Connect with us

OTHER

Elon Musk Says $44-Billion Twitter Deal on Hold Over Spam/ Fake Accounts [Update: ‘Still Committed’]

Published

on

elon-musk-says-$44-billion-twitter-deal-on-hold-over-spam/-fake-accounts-[update:-‘still-committed’]

Elon Musk said on Friday he was putting a temporary halt on his much-anticipated deal to buy Twitter, sending shares in the social media giant plunging.

Musk, the world’s richest man and founder of automaker Tesla, had made the eradication of spam accounts and bots one of the centerpieces of his proposed $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,41,100 crore) takeover of Twitter.

Update: Musk in another post on Twitter claimed that he is still committed to the acquisition of the platform.

Still committed to acquisition

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022

When the deal was announced in late April he said he wanted to make Twitter “better than ever” by “defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans”.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Reliable figures for the number of users is seen as vital to judge future revenue streams.

But on Friday he posted a link to an article from May 2 referencing Twitter’s latest filing to US regulators.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5 percent of users,” he wrote on Twitter.

Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022

‘Horror show’

Advertisement
free widgets for website

The filing said an internal review had concluded Twitter had 229 million “monetisable daily active users” in the first quarter of this year, and just five percent were regarded as false or spam accounts.

Analyst Dan Ives from Wedbush said the Twitter “circus show” was likely to translate into a “Friday 13th horror show”.

Wall Street investors were likely to interpret the tweet as an attempt by Musk to pull out of the deal or trying to force a lower price, said Ives.

“Musk’s Twitter takeover was always destined to be a bumpy ride, and now it risks hitting the skids,” said market analyst Susannah Streeter of Hargreaves Landsdown.

She said the number of spam and fake accounts – and conversely the number of real accounts – was a key metric because future revenue streams would rely on advertising or paid subscriptions.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Friday’s announcement saw Twitter’s shares drop by 20 percent in early electronic trading before Wall Street opened, but Tesla’s stock was on the rise.

‘False and misleading’

Musk is boss of both Tesla and SpaceX and is estimated to be worth $240 billion (roughly Rs. 18,60,550 crore), according to Forbes.

But his style of ownership has frequently landed him in hot water with the authorities.

He has been tangled in legal troubles ever since he tweeted in 2018 that he had enough funds to take Tesla private – a claim that a judge last month decided was “false and misleading”.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

His potential stewardship of the social media platform has hit several bumps since the takeover attempt was made public, not least over the future status of Donald Trump.

The former US president was kicked off Twitter and other social networks following the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

On Wednesday, Musk said he would be open to lifting a ban on Trump’s account.

Activist groups responded by urging advertisers to boycott the platform if Musk opened the gates to abusive and misinformative posts.


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Advertisement
free widgets for website
See also  Meta Faces Trademark Lawsuit by New York-Based VR Company MetaX

OTHER

Twitter Stops Enforcing COVID-19 Misinformation Policy, Experts Express Concerns Over False Claims

Published

on

By

twitter-stops-enforcing-covid-19-misinformation-policy,-experts-express-concerns-over-false-claims

Twitter will no longer enforce its policy against COVID-19 misinformation, raising concerns among public health experts and social media researchers that the change could have serious consequences if it discourages vaccination and other efforts to combat the still-spreading virus.

Eagle-eyed users spotted the change Monday night, noting that a one-sentence update had been made to Twitter’s online rules: “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy.”

By Tuesday, some Twitter accounts were testing the new boundaries and celebrating the platform’s hands-off approach, which comes after Twitter was purchased by Elon Musk.

“This policy was used to silence people across the world who questioned the media narrative surrounding the virus and treatment options,” tweeted Dr. Simone Gold, a physician and leading purveyor of COVID-19 misinformation. “A win for free speech and medical freedom!”

Twitter’s decision to no longer remove false claims about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines disappointed public health officials, however, who said it could lead to more false claims about the virus, or the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“Bad news,” tweeted epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, who urged people not to flee Twitter but to keep up the fight against bad information about the virus. “Stay folks — do NOT cede the town square to them!”

While Twitter’s efforts to stop false claims about COVID weren’t perfect, the company’s decision to reverse course is an abdication of its duty to its users, said Paul Russo, a social media researcher and dean of the Katz School of Science and Health at Yeshiva University in New York.

See also  Facebook, Other Platforms Asked to Curtail Online Hate Speech by Nigerian Government

Russo added that it’s the latest of several recent moves by Twitter that could ultimately scare away some users and even advertisers. Some big names in business have already paused their ads on Twitter over questions about its direction under Musk.

“It is 100% the responsibility of the platform to protect its users from harmful content,” Russo said. “This is absolutely unacceptable.”

The virus, meanwhile, continues to spread. Nationally, new COVID cases averaged nearly 38,800 a day as of Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University — far lower than last winter but a vast undercount because of reduced testing and reporting. About 28,100 people with COVID were hospitalized daily and about 313 died, according to the most recent federal daily averages.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Cases and deaths were up from two weeks earlier. Yet a fifth of the U.S. population hasn’t been vaccinated, most Americans haven’t gotten the latest boosters, and many have stopped wearing masks.

Musk, who has himself spread COVID misinformation on Twitter, has signalled an interest in rolling back many of the platform’s previous rules meant to combat misinformation.

Last week, Musk said he would grant “amnesty” to account holders who had been kicked off Twitter. He’s also reinstated the accounts for several people who spread COVID misinformation, including that of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose personal account was suspended this year for repeatedly violating Twitter’s COVID rules.

