Connect with us

OTHER

Elon Musk Seeks Major Platform Changes After Twitter Takeover, Wants to Relaunch Vine Video App: Report

Published

on

elon-musk-seeks-major-platform-changes-after-twitter-takeover,-wants-to-relaunch-vine-video-app:-report

Elon Musk has hit the ground sprinting after his Twitter takeover, seeking major changes to the platform only days after finalizing his controversial $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,64,000 crore) purchase. 

Documents filed Monday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed that Musk has become Twitter’s sole director after finalising the deal last week and dissolving its corporate board.

The documents state that the “consummation of the Merger” occurred on October 27, at which point “Mr. Musk became the sole director of Twitter,” while the entire board, including CEO Parag Agrawal, were let go.

When he made his initial buyout offer in April, Musk – also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX – stated that he intended to remove Twitter from the public market, after which fewer public disclosures would be required.

When the unpredictable billionaire tried to walk away from the deal, Twitter sued Musk in a Delaware court.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

But with an October trial date looming, Musk revived the deal in early October, ultimately sealing the takeover at $54.20 (roughly Rs. 4,500) per share last week.

After changing his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit,” Musk reportedly worked over the weekend with software engineers from Tesla to look under the hood of the one-to-many messaging platform, and on planning massive layoffs.

The team has reportedly been attempting to monetise Twitter’s identity verification feature, which gives certain users a prized blue check mark next to their profile.

One option, The Verge reports, would be to require verified users to sign up for the platform’s paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, which currently costs just under five dollars a month.

See also  Snap Reportedly Plans to Lay Off Employees, Managers Discussing Job Cuts for Their Teams

That price would increase to around $20 (roughly Rs. 1,650) a month, and if unpaid, verified users would lose their blue check mark.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“The whole verification process is being revamped right now,” tweeted Musk on Sunday.

The new boss has also asked teams to relaunch Vine by the end of the year, newsite Axios reported.

Twitter bought the ultra-short video app in 2012, long before TikTok became the format’s dominant player, but shuttered it four years later.

The Washington Post has reported that the multi-billionaire plans to fire some 75 percent of his new company’s 7,500 employees.

Musk’s previous comments condemning Twitter’s content moderation policies as heavy-handed – as well as his frequent posts of boundary-testing memes – has given pause to some advertisers, the company’s main source of revenue.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

He tried to calm the nerves by reassuring that the site would not become a “free-for-all hellscape,” and announced the formation of a content moderation council.

On Monday, he traveled to New York, where his team met with several advertisers to try to reassure them, according to The Information.

The new Musk-led entity formed under the merger agreement has also offered to buy back all of Twitter’s outstanding bonds, according to the SEC filing.

Musk, the wealthiest person in the world, financed the massive deal through a mixture of his own funds, money from other investment groups and loans from banks which will have to be reimbursed.

According to another Twitter document filed with the SEC, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal has become the site’s second largest shareholder. 

Advertisement
free widgets for website

The businessman, who had initially rejected Musk’s offer as too low compared to Twitter’s “intrinsic value,” eventually contributed the nearly 35 million shares he already owned.

See also  Twitch Fined by Russia for Hosting Ukraine Video, TikTok Faces Fine Over 'LGBT Propaganda'

“Dear friend ‘Chief Twit’ @elonmusk,” wrote Al-Waleed on Twitter last Friday with a statement announcing the rollover of his shares.

“Together all the way,” he added, with an emoji of two hands shaking.


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

Advertisement
free widgets for website

OTHER

Twitter Under Elon Musk Leaning on Automation to Moderate Content Against Hate Speech

Published

on

By

twitter-under-elon-musk-leaning-on-automation-to-moderate-content-against-hate-speech

Elon Musk’s Twitter is leaning heavily on automation to moderate content, doing away with certain manual reviews and favoring restrictions on distribution rather than removing certain speech outright, its new head of trust and safety told Reuters.

Twitter is also more aggressively restricting abuse-prone hashtags and search results in areas including child exploitation, regardless of potential impacts on “benign uses” of those terms, said Twitter Vice President of Trust and Safety Product Ella Irwin.

“The biggest thing that’s changed is the team is fully empowered to move fast and be as aggressive as possible,” Irwin said on Thursday, in the first interview a Twitter executive has given since Musk’s acquisition of the social media company in late October.

