Connect with us

TWITTER

Meet the man behind some of the best questions on Twitter

Published

on

Eric Alper

(CNN)Eric Alper is a music publicist. But if social media is any gauge, he spends a good part of his day sparking conversation by crafting questions on Twitter, like “What opening lyric of a song gives you chills?”

More than 45,000 people responded to a question he posted about the film that traumatized them the most as children (“Poltergeist, “Salem’s Lot,” oh and “Dumbo”). And his question about perfectly-cast film roles generated 5,000 responses, including one from someone who tapped the entire cast of “Casablanca,” another suggesting Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and a third nominating the actors in the Harry Potter films — responses that give a sense of the wide of people chiming in.

Sure, other Twitter accounts have more followers. Just within the entertainment sphere, for instance, comedian Ellen DeGeneres has 79 million followers, compared to Alper’s considerable but much smaller base of 750,000 Tweeps. Few if any of Alper’s tweets go viral. But the Toronto-born music enthusiast is perfectly fine with that.

    “I know how to get popular on Twitter, and it is never even a consideration,” he told CNN in a recent interview.

      Amassing a massive following is not Alper’s intent. Instead, he’s said he’s just trying to tap into a shared sense of nostalgia. Witness the 3,000 replies in less than 24 hours earned by his tweet asking for the album we can “objectively” consider a masterpiece. (And the answer is: Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall.” Or Manu Chao’s “Proxima Estacion Esperanza.” Or is it “Tapestry” by Carole King?)

        His questions are such a fun, walk down memory lane that his Twitter account may just be one of the reasons not to delete yours.

        See also  Twitter reacts to Leon Edwards' bloody win over late-charging Nate Diaz at UFC 263

        While Alper frequently asks about music (a topic he knows thoroughly even though he doesn’t play any instruments himself), he deliberately posts threads that tap into knowledge everyone has rather niche stuff. Topics like the first record you ever bought (for Alper, that was “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis; the year was 1978, and Alper was eight years old.) Or he’ll ask his followers about the first concert they attended (Alper: ABBA in 1977 with his parents).

          “It is not a grand experiment. It is not a way to scrape data — just a really great way for people to keep talking,” Alper said.

          He added, “The ability to make the questions as broad as possible is a way for people to calm their nerves during a time when social media and normal conversations are tight and narrow and full of emotion.”

          Advertisement
          free widgets for website

          Alper said even some artists have responded where they’ve been tagged.

          Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith said it made his day when a fan references him or one of his songs in a response to a question from Alper on Twitter.

          “Twitter can be an angry, unforgiving place but Eric’s Twitter feed is a force for good,” Sexsmith told CNN.

          Beth Ward has been following Alper on Twitter for five years and she said she considers his feed “a free-form democracy” where “everyone can interact.”

          “It’s not political. It’s not angry,” Ward told CNN in an email. “There’s an element of joy, it’s like when your favorite song is played on the radio or in the supermarket … Everyone can come to the table and share their preferences in a judgement-free zone.”

          Advertisement
          free widgets for website

          Alper said his direct message inbox is full of people who say they check his account first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night because “it’s a place for positivity.”

          See also  NBA Twitter explodes after the 76ers star posts a controversial picture on his IG ... - The SportsRush

          “It’s like an open call-in show,” says Alper, who also hosts a show in SiriusXM.

          And while he’s naturally nostalgic for the 70s and 80s when he was growing up, he has an appreciation for current music, too.

          “Drake is their Bruce Springsteen,” he said about his younger followers.

          The former record company executive, who once worked for Ringo Starr (“You don’t bring up the Beatles unless he does”), is also motivated to teach the younger generation about what came before.

          Advertisement
          free widgets for website

          “I know there were people who have never heard of Pink Floyd, as amazing as that sounds,” he said. “There are 15-year-olds who have never heard of Nirvana.”

            A desire to educate new music fans is one thing that keeps him going. The other thing? The simple thrills that music gives him. He can still viscerally recall that first concert back in 1977, and the hum of anticipation he felt in front of the curtain, waiting for it to lift, waiting for it to reveal ABBA.

