When It Comes To Followers On X, Bigger Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Better


I frequently have mixed feelings about Elon Musk’s version of Twitter, as on one hand, I think he’s a genius who history will look back on fondly for his efforts to allow free speech.

But then there are the times you see stories on the modern-day man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz (known as “the algorithm”) that really annoy me. It’s been a mystery to me why a man so smart can’t deal with the bots, particularly the porn ones that say stuff like “My small intestine in bio” (or some other similar body part), or the ones that either follow you or like your posts with zero followers, yet have quite ample webcams that are willing to show you all the things you were taught in Sunday School that would result in you burning in Hell.

The latest, however, is hard for me to understand. Apparently, the all-powerful Lord Algorithm now discriminates against you if you interact with smaller accounts. It affects your reach if you do it too much, so that a post that might have been seen by thousands is only seen by hundreds.

I’m not exactly a big account, but this doesn’t seem right on several levels. The first deals with the monetization of X, as I’ve seen more and more comments by bigger accounts that I find myself thinking “they can’t possibly believe that.” You get paid for impressions, and one way to get a lot of impressions is to say something stupid, then sit back and watch thousands of people react. Then you keep the fire burning by every couple of hours jumping in and adding another knucklehead comment or two.

Playing along with this makes you an unpaid accomplice, as they pile up impressions to earn an extra 17 cents next month while your timeline is filled with unwanted bile. It’s gotten to the point that I find myself doing the opposite of what Lord Algorithm suggests, as unless I specifically know the person and what they stand for, I avoid following people with over 10,000 followers.

One reason is they may be playing you for impressions, but I’ve also seen another emerging trend. Seems when somebody gets over the 10K pinnacle of followers, they somehow think this means they’re smart and that people yearn for their comments in regard to everything. There’s a guy on X named Mike Cernovich (who has a little over a million followers) who is the poster child for this. He is the know-it-all of all know-it-alls, and will tell you how you should do everything, from raising a child to even taking a poop. Disagree with him and he’ll attack you.

As I mentioned, I’m not a big account. I had about 3,000 followers with my DullesDistrict account, and I started all over again 14 months ago with my DaveScarangella account. I’m up to about 1,375 followers in that time span, and the bulk of them are accounts between 50 and 250 followers who have specific interests (being a Virginia Tech fan, for example). By and large they’ve been wonderful accounts because they post when they have something to say (versus trying to manufacture impressions), they don’t live on Twitter, and they’re not so full of themselves they think they have to jump in your timeline and disagree with everything to show how smart they are.

Particularly over the last six months, I’ve found conversations on X a bit more enjoyable than previous years, and I’ve found that by focusing on small accounts has been a major part of that. I also avoid anyone who has a political ax to grind, no matter which side they’re on, because in most cases they are looking for a fight instead of seeking civil interaction. But I’ve found a blend of nice people who are not here to earn money, wow each other with opinions, or act like a member of the elite displaying superior intellect to the unwashed masses.

So after thinking it over, I’m sorry, Lord Algorithm. If someone likes a post of mine and I see they like Virginia Tech sports, are dog-lovers, or seem to be nice all-around interesting people, I’m hitting the follow button no matter how few followers they have.

Even if it costs me that extra 17 cents 😊



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