Her comments come as researchers are reporting a surge in hate speech on the social media service, after Musk announced an amnesty for accounts suspended under the company’s previous leadership that had not broken the law or engaged in “egregious spam.”

The company has faced pointed questions about its ability and willingness to moderate harmful and illegal content since Musk slashed half of Twitter’s staff and issued an ultimatum to work long hours that resulted in the loss of hundreds more employees.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

And advertisers, Twitter’s main revenue source, have fled the platform over concerns about brand safety.

On Friday, Musk vowed “significant reinforcement of content moderation and protection of freedom of speech” in a meeting with France President Emmanuel Macron.

Irwin said Musk encouraged the team to worry less about how their actions would affect user growth or revenue, saying safety was the company’s top priority. “He emphasizes that every single day, multiple times a day,” she said.

See also  Twitch Fined by Russia for Hosting Ukraine Video, TikTok Faces Fine Over 'LGBT Propaganda'

The approach to safety Irwin described at least in part reflects an acceleration of changes that were already being planned since last year around Twitter’s handling of hateful conduct and other policy violations, according to former employees familiar with that work.

One approach, captured in the industry mantra “freedom of speech, not freedom of reach,” entails leaving up certain tweets that violate the company’s policies but barring them from appearing in places like the home timeline and search.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Twitter has long deployed such “visibility filtering” tools around misinformation and had already incorporated them into its official hateful conduct policy before the Musk acquisition. The approach allows for more freewheeling speech while cutting down on the potential harms associated with viral abusive content.

The number of tweets containing hateful content on Twitter rose sharply in the week before Musk tweeted on November 23 that impressions, or views, of hateful speech were declining, according to the Center for Countering Digital Hate – in one example of researchers pointing to the prevalence of such content, while Musk touts a reduction in visibility.

Tweets containing words that were anti-Black that week were triple the number seen in the month before Musk took over, while tweets containing a gay slur were up 31%, the researchers said.

‘More risks, move fast’

Irwin, who joined the company in June and previously held safety roles at other companies including Amazon.com and Google, pushed back on suggestions that Twitter did not have the resources or willingness to protect the platform.

See also  Elon Musk Asks Staff to Opt for 'Extremely Hardcore' Twitter or Take Severance Package

She said layoffs did not significantly impact full-time employees or contractors working on what the company referred to as its “Health” divisions, including in “critical areas” like child safety and content moderation.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Two sources familiar with the cuts said that more than 50 percent of the Health engineering unit was laid off. Irwin did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the assertion, but previously denied that the Health team was severely impacted by layoffs.

She added that the number of people working on child safety had not changed since the acquisition, and that the product manager for the team was still there. Irwin said Twitter backfilled some positions for people who left the company, though she declined to provide specific figures for the extent of the turnover.

She said Musk was focused on using automation more, arguing that the company had in the past erred on the side of using time- and labor-intensive human reviews of harmful content.

“He’s encouraged the team to take more risks, move fast, get the platform safe,” she said.

On child safety, for instance, Irwin said Twitter had shifted toward automatically taking down tweets reported by trusted figures with a track record of accurately flagging harmful posts.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Carolina Christofoletti, a threat intelligence researcher at TRM Labs who specializes in child sexual abuse material, said she has noticed Twitter recently taking down some content as fast as 30 seconds after she reports it, without acknowledging receipt of her report or confirmation of its decision.

See also  Twitter Staff Stock Accounts Locked Ahead of October 28 Deadline to Close Deal With Elon Musk: Report

In the interview on Thursday, Irwin said Twitter took down about 44,000 accounts involved in child safety violations, in collaboration with cybersecurity group Ghost Data.

Twitter is also restricting hashtags and search results frequently associated with abuse, like those aimed at looking up “teen” pornography. Past concerns about the impact of such restrictions on permitted uses of the terms were gone, she said.

The use of “trusted reporters” was “something we’ve discussed in the past at Twitter, but there was some hesitancy and frankly just some delay,” said Irwin.

“I think we now have the ability to actually move forward with things like that,” she said.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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

Continue Reading

OTHER

Elon Musk Introduces ‘Live Tweeting’ Feature Amid Ongoing Plans for Twitter

Published

on

By

elon-musk-introduces-‘live-tweeting’-feature-amid-ongoing-plans-for-twitter

Twitter CEO Elon Musk, on Saturday, added a new feature ‘live tweeting’ and now it is currently active on the platform.

