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: internet, bbc, retrocomputing, acorn

Hello! You’ve Been Referred Here Because You’re Wrong About Section 230 Of The Communications Decency Act | Techdirt
The CDA does not make the fabled “platform” vs “publisher” distinction. Via Popehat
(tags: law internet libel politics)
John Kortink’s website – Hardware – GoSDC
An SD card interface for the Acorn Electron and BBC B. Cool!
(tags: acorn bbc retrocomputing)

Link blog: C, shooting, magic, censorship

post modern C tooling – draft 5

(tags: tools programming C)

‘My ties to England have loosened’: John le Carré on Britain, Boris and Brexit | Books | The Guardian
“At 87, le Carré is publishing his 25th novel. He talks to John Banville about our ‘dismal statesmanship’ and what he learned from his time as a spy”
(tags: spies intelligence MI5 MI6 le-carre politics)
The New Zealand Shootings: The Untold Stories | GQ
A moving account of the shootings and their aftermath. Via Metafilter.
(tags: shooting terrorism racism new-zealand)
How Derren Brown Remade Mind Reading for Skeptics | The New Yorker
Introducing Derren Brown to the Americans. Via Mefi.
(tags: magic derren-brown mentalism)
WSJ, WaPo, NYT Spread False Internet Law Claims | Cato @ Liberty
Rebutting nonsense about the supposed publisher/platform distinction in Section 230 of the US’s Communications Decency Act. From the Cato Institute, so can’t be dismissed as leftist propaganda.
(tags: law censorship internet)

Link blog: psychology, research, culture, internet

Sick and tired: Online activists are silencing us, scientists say
“Scientists researching treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome say they face online abuse and harassment. Some are leaving the field. It’s a ‘new normal,’ they say, and patients may lose out.”
(tags: research culture psychology internet trolling medicine)

Link blog: google, psychology, language, Internet

C++Now 2017: Niko Matsakis “Rust: Hack Without Fear!” – YouTube
Rust for C++ people (of which I’m not actually one, but it might be interesting anyway).
(tags: rust language programming)
You Are the Product
John Lanchester reviews 3 books on Facebook and Google, and comes to the conclusion that Facebook does things because it can, without considering whether it should.
(tags: facebook advertising psychology Internet zuckerberg google)
The Three Waves of Discworld – An approximation of alertness
“So I’ve been thinking for a while about the Discworld books, and how they can be divided up into three rough thematic phases; not based around the focal characters, but rather what the story is about.”
(tags: discworld terry-pratchett books fantasy)

Link blog: porthcurno, gchq, cornwall, edward-snowden

The Secrets Of Cornwall – Part 1 – Communications – YouTube
Blokes drive around Cornwall looking at manhole covers and work out the landing points of undersea cables, and where the GCHQ intercept points disclosed by Snowden might be.
(tags: cornwall cables telecommunications gchq internet edward-snowden porthcurno)

Link blog: C, social-justice, computers, programming

The cost of forsaking C – Bradfield CS – Medium
Why teach C to undergrads.
(tags: C programming education computers)
The Unit of Caring — “I don’t think social justice is healthy.”…
A reasonable summary of the problems with Internet SJ stuff.
(tags: social-justice Internet culture Politics)