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Twitter Tightens Bans on Political Ads and Causes Ahead of 2020 US Election

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Twitter on Friday said its political advertising ban will include references to political candidates or legislation, and it will not allow ads that advocate for a certain outcome on social and political causes.

The popular social media site, which first announced its political ads ban last month, had not previously provided details on the new policy. On Friday, it said it will define political content as anything that references “a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial outcome.”

Twitter said it will use a combination of automated technology and human teams to enforce the new ad policies.

The move comes as campaigns for the November 2020 presidential election heat up amid growing pressure on social media companies to stop accepting ads that spread false information and could sway elections.

“We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said in announcing the ban.

Rival Facebook, saying it did not want to stifle political speech, has refused calls from some politicians and others to follow Twitter’s lead, and said it would not vet political ads for misleading claims on its site.

The ban is expected to take effect on November 22.

Brad Parscale, campaign manager for US President Donald Trump’s re-election bid, in a statement called the move, “yet another attempt to silence conservatives, since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever known.”

Bill Russo, deputy communications director for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, said in a statement that he appreciates Twitter will not allow “disproven smears” to appear in ads, but said social media companies had more work to do to ensure their sites are not rife with disinformation.

“We look forward to seeing how the policy works in practice and intend to hold Twitter to its word,” he said.

Twitter will allow companies and advocacy groups to run ads that promote awareness and discussion about social causes, such as environmental protection. But they will not be allowed to push for a political or legislative change, especially if they are advocating for something that benefits their business, Del Harvey, vice president of trust and safety, said in a conference call on Friday.

Under the new policy for example, Sierra Club could still promote their causes, but they would not be able to single out politicians they support or target those they would like to see defeated in elections, or lobby for political outcomes.

Similarly, a group could run a gun violence awareness ad but could not call for a ban on assault weapons used in mass shootings as a ban implies legislation, Twitter said.

Ads intended to promote awareness about a cause would be allowed to target users at the state level or higher, but not by zip-code. And those advertisers will not be able to target people based on their political leanings, Twitter said.

Roy Temple, a partner at digital media consultancy GPS Impact who has worked with political campaigns, called the move “a gigantic cop-out” by Twitter’s CEO that does not involve the loss of much revenue, and he questioned the difficulty of implementing the complicated policy.

“I wouldn’t want to be the Twitter employee who has to make these calls and defend them,” Temple said. “Universal healthcare is a cause, but is there a bill related to that? Are you talking about the bill or the cause? How is that determined?”

Harvey said on Friday the new policies were not expected to change Twitter’s fourth-quarter revenue forecast. Political ad spend for the 2018 US midterm elections on Twitter was less than $3 million, the company reported.

Critics have said the ban would punish lesser-known candidates taking on well-funded incumbents in local elections.

If Facebook and Google – much larger players in digital advertising – were to adopt similar policies it would be “catastrophic” to down-ballot candidates who lack name recognition, said Eric Wilson, a political strategist based in Washington DC.

“If Facebook considers eliminating things like microtargeting, that’s when we would panic,” Wilson said. He said the platform has been the best vehicle for raising grassroots support, and a similar ban could hurt candidates that do not accept large donations from corporations and political action committees (PACs).

Twitter said it sought to make its new rules as clear as possible. But other major tech companies, including Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google, have had widely publicized struggles to moderate the vast amount of content uploaded to their sites.

News publishers that meet certain criteria will continue to be able to run ads on Twitter that reference political content, but they cannot advocate for or against a political topic.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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Twitter Adds Support for iPhone’s Live Photos, Will Now Preserve Image Quality for Uploads on Web

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Twitter announced earlier this year that it is planning on adding support for Apple’s Live Photos feature on iOS devices while everyone was looking for a simple edit button for tweets. Now, four years after Apple launched the feature on iOS devices, Twitter has added support for Live Photos. The social networking giant announced the new feature for iPhone users on Wednesday. Live Photos will be converted to GIFs when they’re shared on Twitter.

Apple’s Live Photos feature lets iOS users capture very short videos while taking a photo. Users who tried to share Live Photos on Twitter, until now, would end up with a still photo. Users could convert their Live Photos to GIF using a third-party app and then share them on Twitter.

Twitter’s support for Live Photos will now eliminate the need for using a third-party application. Users can directly share their Live Photos and they’ll be automatically converted to GIFs.

To use the new feature, Twitter users need to use the company’s iOS app. While posting a new tweet, users can select a Live Photo from their camera roll, select the GIF button on the left corner of the compose window, add relevant text, and that’s it.

Separately, Twitter will now preserve JPEG image quality for all photo uploads on Twitter for Web. The social networking company will still compress the thumbnails that users see on their timeline. However, when users click on the thumbnail to see the full image, it’ll be presented in high resolution. Twitter engineer Nolan O’Brien announced via a tweet. The company will still strip EXIF data from the images.

O’Brien further clarified that the company will continue to impose limits for images, but those will remain ‘very generous’. He says users will be able to share images up to 16-megapixels which will be preserved in original quality.

