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Old 11-02-2010, 11:53 PM
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 12,053,509 times
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Both sides of the aisle are guilty of this:

Bogus Grass-Roots Politics on Twitter - Technology Review

I took a class in network theory and system of systems modeling. Basically, by correlating similarity in twitter posts and noting unique personality traits and linguistic quirks that individuals have, then filtering out the ones who are honestly tweeting versus who is merely parroting language wrought forth by their special interest overlords, we see that many times individual accounts in Twitter really aren't being written with individual thoughts but instead of similar tweets to others.

Naturally one will say a certain amount of data is corrupted, since hot topics are hotly discussed and people will naturally cluster together on issues, but if you take into consideration time and how often tweets appear in relation to each other, and track how much other uses quote others, you find a striking conclusion that there are a core group of people for any particular idea that is hot at the time stimulating a group of people who are their target. This results in a very effective mirage of "grass-roots activism" that many people these days are fond of.

In simple english, "don't always trust what you read" , or in this case, read in your twitter feed.

As an aside, it is fascinating how Twitter has become sort of a torrent of data for human moods and emotions, with some people claiming you can predict stock market movements based on the mood of investors and the frequency of certain keywords.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:17 AM
11,135 posts, read 13,838,137 times
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At the same time one could point to it being a faux twitter because it resembles in a contextual construction those of other tweets, is perhaps just a reflection of the reactionary nature of a mob?

One of my favorite pastimes in places like this forum is watching something on TV, be it a news flash from Fox or MSNBC. Ten minutes later there will be several threads posted on the topic, and all the talking points made during the tv news program will often be nearly identical to what a wide variety of individuals will post. As time passes, those who then adjoin with the thread will often parrot the same talking points as though they are all wearing some headphones that say, "Citizen, this is what you say" and off to repeat it. Once the discussion has deviated from the talking point, it usually begins to fade as they it enters the realm where people have to think for themselves and come up with arguments that were in the "topic mandate to repeat" and it quietly fades into oblivion.

You seem to enjoy the study of systems, so you may enjoy some psychology/sociology on the mass mind/mob mind and public relations. I'd point to a true master of this concept, Edward Bernays

Edward Bernays - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This was one of the most fascinating and interesting programs I've watched in recent times and if you get them time, you may enjoy it as well. I believe this portrays many aspects of herd mentality that you seem to be seeing in the twitter world. While I doubt its the whole explanation, it may be a good part of it.

The Century Of Self Part 1 (of 4) Happiness Machines
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