How Twitter misleads us about how many people have left — and what to do about it

Social feeds are engines for distorting social understanding. Here’s how to push back against the algorithm.

A Mountain Bluebird attacks its own reflection in a car mirror. Photo CC-By-2.0 Tom Koerner

By filling feeds with a continuous stream of voices, platforms create the illusion that the room is full when many people have already left

Social media feeds are designed to mislead us about the opinions and behaviors of the people in our lives

Overcoming Twitter’s Distorting Influence

A graph showing blue and orange smiley faces. Orange smiley faces are interested in taking action, but they don’t know each other and they won’t take action without observing at least one or two others.
Illustrating the Threshold Model of Collective Action. Image by Drew Margolin

How to Create an Out-of-Office Note on Twitter

Achieving a Better Social Media Ecosystem



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J. Nathan Matias

Citizen social science to improve digital life & hold tech accountable. Assistant Prof, Cornell. Prev: Princeton, MIT. Guatemalan-American