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China’s Foreign Ministry adopts a Trumpian tone on its new Twitter account — with insults, typos …

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china’s-foreign-ministry-adopts-a-trumpian-tone-on-its-new-twitter-account-—-with-insults,-typos-…
If you live in China, chances are you aren’t on Twitter — the American tech giant has been blocked by Beijing’s Great Firewall for more than a decade.

But for Chinese diplomats, that doesn’t mean Twitter can’t be a tool to spread their message in the West. And perhaps there’s no need to stay diplomatic on it either.

Late Monday evening in Beijing, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs began tweeting under the handle “MFA_China” and the bio: “Follow us to know more about China’s Diplomacy.”

Just a few days later, it has already made an impact. Although most of the tweets simply share video footage of spokeswoman Hua Chunying’s news conferences, the English text on the tweets often takes a combative, even Trumpian tone.

“Big guy NOT NECESSARILY threat. Unilateralism & hegemony IS,” the account wrote on Thursday, criticizing comments at a NATO summit in London about China.

Another tweet Thursday warned sardonically with an emoji that if the West thinks Chinese tech companies could be a threat, it should worry about clothes and shoes, too.

In earlier tweets, the ministry had written “LOL!” when talking about U.S. investment in China, called the United States a “moral loner” and shared an image of a ballet dancer’s battered foot in apparent criticism of the Canadian detention of Meng Wanzhou of Huawei.

A tweet on Wednesday had suggested that the United States should not criticize China’s harsh treatment of the Uighur minority because of “native Indians’ tears & blood.”

“China’s ethnic policy is more successful!” the tweet said.

Forget native Indians’ tears&blood? US politicians like @SpeakerPelosi so ignorant&hypocritical to talk about “conscience”. Ethnic minorities in China enjoy equal rights and freedom in religion and culture. China’s ethnic policy is more successful! pic.twitter.com/JyYD0pS8Mr

— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) December 4, 2019

This is far from China’s first foray into English-language social media — Chinese-state-linked entities such as the Global Times and Xinhua have long used Western companies to spread messages that needled Western governments.

But there appears to have been a shift in how Chinese diplomats approach Twitter recently.

Notably, Zhao Lijian, a Chinese diplomat who pioneered combative English-language messages earlier this year, has been promoted to deputy director general of the ministry’s information department.

In July, as China faced international criticism for its crackdown on Uighurs and other minorities in the Xinjiang region, Zhao tweeted a variety of criticism of the United States — highlighting alleged religious intolerance, gun violence, Internet surveillance, income inequality and more.

Zhao, who was at that moment deputy chief of mission at the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, took specific aim at the U.S. capital, arguing that white residents of Washington would never go to Southwest Washington because of racial segregation.

The tweet prompted an argument with Susan E. Rice, who was national security adviser in the Obama administration. Rice dubbed Zhao a “racist disgrace.” The Chinese diplomat responded with his own insult, saying that it was Rice who is a “disgrace” and that the “truth hurts.”

Zhao later said he meant Southeast Washington, deleted both tweets and shortly afterward returned to Beijing, but he was not demoted — he was promoted. He has continued to tweet frequently upon his return to China, using his 220,000 followers to promote pro-China messages and troll the United States.

Out of respect for President Trump, US & its people, on the occasion of thanksgiving day, I pay special thanks to US for squandering trillions of dollars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria… pic.twitter.com/9WMNoHdSML

— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) November 29, 2019

In interviews, Zhao has said that China needed to take to Twitter to combat U.S. influence on the platform.

But whereas Trump and other U.S. officials tweet in English to a largely domestic audience, China’s Foreign Ministry appears to be targeting international audiences with a sometimes crude message. Here it may be emulating not the U.S. president, but Russian diplomats who have used embassy Twitter accounts to mock and belittle Western democracies.

However, changing international attitudes via tweet may be an uphill battle for China. A Pew Research Center survey of 34 countries released on Thursday found considerable negative sentiment toward China worldwide, with unfavorable views of the country increasing sharply in the United States and Canada in 2019.

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Social Network Marketing Market Latest Trends, Demand and Industry Outlook, Forecast 2025

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The report presents an in-depth assessment of the Social Network Marketing including enabling technologies, key trends, market drivers, challenges, standardization, regulatory landscape, deployment models, operator case studies, opportunities, future roadmap, value chain, ecosystem player profiles and strategies. The report also presents forecasts for Social Network Marketing investments from 2019 till 2025.

The report presents the market competitive landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of the major vendor/key players in the market. Top Companies in the Global Social Network Marketing Market: Facebook, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr

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Social networking refers to the act of coming together of groups of people with common interests on social platforms and building relationships with the help of websites and applications.

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BFSI

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What are the market factors that are explained in the report?

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MarketInsightsReports provides syndicated market research on industry verticals including Healthcare, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Technology and Media, Chemicals, Materials, Energy, Heavy Industry, etc. MarketInsightsReports provides global and regional market intelligence coverage, a 360-degree market view which includes statistical forecasts, competitive landscape, detailed segmentation, key trends, and strategic recommendations.

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