Twitter Will Soon Let You Control Who Can Reply to Your Tweets

In a move that free-speech advocates have slammed for possibly restricting healthy debates and adding to the increasing number of echo chambers on the platform, Twitter is apparently testing a new feature that will enable users to lock down a conversation by choosing who is – and who isn’t – allowed to reply to their tweets.

Believed to have been first spotted by renowned software reverse engineer, Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane), the feature is currently in its testing phase on the Twitter website, but it’s unclear as to when it will be eventually rolled out to the broader public. As can be seen from the screenshots posted by Wong, the feature is called ‘Conversation Types’ and, comes with three options that allows users to specify who can respond to their tweets.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Originally announced at the CES tech show in January by Twitter’s director of product, Suzanne Xie, the controversial new changes come in the form of a new setting that will allow users to choose who can participate in a conversation thread every time a tweet is posted. However, the way Twitter is now implementing it differs somewhat from how it was described at the press conference last month.

While Twitter had originally announced four options, including Global (default setting allowing everyone to respond), Panel, Group and Statement (fully locked-down option preventing anyone from answering), the company now seems to have done away with the final option altogether and renamed the rest to Open, Community and Invitation with minor tweaks, although the structure remains pretty much unchanged.

According to Wong, folks will still be able to see locked-down tweets and even quote them if they want, but they won’t be able to reply and be a part of the conversation if the OP so decides. It’s not immediately clear how the change will affect conversations on Twitter, but it will no doubt be a fundamental change to how the platform has worked since its inception.

Featured Image Courtesy: Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane)

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Huawei P40 Hands-on Images Surface Online

huawei p40 camera prototype

Huawei will be announcing its latest flagship P40 series on March 26 at an event in Paris. The Chinese smartphone giant has now given Digital Trends a sneak peek at its Huawei P40 prototype, revealing the rear design and camera setup.

Digital Trends was not told which model in the series they were shown. However, judging by the past rumors and speculations, this is not likely to be the P40 Pro and inclines more towards the regular P40 variant.

huawei p40 prototype rear
Credits: Andy Boxall / DigitalTrends

You must have noticed the texts “Polarie” and “Blink” seen on the device. Those names refer to the internal codenames of the prototype model. If Huawei doesn’t have any plans to change its camera vendor, we would be seeing the usual “Huawei” and “Leica” branding on the retail unit.

In terms of design, Digital Trends says that the handset is almost exactly the same size as the P40 Pro, with rounded corners. The report also notes that the waterfall display is not as curved as the Mate 30 Pro, which means lesser accidental touches and better grip. The handset will pack physical power and volume buttons, unlike the Mate 30 Pro.

For optics, the prototype has vertically stacked triple rear cameras, of which one is a periscope zoom lens. We see a ToF sensor, a mic hole, and an LED flash beside the cameras.

While we were expecting the company to launch the entire P40 series – P40, P40 Pro, P40 Premium Edition and P40 Lite in Paris, Huawei went ahead and launched the P40 Lite as a rebranded Nova 6 SE at an event in Spain.

The report does not give any information regarding the front camera on the handset but it is more likely to be dual pill-shaped selfie cameras, as per the rumors. We will be learning more about the P40 series on March 26, so stay tuned for updates.

Featured Image Credits: Andy Boxall / DigitalTrends

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Twitter Accidentally Verified a Fake Account of a US Republican Election Candidate

twitter verification fake account

In a bizarre incident, a 17-year-old High School student got his Twitter account verified as a fake Republican candidate for 2020 US Presidential election. According to a CNN report on Friday, the student created a fake profiler as Andrew Walz who called himself a “proven business leader” and a “passionate advocate for students.”

Walz, a Republican from Rhode Island, is running for Congress with the tagline, ‘Let’s make change in Washington together”. “Earlier this month, Walz’s account received a coveted blue checkmark from Twitter as part of the company’s broader push to verify the authenticity of many Senate, House and gubernatorial candidates currently running for office,” said the report.

The student was quoted as saying that he was “bored” over the holidays and created the fake account to test Twitter’s election integrity efforts. It took the student about 20 minutes to create a website for his fake candidate and five minutes to make the Twitter account.

Twitter suspended the account when alerted. “The creation of a fake candidate account is in violation of our rules and the account has been permanently suspended,” a Twitter spokesperson was quoted as saying.

According to a report, the fact that a teenager “was able to quickly create a fake candidate in his free time and get it verified by Twitter raises questions about the company’s preparedness for handling how the 2020 elections will play out on its platform”.

Twitter announced in December that it would give a blue checkmark to verify all 2020 congressional and gubernatorial candidates. “I want Twitter to succeed. I love Twitter. I think it’s a great platform and I’ve learned so much from it,” the student was quoted as saying.

The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. Introduced in 2009, initially, the blue check mark distinction was bestowed primarily on celebrities, athletes and public figures to check impersonators. The badge was later rolled out to journalists and other users. To obtain a verified check mark, users have to apply with a reason for why they need one.

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Facebook Messenger Ditches Chat Bots, Removes Discover Tab

Top 5 Facebook Messenger App Alternatives that Work (2020)

Facebook Messenger has ditched chat bots and removed Discover tab as part of a larger redesign process to remain simple and catch more eyeballs. The changes will appear next week, reports TechCrunch, in a move to focus on speed and simplicity.

“The changes are part of a larger Messenger redesign that reorients the People tab around Stories as Facebook continues to try to dominate the ephemeral social media format it copied from Snapchat,” said the report.

Under Stan Chudnovsky, the app has been streamlined as a functional messaging app. In the new design, Facebook is promoting a “People” section where you can see large squares dedicated to friends who have recently updated their Facebook Stories.

One can also see contact list organised to promote most used contacts who are actively online.

Instant Games and Transportation will also be removed from the chat composer’s utility tray and moved inside the app so you will need to search for those. Not just the main app, the company is also tweaking Messenger Kids.

In a bid to give parents more control over what their kids do on Facebook Messenger Kids, the company earlier this month added new privacy features on Parent Dashboard in the app. Parents will now be able to see more details about who their children are messaging with, whether they’re video calling them, and a history of anyone they’ve blocked in the app.

Facebook launched Messenger Kids in 2017 which faced lot of criticism over privacy issues.

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