            “There is nothing like [that] excitement,” he said. “I am still chasing that high in a natural sense every day.”

            Read More

            TWITTER

            Elon Musk Says He’ll Pay $11 Billion in Taxes in 2021 But Twitter Wants ‘Proof’

            Published

            on

            By

            elon-musk-says-he’ll-pay-$11-billion-in-taxes-in-2021-but-twitter-wants-‘proof’

            Elon Musk took to Twitter to clarify once and for all that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes this year.

            If the number of times Elon Musk could count when someone has asked him to pay the full taxes, he would be a very rich..wait, never mind. The Tesla boss is rich beyond any private individual has been in history, reports said.

            Musk has increasingly been facing criticism from many politicians and many others who insist he has not been paying taxes as compared to the profits his companies have been making. On Sunday, the SpaceX CEO took to Twitter to share that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes.

            For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021

            But some of the questions did not stop. One person tweeted how they needed to see Musk’s tax returns while yet another asked how much percentage was that of his total income.

            A few were, however scathing of the government who thought they will add that amount to their pockets rather than using it for some proper development.

            Advertisement
            free widgets for website

            Wow that’s enough to give each person in the world almost $2 million but instead the government will just stick it in their pockets— greg (@greg16676935420) December 20, 2021

            Why not $200 billion? Asking for a Senator— litquidity (@litcapital) December 20, 2021

            Earlier this week, Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren has tweeted to say that Musk should pay taxes and stop “freeloading off everyone else” after Time magazine named him its “person of the year”.

            In response, Musk shot four tweets in which he said that the senator reminded him of a friend’s angry mom who yelled at everybody. He tweeted, ““And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.” “Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already.”

            He added further, “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.”

            Musk responded by saying that he “will pay more taxes than any American in history this year”. This Twitter exchange left netizens divided as even though many supported Warren and agreed that Musk should pay more taxes, others felt that he was already doing enough.

            Musk’s Tesla is worth about $1 trillion. Over the last few weeks, he has sold nearly $14 billion worth of Tesla shares.

            Advertisement
            free widgets for website

            The Tesla boss has been pushing for his colonize Mars agenda for years now, and has made it very clear in some occasions that he would rather spend the money on putting humanity on the red planet, than pay his taxes. “My plan,” the SpaceX founder tweeted about his fortune, “is to use the money to get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness.”

            See also  Twitter Floods with SOS Calls for 'Amphotericin B' as Black Fungus Cases Surge in Covid-19 Patients
            Continue Reading

            TWITTER

            Twitter Admits Policy ‘Errors’ After Far-Right Abuse Its New Rules of Posting Pictures

            Published

            on

            By

            twitter-admits-policy-‘errors’-after-far-right-abuse-its-new-rules-of-posting-pictures

            Twitter’s new picture permission policy was aimed at combating online abuse, but US activists and researchers said Friday that far-right backers have employed it to protect themselves from scrutiny and to harass opponents.

            Even the social network admitted the rollout of the rules, which say anyone can ask Twitter to take down images of themselves posted without their consent, was marred by malicious reports and its teams’ own errors.

            It was just the kind of trouble anti-racism advocates worried was coming after the policy was announced this week.

            Their concerns were quickly validated, with anti-extremism researcher Kristofer Goldsmith tweeting a screenshot of a far-right call-to-action circulating on Telegram: “Due to the new privacy policy at Twitter, things now unexpectedly work more in our favor.”

            “Anyone with a Twitter account should be reporting doxxing posts from the following accounts,” the message said, with a list of dozens of Twitter handles.

            Advertisement
            free widgets for website

            Gwen Snyder, an organizer and researcher in Philadelphia, said her account was blocked this week after a report to Twitter about a series of 2019 photos she said showed a local political candidate at a march organized by extreme-right group Proud Boys.

            Rather than go through an appeal with Twitter she opted to delete the images and alert others to what was happening.

            “Twitter moving to eliminate (my) work from their platform is incredibly dangerous and is going to enable and embolden fascists,” she told AFP.

