Has Twitter Changed?

 

When I was producing The Roth Effect, Carol Roth and I were both stumped by the reaction. Or should I say, lack of a reaction, to most of our shows. Here was a woman who was on television constantly and had a decent following on Twitter (160K+ followers) and yet the show languished just north of 3,000 downloads every week.

She tweeted about it, her guests tweeted about it, and nothing seemed to work. Occasionally though she would get a DM or reply to one of her Tweets and the gist of it was always the same, “You have a podcast? When did that start?”

Shadowbanning and throttling the distribution of Tweets based on keywords has long been suspected. Without the code that does it, it remains an unprovable charge. After Elon Musk fired several top executives last week, his team of software engineers went in and locked the system. He has 44 billion reasons for that, not the least of which is to see if Twitter’s former management misrepresented anything during the purchase period.

As for myself, I’m certainly not even a little fish in that pond. After a rapid period of growth, I plateaued at around 625 followers, give or take a few liberals who accidentally agreed with something I said and then bailed later as other opinions came in. But then something interesting happened.

Yesterday morning I was perusing Birdland as my coffee was brewing and scolded some leftist academic/journalist. By the time I checked this morning, some 24 hours later, it set me on my backside. Not anywhere near the definition of “viral,” but compared to what I was used to, surprising. One hundred sixty-one retweets, over 3K likes, and 20+ additional followers.

This is not a coincidence. I wrote Carol this morning and asked her if she was seeing the same thing. Not now, she said, but during key moments of the sale process, she would see engagement rise. Kind of wish I could start the show all over again on a level playing field.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    EJHill+: This is not a coincidence . I wrote Carol this morning and asked her if she was seeing the same thing. Not now, she said, but during key moments of the sale process she would see engagement rise. Kind of wish I could start the show all over again on a level playing field.

    Very interesting.

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Unless Musk reinstates Trump I don’t buy the hype.

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I did not join either Facebook or Twitter, due to the prevalence of vitriol aimed at conservatives.  I may change my mind on Twitter if Mr. Musk makes a difference.

    In my opinion, he should issue one hard-and-fast rule going forward.  He should declare that anyone issuing any kind of death threat on Twitter would be immediately banned from the site forever.  That should eliminate all the Islamist terrorist groups, and about half of the Left Mob.

    • #3
  4. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Carol Roth had been a regular guest on Glenn Beck – I really like her.  Let’s get to the bottom of this issue……

    • #4
  5. Barry Jones Thatcher
    Barry Jones
    @BarryJones

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Unless Musk reinstates Trump I don’t buy the hype.

    I thought I read somewhere that Trump said he wasn’t going back to Twitter…so does that make it a moot point? Can he reinstate someone who doesn’t want to be reinstated? Not trying to be a jerk, just curious…

    • #5
  6. TempTime Member
    TempTime
    @TempTime

    EJHill+: Kind of wish I could start the show all over again on a level playing field.

    If you find that level playing field, I vote “Yes”, go for it.

     

    • #6
  7. TempTime Member
    TempTime
    @TempTime

    For myself I had fewer than 100 followers; and truth be told I can remember posting maybe ten tweets — thus I was  microscopic in size,  but that did not stop someone from noticing the day I blocked tweets by K. Harris from appearing on my timeline/landing page.   I was not ever given a reason for the suspension until I appealed.  It took quite awhile but some months later I received an email that said the suspension would be permanent because I violated ‘the rules’. ???  No further details were provided.

    Only recently, I’ve heard that Twitter uses ‘third parties’ to do some of the moderating, watching, suspension decision making, etc.   Additionally, some ‘high-profile’ Users were allowed to employ their own team of Watchers.  The User’s Teams were give the same power as Twitter employees to manage, watch, suspend other Users.  

    Just rumors, hearsay, no proof — yet.  But if true, I guessing it was K.Harris’s fan club that did not like her tweets being blocked and awarded my forever suspension.  But who knows, back when it happened in 2020, the suspension actually felt more like a badge of honor than a punishment.

    • #7
  8. EJHill+ Podcaster
    EJHill+
    @EJHill

    Well, the big news of yesterday is that both Twitter and Facebook were giving back door tools to Homeland Security to allow them to flag posts for “disinformation,” and they used them to block stories such as Hunter’s laptop. In one email exchange a Microsoft executive told other tech leaders that they “needed to get comfortable with government.”

