A Genocidal Pause, Live Updating and an Experiment in Algorithm Probing
From the ABC News Live Desk, via YesXorNo's laptop and Substack to you.
[This mornings’ “Live” reporting from ABC News.]
In solidarity with reporters at ABC News I figured I should also suffer a little during the Live Updates. They have to watch the wires. I’ll watch them.
We’ll see which coping strategies I am required to develop.
Let’s start with the details for the “pause”:
From the ABC News “Live Updates”.
To quote Napolitano “More as we get it.” Oldest first (i.e scroll down for newer).
Strike me pink, Israel’s IDF are attacking civilians, refugees of multiple wars, the target of a genocide while they shelter in a UN school. Count the number of war crimes committed in the one act! Perhaps there’s some ignoble competition for maximum number of heinous crimes in the one action? I dunno.
Whatever the case, don’t get all het up about the ceasefire being broken just as it begins. We have no datetime. Looks like a little present from the IDF before the festivities begin.
Substack decided to tell 25 more people than nobody about this little forray into Live Reporting.
Does this mean they disapprove of my solidarity with the ABC News Lasses and Laddies? Do they find my lack of humor distasteful? Are they controlled by Zionist bankers? Or is the algorithm they run on articles after submission to decide if their email notification system kicks in just not fit for purpose for a Live Updates style article? Who the f**k knows.
Oh shit! Wrong topic!
Quick, replicate the article before update! Hit the panic button! Where’s the backup? Do you have charge in your mobile? What’s mum’s number anyway?
A visit from Executive Editor has restored calm in the newsroom. The instruction is: you are scientists, behave like them.
Following the natural comment of "yeah, but you're saying the quiet bit out loud" a quick whip around for ideas was held. Based on the fact that we've seen this "Nope, no notification for you” shit before the consensus is to spam the crap out of whoever the unlucky 25 are and push this shit until it breaks. In so doing more may be learnt about the dumb-arse, not fit for purpose, automated notification gate which is getting in our way.
As of the last [COPY] when notification still did not happen, on top of a title and subtitle, but not including the 'copyright none' footer or the 'support links', we have (by update):
words: 233, 509, 732, 870
images: 3, 4, 6, 9
links: 4, 4, 6, 6
unique URL targets: 2, 2, 4, 4
buttons: 1, 1, 1, 1
And that is not enough to pass the notification gate. Notification is still those unlucky 25.
[This section of the article got updated with the article to see if the scientists could scry some science from the recalcitrant email notification decision engine, which is what all those numbers are about.]
Stay tuned, both science and a pause in a genocide are happening!
Apologies in advance to the unlucky 25. We have no idea who you are or how the filter system selected you from the over 1300 on the subscription list. Thank you for supporting science!
Meanwhile, here in safe Sydney where the schools dont get bombed, rather than there in Gaza where even hospitals and refugee camps do, a local solidarity group has called for a school walkout to meet up with a protest at Sydney's (magnificent) Town Hall.
[A Live Update].
Well, hello democracy! Not the best weather for it here today with the champions at the Bureau of Meteorology issuing this cheery forcast for the plants:
[Nice showers last night are to likely be followed by more today. TGIF!]
But, "you're not made of sugar" as my Dad used to say, so any number of principled young Australians may descend on the public spaces around the Town Hall and possibly have their first taste of the solidarity of a public protest! I’m with you in spirit. I even used to be a student (in an institution, as opposed to ‘of life’) once.
Consequently, those wonderful people who use public transport should be cognizant of potential delays getting into or out of Town Hall Station, though our other good friends at Transport NSW will be doing their damnedest to make sure that the "trains run on time!", for which we send our thanks!
[Just a reminder, Readers, there’s a science experiment going on here.]
UNWRA Commissioner-General Philipple Lazzarini has chipped in reminding all that this UN agenciy is sheltering 1 million people in its facilities in Gaza. This prompts the question when was the last time that Israel paid its UN dues, and for how much? Similarly, UNWRA should be thankful that Israel is giving them something to do!
And, the good journo's following the wires remind us that Israel and Hezbollah are also killing each other across the border of another Israeli Occupied Territory, that of the Golan Heights.
Just so Europe doesn't feel like its not involved, 500 members of the German security forces raided 13 locations around Berlin which were harboring people who think that killing children in Gaza is ‘not the done thing’.
Over here on the Eastern seaboard of Australia reading statements from the German Interior Minister about not tolerating apology or support doesn't look that good. Lets leave that to the Unified Germans to sort out at the next election or street protest.
And, the data is in!!!
With 5 republications involving in the end in excess of 870 words, 9 images, 6 links, and whathaveyou the email notification gateway refused to budge.
What has been learned? We'll, articles of far less words and images have received approval for notification by the recalitrant gateway, so the final stats tell us very little other than, the assessment is made once at the start. Then, one can extend and copy to one's heart's content, but no new decision will be made. This is good because one does not with to spam the crap out of people, except in special circumstances. 🤫
However, the gateway restriction limits the distribution which thus limits Substack's growth and revenue. So, its a tricky one for them to get right.
The conclusion is that Substack is not a platform for live reporting unless one begins with an article which triggers an "Okay, sure" from the email notification gateway. The experiment did not provide any increase in understanding of how to trigger that. So, back to the drawing board for your experimental design, YesXorNo!
But, the other lesson, apart from "Don't bother with this crap again" is
Opaque algorithms have again proved a thorn in the side of independent journalists, even on a publishling platform which doesn't censor what one says.
Who woulda thunk? 😎
Have fun out there!
And a final suggestion to those delivering aid to Gaza. Fill up your fuel tanks and leave the trucks behind. The Gazans need the fuel. Consider the trucks as special aid. You are heroes!
Oh, and keep you head down on the way out.
NB: I started from scratch for this, with the “new” button. If this thing doesn’t get past that gateway there is going to be some broken crockery around here …. The choice for the Culture Section to come should indicate which way that went.
Live Updates: Israel-Gaza war live updates: Benjamin Netanyahu vows war will continue after ceasefire as Israeli strikes on Gaza continue, Georgie Hewson, Riley Stuart & Adam Harvey so far, ABC News, 2023-11-24
note that the headline will not be constant, but the link should be.
Compassion for Journalists: Sucking the Wire Services Firehose, YesXorNo, YesXorNo, 2023-11-07
FLAMENCO BLUES • "Spanish Shadows", Justin Johnson, uploaded 2022-05-31