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#14 The Art of Making and Fixing Mistakes


A social media mistake for the record books, and a quiet saint of Wikipedia. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people. In each episode Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for it. Listen on Spotify wherever you get. Your pot casts from give my reply all show that the internet all right. Ok this week my boss, Alex Boomer, came to me, as we so often does, with a question about the internet, I hope you don't mind, but now I think of you as much as my am is my internet research squad of debts much better than having it fix the printer whenever such as a thing of using people affected, but anyway I have a question.
I was hoping that you and Alex could answer, but Alex is changing and baby right. So I guess I guess it's up to you. Ok, Alex it's Facebook post with the headline ten reasons why girls don't give blowjobs, it was a linked stupid, misogynist Hume article from some content farm, but the reason he was here is about it is that a link posted by delta. Airlines is official facebook page whatever their corporate brands. Due to the fact that the paper, I can't imagine a scenario in which that's part of it, so that's part of what was confusing Alex, but beyond that he'd found this inappropriate Delta Airlines Post, because somebody tweeted and the first New tweeted about it said that the Delta Airlines, Facebook Post, was nothing compared to something called Vagina Plain Alex hadn't heard of that either. But I had so. I started to him with a series of tweets. There's three treats the first one is from some unnamed l, and it says at U S
is unhappy that seventeen eighty seven set for an hour on tarmac and seal t, because overweight, resulting in for our late arrival in pdf acts so angry, or who happens to know a lot of airplane jargon, yeah and they you, as Airways, tweets back at ehler after we truly disliked, these two and are very sorry, your flight was affected and then L responded at. U S. Airways yeah you seem so very sorry. So sorry, in fact, that you couldn't be bothered to address my other tweets right. So So you know is a good thing that happens millions of times a second which is but to get angry and airline on social media and the line serve apologizes in person. Still man there's one more be too that this view is reed. The file. Tweet, and then you have to move the browser, but we also see the accompanying image. We welcome feedback l if you're travellers
please you can detail here for review and follow up and then, as it picked twitter link MIKE And then there is a picture of a person with a model plain stuck in their but Jane, you yeah, that was vagina plane. So, ok, I think that clears everything right in case that doesn't clear everything up What happened in response to a customer complaint? U S? Airways invited the customer to follow a link to a place where they could get more help. Doubling instead lead to a photo of naked person with a model airplane in their private parts. Occasionally on the show we do is called yes, yes now, where
Bloomberg asked me and our Goldman to explain some confusing internet phenomenon to him, but in this case I've got my own questions about what's going on here. Specifically, how did this and so, do you think that the person who was running the social media, Canada, USA, ways like they snapped? What? What? What I think is that the fact that these two companies had similar mistakes and that they have been on social media, another boy they only from his related. I don't think anybody snapped. What I think happened is that some employee they were tweeting or facebooking for their company, and then they were like this, pornographic image have a game age or this stupid article is really funny. I gotta sharing my friends on my small private personal account and they couldn t dagger whatever and they just go to the wrong column and drop it in and they send it and then it's gone. Going to their friends. It goes to everybody. Does my theory, I love that theory. So we just have to find somebody who had that job right.
So we sent reply. I'll producer, Chris, an eerie to try to talk to some of the people who work, doing social media for these big brands, airlines and otherwise, to find out what they think might have happened Chris Unsurprisingly, both delta and your surveys were not to forthcoming. His statement to me was that there's a got hacked for an hour plague, just that simple was gone for an hour and then they took back and no more posts. U S airways! There only statement about this was that they are taking steps to ensure it will never happen again, which seems right. Yet that's incredible. I guess I wanted to do was talk with six people who done, this kind of work before you is that arise when talk you and after people who social media work somewhere airline, some not to try to get them to talk right right and most of them didn't
wanna talk, at least on the Rebecca. Who could do them did, though, and the first one who did she Ask her name not be used ass, a hot, her chin and she told me that heads when she started doing this. I have a few years ago there were really very few prerequisites for getting tired, so I got a job and social media. I am basically internet age, one of them few questions wise. Do you like? Do you red blogs, and I was out age there was a key ass. They were like perfect, you know like there. I don't even think we talked about what blogs I read there are they do. You know what twitter is and I was like ie up, and there was a great your iron pidgin were for a company that handled a bunch of brands. It was an agency is so basically all day she was.