    Unless we stop it now we are going to get a CCP-style social credit system. When the money goes digital so goes your freedom.

    • #8
  9. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    EJ, I rejoined Twitter shortly after Elon Musk announced his intent to bring free speech to the platform. I made the effort as one tiny little expression of support for his plans, and resolved to remain there unless the sale fell through. Of course I’m delighted that he executed it successfully.

    Rob Long could well be correct in his assessment of the (un-)marketability of a free speech platform. I suspect he’s wrong, but I don’t know that. We’re in uncharted territory here: no one knows what’s going to happen.

    The world is better off with a free-speech Twitter platform. Failing that, the world is better off without Twitter at all: it’s never been a net positive, and only a robust free-speech policy will allow it to become a net positive.

    As for Twitter right now…

    In the past few days the smell of Blue Desperation has become intense. Every second or third post is by some blue-checked clown hyperventilating about the looming fascist takeover of America if Republicans win, and trying to convince his fellow wokerati to get out there and save the country they hate from the red wave rushing towards it.

    Oh, and self-righteously spouting his or her plans to leave Twitter now that Musk owns it. (I don’t believe more than a handful of people with 100K+ followers are going to give up that platform.)

    I’ve no idea if my own posts have been throttled. I’m assume they have been, at least until now, because I say heterodox things about climate and human sexuality and the Wuhan coronavirus. But Musk is moving quickly, and I’ll be interested to see if how the platform changes when the dust settles after the election.

    • #9
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Unless Musk reinstates Trump I don’t buy the hype.

    I thought I read somewhere that Trump said he wasn’t going back to Twitter…so does that make it a moot point? Can he reinstate someone who doesn’t want to be reinstated? Not trying to be a jerk, just curious…

    He should be offered it. he is a former President

    • #10
  11. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I heard that President Trump said he will not be going back to Twitter, because he has his own platform, Truth Social. I follow him there. 

    • #11
  12. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    So I just reviewed the Twitter feed, and it’s overwhelmingly crazed progressive tweets right now. I don’t know if that’s what everyone sees, but it’s what I see. It seems like every post is an unhinged attack by one or another crazy leftist — people like Bill Kristol (who appears to have gone completely around the bend and is calling for Democrat congressional victory) and the lesser-known nutjobs.

    I’m sure it will settle down in a week. The left is in full panic mode right now, and pulling out all the stops. And Twitter has long been a mostly-left platform, so I guess what I’m seeing makes sense.

    • #12
  13. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    We should be telling the progressives that if they don’t like what Musk is doing at Twitter, they should build their own platform.  He he he he he.

    • #13
  14. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    So I just reviewed the Twitter feed, and it’s overwhelmingly crazed progressive tweets right now. I don’t know if that’s what everyone sees, but it’s what I see.

    Pretty much only when someone I follow quote tweets the Commies into my time line.

    • #14
  15. AMD Texas Coolidge
    AMD Texas
    @DarinJohnson

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Rob Long could well be correct in his assessment of the (un-)marketability of a free speech platform. I suspect he’s wrong, but I don’t know that. We’re in uncharted territory here: no one knows what’s going to happen.

    I gotta say that I would place my bet on Elon in this over Rob based on track records of business success. This is no slight to Rob as he is very successful but not really in the same league as Elon.

    • #15
  16. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    AMD Texas (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Rob Long could well be correct in his assessment of the (un-)marketability of a free speech platform. I suspect he’s wrong, but I don’t know that. We’re in uncharted territory here: no one knows what’s going to happen.

    I gotta say that I would place my bet on Elon in this over Rob based on track records of business success. This is no slight to Rob as he is very successful but not really in the same league as Elon.

    Darin, I’m tempted to agree. On the other hand, Musk has probably launched more failed businesses than Rob. And Rob does seem to have done well in media, and is probably speaking from an informed position.

    I’m leaning toward Musk on this, though I admit that wishful thinking might play a part in my choice. As I said, we’re better off with no Twitter than we were with what we had, so this seems like a win-win situation from my perspective.

