see something similar. The idea…

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Howto: Remove Twitter's Trending Topics

by @edent | # | 2 comments | Read ~153 times.
Twitter settings page showing Tokyo.

Twitter's trending topics are... inflammatory. Probably deliberately so in order to drive engagement. It's a mix of "who shall we hate today" and lowest-common-denominator "celebrity" gossip. I hate it. There are various ways you can block content on the web - but they usually involve installing a plugin to your browser. Here's a simple hack…

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How to track down the original owners of stolen Twitter accounts

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~225 times.
The Twitter logo drawn in circles.

Recently, one of the accounts I follow on Twitter was hijacked. It was turned into a PS5 giveaway scam. The people who hijacked the account changed the name, avatar, and deleted all the previous Tweets. Here's how I found who the original owner was, and managed to contact them. A Twitter account has a screen…

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Minimum Viable Tweet to Semantic SVG

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~223 times.
The Twitter logo.

One of the problems with OEmbeds of Tweets is that they're heavy. Lots of JavaScript, tracking cookies, and other detritus. See this excellent post by Matt Hobbs looking at how to make your website faster by removing Twitter embeds and replacing them with images. Here's my attempt to turn a Tweet into a semantic SVG!…

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How to preserve deleted Tweets in WordPress?

by @edent | # # | 3 comments | Read ~120 times.
HTML code of an iFrame.

I like quoting people's Tweets in my blog posts. But, sometimes, people delete their Tweets. This blog post examines two questions. How to preserve Tweets in blog posts that they are still readable even after the user deletes them. Whether this is morally acceptable behaviour. Let's tackle the easy question first. Preserving Tweets Using the…

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Introducing - On This Day in Twistory

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments | Read ~300 times.
A list of columns with Tweets in them.

One of the things I loved about Facebook was its "On This Day" feature. There's something delightful about seeing what nonsense you were talking about on this day a decade ago. Twitter doesn't have anything like that. So I built it. Introducing - Twistory.ml Stick your @ name in, hit the big button, and you'll…

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Reflections on "30 Predictions for Twitter"

by @edent | # # # | 7 comments | Read ~177 times.
The Twitter logo drawn in circles.

It's always fun to look back at the predictions ancient man made about life in the future. 11 years ago today, Loïc Le Meur wrote 30 predictions for the future of Twitter (archive.org of the original). This is a non-snarky look at those predictions. Not to ridicule his ideas, but to understand the errors made…

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That Time I Accidentally Invented Twitter

by @edent | # # # # # | 6 comments | Read ~314 times.
A proposal to micro-blog via text.

A curio from the archives. Waaaaaay back in 2003, I was working at Vodafone on their graduate training scheme. One of their fancy new ideas was a crowd-sourced employee suggestion box for new business proposals. As an eager young grad I submitted dozens of ideas. Most of them were crap. But, as I looked back…

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