Twitter is bringing back the chronological timeline. The short-form social giant announced earlier today that it’s putting some of the power back into the hands of the user.
In a series of tweets starting with this one,
Twitter announcing return of chronological timeline
The social giant explained how “you see the most recent Tweets with the best Tweets you’re likely to care about, but we don’t always get this balance right.” They’ve since decided that the customer is always right, and have updated their settings so that you can uncheck the ‘Show the Best Tweets First’ option. Once you do, you’ll see tweets only from people you follow in reverse chronological order. The company has also said that in time to come, they will roll out a tool to allow the user to switch between both modes.
What’s the underlying thought here?
The psychology of the human being living in industry 4.0, or as industry leaders like to throw around, the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Rhett Jones’ thoughts on Gizmodo today, encapsulate some insight into the 4.0 brain.
Not everyone thinks about the algorithms that are driving their feeds all the time, but it’s constantly on my mind. So, it came as a shock that I’ve been trained to expect to see the most popular content all the time and have, in some form or another, come to crave it. So many of the problems facing social media companies are rooted in this dynamic. The algorithms are, above all, designed to serve up relevant ads to the user while rearranging the content that you came for with a secret digital sauce that’s designed to keep you as stimulated as possible and always coming back. Not only does this feed into the growing anxiety around psychological manipulation, but I have a strong belief that it contributes to what we post and how we post it.
What we post and how we post it?
Algorithms were designed to keep serving you the ‘best content’ based on your browsing and engagement habits. Unfortunately, the tools seems to magnify the most emotionally manipulative content because that’s where the engagement lies. A plethora of selfie taking, hate speeching, political bashing, porn revenging and cat obsessing posts, swallowed by Kim Kardashian’s obsession with her ‘painful selfie’ wrist’, is ruling the newsfeed.
The Selfie Assistant
The Algorithmic bias
The move by Twitter to bring back the chronological timeline feature put them in the driving seat of being removed from the painful suggestions which followed them and Facebook, for months about algorithmic bias; the accusation being that the big social giants are deliberately suppressing the viewpoints of one political ideology over another.
This move also happens in the midst of moves by other media giants and Governments to push for tighter controls on the social media market.
And in more regulatory news, Sharon White, Head of media regulator OfCom announced today, that the company is due to outline a potential system to regulate social media companies’ in-house complaints processes.
How is this all tied to the ‘brain 4.0’? Consumers are at the nerve centre of a social media’s platform offering. Our profiles contain the blueprints of what makes us who we are. Our ability to offer comment on everything to do with Donald Trump’s hair to the potential affair between your neighbour and the local barman down to whether Elon Musk has taken to Twitter, again; puts us in open territory for three slippery slopes which we gladly venture on daily.
- The ability for you to be prosecuted for what you say
- Feeding the algoithmic monster
- The constant creation of our digital identities
Control us against ourselves