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Big Revolution - The joy of unfollowing

Welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution. Let’s dive into a busy edition. – Martin
August 30 · Issue #186 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution. Let’s dive into a busy edition.

Big things you need to know today
  • Facebook has started to roll its Watch video portal out beyond the USA. Look out for it in the main Facebook app and on certain smart TV boxes and games consoles.
  • Trump’s tussle with Google continues. He released a video claiming the company promoted Obama’s State of the Union addresses, but not his. Google issued evidence to prove this false – ironically, including a screenshot from a pro-Trump subreddit.
  • Google’s own physical security keys are now available, The Verge reports, although it’s not on the Google Store in the UK at the time of writing so it may be US-only.
  • The diver who Elon Musk famously made an unfounded allegation about is preparing to sue him. The news came just the day after Musk repeated his allegation.
  • Buffer has bought out its main VC investors. The company, which likes to be ultra-transparent and has taken an unconventional path for a tech product company, says it spent $3.3m on the move.
The big thought
Credit: Marten Bjork on Unsplash
Credit: Marten Bjork on Unsplash
The joy of unfollowing
News broke yesterday that Twitter recently tested a feature that would suggest which accounts a user should unfollow. The idea was that if you rarely or never engage with an account, their tweets could be little more than noise to you.
The test has now ended, but I hope Twitter brings it back as an official feature. While critics of Twitter have suggested many ways the company could improve its service, unfollow recommendations don’t pop up often as an idea.
The fact is though, when you complain about the things you see on Twitter, these are largely the things the people you follow are talking about. You can follow other people instead.
A few years ago, I got angry at a guy who started tweeting ‘good night’ every single night. He occasionally tweeted things I found useful, but the ‘good night’ tweets really grated on me. Like, really grated on me. So I unfollowed him, and my life was suddenly that little bit happier.
While some people are brutal and ruthless in their unfollowing, many of us build up a Twitter ‘community’ over time and are reluctant to let it go. I’m largely like that; there are people I’ve followed for years who I never engage with, but whose tweets are a familiar sight in my feed. If I looked a bit more closely , maybe they’re nothing more than noise that do nothing to improve my Twitter experience.
And those people who retweet others on topics that just make me angry? Maybe it’s best if I just let them go. And if Twitter can help that? All the better.
There are already some third-party apps like ManageFlitter that help people trim their follow lists, but hey – since when has Twitter been worried about annoying developers?
One big read
‘Digital shackles’: the unexpected cruelty of ankle monitors
The Guardian meets offenders who have to wear location-tracking ankle monitors. They actually cost wearers money, increasing the likelihood these people – often with limited income – will return to jail.
One big tweet
This thread, about a reporter’s visit to a public meeting held by Elon Musk’s Boring Company about a tunnelling project, is thoroughly entertaining. Click through to read it all…
well I guess I know what I’m doing tonight
That’s all for today...
See you in your inbox tomorrow!
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