Author Matt Taibbi becomes the first user to use this new feature with his cryptic tweet “Thread: THE TWITTER FILES”

Taking to Twitter, Musk wrote, “Here we go!!” with popcorn emoticons.

Earlier, he tweeted, “We’re double-checking some facts, so probably start live tweeting in about 40 mins.”

We’re double-checking some facts, so probably start live tweeting in about 40 mins

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2022

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Griftopia writer followed his first tweet which reads, “Thread: THE TWITTER FILES”, “What you’re about to read is the first installment in a series, based upon thousands of internal documents obtained by sources at Twitter.”

He added, “The “Twitter Files” tell an incredible story from inside one of the world’s largest and most influential social media platforms. It is a Frankensteinian tale of a human-built mechanism grown out the control of its designer.”

Twitter’s new boss is also working on “purging a lot” of spam/scam accounts.

On Thursday, Musk took to his Twitter account and shared the word limit update with everyone. He tweeted, “Twitter is purging a lot of spam/scam accounts right now, so you may see your follower count drop.”

Twitter is purging a lot of spam/scam accounts right now, so you may see your follower count drop

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 1, 2022

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Musk is also planning to up Twitter’s character limit from 280 to 1000.

A few days ago, a social media user tagged Musk and tweeted, ” Idea on explanding character limit to 1000.”

In response, Musk wrote, “It’s on the todo list.”

The character limit has been one of the prime differences between Twitter and other social media services.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. 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. Prior to that, another user had suggested “get rid of character limits.”

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“Absolutely”, the multi-billionaire responded.

Now it remains to be seen when Musk finally makes the changes regarding character limit.


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

See also  Elon Musk Prepares Himself for the Judgement Against Twitter Ahead of October 17 Trial
Continue Reading

OTHER

WhatsApp Begins Beta Testing Android Tablet Support, iOS Testers Get ‘Search by Date’ Feature

Published

on

By

whatsapp-begins-beta-testing-android-tablet-support,-ios-testers-get-‘search-by-date’-feature

WhatsApp is rolling out an update for its beta testers on Android that introduces support for WhatsApp for tablets. Select Android beta testers can now link their existing WhatsApp account on their phones with the tablet version of the app. Until now, a WhatsApp account on an Android phone could not be accessed on a secondary Android device. Meanwhile, some beta testers on WhatsApp for iOS are reportedly getting access to a new feature that will allow them to quickly jump to messages based on the date they were sent or received.

Spotted by WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, users who have signed up for WhatsApp’s beta programme will begin to see an in-app banner announcing the feature. A screengrab on the website shows a banner on top of chats which reads “Have an Android tablet? WhatsApp for tablet is available for beta testers.’ The banner will be visible as part of WhatsApp beta 2.22.25.8 update for Android, which makes the popular messaging app compatible on tablets. Gadgets 360 staff members who are part of the beta programme also received the banner on their smartphones.

However, the feature tracker states that the new tablet version of the app might not be feature-complete. “Note that some features may still not be available when installing WhatsApp on your tablet, for example, the ability to share a new status update, live locations, and broadcast lists,” the report said.

Notably, WhatsApp users can access their primary account on computer and WhatsApp for Web. The feature is finally coming to Android tablets, allowing beta testers to access their messages on both their smartphone and their tablet.

See also  Big Tech Firms Grilled by Parliamentary Panel Ahead of Upcoming Fair Competition Framework for Digital Markets

Meanwhile, WABetaInfo also reports that beta testers on iOS are getting a new update that adds the ability to search for messages by date. WhatsApp version 22.24.0.77, via the TestFlight beta programme, will make it easier for users to jump to specific dates in a chat window. To check if the feature is available, users can look for a calendar icon inside the search option for a chat. The icon lets you use the ‘Jump to Date’ feature to look for specific messages sent on the day.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

WhatsApp has been busy in the past few weeks, rolling out multiple features on both Android and iOS. The app recently rolled out a ‘Message Yourself’ feature on both platforms that lets users text themselves, in case they need to note down important information, reminders, or store files. Additionally, iOS users also received an update that adds the ability to include captions for forwarded media.


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

Continue Reading

Trending