More Advice To Elon On Twitter

Five free-speech steps:

“These challenges are difficult but pale in comparison to reinventing space travel. The greatest asset that Musk brings to Twitter beyond a deep pocket and deep faith in free speech is his legendary creativity. He tends to focus on a horizon rather than the obstacles or opponents before him. Free speech remains a horizonal ideal but one that is attainable for someone with unflagging commitment and creativity. This could be the ultimate “moon shot” for Musk to bring free speech back to the Internet.”

19 thoughts on “More Advice To Elon On Twitter”

  1. The dipshit filter is a good idea. USENET newsgroup readers instituted that decades ago. The old problem is that it doesn’t work when applied to individual contributors because often they provoke responses from some of the vast majority of non-dipshits and so you get flooded anyway. It’s not sufficient to silo the person it needs to go to the level of content which requires some type of editorial tagging. That’s a full time job for a gazillion taggers. But something that might work is to silo based on tags put in by someone or a group of someones you trust. Tagged this content rehashes dipshit topic #3. Some people would even pay a subscription fee for this service. Be funny if that service ended up being an AI. I have my doubts but who knows? Gives one of Elon’s other businesses something useful to do.

      1. You do. Based on tags. Which could just be a totally objective summary of subject matter that you or somebody else puts on it that are either filtered or passed or prioritized. You pick. Or subjective i.e. “this is thread trending towards name calling” that a subscription tagging service puts on it for you to selectively filter as you see fit. Similar to the way GNUs scoring in Emacs worked with USENET News Threads. The problem with GNUs was it put all the work on you to score each thread. Here you could rely on a service to do it for you, assuming you trust the editorial judgement of the service. But that’s just limiting what YOU see. It has nothing to do with censoring content. All posts go out. How many see it is up to those doing the reading. If you missed something important you can reset your filter or go back and tag it with something that overrides your filters.

        1. See the links at the top of page that summarize every page here in this weblog. This is what I mean by objective tagging these pages by a set of content summaries. A subjective tag would be one you could add. To wit: Business, History, Law, Media Criticism, Political Commentary, Social Commentary, Space, Technology And Society +Contains commentary by dipshit ‘David Spain’

  2. Also.

    Sure, in the golden age of the internet, “Nazi guy” was there to torment “progressive gal,” and “own the libs” guy was there as well. In reality, “progressive gal” was mostly a silent minority online, so “Nazi guy” and “own the libs” did not have the convenient foils that make their internet personae possible. It turns out that “Nazi guy” and “own the libs” guy grow only in the salty tears of “progressive gal” online.

    Long story short: downvote button. Not sure about that but it’s The Z Man so a good read.

    1. But perhaps allow you to choose who’s down votes control what you see. Since people’s tastes vary. Also I might not want to go along with the down-voting ‘mob’ controlling what I can or cannot see. I can see how this could be abused. But letting me control who’s down-vote counts makes it a better experience for me assuming a trusted set of down-voters. Which is just another mechanism for moderation of content I mentioned above.

      1. Taki’s column is great, but it ignores something about present day online culture that makes the whole up/down voting thing less than ideal. Right now, being a scold or busybody is often rewarded with hundreds of up votes. But the greatest sin of all is being labeled a “troll”. Try making a comment on Arstechnica in the areas or green energy, climate change or Covid issues, with real facts and honest data. You will be set upon by the horde and even warned by the moderators not to troll the mob.

        In a way, it’s self-correcting as anyone with an ounce of curiosity and a brain will avoid such forums, and Ars can be regarded as a niche market for rabid loons (except, of course, for discussion about space issues). But this might not work so well for a Twitter or similar platform. They might have to wall off separate “rooms”, such as EU and UK woke-spaces to smooth things out. It might be like the classic SNL sketch about “The Bubble”. It’s like Brooklyn, but with a bubble.

        1. Agree, but you’ll notice he doesn’t have much to say about up-voting. He might not have intended it but I came away with the idea of down voting on its own. You’re correct of course on Ars and the senseless up vs. down and subtracting the second from the first for a total. But what if there wasn’t an “up”, just a “down”. I never really pondered that before.

    2. That except presumes that leftists are opposite nazis….. they’re not, never were. The biggest lie of the last 100 years.

  3. Wouldn’t it be interesting that in 10 years people become influential/famous NOT because of what they post on social media, but because of the number of people that follow their moderation?

    And what if that person is an AI? Does it get it’s own nightly cable TV show? Run like a quiz show, a moderator poses questions to the AI and it answers why it would or would not censor it…. Think the AI version of Dear Abby…

  4. You guys are funny. Happy Musk buys Twitter because of all the censorship and then come up with a bunch of suggestions on how to censor people without ever having learned a thing.

    1. My suggestions do not censor or suppress. Everything goes out. You pick what you want to see. If you want to see everything, filter nothing.

      1. Fair enough but this is like the billionth advice to Elon on how to be a better censor piece that I have seen along with another couple billion asking Elon for unbannings or whether or not he agrees with x thing Twitter is doing right now.

        My apologies if you felt singled out.

        1. No apology needed, just clarifying the record. USENET by its design for unmoderated groups was essentially uncensored and difficult to censor without disrupting it. So the onus fell upon the reader. Where it belongs. To this day I’m still not a big fan of web forums which all instances I’ve seen are moderated. A big step backwards IMHO.

          1. David Spain, your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

            I never thought of it this way, but as I think through it, the forums I stayed on the longest around trolls were those with “ignore” buttons for individual users. I didn’t care what nonsense the person spouted, rather than get sucked into retorting/correcting them all the time, I just clicked “ignore” and then I only saw their asshattery if someone quoted it in a response.

            So many forums nowadays don’t have this; they only have warnings and ban-hammers. And they’re usually wielded against anyone with a minority opinion, from what I’ve seen.

            If a troll is ignored long enough, they usually go away, or, as in the case of this method, they can go on blissfully unaware that nobody is even listening any more.

          2. David Spain, your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
            Well as soon as I start one I’ll let you know…. 🙂

  5. I just clicked “ignore” and then I only saw their asshattery if someone quoted it in a response.

    The “ignore” option needs to also ignore the responses. That way the people who reflexively respond to everything a troll posts won’t get their desired attention either, and would stop doing the troll a favor. (Although I do find some of the replies to be interesting or amusing, as long as they don’t devolve into an Argument Sketch parody.)

    In effect they would build their own little bubbles the rest of us can safely ignore.

    And while they’re at it, Musk can get the web jockeys to come up with a web interface that makes it clear who is responding to what. Seeing double or triple columns and postings consisting of mostly “@” everywhere, in a cropped screenshot image is confusing to the rest of us.

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