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    Saw this comment and I couldn’t agree more:

    Twitter has repeatedly demonstrated that they are not a developer-friendly company and that you should never build anything on their APIs. Since day one, they’ve done nothing but crack down on 3rd party development and peel away access. They are the last company that should be trusted to develop an open standard.

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      That’s pretty weird considering ActivityPub exists already, it’s W3C spec, and there’s a huge federated ecosystem around with with services like Mastodon, Pleroma, Pixelfed, PerrTube, and Plume using it. Why is Twitter creating a new initiative here instead of federating with the existing one that’s already widely popular?

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        Why is Twitter creating a new initiative here instead of federating with the existing one that’s already widely popular?

        Because they want to control it, most likely. A lot of developers would flock at a federated twitter and ignore community-driven alternatives.

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          I wouldn’t hold my breath on developers flocking to an API developed by Twitter over community driven alternatives given the abysmal track record Twitter has in that space.

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          Like the other commenters said, the likely reason is that they want to make embrace the fediverse and indieweb stuff, then consume it all and gobble it up. Then they own it.

          I just wonder if this move would be primarily driven with a desire to stiffle competition, or they simply see a new potential source of “growth”. Somehow I don’t think “we believe twitter should be decentralized” is a top reason for them.

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            I have a hunch that even if they were to do that, they would be a (possibly intentionally) worse implementation than Mastodon.

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              They have explained that their objective is to create a team that will focus on adopting an existing project that fits their own standards, or, in case none exists, create their own.

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                And that’s pretty weird. They should federate with the existing standard.

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                  They’re not interested in actually creating a functional federated system; they’re interested in Investor Storytime and creating some buzz. That should have been obvious as soon as they mentioned the word “blockchain”.

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                    That would be ideal, but It won’t happen. Just an example: Twitter requires a ton of information just for ads that they cant get if start federatinng.

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                    I can pretty much guarantee that this is going to be the end result here.

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                    ActivityPub is missing critical features like e2e cryptography and censorship resistance. It is not a very good protocol. I hope Twitter builds something better.

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                      It’s perfectly possible to implement those things on top of ActivityPub. And I trust a community driven protocol with a proven federation around it far more than something built by Twitter.

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                    As far as I can tell, twitter hasn’t reached out to anyone involved in the fediverse. Can’t say about diaspora.

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                      Second, the value of social media is shifting away from content hosting and removal, and towards recommendation algorithms directing one’s attention. Unfortunately, these algorithms are typically proprietary, and one can’t choose or build alternatives. Yet.

                      For me, the main issue is having an algorithm directing my attention in the first place.

                      centralized enforcement of global policy to address abuse and misleading information is unlikely to scale over the long-term without placing far too much burden on people.

                      Glad to finally read it from the Twitter’s CEO.

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                        For me, the main issue is having an algorithm directing my attention in the first place.

                        While I agree in terms of most current algorithms on offer, I don’t agree with this as a general principle.

                        A search engine and a spam filter are both algorithms that direct your attention, helping you focus on the things you want to and avoid irrelevant information. The issue is when people with other agendas get in between you and your algorithm. Search engines and spam filters can be corrupted for advertising/propaganda/manipulation just like any recommendation algorithm but without them we would be much worse off. If the algorithm is open, transparent and user customisable then I am all for it and want more.

                        There is too much data in the world and life is short.

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                          I separate between “hard filters” like spam blocking, and a system that decides to hide me some content of a user I decided to follow, instead of showing everything.

                          There is too much data in the world and life is short.

                          True, but for social media, I prefer to follow fewer people and interact more, so it’s perfectly compatible with a strictly chronological timeline.

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                            THIS IS WISE

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                            Agreed; I really hate the way people use “algorithm” to specifically mean “an opaque algorithm outside my control that changes unpredictably”; it’s really unhelpful.

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                              I didn’t say, nor mean, in any moment, that an algorithm is something opaque outside of my control. If you thought so that’s your problem.

                              I don’t want an algorithm re-ordering or hiding the posts from the people I choose to follow. I don’t care if it’s opaque or free software.

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                                It appears many people do want these recommendation algorithms though. If I’m understanding correctly, companies like Twitter and Facebook added them, and then measured user engagement. User engagement went up, and the algorithm was shown to be effective. While there are some vocal opponents of these new recommendation based feeds, the reality is that large companies wouldn’t keep them around if they didn’t increase the time users spend on the site overall.

