[GER] Die nicht ganz so klugen demokratischen Twitterer

Abstract: Some Twitter users spread and retweet unloved messages without thinking – and by that, they help their foes gaining even a bigger platform. Written in German, because most people doing so I know are German.

Auf Twitter herrscht ein schräges Ungleichgewicht, ganz so wie im echten Leben – manchmal hat man fast den Eindruck, den Anständigen bleiben gar keine Werkzeuge, ihren letzten Rest menschlicher Vernunft gegen die Widrigkeiten der dumpfsinnigen Menschenverachtung zu verteidigen. Man schreibt, man teilt, man macht aufmerksam – und doch scheinen es immer mehr zu werden? Kein Wunder, dass beispielsweise Sibylle Berg den Einfluss des Einzelnen – auch in sozialen Medien – für überschaubar hält.

Was mich persönlich wahnsinnig macht: Es sind genau jene Twitterer, die sich offenkundig für eine freie, gerechte, gleiche Gesellschaft einsetzen wollen, die rein gar nicht verstanden haben, wie sie dem politischen Gegner mit ihren Aufregungen gelegentlich in die Hände spielen.

Es ist ein ungleicher Kampf. Denn während die Populisten mit Provokation und Angriff zwei mächtige Instrumente besitzen, den vernunftbegabten Menschen schonungslos aus der Reserve zu locken, ja, was hat denn da selbiger, um sich zu wehren? Was hat sich geändert zwischen der Nachkriegszeit und heute, dass mit einem Mal die Thesen und Begriffe der Nationalsozialisten wieder öffentlich diskutiert werden? Nicht einmal 100 Jahre nach dem Ende einer der größten Katastrophen unserer Geschichte?

Die demokratischen Nutzer bedienen sich normalerweise eines Werkzeuges, das gesellschaftlich seit der Antike funktioniert: soziale Isolation. Soll der beschränkte und unbelehrbare Geist seine Haltung bewahren, als isoliertes Element verliert er seine Bedeutung und seine Wirkmacht. Doch wie isoliert man in der digitalen, vernetzten Welt, in der sich Kontakte nicht durch Distanz, durch Verbote, durch Überbrüllen auflösen lassen? Was tun, wenn die Betreiber von sozialen Plattformen gar keine Veranlassung sehen, soziale Blasen zu kontrollieren und zu sprengen, diese gar als ein überzeugendes Beispiel gelebter Meinungsvielfalt zelebrieren?

Einige Twitterer bedienen sich der Verbreitung von Nachrichten. Sie retweeten hasserfüllte Meinungen, kommentieren sie mit eigenen kritischen Anmerkungen, deren geistiges Niveau oftmals auf dem gleichen Höhenlevel, nur in einem anderen politischen Spektrum zu suchen ist. Ihr Ziel? Andere darauf aufmerksam machen, was für ein widerliches Subjekt hier öffentlich seine Thesen kundtut. Stigmatisierung. Gemeinsam rückt man dem Übeltäter zu Leibe, meldet ihn, damit Twitter endlich seinen Dienst tue und ihn entferne. Dass Twitter unter Umständen nicht die gleichen Richtlinien zugrunde legt für die Löschung eines Accounts, das interessiert nicht. Dass nicht die Menge der Beschwerden, sondern die Schwere des Regelverstoßes entscheidend ist, das verstehen ausgerechnet jene nicht, die umgekehrt auf Rechtsstaatlichkeit beharren. Die Gesetze der sozialen Plattform bestimmt derjenige, der kassiert – der Entwickler. Zumindest, bis der Gesetzgeber endlich die Notwendigkeit echter Kontrolle anerkennt. Merkwürdige Welt.

Anstelle sozialer Stigmatisierung erreichen diese Twitterer aber das absolute Gegenteil von dem, was sie beabsichtigen: Sie verbreiten ihnen unangenehme, zuwidere Haltungen und Accounts. Mit jedem Retweet verbreitet sich die Hassbotschaft ins Netz. Erzeugt nicht nur Gegenhass, der gewiss nicht minder schlimm ist, sondern fängt gleichzeitig Gleichgesinnte ein, die den Account vorher noch gar nicht kannten. Die einstmals Isolierten vernetzen sich.

Nun man mag sagen: Ja und? Gleich und Gleich gesellt sich gerne, ist das beisammen, was zusammen gehört! Dass man damit plötzlich dem Unsäglichen wieder eine Plattform bietet, die soziale Isolation aushebelt und das ganze System ins Wanken bringt, das stört keinen.

