Today on Twitter Can’t Count: Twitter ended up following two more people for me. One of whom had no followers while I was apparently following them.

These are the systems folks trust to filter reality for them, eh?

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@aral might want to revoke all your app tokens because it's possible one of them is auto-following for you?

@trwnh Thanks. Just did (and found some 10-year-old permissions in there) :)



In your second screenshot you can see the person's last tweet: "Taking a twitter break[...]"

Maybe the hell-site algorithm thought: "Hm...Aral seems to take a break from Twitter...let's connect these two persons - they seem to have similar interests".

Oh dear! 😄

@janriemer No idea :) Could be powered by a random number generator for all we know.

@aral you might have some connected apps that silently help you 'find new friends' in exchange for money

@rosano Nope. But I did deauthorise nearly all apps (apart from Tweetbot) earlier today. And it followed two more people afterwards.

@aral How on earth is twitter managing their data consistency?
Have you tried like waiting for some hours to see if it self corrects?

@arunmathaisk No idea :) Doesn’t seem to self-correct. A few folks have mentioned that it might be suspended accounts reactivating… who knows? That’s the real problem, we have no insight into how one of the largest filters of reality works because we have no algorithmic transparency.

@aral I've noticed that when accounts are suspended (and maybe also disabled), follow relationships will disappear. If, when a suspension is lifted, the relationships are "unhidden", perhaps that could explain the behavior you're seeing? E.g. the relationships were hidden from you and your unfollowing tool but actually still there.

Just a guess of course.

@joelving Sounds plausible. The problem, of course, is that we don’t know how any of it works. No algorithmic transparency.

Maybe that second account also had one negative follower, so it made you follow that account to balance that out?

... and maybe those negative followers keep happening because there're just not enough positive people on Twitter?
Or because someone unfollowed them so hard that it was counted twice?

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