            In announcing the privacy policy on Tuesday, Twitter noted that “sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm.”

            See also  India chides Twitter for not complying with blocking orders

            But the rules don’t apply to “public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweets are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”

            Advertisement
            free widgets for website

            By Friday, Twitter noted the roll out had been rough: “We became aware of a significant amount of coordinated and malicious reports, and unfortunately, our enforcement teams made several errors.”

            “We’ve corrected those errors and are undergoing an internal review to make certain that this policy is used as intended,” the firm added.

            Continue Reading

            TWITTER

            Jack Dorsey Post Twitter Is Chasing His Crypto, Fintech Dream

            Published

            on

            By

            jack-dorsey-post-twitter-is-chasing-his-crypto,-fintech-dream

            At a packed Miami conference in June, Jack Dorsey, mused in front of thousands of attendees about where his real passion lay: “If I weren’t at Square or Twitter, I’d be working on Bitcoin.”

            On Monday, Dorsey made good on one part of that, announcing he would leave Twitter for the second time, handing the CEO position to a 10-year veteran at the firm. The 45-year-old entrepreneur, who is often described as an enigma with varied interests from meditation to yoga to fashion design, plans to pursue his passion which include focusing on running Square and doing more philanthropic work, according to a source familiar with his plan.

            Well before the surprise news, Dorsey had laid the groundwork for his next chapter, seeding both companies with cryptocurrency-related projects.

            Underlying Dorsey’s broader vision is the principle of “decentralisation,” or the idea that technology and finance should not be concentrated among a handful of gatekeepers, as it is now, but should, instead, be steered by the hands of the many, either people or entities.

            The concept has played out at Square, which has built a division devoted to working on projects and awarding grants with the aim of growing Bitcoin’s popularity globally. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 44.52 lakh as of 12:50pm IST on December 1.

            Advertisement
            free widgets for website

            Dorsey has been a longtime proponent of Bitcoin, and the appeal is that the cryptocurrency will allow for private and secure transactions with the value of Bitcoin unrelated to any government.

            The idea has also underpinned new projects at Twitter, where Dorsey tapped a top lieutenant – and now the company’s new CEO Parag Agrawal – to oversee a team that is attempting to construct a decentralised social media protocol, which will allow different social platforms to connect with one another, similar to the way email providers operate.

            See also  Twitter reacts to Leon Edwards' bloody win over late-charging Nate Diaz at UFC 263

            The project called Bluesky will aim to allow users control over the types of content they see online, removing the “burden” on companies like Twitter to enforce a global policy to fight abuse or misleading information, Dorsey said in 2019 when he announced Bluesky.

            Bitcoin has also figured prominently at both of his companies. Square became one of the first public companies to own Bitcoin assets on its balance sheet, having invested $220 million (roughly Rs. 1,650 crore) in the cryptocurrency.

            In August, Square created a new business unit called TBD to focus on Bitcoin. The company is also planning to build a hardware wallet for Bitcoin, a Bitcoin mining system, as well as a decentralised Bitcoin exchange.

            Advertisement
            free widgets for website

            Twitter allows users to tip their favourite content creators with Bitcoin and has been testing integrations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset that allows people to collect unique digital art.

            Analysts see the transition as a positive signal for Square, the fintech platform he co-founded in 2009. Square’s core Cash App, after a bull run in its share in 2020, has experienced slower growth in the most recent quarter. It is also trying to digest the $29 billion (roughly Rs. 2,17,240 crore) acquisition of Buy Now Pay Later provider Afterpay, its largest acquisition ever.

            But these ambitions will not pay off until years from now, analysts cautioned.

            “The blockchain platform they’re trying to develop is great but also fraught with technical challenges and difficult to scale for consumers. I think he’ll focus more on Square and crypto will be part of that,” said Christopher Brendler, an analyst at DA Davidson.

            See also  Twitter Floods with SOS Calls for 'Amphotericin B' as Black Fungus Cases Surge in Covid-19 Patients

            © Thomson Reuters 2021

            Advertisement
            free widgets for website

            Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

            Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

            (This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

            Continue Reading

            Trending