Wie absurd die Denkweise mancher Twitterer ist, lernt man an einem anderen Beispiel: Kinderpornographie. Wie KOMMT man eigentlich auf die Idee, seine Follower darum zu bitten, einen kinderpornographischen Account zu melden, indem man einen Tweet MIT BILDMATERIAL in die eigene Timeline retweetet? Ich kann mich nicht mehr entsinnen, was ich schlimmer fand – den Ekel ob des originären Tweets respektive des Accounts, oder die Tatsache, dass jemand Gutes tun will, indem er kinderpornographisches Material verbreitet. Grundsätzlich gilt hier: “Gut gemeint ist das Gegenteil von gut gemacht”. Aber das ist mir in diesem Fall zu schwach. Ein solches Verhalten ist einfach widerlich.

Wer hasserfüllte Tweets retweetet, Accounts als Mention verpackt, Screenshots abspeichert und diese in seine Tweets einbindet, der dient sich selbst als Nährboden für die unfreie, hasserfüllte Gesellschaft an. Es gehört zu den Perversitäten Twitters, dass ich dies schon früher schrieb – und ausgerechnet von jenen favorisiert wurde, die dieses Verhalten andauernd zeigen. Was selbige nicht daran hinderte, ihr dissonantes Verhalten munter fortzuführen.

Abschließend kann man eine Frage in den Raum stellen, auf die auch ich keine Antwort weiß: Hilft es wenigstens, den argumentativen Diskurs zu suchen? Ich weiß es nicht. Gefühlt weiß man bei den meisten Usern sehr schnell, ob jemand diskussionsbereit ist und sich im Zweifelsfall zumindest davon überzeugen ließe, dass die eigene Meinung nicht die einzige ist. Oder ob jemand schlichtweg Feuer zündet. Der Diskurs mit Letzteren kostet Energie und bietet dem Destruktiven Raum, sich zu entfalten. Wäre es nicht sinnvoller, diese Fälle stumm zu schweigen, ihre Provokationen zu ignorieren, sie als verlorene Fälle in die soziale Isolation zurück zu treiben? Ich weiß es nicht.

The Seven Ways of Twitter Interaction

Twitter is an important social platform for short message communication – not just for American Presidents. Thus, people should know how to interact with other Twitter users. In the following I want to show the seven ways of interaction between Twitter users – and my personal interpretation of it.

Fav(orite)

Whenever you like a certain tweet, you can give the author some feedback – without writing a single word. Just click the little red heart and “like” the tweet. For a very long time, this was called “favour” or “to fav”, depicted with a neat little yellow star, until Twitter decided to spread more love.

Please be careful! People use these favs in various ways. Some want to return their agreement, want to give you good feelings. However, don’t be shocked whenever you write a posting like “I’ve broken my leg!” and people fav it – they usually either want to show you they share your pain. Or they use these little icons to bookmark tweets they’ve already read.

Some people say there is a fav limit. I’ve never reached it so far, but seemingly you cannot fav everything.

Note that many people think it to be good manners to fav other people’s tweets in a discussion. It is like acknowledgement for the nice and decent conversation.

Mention

Sometimes you do not just want to write 140 characters, but you want to link your message with somebody. Either directly, because you want to talk to somebody. Or you just want to hint other people towards another user account. In those cases, you use “mentions”, by adding the @USERNAME to your tweet.

Important note: Whenever a tweet starts with a Twitter account name, Twitter assumes you want to write a direct mention or reply. Only you, the other account and all accounts which follow you both will be able to read it. Others would have to search for it. Thus, many people who want to start a sentence with user accounts put a little “.” before the user account itself. Like: “.@donaldduck is a neat little duck”.

Nonmention

This is Twitter highend content. You assume that your beloved one is reading you – and write some Twitter lines without mentioning him, hoping he or she will read it. And know he/she is addressed. Some people absolutely dislike replies to such nonmentions, so be careful and don’t freak them out. Be also aware that nonmentions are absolutely stupid – if you have something you wanna tell somebody, address him and don’t make it public. Otherwise, don’t offend people who react on your tweet.

Reply

Whenever somebody writes a tweet, you can reply to it. Just click the little arrow underneath and write your answer. Please use this arrow! By doing so, Twitter will realise that these two tweets are connected to each other. Which makes conversations much more readable. Don’t worry – some people claim Twitter wouldn’t be a chatting platform. It is. Chat as much as you want to. They need to be annoyed.

