Technology is at the center of both these stories, specifically the social media company Twitter. However, what I took away form both these articles wasn’t limited to the platform and its’s 140 characters (i guess it’s technically 280 characters now). These pieces made me think about the people behind the keyboard and in the case of the 2nd story, the people behind the bots who are behind the keyboard.
What I Read:
Apple “What’s a computer?” ad sparks anger | Business Insider – I might have subconsciously been looking for this article. During the past several weeks, I’ve seen this commercial over and over during the NFL playoffs. I get so annoyed every time the main actor delivers the punchline, “What’s a computer?” I know my girlfriend is irked by me bringing this up every time the commercial comes on. I just wanted to find other people that shared that same feeling. Having said that, this article is total click bait. The author just embedded a bunch of tweets and threw together a few paragraphs summarizing the hate against the commercial. I fell for it hard and now feel foolish about it. It reminded me how easy it is to validate your opinions on the internet.
The Follower Factory | NYTimes – Fascinating in-depth story about companies that create twitter bots for sale. These bots boost follower counts, retweet messages, and like tweets to help people create the illusion of internet popularity. Unlike the first piece I posted, this is absolutely not click bait and worth the read. The authors spent months researching and tracking down the people mentioned in this story. The feature reads like a digital true crime story; the main character is an investigator tracking down leads to find the mysterious company profiting off false social media influence.
What I Wrote:
Past Year Review 2017 | NineOverFour – This past week I wrote about how I used a Past Year Review to look back at last year and plan ahead for this coming year. In addition to that essay, I also started a draft of my 2018 goals but decided against moving forward with it, the post was just a rehash of something I wrote back in 2016. I felt that the PYR captured all I wanted to say about my plans for the coming year.