PTV partly blames ‘predictive text’ for #DutertePalpak tweet. But does it happen on Tweetdeck?

March 17, 2021 - 3:16 PM
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Graphic of someone typing
An illustration of someone typing. (Image by mohamed_hassan via Pixabay)

People’s Television Network or PTV-4 attributed its latest social media gaffe in part due to “predictive systems in the text entry phase.”

The tweet in question was posted on Tweetdeck, a social media dashboard application for managing Twitter accounts.

On Thursday morning, the state-run network released a statement clarifying its now-deleted Wednesday tweet on President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to provide free face masks to the public.

READ: #DutertePalpak and BTS: State-run network figures in another social media gaffe

The caption of the story was supposed to read as: “President Rodrigo R. Duterte reiterated his order to provide free masks for the public especially to those who cannot buy their own.”

However, it was tweeted as:

A screenshot of PTV-4’s tweet mentioning a hashtag and a South Korean boy group. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)

PTV said that the erroneous tweet was a result of “predictive systems in the text entry and a failure to adequately review and screen the message that actually got posted.”

The explanation made some Filipinos share their own speculations on the matter.

“So meaning, madalas i-type ‘yun ng socmed (social media) peep (people) kasi nga nasa predictive system na niya,” a Twitter user claimed.

“Hindi po convincing,” another online user commented.

“Predictive systems in the text happens if the user has previously typed in the text… Isn’t it? Not necessarily? It was fun tho. #DutertePalpak has your approval,” wrote a different online user.

A technology-oriented website said that predictive text refers to the device “anticipating the word being entered when only a few letters are typed, or anticipating the next word in the sentence.”

“Predictive text differs from the autocomplete function in email programs and Web browsers. They only fill in known addresses that were previously used. Predictive text works with regular words and grammar,” PCMag.com said on its website.

“Predictive text applications may request access to a user’s social media, email addresses and other proprietary information so they can better estimate more of the words a person uses every day,” it further adds.

The predictive text function acts as a word or a sentence completion initiative where the user is spared from doing additional keystrokes when presented with previous texts that were used on the device.

He or she is given the option to select those texts presented instead of typing them.

Tweetdeck, meanwhile, is Twitter’s dashboard app that lets its user manage multiple accounts and see multiple timelines in one interface.

Among those who use the management tool are journalists who access it for real-time tracking of events and news from different sources, including public officials.

In 2013, a website aggregating Mac and Apple-related rumors said that Twitter updated its Tweetdeck which included a “new predictive typing feature.”

“The update includes changes made to the Chrome version of the app before Christmas, and one of the most visual changes is the addition of ‘typeahead’ when searching, to offer predictions for what you’ll be writing. This also acts as a people search, giving you a list of accounts in your Twitter community that match the text entered,” Mac Rumors said, quoting an article.

Tweetdeck currently has predictive hash and tags features by just adding the hash # and @ symbols along with the first letter of the hashtag or the username.