No More Bulk Tweeting and Duplicate Accounts on Twitter

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Twitter is announcing major limits on how users and apps can automate tweets, in order to curb spam and political propaganda bots. Developers are now banned from using any system that simultaneously posts “identical or substantially similar” tweets from multiple accounts at once, or makes actions like liking, retweeting, and following across multiple accounts at once. Twitter will remove these options from its own TweetDeck app, and third-party developers have until March 23rd to comply. Twitter says these actions are “an important step in ensuring we stay ahead of malicious…

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Snapchat CEO says the redesign is here to stay

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Despite a lot of backlash over a big redesign for the Snapchat app, the CEO Evan Spiegel vigorously defended the redesign and basically said people need to get used to it. Spiegel said at the Goldman Sachs Internet & Technology Conference that even people complaining about the app was a sort of validation that the changes the company wants to happen are, indeed, happening. Snap aimed to try to separate the idea of communication and broadcasting with Snap into similar buckets, rather than the features being kind of mixed up…

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Germany’s Flawed Social Media Laws

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The new German law that compels social media companies to remove hate speech and other illegal content can lead to unaccountable, overboard censorship and should be promptly reversed, Human Rights Watch said. The law sets a dangerous precedent for other governments looking to restrict speech online by forcing companies to censor on the government’s behalf. Governments and the public have valid concerns about the proliferation of illegal or abusive content online, but the new Ger“man law is fundamentally flawed,” said Wenzel Michalski, Germany director at Human Rights Watch. “It is…

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Snapchat redesign faces backlash

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The redesign of the app was to make it easier to use but as the update rolls out to more users, Snapchat is getting criticism that the new interface is difficult to navigate. “I might start using Instagram Stories now,”  said Ashley Vasquez, a 21-year-old Snapchat user who is a senior at the University of Maryland in College Park. A Change.org petition asking the company to remove the new update has amassed more than 590,000 signatures by Monday afternoon. Other users began sharing a workaround for reversing the update by…

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Facebook Gaining Popularity among Old People as the Young Leave

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A report shows that Facebook is for old people as teens and young adults are ditching the social network while the over 55s are joining. In 2018, 2.2 million 12- to 17-year-olds and 4.5 million 18- to 24-year-olds will regularly use Facebook in the UK, 700,000 fewer than in 2017, as younger users defect to services such as Snapchat, according to eMarketer. A surge in older users means over-55s will become the second-biggest demographic of Facebook users this year. The report says that while Facebook has so far been successful…

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Instagram testing feature that enables users to regram posts to stories

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Instagram has confirmed it is testing an option that lets you “regram” public feed posts from other users to your Story. For those who have access to the new feature, it will appear as “Add post to your story” when you tap the share icon underneath a post. If you don’t want your public posts to be shared in this way, there is the option to change your privacy settings. Even if your account doesn’t have the ability to currently reshare, you should still see the option now for “Allow…

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Facebook bans all crypto-currency ads

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Facebook has said it will block any advertising promoting crypto-currency products and services. The company said it was open to emerging technologies but many companies were not acting in “good faith” when extolling the virtues buying into virtual currencies. Recently, a wave of new currencies have emerged, seeking to piggyback Bitcoin’s huge increase in value. Facebook urged users to report any ads the company’s security measures missed. It admitted it would not always catch every ad for a crypto-currency. “We want people to continue to discover and learn about new…

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Appeals court rules that Tinder’s pricing for premium service Tinder plus violates age discrimination laws

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A California appeals court has sided with Allan Candelore, a man suing Tinder over the pricing for its premium service, Tinder Plus. Specifically, Candelore and his lawyers argued that by charging $9.99 per month if a user is under 30, versus $19.99 per month if you’re 30 or older, Tinder is discriminating based on age, in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Unfair Competition Law (those are both California laws). Tinder co-founder Sean Rad defended the pricing at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference back in 2015 by saying, “Our…

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How publishers will survive Facebook’s news feed change

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Facebook announced on January 11 that it would change its News Feed algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family over public content. Say goodbye to never-ending sponsored posts from Tasty, CNN, and other brands that have embraced the platform. Time to say hello to more personal posts featuring commenting and sharing from your friends. Sounds like the original version of Facebook, no? Facebook’s News Feed change pushes hard to create a better user experience for its users by focusing on meaningful interactions between people. This is critical for its…

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Full-body Tracking at Facebook Suggests Broader AR/VR Ambitions

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It is worth noting that Facebook is big on both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), both for entertainment and communication purposes. And new research suggests it is working on AR applications that could not just modify or replace your face, but your entire body. A blog post today has the AI Camera Team showing off a bit of work clearly aimed at doing full-body replacement or tracking in a VR or AR context. “We recently developed a new technology that can accurately detect body poses and segment a…

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