Connect with us

OTHER

Elon Musk Receives Pleas to Remove Bans on Accounts Soon After Twitter Takeover

Published

on

elon-musk-receives-pleas-to-remove-bans-on-accounts-soon-after-twitter-takeover

Mere hours after Elon Musk kicked off a new era at Twitter, the billionaire owner was deluged with pleas and demands from banned account holders and world leaders.

The flood of requests underscore the challenge the CEO of electric car maker Tesla faces, balancing a promise to restore free speech while preventing the platform from descending into a “hellscape,” as he had vowed in an open letter to advertisers on Thursday.

Former US President Donald Trump, who was permanently banned from Twitter over accusations of inciting violence after the January 6, 2021 capitol riots, welcomed the takeover, but said little about his return to Twitter. “I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs who truly hate our country.”

Dmitry Medvedev, former Russia president and current deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council tweeted his congratulations.

Good luck @elonmusk in overcoming political bias and ideological dictatorship on Twitter. And quit 👋 that Starlink in Ukraine business

— Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussiaE) October 28, 2022

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Others asked Musk to reverse penalties inflicted by the social media platform. In response to an anonymous account with 8,52,000 followers, known for being a big supporter of Trump’s election fraud claims, and who said it was “shadowbanned,” Musk tweeted, “I will be digging in more today.”

The pressure is mounting on Musk and Twitter as he is set to address the Twitter staff on Friday after closing the deal. 

Musk has not offered details on how he will achieve all this and who will run the company. He has said he plans to cut jobs, leaving Twitter’s 7,500 employees fretting about their future. He also said on Thursday he did not buy Twitter to make more money but “to try to help humanity, whom I love.”

Musk tried to calm Twitter employee fears that major layoffs are coming and assured advertisers that his past criticism of Twitter’s content moderation rules would not harm its appeal.

Fewer that 10 percent of 266 Twitter employees who participated in a poll on messaging app Blind expected to still have their jobs in three months. Blind allows employees to air grievances anonymously after they sign up with corporate emails.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Musk fired Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, according to people familiar with the matter. He had accused them of misleading him and Twitter investors over the number of fake accounts on the platform.

Agrawal and Segal were in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed and were escorted out, the sources added.

Musk, who also runs rocket company SpaceX, plans to become Twitter’s interim CEO, according to a person familiar with the matter and following an earlier report by Reuters. Musk also plans to scrap permanent bans on users, Bloomberg said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Twitter, Musk and the executives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Chief Twit

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Before closing the deal, Musk walked into Twitter’s headquarters on Wednesday with a big grin and a porcelain sink, subsequently tweeting “let that sink in.” He changed his Twitter profile description to “Chief Twit.”

European regulators also reiterated past warnings that, under Musk’s leadership, Twitter must still abide by the region’s Digital Services Act, which levies hefty fines on companies if they do not control illegal content.

“In Europe, the bird will fly by our EU rules,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton tweeted on Friday morning.

European Parliament lawmaker and civil rights proponent Patrick Breyer suggested people look for alternatives where privacy is a priority.

“Twitter already knows our personalities dangerously well due to its pervasive surveillance of our every click. Now this knowledge will be falling into Musk’s hands.”

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Musk has indicated he sees Twitter as a foundation for creating a “super app” that offers everything from money transfers to shopping and ride-hailing.

But Twitter is struggling to engage its most active users who are vital to the business. These “heavy tweeters” account for less than 10 percent of monthly overall users but generate 90 percent of all tweets and half of global revenue.

Musk will face a challenge building revenue “given that the controversial opinions he appears to want to give more of a free rein to are often unpalatable to advertisers,” said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

As news of the deal spread, some Twitter users were quick to flag their willingness to walk away.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

Advertisement
free widgets for website

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

See also  Twitter India Said to Pursue Judicial Review of Content Takedown Orders, Alleging Abuse of Power

OTHER

Twitter Not Safer Under Elon Musk Leadership, Says Former Head of Trust and Safety

Published

on

By

twitter-not-safer-under-elon-musk-leadership,-says-former-head-of-trust-and-safety

Twitter’s former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth on Tuesday said the social media company was not safer under new owner Elon Musk, warning in his first interview since resigning this month that the company no longer had enough staff for safety work.

