When I became a journalist, I was advised to subscribe to Twitter.

I don't have to post irrelevant observations in which everyone can really recognize themselves, which everyone can really like and which would

bring me

fame .

True to the now unspeakable mantra that a good journalist is everywhere, but not concerned with anything – not even a good one!

– mean, I don't have to do that on Twitter either.

But as a young journalist, you should be there like a good journalist!

So I signed up without tweeting.

Within a year I managed to get a good 100 journalists to follow me – no jokes!

Caroline O Jebens

Editor in the society department at FAZ.NET.

  • Follow I follow

Through Twitter I found out amazing things about myself. Among other things, who I am: Based on the little data I had fed the algorithm with over a year – name, email address, likes – it spit out metadata: Me spoke German and English, okay, but also supposedly Finnish, Dutch and Swedish!

I was flattered that a vocabulary limited to subway stations and "I'll have [the dish of the day] and a glass of wine with it" was recognized as a genuine knowledge of the language.

Knowing my great-great-great-grandfather's language would have made him proud (han vilar i fred!).

But I had more in common with him: according to Twitter, I had his gender!

Under "Gender" it said: "male".

I was a man, no, better: a journalist!

Maybe even a good one?

One who is able

Rather Vladimir than fictional Dolores

I clicked the arrow next to my new gender.

I was told, "If you haven't already entered a gender, you'll be assigned the one that most closely matches your account based on your profile and activity.

This information will not be displayed publicly.” Maybe for the better.

Nevertheless: Why was I secretly a man, what characterized my masculine behavior?

Why journalist, not journalist?

I compared the accounts I followed to those of journalists with a large number of followers.

Her gender was also not publicly displayed by Twitter.

I still assumed they were female because they were posting about "female issues".

equality and things like that.

Some even said "She/Her" even though they obviously had long hair and colorful clothes!

In my profile picture at the time, I was wearing heart-shaped pink glasses with long hair that an Instagram filter had put on my nose.

My "bio" was: A filter is a filter is a filter is a filter is a filter.

That Twitter recognized me as Vladimir rather than the fictional Dolores: impressive.

"I'll leave it at that"

But from Twitter's point of view, I wasn't a world-famous author, but a small-time journalist.

who followed me

96 percent journalists.

But not like me, but authors, editors-in-chief, translators!

With relevant newspapers!

Influential men!

Maybe Twitter had miscalculated and interpreted my polite silence as belonging to them.

I considered contacting Twitter and asking: How am I given this honor?

I did not do it.

I hadn't tweeted at this point.

What could the Twitter team tell me?

“Our algorithm speaks in the generic masculine!

Enjoy feeling meant!” I took a screenshot of my gender classification, my first tweet.

I wrote: "Whatever that means.

I'll leave it at that.” After all, I'm not supposed to get involved with anything.

Even if she's a good one.

Or even one that I belong to.