All posts tagged: Twitter

What the Robot Reporter learned from 10,000 news tweets

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fuckwittery / geek / journalism / Uncategorized

In January 2015 I put together a simple twitterbot called Robot Reporter. The idea was to see if I could keep track of breaking news by monitoring Twitter for the journalists who use it as a way to find images of newsworthy events. It works a little like this. Something happens, and a user photographs it: Fire at Resorts World Casino / Aqueduct! @ABC7NY pic.twitter.com/YWYaoMDQ0N — J.Barnes (@JBar387) May 15, 2016 A journalist spots that tweet, and […]

How To: Write a RTing Twitter bot in PHP

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geek / how to

File this one under “stuff I’ve been meaning to look up for ages”: yesterday I finally sat down and wrote a Twitter-bot. You know the kind – a dedicated account that looks for updates containing a certain word or phrase, then retweets them – I often end up being tweeted by @redscarebot, for example. Anyhow, here’s how to write your own, in just a few lines of PHP. You’ll need: 1) A server running PHP […]

When bad news makes money, making up bad news is good business

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fuckwittery / journalism

The other day a message scrolled past in my Twitter feed: Which made me think: if the sea off Fukushima really were boiling, I’m pretty sure we would have heard about it. Except if there were some sort of amazing cover-up, in which case why would NHK (which is, essentially, the Japanese BBC) be showing pictures? Doesn’t make sense. But a quick search showed that the photo was being shared left, right and centre – […]

How to remove “Who to follow” from Twitter

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fuckwittery / geek / how to

Twitter’s new “Who to follow” thing is as dumb as a bag of rocks. Here’s how to remove it from Firefox in ten easy steps: Go here and install the Stylish Firefox extension. Restart when prompted. Click tools, then Add-ons. Click the new User Styles tab Click “Write new style” Give it the name Twitter_WTF, tag it Twitter In the main box, enter this: #recommended_users{display:none;} Click Save If there’s an Enable button, click it Close […]

Crushing predictability

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fuckwittery / journalism

Further to my bitter ramblings about the way that every news event is followed by crap articles explaining how Twitter saved the day, yesterday evening a plane ditched in the Hudson river. Today, with crushing predictability, we get the Twangles – first from The Guardian (check out the headline) then from the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones, who amazingly found out about the crash at 21.45 thanks to the wonder of microblogging. Great. Brilliant. Except that I […]