Twitter's latest social experiment overwhelms users with needless spam

In its latest experiment, Twitter is receiving a lot of complaints from irked users when it decided to tweak its network to retweet messages that users mark as favorites. Users are complaining that they are seeing tweets that are favorited by those whom they follow in their Twitter timeline like a retweet, with many also getting notification alerts when others follow a new users.

The experiment began on a smaller scale several weeks ago and it appears that Twitter is widening this experiment to more users according to a report from The Next Web. Most notably, former Wall Street Journal and All Things D editor, now with Re/Code, Peter Kafka is lamenting on the network itself, "Twitter filling my feed with stuff I didn't ask for - stuff other people follow and fav."

Whereas retweeting is an explicit act of sharing on Twitter for content that users find interesting, marking a Tweet as a "favorite" is a far more passive act to acknowledge the sender of the original tweet, thank the person, or agree with them. By automatically retweeting content marked as favorite can overwhelm users of Twitter as it adds content that may not be shared in the first place.

So far, Twitter has not responded to comments about its latest social experiment, though the company has a blog to explain some of its trials.

Are you seeing this latest experiment in your Twitter feed? Let us know in the comments.

Source: The Next Web

 

Reader comments

Twitter's latest social experiment overwhelms users with needless spam

34 Comments

Yeah, G+ is not much better with its "What's Hot and Recommended" spam but I prefer it over Twitter and have moved most of what I could over to G+.

Plus G+ app looks nicer and is a pleasure to work with.

It's really a pain that I have to see those notifications every day, especially when it's about some person some people followed.

Posted via Android Central App

I favourite as a bookmark; a reminder to check it out later, maybe watch a video when I have WiFi. Because there's no other way to do that. So this experiment would be very annoying.

There is, use getpocket. I pocket everything then do it later and it's private unless I want to share it. Basically it's a cloud bookmark.

I uninstalled twitter but I got sick of emails of them, I know it could probably be turned off somewhere but I just unsubscribed and then uninstalled, g+ I turned off notifications for it, just got to work out why it is spamming my email with every reply to certain communities or whatever they call them, two of the worst apps to get my head round.

Posted via the Android Central App

I find it irritating that twitter will notify me when a few people I follow decide to follow someone. I don't care, twitter, who follows who.

I don't understand this whole "switching" thing. Google+ and Twitter aren't similar at all. I use both for different use cases. It's possible to live in a world with multiple social networks.

Posted via the Android Central App

Spot on. You can't compare them at all. For me twitter is about following people you are interested in and Google+ is for following subjects you are interested in.

Posted via the Android Central App

Hope you enjoy countless spam posts "<user you follow> +1'd this post from <complete stranger you don't care about>." Not to mention the ovewhelming number of posts <user you follow> commented on a video on YouTube and even though you can see those comments just fine in YouTube, we're gonna spam your G+ stream with them anyway."

I never update their app because it only gets worse and worse. I think I have the notifications working out now to only pop for tweets from the 20 people I've chosen. No favorites or recently followed notifications.

I had one a few days telling me someone was new twitter and that I should welcome them, I did - but I have no idea who they are - or why Twitter told me.....

Hmm, a classic example of a service provider not understanding, or just not caring, how it's users actually use its service.

Posted via Android Central App

Yep, it drives me nuts.
I'm giving up on twitter!!
So much spam and nonsense, like if I care about who is following who?!
And the pathetic RT's on a non stop trend...
I liked twitter for following reporters breaking news only, but lately I find so much spam that I just lost interest, and removed the pathetic non sense notifications that were driving me insane.

I'm not trying to knock twitter but I STILL don't get the purpose of twitter.

Based on the article, twitter doesn't seem to get the purpose of twitter either.

I'm going back to rss feeds.

I only got twitter to keep track of news on stuff I care about, but I can do that with rss and not get annoyed.

Is Google Reader still a thing?

Posted via Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 (2013)

That's why am was getting those notifications. They were annoying it was like (two of my random followers) have just followed (some random person). I'm like Twitter if you're trying to tell me that I may know the person, tell me that. But yeah it was spam otherwise. I like Twitter and I'll continue to use it, but just fix that.

NexusLogic - Working on his Nexus 7 in the Nexus Lab

I've always turned off my twitter notifications for everything except updates to who has followed me, mentioned me, etc.

This is about stuff that automatically shows as if it's a tweet. Turning off notifications doesn't stop it. You'll get tweets that seem random - not from anyone you follow or a retweet from anyone you follow - and you'll get a tweet that says, "so-and-so follows so-and-so" in the header, and some recent tweet from that other person. It's really annoying.

Social networks are nothing more that experiments anyway. We can't just post what we want and see what we want to see. We have to see what Facebook and Twitter and G+ wants us to see. We have to go into settings and modify everything in order for these sites/apps to act right and even that's not a guarantee. Its getting ridiculous.

Posted via Android Central App

This is new?! I've seen it happening for a few months now!

Getting notifications about people followed by people who I'm following is not new. It was turned on by default many updates ago. I turned off notifications for New Contacts and Recommendations when I first saw this was happening and problem solved. Seriously, if you don't care about me enough to follow me back, I don't have to care about who you do choose to follow.

As for Favorites showing up in the main timeline, I already saw that coming. They already show up in the Activity and Discover tabs. Also, if you keep refreshing your main timeline when there are no new tweets to display, Twitter pushes one of those favorites to your main timeline too.

For twitter It is hidden but you can turn off the favorites. Settings, @name, notifications. From there you can tweak it.

Posted via the Android Central App

I can't get twitter to work half the time anyways. I click on something, the screen goes black for 5 seconds and it dumps me right back and doesn't do anything.

Oh, and this pisses you off, where were you when they started doing "promoted tweets"?

Actually, I have been getting notifications for several months for when several friends like specific tweets or when more than one person are following the same new person, with no way to turn off either. I personally have started getting a little annoyed at Twitter over it, which started a downfall for me of using it less and less. Which is a shame since it's such an easy way to communicate when you have the time since it's not a huge amount of info to parse through.