Plying to tweets for different companies just constantly over and over and over again, but it wasn't automated. So imagine if one of her brands wanted her to publish sweet about a sail on one of their products, so to save space we'll have to go and shorten one of those links and that ended up being like a crazy, complicated says if you think about what you're actually dealing with so I have an e commerce link and then I go to a website shortening service and I paced the e commerce link into though the url shortening service, and then I get the shortened link and I copy that and then I go to Twitter and I paced that into the Twitter box, and then I go to my document that has the approved language that I have written and then sent back and forth with the client for weeks to get approval on. So I copy you know, goaded today's date and I copy the text there and I pasted into the you know the Twitter Box, and then I tweet it okay. So, like that's one micro task that
take like thirty seconds, and then you just do that all day, long for a bunch of different clients and while you're doing this, your logging in and out of your personal twitter, ironically gin said that she and her coworkers got over the tedium of tweeting tweeting tweeting by tweeting amongst themselves, from their personal account and just talking about how horrible some of these customers could be through their personal accounts. Yeah so wearing one of the joys of again social media that you have this team of people who are dealing with the same stuff, you're dealing with an everyday Aldus flat comes, and often and you can kind of turning your co worker and be like look at this. This is ridiculous and June wicked. People I spoke with said that people who do this job I should have set up to fail, but your set up to make the vagina plain mistake, just fortunately for most people that scale. Obviously, I have no idea what actually happened in in the game. That image, but it wouldn't be so
rising to me. If this person heads been sending it, you know been trying to add it to a co or being like. This is discussing and ridiculous look what I just received on the internet- and you know you know instead of copying and pasting it into their gaeta- they copy and paste it into one of these hundreds of tweets, they're sending and press post you. I think the most remarkable thing for me about that incident was that it took a long time for that picture to come down which speaks to just a sheer volume of stuff you're pull. You know when you're in this position and you're doing this job, you just posting a bunch of staff. Redundant waned totally could have been just someone mixing up their weird disgusting person hold twitter content with the two her content of a major corporation, which is my I M beginning right developers and I thought it was going to go on tape,
said there's another way to look at this and make the key to it is how long the tweets data it. My theory is that some one was kind of done with our job and a request. This junk Luigi used to work for version american Airline, doing social media to him just how bad it was and how long it stayed up makes him suspicious. Mostly these mistakes get taken up immediately because Frigidis go silent and not of anyone going and delete, it seem like this might have been the only person that had their hands on control. So if you want to really read into that tweet a little to imagine Over analyze it I can even read out and be leg years or you can put your feedback in this vagina. Okay, so John Thing, set. This is an example of somebody who wanted to quit their job, and I wanted to do it in the most public Bernard. The house way possible. Jan thinks that this was a mistake that
is like a very easy to understand the state budget done on an unimaginably bad scale. What do you think well right, Sir John was the only person who in the burning down. The house theory which I like but dont quite agree with after talking with the other people, They said it was a mistake and they are felt this sympathy. He or whatever nameless social media professional was behind the giant plain when they were talking about a to me? It seem like they they can easily. Like imagine the horror of that moment and the horror of vagina plain following you for us, your life and I think a lot of both feel like the internet. You know, there's a certain faithlessness about the internet, like Who is that we don't? You know you are saying we don't know who this person is by. It doesn't change the way it feels when, like it's, you,
who's being growled about it. You know right as I go. Nobody on the internet knows that I did this fire just gonna beat. Social media around acts as the worst thing that ever happened on the internet for the rest of time and like this person is gonna, have a look at that and and be like. That, was me. That's terrible! Coming up, we real from somebody publicly making mistakes to someone quietly correctly and in the process traveled pretty much as far away as you can get on the internet from foreign, a graphic images verse a word from our sponsors. This episode is brought to you by better for it a new podcast from eighty peed hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes better for it
That how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working for you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his own, and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck took some flyers business cards and Later I had a business and in each hour, rule breaker, whose learn While we all care about work in the first place. You are proud of the work. Do you want to be able to tell your friends about it? You want to be able to feel like you're, making a different you'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for listen on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. What's the matter, if I am sure that as a way, PDF editor your service specialists. Can you tell me what you specialise in? Well, I specialize.
