Saner social media

The socials are a handy way to stay in touch with friends, find out about dancing events (if they’re ever allowed again) and to get information direct from experts. They’re also an unrelenting cesspool of trolls, bots and undesireables. What to do?

Facebook

FB Purity config page

On my PC, FB Purity lets me filter on keyboards (I’ve chosen “trump” and “brexit”, as you can see). It can hide various types of update from your feed. I hide stuff like “Fred commented on this thing” (as FB friends sometimes like to argue with the undesirables), as well as adverts. You can also force the feed into chronological order rather than relying on Facebook’s algorithm to show you what it thinks you should see.

On my phone, I use Friendly for Facebook, which isn’t quite as good but does have the keyword filtering (“commented on” works as a filter) and, if you give them a donation, will also filter the adverts.

Twitter

Tweak New Twitter default appearance

Tweak New Twitter gets rid of a lot of noise (like the “Trending” stuff and sponsored tweets). It can put retweets on separate page too. To use it on mobile, you’d need a mobile browser which lets you run extensions, Chrome on Android doesn’t.

Twitter has keyword filtering built in.

Secateur blocks people and optionally all their followers, unless you’re following them too. It’s adding to your Twitter blocklist, so once people are blocked, they’re blocked however you view Twitter. I guess there’s a risk that some decent people are following undesirables to keep an eye on them, but if it catches on, I can imagine people using separate accounts for that (of course, the undesirables can do the same trick, having one account for trolling and one for following, but they don’t seem to be yet). It wouldn’t be that hard to extend Tweak New Twitter to add a “Secateur” button to Twitter, either, I might look into that.

The next stage on from this, especially if the undesirables maintain accounts where they don’t follow other undesirables, would be the web of trust: only show replies from people you follow, people they follow, people the original tweeter follows, say.

Nitter is a free and open source alternative Twitter front-end focused on privacy. It’s an alternative website for which you don’t need Javascript enabled. It will also turn someone’s tweets into an RSS feed, useful if you just want to read them without signing up for Twitter.

Link blog: talktalk, filtering, st-james-infirmary, porn

St James Infirmary – Primus Motor (harmonica, mandolin, doublebass) – YouTube
Soulful harmonica version of the blues standard.
(tags: blues music st-james-infirmary)
The Porn Block Fiasco goes mainstream « Complicity
“The knowledge that attempting to block porn on the internet is bound to backfire has now gone mainstream. (BBC News, Telegraph) Well, there’s a temptation to say “we told you so”, because we did. Repeatedly. So far, sites we know that are subject to overblocking on either TalkTalk and BT include BishUK (a sexual education site for teenagers), LGBTfriend, Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Sexual Abuse Scotland, Doncaster Domestic Abuse Helpline and Reducing The Risk (Another domestic abuse help site).”
(tags: porn internet censorship talktalk sex filtering david-cameron)

Link blog: filtering, england, censorship, transfer

A simple explanation of how money moves around the banking system | Richard Gendal Brown
Via andrewducker.
(tags: banking money bitcoin economics swift bacs transfer)
How the Daily Mail Conquered England : The New Yorker
Explaining the Heil to Americans: “The Mail is like Fox in the sense that it speaks to, and for, the married, car-driving, homeowning, conservative-voting suburbanite, but it is unlike Fox in that it is not slavishly approving of any political party. One editor told me, “The paper’s defining ideology is that Britain has gone to the dogs.” ” Via andrewducker.
(tags: daily-mail journalism newspapers newspaper uk england)
This is all so depressingly obvious about censorship of the internet, isn’t it? | Adam Smith Institute
That didn’t take long, did it?
(tags: internet censorship david-cameron filtering terrorism)

Link blog: research, statistics, science, cambridge

The Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang
Ted Chiang’s short about memory, time and loss. It’s also an alien first contact story.
(tags: heptapod story science-fiction time ted-chiang sci-fi language first-contact memory)
Cambridge: Poles apart Why Warsaw beats Cambridge Blog Mike Levy
“A weekend in Warsaw made me think about Cambridge at night. In Cambridge after 6pm the city centre empties ready for the only true night time economy: binge drinking. The Market Square alive with stall holders and shoppers at 5pm magically transforms into a ghostly empty space one hour later. It is a Cinderella midnight moment that never fails to astonish. By dusk the Cambridge ball is over and the Prince has gone home to watch T.V. Only a lonely burger van takes up residence creating a sad and soulless image that realist painter Edward Hopper could capture.” Yeah, it’s crap.
(tags: night-life drinking alcohol night cambridge warsaw)
Why You Shouldn’t Support Operation Christmas Child | Mymumdom
…unless you want to contribute towards evangelical Christian evangelising, of course. But apparently some schools in the UK are collecting shoeboxes of gifts for the Samaritan’s Purse organisation without fully realising what they’re about.
(tags: religion samaritans-purse christianity christmas-child christmas evangelism)
www.me.uk RevK’s rants: Censoring the Internet
Chap who runs an ISP goes to dinner with some MPs and discusses filtering.
(tags: politics uk porn filtering censorship isp internet)
Unreliable research: Trouble at the lab | The Economist
“Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not.” Talks about the problems with reproducing research.
(tags: economist journals research statistics science)
Warning Signs in Experimental Design and Interpretation
(tags: significance experiment maths probability research mathematics statistics science)

Link blog: google, porn, dance, consent

Ambidancetrous: The Blog — “We don’t want to make people uncomfortable.” (aka, “What about teh menz?!”)
"Ultimately, some of the worry that some straight guys will be uncomfortable dancing with other men (or being led by a woman) may be justified." Het guys: you lost the oppression Olympics, so your comfort and consent about who touches you is less important than our plan to build a utopia through dance. PROBLEMATIC. Well, OK, that bit rubbed me up the wrong way. But seriously, I think an "ambidancetrous" dance scene would be less "problematic" if the expectations (and how they differ from pretty much every other scene) were made clear up front. What I expect would happen then is that if you insisted every lesson was ambidancetrous, you’d never get enough people to make a viable community. Maybe it’d work as an option within an established scene, though.
(tags: lindy consent gender feminism lindyhop dance)
http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/march/1361848247/karen-hitchcock/fat-city
A doctor writes about the difficulties of dealing with obesity: dealing with a social problem, and applying epidemiology to individuals. Via Metafilter.
(tags: food fat obesity medicine health)
On the stupidity of asking, “but where’s the evidence we need evidence for things?”
"it’s a mistake to think that if someone thinks maybe you should have some evidence for a particular thing you believe, they are therefore committed to a sweeping philosophical doctrine about needing evidence for absolutely everything."
(tags: evidence philosophy epistemology)
Online Child Porn – What the Papers Aren’t Telling You.
Could Google really block it? (Hint: no)
(tags: google porn filtering internet)
Ukip Activist Marty Caine Provokes Fury by Branding Drummer Lee Rigby’s Family ‘Idiots’ – IBTimes UK
Looks like the old "the EDL are the provisional wing of UKIP" joke is actually true.
(tags: edl lee-rigby islam racism ukip)