Please note that many Twitter users do not like criticism. They want you to agree, to strengthen their opinion, to pat them on the shoulder. Be aware that critique or little refusal of their theories might lead directly to a block. Do also note that many Twitter users tend to disqualify other users by calling their replies “replies from hell“. It is their way of telling “I cannot cope with your intelligent answer”.

Retweet

If you really want to boost a friend of yours – or another Twitter user who writes awesome stuff – retweet him. All your followers will then see his/her tweet, plus the information that it was you who shared it. Thus be careful – even though another guy might have written bullshit, if you retweet it, everyone knows your spreading bullshit as well. Think twice! Retweeting is a neat and very nice way of promoting other accounts. Do it often and regularly. People will love you for doing it.

Quoting

A new retweet feature. You have to be careful with it. The original message will be shown, and your own tweet on top of it. Actually a nice feature, as you are able not just to share tweets, but to share your own opinion as well. Note that there are two versions of quotes:

  1. The nice quote, where you share another user’s tweet and add some additional thoughts, thank for the idea, the joke or the view.
  2. The evil quotes, where you share the other opinion and write bad stuff about it. People may think you want to make a fool of them. Even if you want to do so – don’t. This is super bad style. Do NEVER quote when you actually just wanna make conversation. Super bad style!

Direct Messages (DM)

If you follow each other, you are able to send direct messages. Fortunately, your direct messages are no longer bound to 140 characters. Thus, you can write whole books if you want to. Nobody else will be able to read your messages – except you are part of a DM-group. Well, but you all have WhatsApp and such apps, so you will know how it works. Please be aware that privacy is no approval for bad manners. You should never insult people or write rude stuff. And men – no woman on Twitter is interested in dick pics. If you are a man, send the face. Police tracing by genitals is never a cool thing.

 

Of course, there is more about Twitter – if you now feel ready to dive into this fantastic social world, don’t forget there are many more unwritten rules. You will learn them. Learning by doing, learning by failing. First and most important rule, though: follower count is not that important. Okay, it is your currency, shows your market value and can actually bring you some money. But hey. Who needs money, right?

Have fun tweeting!

5 Rules About How To Use Twitter-Hashtags Properly

Abstract: Hey mates! Today I’m gonna discuss five very simple rules on how to use proper hashtags in social media posts. There is a lot of things you can go wrong with, but the solutions are nice and easy. Especially German twitter users will have to read this post, as they totally suck in social media stuff. Enjoy the read and leave me a comment! Have a nice day!

Continue reading 5 Rules About How To Use Twitter-Hashtags Properly

Social Liking – Why Twitter stopped the Falling Stars

Oh. Em. Gee.

This week provided a very important tech news to us all. I am pretty sure most people thought it to be an April Fool hoax at first, but in the end it turned out to be serious. And by that I mean literally serious. You have no idea what I’m talking about? Are you mad? Really? Okay, let me give you a picture of what changed two days ago:

Star to Heart

Yes. That’s it. Twitter changed its “favourite”-function. Tweeple now “like” things, just like in Facebook or Instagram, and the corresponding icon is no longer a yellow star, but a heart. Even the colour got reddish. What were they thinking? Are they crazy? Have they gone mad at all? Judging by my timeline’s reactions this has been the worst design change in 600 years of internet. Counting into the future.

Joking aside: yes, all Twitter users went completely insane once they realised their beloved stars to be gone. In-between pure rage tweets they provided couple of rather funny arguments why hearts could never be an appropriate favourite icon. Because sometimes people write tweets you simply cannot “heart”. I don’t love if someone’s Dad has died. I don’t love messages about war. I don’t love Twitter using new icons. Some days ago, yeah, I would have favorited it, I would have given a star, that is TOTALLY different. And these colours! Whole Twitter now seems to be a girlish friendship book with stickers and hearts and all that crap!

Maybe the worst insult: Twitter tries to become Instagram. Or Facebook. Those two platforms full of people who are far less intelligent than Twitter users. cough We all know that only Twitter users write smart and fully developed text messages. Of course they do. So Twitter has to stay something special and different!

Of course there have been some reasonable arguments as well. Some user mentioned that this change really meant a big semantic change. Think of public relations people who made advertising campaigns based on the Twitter fav-star. Think of this strange and absolutely useless website Favstar, which has to be converted to Likeheart now. This will cost some serious money, and that’s not funny at all.

But there are good reasons for Twitter to have done this redesigning as well. Their own reason: New people were completely confused by those favourite stars, didn’t understand it and thus didn’t use Twitter. We all know that Twitter has quite some problems increasing their amount of active users, so removing any obstacles for getting in might be a reasonable decision.

