No-one Makes Content For Facebook →

Casey Newton noticing Facebooks plagiarism problem:

Facebook’s report details the top 20 most widely viewed posts on the network over the past three months. One of the posts was deleted before Facebook published it. Of the remaining 19, though, only four appear to have been original. The remaining 15 had been published in at least one other place first, and were then re-uploaded to Facebook, sometimes with small changes.

It’s interesting to think about where people post things and in what order. Instagram Reels is clearly full of TikTok made videos that are redistributed. Which doesn’t seem to matter because they can monetise it anyway, and the same can be said for Facebook itself.

When the odd breakout personality does exist on Facebook, sure they can make money, but the content has to be very niche. The biggest touted success such as ‘Ladbaby’. Content is typical of the people that still use Facebook. Just take a scroll down the most viewed pages report, and you will see pages such as “Do You Remember When” and “That ain't right”. Which tells you all you need to know about the people spending the most time using Facebook.

Communities and groups are one of the biggest drivers of serious Facebook traffic. That same report shows pages such as “The Typical Mom” and “All Things Mamma” raking in 96m and 92m views per quarter. So, clearly there are people using Facebook, and loads of them, but they are not creating content for the site. They are interacting with others, forming groups and seeking advice.

I have always considered Facebook a bit of a distribution space anyway. Words go on a blog first, videos always got to YouTube first and photos go on Instagram. The fact that the Newsfeed is filled with plagiarism is not really a surprise to anyone.

I’m Out: A Shortcut To End Your Working Day

Undoubtedly, the biggest thing I was looking forward to with the macOS Monterey update was Shortcuts. It promises to be the final piece in automating the Apple universe. Admittedly, it is a bit hit-and-miss, feeling as if it's still in beta, but most things work well. My favourite part is

Do I like likes?

I know I am not supposed to. Well, I am supposed to, it’s human nature, but I am supposed to hate myself for it. I think that's the way I am supposed to feel about likes on my photos. To be clear, we are talking about Instagram at all

I Need This Thing

I’ve been learning photography for around 4 years now. I love looking back, sometimes through hands covering my face, at old photos I have taken and seeing my progression over time. It is one of those skills, like writing consistently, that seems like it should be effortless but in

Facebook could have fixed misinformation spread two years ago →

Alex Kantrowitz reforming the Share Button :

A simple product tweak, the research indicated, would likely help Facebook constrain its misinformation problem more than an army of content moderators — all without removing a single post. In this scenario, adding some friction after the first share, or blocking sharing altogether after one share, could help mitigate the spread of misinformation on Facebook.

Seems like another day, another revelation from the ‘Facebook Files’ and I am sure there are lots more to come. You can of course push back and claim that the leaks were of information gleamed from internal documents and not form actually decision makers but it’s clear that they reflect the overall nature of the beats.

When it comes to misinformation, internal Facebook research noted that people are at least 4x more likely to see misinformation from a shares post. That is that if the original post users see is from outside of their friends list is four times more likely to be false, and up to 20 times in some situations. Lets that just sink in for a moment.

Two years ago, Facebook discovered that users were seeing false information shared into their newsfeed and apparently did nothing about it. The research goes on to make a recommendation that adding friction to sharing or blocking sharing all together would help mitigate the issues they were facing. Whilst it’s not known for sure if any action was taken, employees did openly discuss the findings on internal systems, it is clear they did not make any meaningful changes.

Going Deeper

In July of this year, I quit twitter for the longest I ever have done. It was only about two weeks, but I did it properly this time, deactivated my account and everything. I can see your expression from here, I know this isn't an achievement to be lauded up,

The Solution Is More Journalism →

Charlie Warzel writes about what to do now we know all we do about Facebook:

I think there’s also justified resentment among members of the press that true grifters, many of whom are barely even trying, are able to leverage platforms that are asleep at the wheel to access massive pools of attention with their reckless version of journalism that foments white grievance, legitimate conspiracy theorizing, and violence.

The old way of publishing media is not just dying, it’s already dead. The gatekeepers of publications — the printers, the producers and the large corporations — no longer have the hold they once had. Information can spread wider and faster than it ever has before. Unfortunately, with that power shift come the, as Charlie calls them, Grifters. Those that aim to leverage this new power of publication and use it for their gains.

Anyone with access to the internet and publication skills now has an unnatural reach around the globe. Shifting power to everyday people by giving them access to unlimited information, but very few filters on the actual information available.

I don’t believe that any platform or organisation should decide what the truth is, but at least with the old way there was some level of accountability on the publications. I am not sure what the answer to the misinformation issue. It may be more journalism, more publishing and better independence from social platforms. One thing I do know is that if these issues are not stemmed soon the future will look back on this period with distain and laugh at how stupid we all were.

Blog Envy

The sheer number of repos I have on GitHub containing blog themes in various states of repair is a testament to my personality. Despite having been writing on the internet for more than a decade, I am never happy with what I have and spend too much time messing around

The Best Laptop Keyboard I Have Ever Used →

Joshua Ginter on the difference between the M1 MacBook Air and the new MacBook Pro keyboards:

There’s a noticeable difference between the new M1 Pro MacBook Pro Magic Keyboard and the M1 MacBook Air Magic Keyboard. The M1 Pro keyboard sounds different, has stronger feedback and actuation accuracy, and has smaller function-keys.

I am no mechanical keyboard aficionado, but I love having a keyboard with the right amount of tactile feedback. There is something about having good key travel and a reassuring press that makes me feel at home.

It is remarkable how much faster I type, how more accurate I am, and just how much more I want to write on a good keyboard. I am sure there his some science behind it, but I am not sure how I would even sum it all up adequately. As I wrote about previously, the butterfly keyboards I used were fine, the return to scissor switches was of course better — but the new MacBook Pros’ keyboards are superb.

Tech Evangelism

There were certain periods in my life where I was so ingrained into the world of technology that nothing else entered my mind. I was working in it all day, then writing and talking about it all night. It was my 'thing' and I enjoyed it, but I was boring.