Filtered.

Politics Just after the 20th January, I decided that unlike previous US presidencies, I'd be omitting mention of the leader of the free world on here because he's getting so much coverage elsewhere that it's entirely pointless. But there's no denying that his existence has had a profound effect on discourse and that's especially true of social media, so I'm breaking the rule on this occasion to offer my solution.

Twitter is still somewhere I spend a lot of time online, finding, for all its faults, it a much more flexible and understandable place than Facebook. But the election has led to it becoming somewhat monosyllabic and despite the range of voice in my timeline, he's become the main subject of conversation presumably because of the extinction level element of his existence. When a disaster is ongoing, everybody wants to talk about it.

But it's had the effect of destroying some of the random element of Twitter even amongst the three and half thousand people I follow. Admittedly plenty of those are journalists so it's bound to happen to some degree. But day on day for weeks, I was met with a wave of identical stories about whatever new bile he's decided to post to his own Twitter account or think pieces about what stupid or cruel or weird thing he's done in meatworld.

Then I realised that I could wipe it all out in one swoop especially now that Twitter's filtering tools have parity across all the platforms. I visit the filtering section on Tweetdeck and Twitter and added his surname.

Suddenly my timeline went back to resembling how it did two years ago. All the shock and awe and RTs of whatever he's had to say at three in the morning. Having to look at yet another photograph of his face, which is sometimes enough alone to increase my anxiety levels. Now I can go back to watching people talk about other "important" things without having to mentally filter him out to. He's filtered for me.

He's not gone completely. This doesn't knock out mentions of POTUS or the surname with an apostrophe or when an article or tweets talks about "America" really meaning him. I could remove all of that too, but it's still good to have some idea of what's happening. The volume is lower, there's a lot less repetition. If I miss something, if it's "important" it'll be in the news anyway, either online or television or radio.

3 comments:

  1. To do that on Twitter.com, do you use the "Muted words" setting on the "Settings and privacy" page?

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  2. Yes, that's it. I was thinking of you when I wrote this.

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  3. Do you use Google Chrome? If so, I can highly recommend the Make America Kittens Again browser extension. Since I have to read a lot of news for the day job, having all pictures of Tr*mpington replaced with cute kittens (you can also do the same for Flarage, LePen and anybody else you specify) has dramatically improved my quality of life.

    ReplyDelete