A new record: I’m now following -2 people on Twitter.

Ever since I unfollowed everyone – why? For my peace of mind… see –Twitter’s lost the plot. Today it showed me following two people. When I clicked through, it was four. Unfollowed them and…

(If they’re messing this up, what else are they messing up while filtering and moderating your reality and analysing and categorising you?)

@aral oh wow! It keeps going! I thought it was an UI bug one time but this seems more :thinktink: Birdsite is breaking down :blobcatgiggle:

@stux Yeah. Very odd. Documenting them; will write a post about it soon.

@aral Nice! Keep is informed, I’m interested in what happens😸♥️

@stux @aral hello! What you've come across here is one of the compromises for large data storage: you can be fast, or you can be consistent. Take a few minutes to read up on what database sharding (with a D) is all about

@xmakina @stux Thanks, yeah, I know how eventual consistency works. What’s surprising is when an eventually-consistent system is still inconsistent a week after an action is performed. I mean eventual consistency is as much about “consistency” as it is about “eventual”, no? :)

@aral @xmakina @stux i guess it depends on the timeline of "eventual". if "after 3 days", twitter has an issue. if "heat death of the universe", it's all fine ;-)

@thamesynne @aral @stux "followers" probably uses an algorithm rather than an actual database lookup, a bit like how the Google search results are usually approximate and rarely spot-on; it would explain why they're always inconsistent. Numerical certainty suffers from a fairly extreme "last mile" problem in that the more precision, the more resources it takes to work out and the less valuable it is (off by thousands = cheap and bad if you get wrong vs off by 10 = expensive and meaningless if wrong)

@aral So I understand how Twitter has to use front-end caches for message distribution, because a SQL join on followers would destroy their servers. But I would've expected profiles would be database truth. But no, it's doing something like sending a delta to all the front-ends and they show an estimate. If you observed it from another part of the world I bet it'd have a different wrong number.

@aral I’ve never been on Twitter so I might have been one of those negative followers. Sorry, friend.

@onan Haha, no need to be sorry; you dodged a bullet :)

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