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Twitter Takes Steps to Keep UK Election ‘Healthy and Safe’

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Twitter said it would make it easier to report misleading information about the voting process in Britain’s December 12 election, less than a month after its global ban on political advertising comes into force. The microblogging site is a vital tool for candidates, political parties and journalists to break news and fuel debate, but it has also been used to spread fake news, such as manipulated video clips, and to abuse and threaten individuals. It said last month it would stop all political advertising, making the British election one of the first major tests for the new policy.

It said on Monday it was also taking additional steps to make sure the British election was “healthy, open and safe”.

It is launching a tool for people to report deliberately misleading information about the voting process, for example how to vote or register to vote, or false information about the date or time for the election.

“We’ve established a cross-functional UK elections team that will proactively protect the integrity of the election-related conversation, support partner escalations, and identify potential threats from malicious actors,” it said in a blog post.

Users taking part in the election debate will be able to use a customised election emoji that is a visual play on the word “Vote” activated by the use of hashtags including #GE19, it said.

Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said last month that the platform would ban political advertising.

He said the company could not credibly say it was working hard to stop people from spreading misleading information and then allow somebody to pay to target and force people to see their political ad in which they could say “whatever they want”.

That move increased the pressure on Facebook which is continuing to allow political ads, even if they contain false or misleading claims. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the social media company did not want to stifle political debate.

Twitter will publish details of the ban on November 15 and enforce it from November 22.

It is also increasing investment in systems that can detect abuse before it is flagged by users, with half of abusive tweets now identified by technology.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

NEWS

Health Ministry Teams Up With Twitter to Respond to Queries Around COVID-19

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The Union Health Ministry has teamed up with Twitter to launch a dedicated account to respond to Indian Twitter users’ queries related to COVID-19. The new account COVID India Seve using Twitter’s Twitter Seva platform, “a customised live query redressal service.” People can put their queries forward by tweeting to @CovidIndiaSeva to get a response from the authorities. The account describes itself as “Official @MoHFW_INDIA Handle for COVID-19 Response” and it was created in March. Twitter said that the service will enable the government to interact effectively with the public during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

People in India can tweet to the @CovidIndiaSeva to seek guidance regarding steps to take if COVID-19 symptoms occur, know more about access to healthcare services, measures implemented by the government, among many other topics. According to Twitter, people will get answers to only broader questions, meaning personal queries won’t be dealt with through the new service.

Tweeting about the launch, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan wrote, “Experts will share authoritative public health information reg #COVIDー19 swiftly at scale, helping to build a direct channel for communication with citizens. Post your queries!”

@CovidIndiaSeva has been responding to the questions from Twitter users. NDTV journalist Akhilesh Sharma asked, ”Crucial question in everyone’s mind is that whether we are testing enough? What about rapid antibody based blood tests esp for COVID inflicted areas?”

Answering the question, @CovidIndiaSeva replied, “At present, 204 government labs and 86 NABL accredited private laboratory chains are involved in testing. The no. of collection centers have also been enhanced to 16,000 centers across India. We have already tested 4,05,320 people.” It went on to add, “Government of India has issued advisory to start rapid antibody based blood test for COVID-19 for areas reporting clusters (containment zone) and in large migration gatherings/evacuees centers.”

Twitter India has also been working with various state governments in the country to make the COVID-19 response management better. “It has also supported and enabled the Govt of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh to set-up dedicated COVID-Response accounts. Govt. of Karnataka, Maharashtra,” it said in a statement.

NDTV Gadgets360.com

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TWITTER

Twitter Is Down for Some Users – You Are Not Alone

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Twitter is down for many users across the globe. Reports are pouring from India, parts of Europe, Japan, as well as parts of the United States. We at Gadgets 360 are also facing issues when trying to access the micro-blogging platform, with some team members unable to the load the homepage, while others are unable to see their timelines or tweet. Twitter’s own support handle has yet to highlight the issue, though reports continue to flood in.

As seen on Down Detector, there have been hundreds of reports from across the globe, with most reports coming on for the Twitter website, with users of the Android app also reporting issues.

The Twitter status page says all systems are operational, as of a few seconds ago. As we mentioned, users are facing different problems, with some Gadgets 360 team members not affected at all, and others unable to tweet or load their timelines. The issue may be transient. To recall, the social network experienced a major outage earlier this month.

Are you facing issues with Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.

AUTHOR
Abhinav Lal You’ll most likely find Abhinav editing news stories, humouring his possibly unhealthy interest in playing Dota 2, and defending where his beliefs lie in the meritocracy vs. democracy debate. A science fiction and fantasy reader, he is sufficiently starry-eyed to look forward to a utopian future.

NDTV Gadgets360.com

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Twitter Said to Be Planning Bitcoin Payments as Tips on Its Platform

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Twitter is considering a feature that would allow users to tip one another – in Bitcoins though.

The Information reports that the micro-blogging platform is working on implementing a new payment feature to let people send money to each other.

It is not yet clear whether the Twitter tipping feature would integrate with Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square, which is a financial services, merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company based in San Francisco.

Dorsey has made absolutely no secret of his love of Bitcoin over the years.

NewsBTC has reported on the Twitter CEO opining that Bitcoin will one day be the currency of the internet and his company Square integrating cryptocurrency payments.

“Dorsey has been a major investor in the Bitcoin micropayments solution Lightning Network,” said the report.

Dorsey will move to Africa for three-six months this year to “define the future”.

“Sad to be leaving the continent for now. Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid-2020. Grateful I was able to experience a small part,” said the Twitter CEO.

Dorsey has also hired Bitcoin developers for his payments company.

He is an advocate of digital currency bitcoin but he also says it is “not functional as a currency”.

NDTV Gadgets360.com

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