    • #16
  17. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    We should be telling the progressives that if they don’t like what Musk is doing at Twitter, they should build their own platform. He he he he he.

    They’d probably get a government grant. 

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    TempTime (View Comment):

    For myself I had fewer than 100 followers; and truth be told I can remember posting maybe ten tweets — thus I was microscopic in size, but that did not stop someone from noticing the day I blocked tweets by K. Harris from appearing on my timeline/landing page. I was not ever given a reason for the suspension until I appealed. It took quite awhile but some months later I received an email that said the suspension would be permanent because I violated ‘the rules’. ??? No further details were provided.

    Only recently, I’ve heard that Twitter uses ‘third parties’ to do some of the moderating, watching, suspension decision making, etc. Additionally, some ‘high-profile’ Users were allowed to employ their own team of Watchers. The User’s Teams were give the same power as Twitter employees to manage, watch, suspend other Users.

    Just rumors, hearsay, no proof — yet. But if true, I guessing it was K.Harris’s fan club that did not like her tweets being blocked and awarded my forever suspension. But who knows, back when it happened in 2020, the suspension actually felt more like a badge of honor than a punishment.

    Are you interested in going back?  I wonder how you could get some attention now from Team Musk?

    • #18
  19. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Rob Long could well be correct in his assessment of the (un-)marketability of a free speech platform. I suspect he’s wrong, but I don’t know that. We’re in uncharted territory here: no one knows what’s going to happen.

    Rob postulates that people don’t really want such a “town square” while ignoring the fact that it was never really POSSIBLE before.

    • #19
  20. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    In the past few days the smell of Blue Desperation has become intense. Every second or third post is by some blue-checked clown hyperventilating about the looming fascist takeover of America if Republicans win, and trying to convince his fellow wokerati to get out there and save the country they hate from the red wave rushing towards it.

    Do you think those clowns will continue to be blue-checked if it costs them $20/month?

    • #20
  21. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    AMD Texas (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Rob Long could well be correct in his assessment of the (un-)marketability of a free speech platform. I suspect he’s wrong, but I don’t know that. We’re in uncharted territory here: no one knows what’s going to happen.

    I gotta say that I would place my bet on Elon in this over Rob based on track records of business success. This is no slight to Rob as he is very successful but not really in the same league as Elon.

    Darin, I’m tempted to agree. On the other hand, Musk has probably launched more failed businesses than Rob. And Rob does seem to have done well in media, and is probably speaking from an informed position.

    I’m leaning toward Musk on this, though I admit that wishful thinking might play a part in my choice. As I said, we’re better off with no Twitter than we were with what we had, so this seems like a win-win situation from my perspective.

    My previous comment covers this, I think.  Rob is assuming something based on no facts or evidence, really.

    • #21
  22. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    What I find curious is that my feed has always abounded with inane malinformation from left and right. Mostly in the form of retweets, pointing out someone who’d decided to stick a Roman candle in their backside for all to admire. Made one wonder what Twitter did throttle or stifle; made one wonder how much of it was arbitrary, algorithmic, random, mistaken, or a rote bored response to a complaint. 

    Looks like I’ll give up my blue check, because I’m not going to pay eight dollars. It is hilarious to know that the badge will now be a sign of somehow who actually pays money to look important. 

    • #22
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    What I find curious is that my feed has always abounded with inane malinformation from left and right. Mostly in the form of retweets, pointing out someone who’d decided to stick a Roman candle in their backside for all to admire. Made one wonder what Twitter did throttle or stifle; made one wonder how much of it was arbitrary, algorithmic, random, mistaken, or a rote bored response to a complaint.

    Looks like I’ll give up my blue check, because I’m not going to pay eight dollars. It is hilarious to know that the badge will now be a sign of somehow who actually pays money to look important.

    That might be what it means for some people, but I expect more than a few will decide it’s important enough for others to know they’re hearing from @TheRealJamesLileks for example, not some (as a callback to Mitch Berg from days of NARN) @JimmyLillix or something.

    Is it only going to be $8/month?  Based on a recent Ricochet post by… someone… I thought it was going to be $20.

     

     

    • #23
  24. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Ah, here it is/was:

     

    https://ricochet.com/1331277/new-fees-coming-to-twitter/

    • #24
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