Coder Myk Bilokonsky asked Twitter for things “that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos.” The answers came from all over, and they range from life-altering to useless. Some are cold hard facts, some expert analyses, some are unfounded opinions. Here are the most interesting, shocking, and informative.
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Twitter just announced that it is planning to free up usernames for inactive accounts. While that means that the coveted Twitter handle you’ve been eyeing might finally be yours, if you happen to grab it before anyone else, Twitter’s move comes with an unfortunate side effect: If someone you love is no longer around to use the service, their accounts might disappear, too.
A state-funded Russian propaganda agency is sowing discord in the U.S. through schmaltzy feel-good social media accounts, say researchers at Clemson University. These accounts, they claim, share clichéd “heartwarming” and “makes you think” content that sometimes goes viral. Then they slip in news that might be designed to “serve Russia’s interests in undermining Americans’ trust in our institutions.” And Americans like and share it.
Using two-factor authentication (2FA) is a smart, simple tactic to add a little extra data security in your life. For those unaware, 2FA is when you use a secondary authentication method—like code generator apps or Bluetooth keys—to validate your identity when logging into a website or app. There’s a similar version of the technology called two-step authentication (2SA), which sends authentication codes over text message or email, but this isn’t as secure as 2FA. In fact, it can be dangerous in certain circumstances.
If your Twitter feed keeps scrolling and jumping around for no reason, here’s how to fix it. Comms professional Evan Sutton points to the answer in Twitter’s settings menu. This works on both mobile and desktop.
Twitter’s new, extra-dark dark theme called “Lights Out” is finally available in the Twitter Android app. The feature first launched on iOS earlier this year. Unlike Twitter’s original dark mode (now called “Dim”) which changes the background and UI to dusky blueish-charcoal tones, Lights Out mode uses true blacks for a much darker aesthetic designed to reduce the power consumption on devices with OLED screens — though anyone can enable it, regardless of what kind of screen their Android smartphone or tablet has.
If you combine FOMO with aphasia, you get the feeling of going on Twitter or Reddit or Facebook, seeing everyone clearly talking about something, but not knowing what that thing is. You check the trending topics, but they’re just full of posts saying “Why is #EatMyBlempglorf trending!?” Here’s how to figure out what the hell is going on.
If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably heard about US Senator Mitt Romney’s secret Twitter account, in which he called himself “Pierre Delecto” and kept track of his kids as well as journalists, political associates and a handful of celebrities.
I confess, I love using Twitter lists. While it’s “easy” to just scroll through the regular ol’ feed on your Twitter app, this process annoys me for two main reasons: It always reverts back to “top Tweets” instead of a chronological feed, which is frustrating, and I keep seeing random promoted tweets in my feed. Meh.
A few years ago, Twitter replaced its chronological listing of replies to a tweet with “conversation ranking,” prioritising replies from people you follow and the author of the original tweet. In 2018, in a move to curb abuse, the ranking system began incorporating other factors like the number of accounts a user ha and their IP address.
Twitter is for yelling. I go on Twitter to yell, be yelled at, and to read slightly different takes and jokes about whatever we’re collectively yelling about that day. It’s not relaxing, but it is cathartic at times. In terms of Twitter-catharsis, nothing feels quite as good as the judiciously executed quote tweet.
Personally I love Twitter’s algorithmic timeline, but I know this makes me a cretin and a shill. The web toy Other Orders will take your timeline and re-sort it to your liking. You can get a chronological-order timeline; you can sort everyone’s tweets by the most likes or retweets, just to see the popular ones. Or let Other Orders analyse the text of these tweets and dig up the most apocalyptic, the most exclamatory, the most ashamed-sounding, the most “cop-like,” the most TED-talk-ish or the most goth.
Last week, news broke that Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s Twitter account had been compromised. On Saturday, his account tweeted roughly a dozen racist and offensive tweets over a 20-minute span. The reason? Hackers were able to gain access to his account through SIM hacking.
You do not have to be a capital-F Food Writer to write excellently about food, an enthusiasm for the subject and a way with words is enough. Case in point: bestselling author Chuck Wendig’s yearly heirloom apple reviews — a vastly entertaining and thoroughly educational romp through the world of apples.