avatarBette A. Ludwig 🔍 PhD

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From Medium to Twitter’s X: What the Hell Is Going On with These Online Platforms?

Disruption, chaos, and algorithmic crazy-making is now the norm

Image by Yes Studio from Vecteezy

I’m about ready to go full-on monk mode and end my relationships with all social media platforms if they keep repeating the same nonsense I experienced today.

First up, Medium

I recently published, The Reasons Love Ties Your Stomach in Knots and Breaks Your Heart, and saw it getting some traction early on. I had some reads and quite a few clappers. When I drilled down, my read ratio was a dismal 33%.

I looked further at the stats to see only two of the four reads registered.

Seriously WTF?

Next, I looked at all the clappers, which were about nine in total. I decided to investigate to see if I had become the latest victim of another clap and run. The first three accounts I pulled up looked incredibly suspicious.

All three profiles had non-human photos. One account was following about 10k people with almost 7k themselves. Another account had under 1k followers, but their publications screamed all ChatGPT writing. The last one was about Bitcoin, which I am not interested in.

Plus, the articles looked like they were AI-written as well.

Now, I’m irritated very early in the morning. I jump out of bed and onto my computer to email the help desk regarding my wacky, inaccurate stats, which Susie Kearley has reported on before in one of her publications about payment glitches.

Next, I block and report all three accounts.

Later in the day, I looked up the individuals I reported, and guess what? All stories were gone, deleted. The background still existed with the About page containing emails, but the publication page stated this account has yet to write any stories.

Unfortunately, the fun wasn’t over for the day.

I checked my notifications to find a new follower. I found articles trying to sell supplements when I clicked on their name. The next one I pulled up had some Viagra-like pills they were selling. This fool was just getting started because they only followed eight people.

I’m sure you can guess what I did next.

Now comes X and the triple-rated porn posts

Finally, it’s time to tweet on Twitter. Yes, I know it’s post on X, but I can’t bring myself to accept the monumental failure of a rebrand. Anyway, I checked my feed and saw someone hearted a post.

I click on her profile and get a gigantic view on my 17-inch computer screen of Edith’s naked lady bits.

Now, I am no prude, but my eyes started burning. Once again, I sent a report to Elon about another pornographic account. This isn’t the first, second, or even third one of these I have received in the past few weeks.

Apparently, the rebrand to X was meant to provide us with the rating of the X-rated platform, and we should start expecting those as part of our daily feed.

Nothing about my profile, picture, or posts generally about email copywriting gives any vibes saying, “Welcome, wannabe porno stars, hit me up.”

Now Comes Google

Disappointment doesn’t even begin to describe the latest Google algorithm changes. I realize the newer generations appreciate the viewpoints of their peers. I understand the value in that as I read reviews before buying most anything.

There is, however, a big difference when trying to understand what my peers think of a new sweeper I’m thinking about buying versus health, technology, or educational facts, for example. In many cases, expert opinions, facts, and data are probably a little more valuable than what someone might read on Reddit or Quora, which may or may not be accurate.

I’ve started seeing more and more of my searches for various subjects turn up personal blog sites and Reddit or Quora as the top return results. Sometimes, I can’t even find expertly written material two or three pages in.

This seems intuitively backward.

First, you want to get the research and expert opinions. Then if that’s not helping or seems off, you search for what others may be experiencing. I use these forums, and they can be helpful. They can also be tragically wrong and provide inaccurate information.

I guess I should just be happy. My results aren’t returning pornographic material to blind me, and fake accounts written by AI bots are not chasing after me.

Alas, LinkedIn

I would go off on LinkedIn, but I have weened myself off that platform and don’t spend much time there anymore.

If you want to read an interesting take on what’s happening with that professional networking site, I recommend reading how “Writing on LinkedIn is a Pyramid Scheme” by Philip Charter ✍️ that’s pretty much gone Medium viral.

Conclusion

These recent changes on all these platforms have left me baffled, bewildered, and astonished.

Medium, the platform designed to be a haven for writers, presents peculiar statistics and interactions, making us question the authenticity and purpose of some accounts. The mystery of claps and reads disappearing into thin air, replaced by suspicious accounts and seemingly AI-generated content, gets us fired up and full of conspiracy theories.

It’s been quite a topic of discussion lately. Just ask R C Hammond, Adrian CDTPPW, Carlo Zeno, Yana Bostongirl, Robin Wilding 💎, Susie Kearley, or TzeLin Sam just to name a few.

Twitter’s “X,” anticipated as a rebranding effort to create a new, exciting space for connection, has inundated our feeds with explicit content instead. This leaves me pondering the integrity and professional value of using this platform.

Google’s algorithm changes bring another layer of frustration and irritation. The search engine that once served as a beacon of information has begun to prioritize personal blogs and social forums over expert, fact-based content. This shift raises concerns about the quality and reliability of the information we rely on.

Being surrounded by constantly perplexing algorithmic decisions across digital platforms, it’s easy to become disillusioned.

However, adapting and shaping our online experiences and holding others accountable is essential.

  • Our collective voice can play a role in driving positive change in the digital spaces we inhabit.
  • We decide which platforms we spend our time on and how much.
  • We can help police accounts by reporting and blocking them.

I feel like we need to form an internet/neighborhood watch group to keep our virtual lives free from fake accounts, unwanted sexual advances, personal opinions mistaken as facts, and other online disasters waiting to happen.

Who’s with me?

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© 2023 Bette A. Ludwig: All rights reserved.

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