Doomscrolling at Scale

Michael Lopp, writing at his site Rands in Repose, had an interesting experience with real-time news. He was trying to follow the storming of the Capitol via Twitter and quickly learned a valuable lesson about the social media platform.

As it became clear the domestic terrorists were breaching the Capitol, I was glued to Tweetbot, my favorite Twitter client, looking for the latest developments. Years ago, Twitter put limits on their API, effectively lobotomizing third party clients. This meant within Tweetbot, I had to sit and wait for slow manual refreshes of the latest tweets on the insurrection. And there were a lot of tweets. It was a rapidly developing, incredibly well-documented event, and it was clear I was missing content as I sat there glued to Tweetbot waiting for my horrifically slow insurrection updates.

The obvious answer was to move either Twitter’s mobile client or move to their website. As I was at my desktop during this failed coup, I moved to Twitter’s website and remembered what I learned years ago: their website is hot garbage.

I smiled when I got to that section of his post because I thought, If he’d just switch to Tweetdeck, he’d be much happier.” Lo and behold that’s exactly what he did.

The revelation was upon him and he went on to explain what he did and how he’s using the platform now.

My doomscrolling has calmed since the inauguration. Nothing is fixed, but we are heading in the right direction. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve noticed the tone has been uncharacteristically political. That’s not changing. One of the many lessons I’ve learned over the past four years is the seductive power of lies. I’ll be using every tool at my disposal to remind everyone of the power of the truth.

You’ve been warned.

Haven’t we all.

January 26, 2021


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