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Facebook Launches Lasso, Its Short-Form Video Competitor to TikTok

With seemingly little fanfare, Facebook has launched its new app Lasso, a standalone short-form video platform that’s been billed as a competitor to TikTok. According to TechCrunch, the app is Facebook’s attempt at winning over its dwindling demographic of teens. Read More >>

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You Can Now Read Novels on Facebook Messenger

Facebook's hoping the next novel you read will be on Messenger, because that's where they've just released one. Read More >>

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Twitter Takes Down 10,000 Accounts That Discouraged Voting in the US Elections

With America's hotly contested midterm elections coming up this Tuesday, Twitter is cracking down on attempts at using the service to dissuade people from showing up at the polls. Read More >>

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Influencer Sued for Allegedly Not Influencing Nearly as Hard as He Was Paid To

Grown-ish actor and reported onetime Kourtney Kardashian suitor Luka Sabbat is facing down a lawsuit from Snap Inc.’s public relations firm, PR Consulting, for allegedly violating the terms of an “influencer” agreement worth £46,000. Read More >>

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Twitter Rolls Out Feature to Report Bots, Also Anyone You Think Is a Bot

Twitter has rolled out another feature intended to cut down on spam and misinformation efforts – adding suspected bots, malicious links, and spammy hashtags to the “suspicious or spam” category users can choose when reporting violations of its terms of service. Read More >>

twitter
Twitter Tests New Button to See the Latest Tweets First

It’s been a week for keeping up with Twitter announcements. Following news of Twitter’s new bot-reporting feature and a report that CEO Jack Dorsey was looking to kill the “like” button, the company announced that it will allow some of its users to disable Twitter’s “best tweets first” feed through a new home-screen button. The test feature will allow users to instead view the latest tweets first but easily switch between both feeds. Read More >>

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That Viral Photo of Justin Bieber Eating a Burrito Sideways is Totally Fake

Did you see that photo of Justin Bieber eating a burrito like a corn cob? The photo went viral on Facebook, Twitter, and dozens of news sites. But we’ve got some bad news for you, or good news depending on how you look at it. The photo is totally fake. Read More >>

china
China’s Former Internet Chief, a Censorship Hardliner, Pleads Guilty to Corruption Charges

Lu Wei, the former chief of the imposing Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) and one of the primary architects of the mass censorship foisted on China’s estimated 700 million internet users, pleaded guilty this week in Chinese court to taking some 32 million yuan (about £3.5 million) in bribes, the Associated Press reported on Friday, citing state TV broadcasts. Those state-owned stations broadcast only limited details of the case, though Lu stepped down from his post in 2016 and the next year became the target of one of the far-ranging anti-corruption probes ordered by President Xi Jinping. Read More >>

whatsapp
WhatsApp Bans 100,000 Accounts Before Brazilian Election, Which Is Still a Real Mess

Facebook subsidiary and encrypted chat service WhatsApp has banned more than 100,000 accounts ahead of the upcoming federal elections in Brazil, where leftist Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad will face down far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro, Bloomberg reported on Friday. Read More >>

twitter
Report: Tech-Loving Saudi Prince Suspected in Jamal Khashoggi’s Death Has Twitter Troll Army

Saudi crown prince and heir to the throne Mohammed bin Salman is big on PR. He’s fond of selling himself as a Silicon Valley-style disruptor eager to take Saudi Arabia into the future as a regional tech and logistics hub, trying to ink big deals with international tech giants that could help solidify his claim to the throne. Before his sweeping meet-and-greet tour of prominent U.S. CEOs earlier this year, suspicious magazines titled The New Kingdom began appearing on newsstands across the country with headlines saying the prince was “destroying terrorism” and boasting of his “staggering $4 trillion business empire.” Read More >>

twitter
Twitter Makes it Easier to See When People Break the Rules

To make its policing of bad actors a little more obvious, Twitter is instituting new policies that should help users hide offensive content and see what happens after a tweet gets reported. Read More >>

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Advertisers Suing Facebook Allege It May Have Committed Fraud on Video Ad Metrics

A group of advertisers suing social-media giant Facebook in California over bungled video metrics now alleges in court filings that the platform failed to disclose data errors in a manner that could “[rise] to the level of fraud and may warrant punitive damages,” according to Ars Technica. Read More >>

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Political Facebook Ads Will Now Show Who Paid For Them

In its never-ending quest to regain some respect, Facebook has implemented a new system for political ads on its platform that promises greater transparency. Read More >>

crime
Please Don’t Post Your Potentially Felonious Crimes to Facebook

People do astoundingly stupid shit online. But for all the noise we make everything you should never post on social media, it should really go without saying that implicating yourself in a felony crime by way of a publicly available video is a no-go. Alas, such is the case for one man in the US state of Missouri who allegedly posted a how-to video of himself removing his police-issued ankle monitor to Facebook. Read More >>

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Facebook Is Still Thirsty for Your Health Data

Facebook already has a veritable treasure trove of data on anyone who uses the site, including stuff users do on the web outside of it. It still has an appetite for even more. Read More >>