In in copy editing and in particular its obviating one particular air of english usage, the phrase comprised of How many times do you think you ve corrected incorrect usage of that phrase? Well, on I don't pretty well, by forty eight thousand the voice. You just heard voice O Brien Henderson, he's gonna Wikipedia is more prolific. Editors, we found out about him because writer, Andrew Macmillan, profiled him for the website. Medium Brian has been correcting incorrect uses of the phrase comprised of for the last night. Years. I normally do this late at night on Sunday night. Will you say I'm gonna spend an hour doing this? Will you do it to unwind until you feel you want to go to bed one? Actually I don't spend a fiction time. I mean these days. I just didn't know I'm done but when you say your work until your dine, I mean I imagine theirs in it. Currently high number of instances of this mistake on Wikipedia Saudi decide that on a given Sunday here, Well, you're wrong. There are none. If you look there right
the only instances you will find are either in quotations are ones that I haven't got to get their ip like fifty there there thereafter to three, fifty two hundred a week and I take them all out so I'm talking to you- Wednesday at noon. You're telling me that Sunday night went to sleep. There were no instances of this one grammatical error throughout all of Wikipedia that's correct, except for in quotation I stop. Now that that came as a surprise to me, when I started there were sixteen thousand of them, and I asked didn't think I would ever get to the end. I was just I knew I was gonna make, Dan. I one of the reasons I decided to concentrate on just one usage error is that I knew I could only see, see progress but I really didn't you ever get to the bottom. But after three years every last one was gone. How did they had feel have felt fantastic, When now is really something, because, besides added also put about on the amount of time, I could spend on it because there is no, continue in Aragon. Whereas
then I actually did have to her. I had to quit before I was done winners scene with some stress involved in that could I could go another half hour, but now it's time for bed, maybe using the phrase comprised of sounds fine, you and I accordingly Brian and most usage manuals are wrong. Here's the problem comprise Is it supposed to be a synonym for includes so such correct? To say the house comprises four rooms, its incorrect to say that the house is comprised of four rooms, because that would be like saying the house is included of forums, brokers, nobody says included of, and lots of people say comprised And the reason is that when people say comprised of their thinking of the phrase composed of which is ok to use, Brian, during a program that scans Wikipedia and find each instance of comprised of he showed up Border Leslie drippy how it works falcons back and said there are three hundred sixty two pages that contain comprised of twenty five
these. I haven't edited before of those three hundred sixty two besides twenty five. I ve never seen there. Almost entirely ones were comprised of quotation brains, Barrymore and the but it won't make the fixed for him. He doesn't by hand ok, so it takes me to sentence it says it was comprised of a hundred forty five separate court. Turn it back up and read the rest of that paragraph. So I know what it really talking about. Mass executions were finally ceased by commander or manner. Hands order in a political offense court was established in late May, and Bass were talking about this court and it was comprised one hundred forty five separate court. So this is a good case for four composed of this is, of course I can tell this. Is a court that sort of divided up into separate courts? So I just I've been composed I'm careful afforded me out of some real linked to this. Thousand word ass. They have mine. That explains the added because complaint along just that one
Ryan's long battle against the misuse of this one phrase started back in college. Heard somebody misuse the word comprised each. Confirm that the guy was wrong and it's been hurting years, ever since brain he's Google's engram viewers. I told them as you see the popularity of word over time to pinpoint the deck. It were comprised. I first began to run amok. What round of the late 60s people try to really isn't a lot and are they even added to dictionary? Is it because some people use it, and I have to tell you what And I don't know, but it may have to do with the fact that there is a concept which became If I, in a series of freedom, the idea that people should be told how to talk and they shouldn't how to do anything really that people should should be themselves, and so the idea cracking grammar sort of law steam, how do you feel about that? Sixty is everything, goes man attitude towards language. While
we even everything goes man for for the individual, that's fine, but the problem is when you're writing, your writing for everybody else, and you really have to. Their thoughts into consideration, and there are still some us out there, they just bristle lonely here, something which which is incorrect or just to basically a concept of disorder. As far as personality go. I am far away from Brian third to correct it you're grammar mistake? The does even sound. My here, like a mistake, is utterly foreign to me. Invite you can feel a little lecturing, but from Brien's point of view, the mistake is what's annoying. In fact, its painful, literally painful knives studied this Roma science point of view. One of my other Hobbes is studying the brain. Is things are going to find the brain and one of the areas in the brain that in the final lobe, his design, in forty taking things that are out of pattern and it in the same area. That causes pain, physical pain and, the area where one is not working party.
