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Messaging giant WhatsApp is experimenting with giving businesses verified accounts on its platform. In an FAQ on its website the company notes that some business accounts will be displayed with a green tick badge next to them — which denotes that WhatsApp has “confirmed” their phone number belongs to a business account, though it does
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Turns out, observing other people’s lives is actually a biological instinct. And in the age of social media, where lives are presented on a platter and require only the slip of a thumb, it’s easy to indulge in those instincts. In fact, sometimes, we let our impulses run wild in the most unproductive ways. But
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Facebook is faced with yet another content-related scandal, after The Times newspaper reported that people traffickers and slave traders are using its platform to broadcast videos of migrants being tortured to try to extort money from their families. According to the newspaper’s report, footage showing Libyan gangmasters threatening the lives of migrants had remained on
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Amazon’s Influencer Program, a service that allows social media personalities to earn commissions on the Amazon products they promote, is now accepting sign-ups from YouTube influencers who want to participate. Last Thursday, Amazon quietly enabled a self-service tool for YouTube stars that lets them request to join the highly-vetted program, which had first launched into
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Veteran Facebook exec Andrew “Boz” Bosworth is taking over consumer hardware efforts at the company, including projects under groups like Building 8 and Oculus. The announcement was made internally by Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, Business Insider reports. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the appointment to TechCrunch. Bosworth, who joined Facebook in January of 2006, has been instrumental
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Remember Valerie Plame Wilson? The former CIA agent, who got involved in what became known as the “Plame Affair,” has a solution for ridding Twitter of America’s favorite troll. Wilson launched a fundraiser last week to buy the social media service, tweeting: So far, Wilson has raised just $12,000 of the $1 billion she’s seeking.  It’s
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Should your parents be able to read your Facebook messages if you die? Facebook explained why it won’t let them in a post in its Hard Questions series today about social networking after death. Facebook admits it doesn’t have all the answers, but it has come up with some decent solutions to some issues with
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In June, Microsoft introduced a completely revamped version of its Skype app, designed with a heavier focus on media-sharing, and other social expression tools, like emoji, reactions, and even a Snapchat-like stories feature. Now that new experience is rolling out to desktop users, but in a more limited fashion, Microsoft announced this morning. The new
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Content warning: This post contains racial slurs, homophobic language and very graphic depictions of racism and violence.  If you were just paying attention to press releases, this week it’d be easy to believe that tech companies are winning the war on hate. Responding to the violence in Charlottesville, Mark Zuckerberg solemnly reflected that there is “no place
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In this episode of Technotopia I talked with Rabbi Abe Cooper, Associate Dean, Director Global Social Action Agenda of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Rabbi Cooper doesn’t use many online services, but he knows how to remain human in a time of great digital upheaval and he shared some of the tactics he uses to help
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Popular voice chat platform Discord has shut down several servers and accounts associated with the alt-right for violations of the terms of service. The company announced the enforcement action on Twitter, emphasizing that it is “about positivity and inclusivity. Not hate. Not violence.” Predictably, this was quickly followed by accusations of censorship and political bias,
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Facebook is rolling out a “Trending News” section on mobile that includes its own link in the app’s main navigation. This follows the company’s earlier announcement this spring of a redesign for Trending Topics, an increasingly important part of Facebook’s social network, where it tracks the news stories that are buzzing across its service. That redesign is
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Snapchat is teaming up with The Pokémon Company to introduce a new Pikachu filter to the app. The official Pikachu filter applies the electric mouse’s trademark rosy cheeks, pointy ears, black nose and big eyes to faces in the app, and when users open their mouth the iconic Pikachu cry rings out as an animated
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SoundCloud will soon collapse if investors don’t vote for a rescue funding round tomorrow. The stumbling music streaming community site had to suddenly lay off 40 percent of its staff last month. Now it’s asking investors for $169.5 million at a pre-money enterprise valuation of just $150 million, according to Axios‘ reliable business editor Dan Primack. That’s
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Facebook is paring down its collection of standalone apps. The company’s experimental “teens-only” app Lifestage, designed to counteract Snapchat’s threat, has been pulled from the App Store. Its disappearance was first spotted by Business Insider, and Facebook confirmed its removal. However, Lifestage isn’t the only Facebook app that’s being killed off as of late –
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Lonely Planet has a new app for travel enthusiasts. Called Trips, the app uses an Instagram-like design populated with beautiful images of far away places. Much like Lonely Planet’s website, the idea behind Trips is to offer travelers an easy way to share their experiences and discover new areas of the world, this time on