Writing Prompts: Algorithms

The above is a tweet of mine from a few days ago. For reasons that remain a mystery to me, Twitter’s promoted posts (aka sponsored adverts) kept producing ads for the same products, namely bras. I don’t wear bras, and all the stuff around support and lift is of zero interest to me, yet a number of these adverts, for different companies, have popped up to thrust their wares in my face.

It’s not just bra adverts. Twitter’s algorithms have put hard-right, Tory-supporting tweets in my face too, despite my timeline not remotely suggesting any desire to support such ideals. Not surprisingly, all of this kicked off in earnest once Elon Musk had control of the platform. Unfortunately, detaching from Twitter isn’t easy. I have a reasonable presence there, and partake in book-related marketing, whereas the only similar platform I’m on (Mastodon)… well, I don’t tend to use it. Still, I do take steps to try and reduce the growing spam and irrelevancies.

For starters, I block the accounts of promoted tweets. I more or less don’t care what they’re selling, I block them. More pop up (of course they do), but I’ll block those too, unless I do happen to have an interest in the product or service. I don’t mind if it’s something semi-relevant to me, but bra adverts?! Seriously?! Tory propaganda? I mean come on Twitter, do better than that.

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