Roth had tweeted after Musk’s takeover that by some measures, Twitter safety had improved under the billionaire’s ownership.

Asked in an interview at the Knight Foundation conference on Tuesday whether he still felt that way, Roth said: “No.”

Roth was a Twitter veteran who helped steer the social media platform through several watershed decisions, including the move to permanently suspend its most famous user, former US President Donald Trump, last year.

His departure further rattled advertisers, many of whom backed away from Twitter after Musk laid off half of the staff, including many involved with content moderation.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Before Musk assumed the helm at Twitter, about 2,200 people globally were focused on content moderation work, said Roth. He said he did not know the number after the acquisition because the corporate directory had been turned off.

Twitter under Musk began to stray from its adherence to written and publicly available policies toward content decisions made unilaterally by Musk, which Roth cited as a reason for his resignation.

“One of my limits was if Twitter starts being ruled by dictatorial edict rather than by policy … there’s no longer a need for me in my role, doing what I do,” he said.

The revamp of the Twitter Blue premium subscription, which would allow users to pay for a verified checkmark on their account, launched despite warnings and advice from the trust and safety team, Roth said.

See also  Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Others Fined Over $1 Million Each for Not Appointing a Turkey Representative

The launch was quickly beset by spammers impersonating major public companies such as Eli Lilly, Nestle and Lockheed Martin.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Roth also said Tuesday that Twitter erred in restricting the dissemination of a New York Post article that made claims about then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son shortly before the 2020 presidential election.

But he defended Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Trump for risk of further incitement of violence after the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

“We saw the clearest possible example of what it looked like for things to move from online to off,” Roth said. “We saw people dead in the Capitol.”

Musk tweeted on November 19 that Trump’s account would be reinstated after a slim majority voted in favour of the move in a surprise Twitter poll.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

Advertisement
free widgets for website

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

Continue Reading

OTHER

WhatsApp Update Allows Users to Include Caption While Forwarding Media on iOS: All Details

Published

on

By

whatsapp-update-allows-users-to-include-caption-while-forwarding-media-on-ios:-all-details

WhatsApp has begun rolling out a feature that will let iOS users forward media with captions. Previously, users had to send a caption as a separate message, when forwarding media. Now when iPhone owners using WhatsApp forward media, the app will include original caption, which can be manually removed. The feature is available in the latest version of the app on the App Store, as per details shared by a feature tracker.

According to a report by feature tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp users on iOS will be able to forward images, videos, GIFs, and documents, along with the original caption. The report includes a screengrab of the improved forwarding process, explaining that users will see a new view at the bottom of the screen when users select a media to forward, which can be tapped to add a caption.

whatsapp forwarded media caption wabetainfo whatsapp  media forwarding

A WhatsApp screenshot showing the included media caption when forwarding a message

Photo Credit: WABetaInfo

Additionally, WhatsApp has also added a dismiss button that you can use to remove the caption from the image before forwarding the message, which could come in handy if you don’t want to include the original caption. It is worth noting that the captions shared with the forwarded media files will always be end-to-end encrypted.

The Meta-owned service continues to improve its messaging app with new features and updates. Recently, WhatsApp introduced a new feature called “Message Yourself” that allows users on iOS and Android to send messages to themselves, or forward messages to themselves. The feature is designed to help users store messages, files, and other media in an easily accessible location, and users can also forward messages from other chats, or share content from other apps directly to WhatsApp.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Meanwhile, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a feature that will let Android users export and import their chat backups offline from Google Drive. The feature is said to provide access to the full chat history, images, videos, and other media files. The feature was first spotted in development back in June, but the company is yet to announce plans to roll out the feature on Android or iOS devices. 

See also  Twitter's Closed Caption Toggle Is Now Available on iOS, Android

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

Continue Reading

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  Musk-Twitter Deal Expected to Close, but Prepared for All Scenarios, Says CEO Parag Agrawal

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  Facebook Fails to Spot Hate Posts Aimed at East Africa Amid Kenya’s Upcoming Elections: Study

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

Trending