Using Twitter or Facebook for news

I hear a lot of people tell me they use twitter and or Facebook to get their news. I myself don’t do this, I use News apps/websites to keep up on the news. I’m wondering why that isn’t considered good enough anymore by some people?

Twitter and Facebook cater to the hive mind – what’s trending, interesting to the most people, etc., is what gets fed to them. I recommend going to multiple news sources, across the political spectrum, both domestic and international. Try to build a 360-degree understanding of events, their causes and implications. Avoid opinion pieces.


Agreed but easier said than done.

Not really difficult at all. Create a bookmark set of the sources to visit daily, vs. sets for weekly or monthly visits, and set aside time every day to scan the horizon. I just figure it’s my mind, so I’m the only one who’s qualified to be the gatekeeper.


Excellent recommendations by @anon41602260 . Obtaining a broad understanding of events is desirable, even mandatory, in this age of polarized opinions and one-side presentation of news.

Facebook’s business model depends on ever-increasing “engagement” by users. It achieves this by various methods, including feedback with mini-reinforcement (“likes”) and tailoring news feeds and other content make users more comfortable. These practices have the undesirable consequences of increasing polarization, groupthink and echo-chamber binary thinking. Many others have concluded, and I agree, that this has harmed our society.

Independent thinkers do not need, and should not want, the likes of Facebook to filter their news. The idea of an all-inclusive Facebook “walled garden” is the antithesis of one of the original goals of the World Wide Web - an infrastructure allowing free exchange of ideas, open to all and controlled by no one entity. Quoted from the NY Times article linked below:

“When someone logs in, there are typically about 1,500 items the company could display in that person’s news feed, but the service shows only about 300 of them.”

I cannot imagine a less worthy or less desirable entity to control, tailor or “feed” anyone’s news than Facebook.

I encourage you to read the following two articles (links below), both from reputable (although not necessarily unbiased) sources. The first is from the NY Times, describing an actual Facebook experiment on its users to adjust its news feeds to tinker with users’ emotions.
Link to NY Times article:

The second article from provides a more extensive analysis of Facebook’s methods, including the algorithms used to manipulate individual users’ news feeds.
Link to article:

Quote from the article:

“Facebook’s algorithms give users what they want, so each person’s News Feed becomes a unique reality, a filter bubble that creates the illusion that most people the user knows believe the same things. Showing users only posts they agree with was good for Facebook’s bottom line, but some research showed it also increased polarization and, as we learned, harmed democracy.”


I dumped Facebook mid year 2018 and I 100% feel better without it.

Twitter can be a good thing for curating news and sources, but again the problem is biasing of said information, so I have multiple news sources and outlets in my feed. I just avoid doing any deep dives into comments on controversial posts or threads, that’s where the real negativity and dark edges of social media can really rear and ugly head.


Yes, true. And that’s why it’s easy to fall into the intellectual laziness trap of allowing Facebook to spoon-feed one’s news.

(I’m not trying to be disrespectful to any individual. My disrespect is directed to Facebook’s management culture, not to its users.)

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I don’t use Facebook.

I used to use Twitter heavily. Now I use it to get news via the Nuzzel website (and iOS app). Nuzzel especially shines if you bother put all your Twitter follows into separate, delineated Lists, as Nuzzel can show you news based on List, broken down by most popular links shared over your choive of time period (eg last hour, last 2/4/8/24 hours). I follow nearly 5,000 Twitter accounts and everyone is put into one or more of the 20 lists I configured. For example, I follow 503 accounts put into a MUSIC list, and Nuzzel shows me the following for a 24-hr period

and the last 1-hr period:

One nice thing about Nuzzel is that without clicking through to an article I can save it to my Pocket account to read later.

Here’s the top 3 news stories over the last 24 hours from my MAC/TECH list:

Wow Nuzzle sounds great. I find Twitter way too cluttered with off-topic material to spend any time except when I get a specific notification.

But at this point I get 95% of news I’d bet through RSS.


I use Twitter to follow news through certain PEOPLE rather than SOURCES if that makes sense. So I’ll follow, for instance, influential thinkers and reporters in the national security space. But the same idea works for any type of news arena.

For actual news, I read the newspaper and subscribe to reputable news magazines. I’ll read long form articles from good sources on the net and get quick downloads through the News app, too.

Almost never do I intake news from television. There’s only one program I will (on PBS), but I don’t want to turn this into a discussion of specific sources.


Because most people aren’t actually interested in “the News”, they just want a general sense of what is going on, eg they want to know that the government has shut down, and they want to know that it has reopened, but they don’t give two hoots about all the politicians being politicians nonsense that occurred in between.

This Nuzzle app sounds good, I’ll check it out.

It’s Nuzzel, not nuzzle. You can check it out by just going to and choosing ‘Sign In With Twitter’ and you’ll see the default: top stories in the last 24 hours from your entire feed, with the option to change the time period searched, and even see the top stories compiled of the people who you follow. For example, right now for me, the top shared story by people I follow was shared by 13 of them:

And in “News From Friends of Friends” the two top stories over the last 24 hours were shared by 5 people, none of them I (think i) follow:

What’s especially great is that you see the tweets that delivered those stories, and sometimes the tweets give context or opinions that are useful (or sometimes just entertaining).

I have the newspaper delivered every morning and enjoy some moments of “digital quiet” with my morning coffee.

Facebook+Twitter: left ~5 years ago.

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I visited my granddaughter in her loft apartment last week.

During breakfast I asked if I could borrow a newspaper. She said, “Grandpa, I don’t have newspapers. Here, use my iPad.”

BAM! That darn fly never knew what hit him!

For some reason, my granddaughter is still mad at me.

Old joke.

Even older commercial.


In German, but you get the meaning. “Granddad and the iPad he got as a gift”

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