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twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

I finally wrote up something explaining that Twitter has not allowed people to pick usernames during signup for almost 3 years now, and that a "jsmith12345678" username pretty much just means you're dealing with a not super technically savvy social media literate person.

tinysubversions.com/notes/twit

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@darius thanks! this will be useful to point people to

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@darius that’s a good write-up! I agree with the conclusion that it’s rude to dismiss these folks but I think we could do a lot better at criticizing the system that throws them into the midst of it like that: they are probably behaving in a rude way, without realizing it - and Twitter the platform does nothing to teach them how to behave well in this chorus of misery.

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@antifuchs Yup. It's about onboarding people as fast as possible. It fuckin sucks.

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@darius
I wonder what played a bigger role in this design choice:
• Twitter wanting to put less focus on pseudonymic usernames/handles and more on 'real' names.
• easier to understand to 'normies' / non-techie users who perhaps don't know what is meant by a username or handle, or why they'd need one
• reducing potential on-boarding friction from telling users their desired username is already taken

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@FiXato @darius Also: wanting people’s only sign-in identifier to be phone number as that’s the sign-in de jour (“thanks”~ Signal/WhatsApp/TikTok/et al for this dumb fad) and is “easy” because your mobile app can just ask the user’s phone for it without asking the user, and that also happens to be useful info for future marketing.

In the early days when Twitter used SMS they had a legitimate reason to have phone numbers, now they don’t.

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@FiXato @darius It would almost be funny that early Twitter helped put usernames on otherwise useless SMS phone addresses and today’s Twitter is stupidly fascinated on replacing user readable usernames with phone numbers.

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@max from the screenshots it does look like email is the default primary identifier, rather than a phone number, and that the phone number isn't registered without it being explicitly entered.
Were these screenshots of the mobile website, or from the mobile app, @darius?

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@darius this explains why my mom's twitter handle has the word "gmail" in it lol

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