Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Mon. Nov. 23, 2020

Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Mon. Nov. 23, 2020

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Last week, I was setting up a new Twitter account–I know, don’t use Twitter, use Parler–and as it turned out, I wound up not setting up the account.
But a few interesting things to note. I was using a fresh email account, so Twitter had no idea of my likes, dislikes, or preferences.
As you go through the set up process, it asks if you’d like to start following some accounts they suggest. Here were the first five on the list, of what Twitter suggested a new user should be following: Barack Obama, basketball player LeBron James, the Iowa Department of Transportation, Kamala Harris, and Michelle Obama. I’ll give you the Iowa DOT…but see anything, or things, in common about the others?
I clicked “skip” and got through that, and completed the setup. Then on the shiny clean new Twitter feed page, with no tweets posted and no one being followed, there was another list of suggested accounts to follow. The ten that showed up, in order: Joe Biden, AOC, Kamala Harris, singer Ariana Grande, the PlayStation gaming system…then Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, ABC News, and Hillary Clinton.
Of that 10…one inanimate object, one pop singer, one formerly mainstream news operation…and seven Democrats.
I don’t know how they suggest who they suggest…but it was frankly sad to see. A platform with so much promise, so much potential…reduced to shilling for one side and censoring the other.
I blew up that account without making a single post…and with an even sharper sense of what they’re all about.