Should brands like Amazon attack their enemies on social media?

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It’s a truism in social media circles: brands should be more human. Of course, humans have a full range of emotions — they can be angry, not just nice or funny. Do we really want angry brands? Brands like Amazon that attack people on social media are going to find out they’re making a mistake. … Continued

An LAPD shooting makes a bid for the passive voice Hall of Fame

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The purpose of police Twitter accounts is to inform people about public safety. The purpose of passive voice is (often) to avoid responsibility. These don’t go together well. Today we examine how the Los Angeles Police used passives that twist the truth into bizarre shapes in describing police shootings. A correspondent brought to my attention … Continued

Jack Dorsey’s lame explanation for suspending Trump’s Twitter account

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Last week, Donald Trump’s Twitter feed disappeared. After seeing the violence in the Capitol, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey decided that Trump’s feed was inciting violence and removed it. But Dorsey’s tweets explaining the ban were meandering and confusing. Let’s take a look at what Dorsey tweeted . . . and what he could have said … Continued

This viral tweet about impeachment is full of lies

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A tweet from last week said that Trump, once impeached, would lose his pension, travel allowance, secret service protection, and ability to run again. It got 193,000 retweets. And it’s quite wrong. Here’s the tweet, the contents of which circulated widely, not just on Twitter, but on other social networks: To start, Trump was already … Continued

Deplatforming Trump

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In about a month, Trump will no longer be president. He’ll no longer have the “political leader” exception on social media — he’ll have to play by the same rules as everyone else. I’ll game out what’s likely to happen as social networks and others consider “deplatforming” the ex-president. How deplatforming works All technology companies … Continued

How the Fairness Doctrine should apply to social networks

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Simply put: social networks like Facebook are contributing to the polarization of American politics. The solution is not to break them up. The solution is to require them to expose members to a diversity of viewpoints. Why is America so divided? Why, even now, are there partisans so desperately afraid of Biden’s election that they … Continued

How to check whether you’re looking at a fake tweet

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If you see a screen capture of a tweet, you should immediately suspect its legitimacy. Here’s how to check if it’s fake or real. This is a real problem. A friend of mine, for example, posted this capture of a purported Trump tweet on her Facebook page (I added the orange “Fake” to the screen … Continued

Policing Trump’s (or anybody’s) tweets: the problem is context

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Donald Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots in California would lead to fraud. Twitter added a content warning on his tweets. If you think this is the start of Twitter fact-checking tweets, you’re wrong. It can’t. The problem is context. Let’s review what actually happened. Here’s what Trump tweeted: Twitter did something it rarely does: included … Continued