Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The DLL Storify as a (filtered) firehose draft

Last update: Wednesday 9/30/15
Whenever the DLL curates a Storify for an event, it embeds the event's tweets at the bottom of a page that provides background information about the event, specifically: a link to the home page of the event's host, a link to the invitation page for the event, a link to the program page for the event, and a brief description of the purpose of the event using words that are slight paraphrases of the description provided by the host on the invitation page and/or event page. The hashtags used to identify the event's tweets are then listed, both the official hashtags specified by the host and other hashtags that appeared in a substantial number of tweets. The background blurb usually concludes with the following disclaimer that the DLL did not edit the tweets:
  • As usual, this DLL Storify is merely a "firehose" draft, i.e., it includes all tweets in chronological order without comment or classification ... Storyfies of other #DiversityInTech events are listed in the DLL Archives.
Of course this disclaimer is not literally true. The DLL usually imposes the following kinds of filters:
  • Offensive tweets -- The DLL deletes tweets that most participants in a tech event would find inappropriate, e.g., photos of genitals, women's breasts, and insulting references to someone's race, gender, age, disability, facial features, weight, intelligence, or mother.  
     
  • Rough language -- The DLL usually deletes tweets that use expletives ... usually ... but it doesn't delete rough tweets from the host, featured guests, or members of a panel.
     
  • Advertisements -- The DLL usually deletes ads for personal or corporate  services ... usually ... but not if the tweeter is the host, featured guest, or member of a panel.
     
  • Retweets -- The DLL usually deletes retweets ... usually ... but not if the tweeter is the host, featured guest, or member of a panel. 
     
  • Foreign languages -- The DLL only curates tweets in English because the DLL's editor is only fluent in English. Therefore he wouldn't recognize tweets that were offensive, used rough language, or were advertisements if the tweets were in a different language.
     
  • Twitter Chats -- The DLL lays a heavy hand on Twitter Chats. Its filtered drafts only include comments by the host and comments by the featured guest(s). Tweets from everyone else are deleted ... except where a third party tweet evokes a direct response from the host or from the guest(s).
Some events require more filtering than others. The White House Demo Day (8/4/15) featured entrepreneurs and President Barack Obama, the nation's first African American president. Soooooooooo, as might have been expected, roughly 10 percent of the event's 2000 tweets were deleted, i.e., retweets from avid fans of the president, ads from entrepreneurs promoting their own services, rough language about the president, racist comments about the president, and obscene photos intended as insults to the president ... :-(