When you get an obsessive, compulsive disorder, but everybody's got it and its, it causes a one week pain when you see something is not. The way is supposed to be an doesn't fit. The pattern that you used to do you think that you have or of that pain than some other people do. I know I do a more attuned to it. A patterns and I Why do I wear the same thing every day? I'd typically either same thing, almost every day clothes that you later wherein what's the food hygiene all. I worry a red pocket polo shirt, of which I own aid and when they get worn out by one just like it. And I were just a pair of genes which I, change into a grey slacks when I get back to the office and what about food grilled chicken family the company cafeteria everyday for lunch, and I try to actually I try to have the Turkey and when, which is even better about this particular camera, area. Their supplier was not reliable and I kept going in there dollar that Turkey's anguish in this way. We don't have that today and I will just more than
to deal with price, which is something they whatever radiation barometers, Then I get up in the morning and I might have to choose what to wear and already been decided for me and the same thing is true and I get line of the cafeteria. I don't have to look around and pick something fourteen along so yeah. Definitely have more than others. It is very possible that create a typical image of this guy who wears the same outfit every day. It's the same thing spend every Sunday obsessively cracking the same, Wikipedia mistake, but Brian's, not stereotypes He has a high paying job in software. He's not a loner invitees lived with a partner for fourteen years. Apart is annoyed with a tolerant of brains, copycat an obsession and as observers. His brain can be. You can also let it drop somebody occasionally take issue with brains, correction saying they prefer comprised of thank you very much
they'll change his composed of back to comprised of, and argue that comprised of his right, because it feels right, just language, evolving, This aversion of an argument has probably been around as long as language itself and brain will not fight with them about it. Here You know that in the great battle between language purists and the language hippies, whose aim at right. It is right. The purest, like him, often lose if they didn't Shakespeare would need so many footnotes. The word lunch is fairly new. In the middle, the day was called luncheon and you can call luncheon anymore, because now its change of the word luncheon referred to a big the meeting that centred on lunch. So you have to make a choice. I couldn't go through comedian change, all the lunches, the luncheon. Do you Wikipedia and drained, although launches the luncheon. Do you at all wish you go through Wikipedia and change all the line changes. I do It would be nice, I said before I would love it. Having
never changed. Support has two because the world around it changes would be great if you could make a static hand, but you know that there is something we can do. One day is one of these people who keeps struggling to get comprised of declared? Ok, might succeed, Wikipedia Management, my change at some point where that kind of thing is considered appropriate for the manual of style, and they might say that this is just like it now the Oxford com is ok and is also in. We can either use it or not use it about. Ok, if somebody ever, those opinions ever changing that happened, I hide back off. How would you feel ah. What sort of takes a sense of accomplishment that keep talking about away if somebody invalidates the work I've been doing for the last ten years or, however many years maybe
I would make the time your wasted here. I kind of hate to bring up the the wasted thing. The wasted thing, lots of people, especially language hippies. They love to tell them. And that is wasting his time wasting time. That arguments never made sense to him. Most people's hobby aren't something it saves the world Hobbes or to some you do that, for some crazy reason makes you feel good. Fellow, when people like are wasting time, I mean, is it wasting time devoted to attend a football game? You're, not really a cholera for whom the thing that makes you happy actually does improve the world I get and pray. I certainly improve the world for a lot of other people. I am pretty. I certainly improve the world for lots of other people in this, and I really gotta get a kick out of an and there are still so many of us out there we'll tell you comprised of is wrong. Half the people say I never knew this problem and thank you for when you now the other half say, thank God, somebody's finally fixing this. So there are plenty of those those kinds of people.
Brian says that when he's on pages that aren't Wikipedia too often find grammatical mistakes, for the added button and realize it's not there, the giving of Wikipedia. He says, there's a place can change the things that really bother you provide me. If you and out Goldman our protection team it comprises Chris near Catherine, Louse, shrewdly opinionated, and we were edited by Alex Bloomberg. Our show fixed by the Reverend John Door. Matt Labour is an HBO, go login that your friends being poor and just letting you use for awhile special thanks Leslie Graffiti Suzie Douglas unless either theme songs while mysterious great master, cylinder and our add music by buildings? They got you out mouth via the item dot com, site reply, all or reply
Lemme thanks, rose name for the next week,
Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.