I’ve written a few threaded tweets on this subject this week, the first prior to reading about the special event Facebook held to tell journalists all about the actions they are taking to limit the spread of fake news, or, as I prefer to call it, lies, conspiracy theories and propaganda. That event turned into a PR disaster, but it has revealed a lot more about their thinking and apparent lack of either understanding or commitment to fixing the problem. Tweets, even threaded ones, are not a great place to write detailed thoughts on a subject as complex and important as this, so I am writing it here.
The recent decision by Twitter to turn off support for Basic Auth soon means a lot of Twitter apps are now racing to implement either full OAuth support, or the cut down xAuth designed for non-web apps. The iNewz apps fall into this last category, and an initial look at the work involved made it seem as though switching from basic auth to xAuth would be pretty straightforward. Sadly, and mostly because of poor documentation and what I consider bugs in the Twitter API implementation of OAuth, this took far longer than it should have done. Hopefully this blog post will help others looking to make this switch by providing a more complete, step-by-step description of the xAuth process. It may also help those trying to make full OAuth work, but I haven’t tried that yet.
As a little learning exercise, I created a plugin for WordPress that adds a small Twitter icon to the bottom of each post. When a reader clicks on that icon they are prompted to enter their Twitter username and password, and a short message (the title of the post and a link to it) will be added to their Twitter feed, allowing them to share the post with their followers.
If you’d like to play with it (and I emphasise at this point that this is still a work in progress), you can download it. Instructions for installation and customisation are after the jump.