Monday, February 13, 2017

Tweeking Twitter

      I am still working on some aesthetics issues with Gods & Monsters. Lately I have been interested in embedding Twiter. While I occasionally embed single tweet in a post and will continue to do so as whims demand, I wanted the most recent time line on the blog. I did featured an embedded time line on my old blog, but never got around to adding one to my new. Many other blogs which once featured their own time lines no longer do. I assumed an issue with twitter widgets must have developed during my blogging hiatus.
      Indeed one has. Two, in fact. One is more wit the philosophy behind Twitter's censorship practice. The other is a technical issue with the embedded time line widget. The purpose of this post is to discuss the latter, but I cannot ignore the former. Twitter in recent times established the Trust and Safety Council to monitor what the Council deems hate speech. As a clue to the council's idea of what might qualify as hate speech, note on of its members is infamous critic of the presentation of women in the video game industry—Gamergate—Anita Sarkeesian. A number of conservatives, such as Milo Yiannopoulos. A planned speech by Yiannopoulos ay UC-Berkeley recently incited a left wing riot. So...yeah. Free speech supporters. So many conservatives are simply dropping Twitter in response. 
     I understand their motivation, but I choose to stay. If and when I get banned for expressing the "incorrect” views, at least I will know I went down fighting the good fight rather than simply quitting before the thought police caught up to me.
      Setting idealism aside. The real problem lately is with Twitter's embedded time line widget. In the past, it was far easier to edit in order to suit your needs. You could alter the size, colors, and just about everything else. Just fill in the blanks and the code was generated for you. This is no longer the case. These days, the widget is one size fits all in either dark or light color. Neither option looks particularly appealing on anything but a white background. As established in the recent past, my bad eyesight requires a black background.
      For a few days now, I had the dark theme widget embedded time line on her, but it was irking me. It needs to be black! So I went searching for solutions. As everyone knows thee days, you can find anything through Google. Twitter allows for developers to lightly manipulate the CSS code of its wiglets, but not with a whole lot of liberties. For one thing, Twitter does not want the background color of its widget changed. Considering this was precisely what I wanted to do, the problem was clear. The solution turned out to be odd. You can, by inserting a small line of code, make the widgets background transparent. The effect would be the background color of the website bleeding through. In my case, the website color is black. So with the addition of the code, my embedded time line widget now appears black even though it is actually transparent.
     Why will twitter simply not allow you to choose the background color of your embedded time line widget? Who knows? Why is the company so intent on alienating conservative users by labeling their tweets as the speech? There is a reason Twitter lost nearly half a billion dollars of investor's money over the last year. The company makes some seriously bad decisions. Fortunately, I successfully navigated a couple of them to my benefit.

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