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                                  In my personal opinion, spending more time on the platform doesn’t mean it’s good for the users. Only for Twitter, because they can sell more advertising.

                                  Maybe it’s more time spent because you are dealing with some random idiot that called you nazi or something like that.

                                  And if large companies want to keep the algorithm, I don’t care, I won’t use that, as I want strictly chronological timeline.

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                                    I’m not sure I agree that many people want these algorithms. They have generally been made the default, and sometimes only, choice with the alternative options hidden out of sight (or in Twitter’s case: randomly switching back to the default). Most people just don’t care at some point and just give up.

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                                    I don’t want an algorithm re-ordering or hiding the posts from the people I choose to follow. I don’t care if it’s opaque or free software.

                                    Ah, but that’s different; at first you said you didn’t want an algorithm, now you said you don’t want algorithmic re-ordering. But sorting the posts chronologically in the first place is an algorithm. So is using your follower list to determine whether a given post should be included in your timeline.

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                                      Facepalm. But actually this makes utter concrete sense.

                                      But still, I think the issue is in where sirikon determines the algorithm is directing attention … I feel like the definition of algorithm is a side quest here because the question of attention-direction is more profound.

                                      The opacity of the hypothetical evil algorithm (some call this opacity “proprietary,” but I think people around here attribute to unfree software qualities that are illusory and/or misdirected anger at unrelated evils) is the source of the mysterious redirection of attention, but I think it is pretty clear if considered thoughtfully that the question of what directs attention is completely vexed, totally bonkers, and irreducible to quibbling, mathematical, verbal, or otherwise.

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                                    Not too different from how people use people to indicate generic people who aren’t the people to whom they’re talking but share certain negative characteristics, nor terribly different from how people use calculus to describe all reason as in “it was not a part of McBlergh’s calculus” (it did not “factor in” to McBlergh’s decision making). Curious: What helpful substitutes you can imagine? I admit this could seem to be an incredibly unfair question, unless you admit that you can see that I see that you’re getting at a clear and definite point, which is that “algorithm” is supposed to mean “mathematical proposition” or similar, not “mathematical proposition of evil.” But I am curious. I think it’s fair, if you think about it from other perspectives than highfalutin’ math-lovingness, although I suppose descriptivism is ultimately for the hoi polloi….

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                                As others pointed out, in various forms

                                This could well be the case of business strategy called EEE (Embrace, Extend and Extinguish) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace%2C_extend_and_extinguish

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                                  I think what’s happening with this is that they maybe whiteboarded the possible regulation scenarios. One would have been “mandated to support an open protocol”. So what they’re really doing is hedging against that scenario with a small dev team, diverting a tiny amount of resources to it. If they’re later regulated to support a protocol then Jack probably figures that things will work out best for him if he’s the one defining the protocol, or at least he will have something prepared to recommend during negotiations.

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                                      The only issue I see with this is that whoever controls the infrastructure will de-facto make the rules. Decentralization is great except it tends to only break kingdoms into fiefdoms.

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                                        Don’t you mean stars into planets? #urbit

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                                        Except for spam, the USENET model was quite good—let the end user filter out the stuff they don’t want to see (killfiles). And I still like the idea alt.hackers had—it was a moderated group, but with no moderator. It acted as a good filter.

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                                          Have any reading material? Curious

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                                            Most end users would like their service to also filter unwanted content for them so that they don’t personally have to do it. See also: gmail.

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                                            I see a lot of negative reaction here, but why is it assumed this will be negative and bad? What is the algorithm? Jk I mean logic

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                                              I think it’s because of how Twitter has treated third-party developers in the past when they closed down their APIs.

                                              Also because a lot of people, including me, think that they’re not really honest about what they want to achieve.

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                                                This is about the shutting down of the “Firehose” tweet-stream, where universal access gave way to Enterprise-only clients of DataMinr, correct?

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                                                  That’s only one example out of many; the most troubling one is how they started crippling 3rd-party clients to force everyone to use their own universally-reviled one. There are loads more tho.

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                                              I wonder if one of the possible directions for this is to spin off “mini-twitters”, kind of like you can use medium or other similar things on your domain, or in your company. The other bigger players mostly have something similar, twitter (to the best of my knowledge) doesn’t.