Neat Stuff

Twitter: A One in a Million Chance Happens Five Hundred Times a Day

With all of the new technologies available, I tend to enjoy “peeking behind the scenes” and learning more about how the companies function and the ways that they help users.

This is a presentation from TED by Del Harvey entitled “The Strangeness of Scale at Twitter.” Her job is to root out and protect users from activity on Twitter that might harm them. She discusses spammers, phishing, and the dangers of geodata. She discusses how she predicts disasters and the process she uses to design protections.

Harvey explains:

Given that I spend my days and nights imagining the worst that could happen, it wouldn’t be surprising if my worldview was gloomy. It’s not. The vast majority of interactions I see — and I see a lot, believe me — are positive, people reaching out to help or to connect or share information with each other. It’s just that for those of us dealing with scale, for those of us tasked with keeping people safe, we have to assume the worst will happen, because for us, a one-in-a-million chance is pretty good odds.


Harvey, D. (2014). The strangeness of scale at Twitter. TED. Retrieved from

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