Greene’s most recent tweets include ones questioning the effectiveness of masks and making baseless claims about the safety of COVID vaccines.

Since the pandemic began, platforms like Twitter and Facebook have struggled to respond to a torrent of misinformation about the virus, its origins and the response to it.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Under the policy enacted in January 2020, Twitter prohibited false claims about COVID-19 that the platform determined could lead to real-world harms. More than 11,000 accounts were suspended for violating the rules, and nearly 100,000 pieces of content were removed from the platform, according to Twitter’s latest numbers.

See also  Play Date Between Bolivian River Dolphins and Anaconda Leaves Trail of Questions

Despite its rules prohibiting COVID misinformation, Twitter has struggled with enforcement. Posts making bogus claims about home remedies or vaccines could still be found, and it was difficult on Tuesday to identify exactly how the platform’s rules may have changed.

Messages left with San Francisco-based Twitter seeking more information about its policy on COVID-19 misinformation were not immediately returned Tuesday.

A search for common terms associated with COVID misinformation on Tuesday yielded lots of misleading content, but also automatic links to helpful resources about the virus as well as authoritative sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 coordinator, said Tuesday that the problem of COVID-19 misinformation is far larger than one platform, and that policies prohibiting COVID misinformation weren’t the best solution anyway.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Speaking at a Knight Foundation forum Tuesday, Jha said misinformation about the virus spread for a number of reasons, including legitimate uncertainty about a deadly illness. Simply prohibiting certain kinds of content isn’t going to help people find good information, or make them feel more confident about what they’re hearing from their medical providers, he said.

“I think we all have a collective responsibility,” Jha said of combating misinformation about COVID. “The consequences of not getting this right — of spreading that misinformation — is literally tens of thousands of people dying unnecessarily.”


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Continue Reading

OTHER

Elon Musk Hints at Plans to Increase Character Limit for Tweets in Response to Twitter User

Published

on

By

elon-musk-hints-at-plans-to-increase-character-limit-for-tweets-in-response-to-twitter-user

Twitter could expand its character limit from 280, according to a tweet by new owner Elon Musk. The world’s richest man and Twitter’s new CEO responded to a user on the microblogging platform requesting the higher character limit, stating that it was part of the company’s plan. Twitter is also working on adding encrypted direct messages (DMs), and payment services, according a set of slides recently shared by Musk on Twitter. However, it is currently unclear whether the increased character limit will be the same as the longform tweet feature teased by the company’s CEO.

On Monday, Musk responded to a Twitter user asking him to expand the 280-character limit for on tweets on Twitter to 1,000 characters. Musk responded, stating :It’s on the todo list.”

Twitter, which is referred to as a “microblogging service”, originally had a 140-character limit for tweets, which was expanded to 280 characters in 2017. At the time, the company’s blog stated that “many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behaviour normalised…We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often.”

The platform is one of the few services that limits users’ posts to a few hundred characters. Rival Facebook allow users to upload posts with thousands of characters.

Musk has shown interest in the idea of increasing the character limit on a number of occasions since his takeover of the platform, as per a report by Mashable.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

On November 27, a Twitter user suggested to Musk to increase the platform’s word limit from 280 to 420. “Good idea” Musk wrote in response.

See also  Meta Faces Trademark Lawsuit by New York-Based VR Company MetaX

Prior to that, another user had suggested “get rid of character limits,” to which Musk responded: “Absolutely”.

Musk recently announced another major change for the platform with its multi-coloured verification system. A new three-coloured verification check mark system would replace the previous ‘Twitter Blue’ service which had to be pulled off within days of its release due to rising number of accounts impersonating well-known brands and personalities while carrying the ‘verified’ check. The new Twitter Blue verification service will tentatively be relaunched on December 2, according to Musk.


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Advertisement
free widgets for website
Continue Reading

OTHER

WhatsApp ‘Message Yourself’ Feature Rolling Out on Android and iOS: Report

Published

on

By

whatsapp-‘message-yourself’-feature-rolling-out-on-android-and-ios:-report

WhatsApp is rolling out its Message Yourself feature to users globally. The app will now let you send a text to yourself, to store messages and files. Many users around the globe rely on WhatsApp chats to jot down quick notes or reminders, or crucial information. Until now, users would use a workaround to message themselves, or use a second WhatsApp account registered to another phone number, or rely on a chat window of a defunct WhatsApp account to store messages. WhatsApp will now let you do it easily via one of its new in-built features called Message Yourself.

According to a report by TechCrunch, the Meta owned messaging app has begun to roll out the ability to message yourself. The ‘Message Yourself’ feature will be similar to sending a text to another user, except that the message will remain in a separate chat on your phone.

Once the feature is rolled out, users will see a separate chat with their name followed by “(You)”. You will be able to jot down notes, shopping lists, keep reminders, store bookmarks. You will also be able to forward messages from other users, just like you can for other chats.

You can tap on the new chat button from the WhatsApp home screen and select your name. Once you tap on it, you will be able to send texts to yourself. If you are in another app, you can also use the sharing menu to send files, images, and other media to yourself.

WhatsApp says that the Message Yourself feature is now rolling out and should reach most Android and iOS users in the coming weeks, as per the report. Users can download the latest version of the app on Android and iOS to use the Message Yourself feature.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Recently, the messaging app also introduced a new feature that will let iOS and Android users create polls in personal and group chats to get opinions or answers from their friends and contacts. Users’ responses to a poll’s question are protected via end-to-end encryption, according to the company.

See also  Facebook's Plea to Dismiss CCI Probe Into WhatsApp's Private Policy Rejected by Supreme Court

Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Continue Reading

Trending