Half of Twitter's Users Are Lurkers [Content Made Simple]
Issue #261: Internet on meth, Meta parental controls, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK:
Twitter lurkers are more likely to use the platform to hear other points of view than more frequent tweeters. When asked whether they use the site to express their own opinions or to see what others are saying, 76% of lurkers say they use the platform primarily to see what others are saying. Only 6% use the platform primarily to express their own opinions.
So beyond the Twitter account I use under my own name, I have a “lurker” Twitter account, an anonymous Twitter account. Some may call this a “burner” Twitter account, but this makes it sound like I intend to use it for some clandestine, nefarious purpose. The reason I have a “lurker” Twitter account is so that I can follow a bunch of people via “Lists” through TweetDeck and not be on my personal Twitter account. This anonymous account provides some distance between me and my personal Twitter account which leads me to use it less and tweet less frequently.
All of that is to say, this data from Pew on Twitter lurkers is fascinating.
HITTING THE LINKS
A wild, heartbreaking story.
In December, Paul went home for the holidays. Like many people, he hadn’t seen his family for almost a year.
But instead of spending time with his loved ones, he said he stayed in his room and injected methamphetamine. While his family was downstairs, Paul said he pretended to be sick while he relapsed in a multiday meth binge.
Though he was alone in his room, he was using drugs with other people. As he was injecting methamphetamine, he connected with hundreds of other individuals doing the same thing over Zoom.
“There is no meth without Zoom, and there is no Zoom without meth,” Paul, whom NBC News is identifying only by his first name to protect him from professional harm, said in an interview. “That is where I found a forum, like a tribe, where I could be my authentic self with no fear of judgment.”
Meta/Facebook has been surveilling children around the world for more than a decade. It’s nice of them to make that technology available for parents to use.
The controls are being introduced after the Meta-owned social network came under fire for its impact on younger users. Leaked internal research from the company suggests that Instagram usage has detrimental effects on the mental health of its younger users, particularly teenage girls. Shortly after the research was made public, the company announced it was pausing work on a version of Instagram aimed at children under the age of 13. It also rolled out a feature that encouraged users to take a break from the app after set periods of time.
Historically, tweeters who have wanted to make a more private space to shout into the void have created “alt” accounts set to private, which they only share with their inner circle. So, a feature like circles would make it easier to toggle between those two audiences on just one account. Still, the Instagram close friends feature didn’t necessarily end finsta.
“Twitter is always working on new ways to help people engage in healthy conversations, and we’re currently exploring ways to let people Tweet to smaller groups. We previewed this concept last year as public feedback helps shape what we build. We don’t have any further details to share but more to come soon,” Twitter told TechCrunch.
THE FUNNY PART
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