I quite well remember my very first try with Twitter, long time ago. I installed the app on my smartphone, tried to figure out what this strange new programme does – and got completely confused by those strange little stars. Because Twitter used those stars completely inconsistent to all other applications. Usually a star and a function named “favourite” means you can save entries of a list you like or you use quite often so you can load them more easily. That’s definitely not what Twitter’s fav-stars are. Were. Inconsistency is a bad thing to do, because all those people out there are used to some kind of user interaction. I myself uninstall applications immediately if I cannot understand their concept of interaction.

Additionally I am absolutely not impressed by the big exclamation of “vox populi“, like all Twitter users were absolutely shocked by developers changing THEIR holy Twitter. Guys, hold on: This is a product, and the product’s owner has the right to change it. As long as you do not pay a single cent for it, you pay with your time and your data. But you got no rights at all. If I were the developer I would change my programme whenever I like, because it has been my idea and the application has to look like I want it to be. Of course you have to keep in mind that people not being familiar with the app anymore could leave it. But this was just one single icon being changed! Man.

It’s a funny thing that political decisions like data preservation which is restricting personal freedom are not answered the same way. Political topics are completely out of bounds for some people, not interesting at all. But changes in their user interface? Some crazy developers making them send hearts to other people instead of stars? Now they go mad. Guys, sort out your priorities. And no – this is not comparing two completely different things, as some people mentioned. This is about the reaction to changes which affect our use of the internet. Big change – no reaction at all. Little change – massive wave of rant. You can find a lot of similar examples in the “real world”, it’s just like humans think.

By the way: Do you remember the big graphical relaunch of Facebook a couple of years ago? This change started a huge shitstorm against Mr. Zuckerberg and all people affirmed to delete their accounts immediately. I am pretty sure, most of them are still users of Big Blue Brother. The same with those security leaks at WhatsApp. I am the only person known by myself not using this application at all.

Last, but not least, my personal favourite about this whole #heartGate: Guys not being able to favourite other guys’ tweets anymore, as this might seem to be gay. Yes, Tweeps. Twitter is so much more clever than Facebook. Not.

First impressions of #Periscope

Have you already used #Periscope on your mobile devices? Yes? Me not, this time I am a complete newbie to a popular app and technology. Of course I have heard of this new application for Android and iPhone, and I have been aware of it to be something about filming and watching videos. But I never felt like to use or to study it. Even though it seems to be made by Twitter Inc., and I love Twitter!

Then, couple of days ago, the @britishmuseum announced an event on Periscope. The historian Dan Snow (@thehistoryguy) did a Periscope show for the British Museum in London, allowing people from all over the world to have some exclusive insight into one of their amazing special exhibitions: “Defining Beauty“. This has been a fantastic opportunity for me to finally have a look at Periscope. By the way, the exhibition itself is awesome as well. So many marvellous statues – you really have to visit it if you are about to be in London until 5th July.

So, what is Periscope?

It seems that every user is able to broadcast some kind of “TV show” through this simple app. Activate your phone camera and allow people from anywhere in the world to watch the same things you look at. Film yourself while walking or dancing or chatting or browsing a historic exhibition and let them see it. At the same time, the viewers are able to participate, to communicate with you and each other by sending chat messages. So all in all it is Twitter with broadcasting, just like Twitch.tv, but this time not with games, but with real life. And mobile. Quite an awesome idea!

Though I like the general idea, I still see some problems. Bandwidth, for example. I myself have quite some trouble to stream to Twitch with a cable connection. How to make proper videos without Wi-Fi, but with mobile network? And would that not cost a lot? At least in Germany we do not have any flat rates, and a volume of 500MB internet traffic must be depleted quite soon. Another problem is more of a software thing – the whole app seems to be programmed for portrait mode. You are neither able to switch the mode for watching the videos, for recording them nor for chatting. Of course Dan Snow did use the landscape mode to show the amazing rooms of the BM-exhibition, and people might be able to turn their heads or their phones to watch the image properly. But chatting is only in portrait mode. Kinda strange, but not a big problem. Periscope might be able to allow landscape chatting as well somewhere in the future. I hope they do so.

What about you – have you already used Periscope? What are your experiences? What have you been watching? Even though I really love the idea behind the app, at the end this is just another step in multimedia development. These days it becomes more and more easy to create pictures, videos, songs for all people, not just those who have been educated or trained for these tasks. Maybe the quality will suffer from that development? Or is it some positive “democratic” change, that all people are able to use computers to make their dreams come true? What do you think about it? Just tell me, here, below these lines. You will see some commentary area. Use it. Now! 😉