Tag: Tweets

Twitter labeled 300,000 US election tweets — around 0.2%

November 17, 2020 No Comments

Just over a week after the U.S. elections, Twitter has offered a breakdown of some of its efforts to label misleading tweets. The site says that from October 27 to November 11, it labeled some 300,000 tweets as part of its Civic Integrity Policy. That amounts to around 0.2% of the total number of election-related tweets sent during that two-week period.

Of course, not all Twitter warnings are created equal. Only 456 of those included a warning that covered the text and limited user engagement, disabling retweets, replies and likes. That specific warning did go a ways toward limited engagement, with around three-fourths of those who encountered the tweets seeing the obscured texts (by clicking through the warning). Quote tweets for those so labeled decreased by around 29%, according to Twitter’s figures.

The president of the United States received a disproportionate number of those labels, as The New York Times notes that just over a third of Trump’s tweets between November 3 and 6 were hit with such a warning. The end of the election (insofar as the election has actually ended, I suppose) appears to have slowed the site’s response time somewhat, though Trump continues to get flagged, as he continues to devote a majority of his feed to disputing the election results confirmed by nearly every major news outlet.

His latest tweet as of this writing has been labeled disputed, but not hidden, as Trump repeats claims against voting machine maker, Dominion. “We also want to be very clear that we do not see our job as done,” Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead Vijaya Gadde and Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour wrote. “Our work here continues and our teams are learning and improving how we address these challenges.”

Twitter and other social media sites were subject to intense scrutiny following the 2016 election for the roles the platforms played in the spread of misinformation. Twitter sought to address the issue by tweaking recommendations and retweets, as well as individually labeling tweets that violate its policies.

Earlier today, YouTube defended its decision to keep controversial election-related videos, noting, “Like other companies, we’re allowing these videos because discussion of election results & the process of counting votes is allowed on YT. These videos are not being surfaced or recommended in any prominent way.”

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Twitter will make users remove tweets hoping Trump dies of COVID-19

October 5, 2020 No Comments

President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 result has made Twitter a busy place in the past 24 hours, including some tweets that have publicly wished — some subtly and others more directly — that he die from the disease caused by coronavirus.

Twitter put out a reminder to folks that it doesn’t allow tweets that wish or hope for death or serious bodily harm or fatal disease against anyone. Tweets that violate this policy will need to be removed, Twitter said Friday. However, it also clarified that this does not automatically mean suspension. Several news outlets misreported that users would be suspended automatically. Of course, that doesn’t mean users won’t be suspended.

Motherboard reported that users would be suspended, citing a statement from Twitter. That runs slightly counter to Twitter’s public statement on its own platform.

On Thursday evening, Trump tweeted that he and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, had tested positive for COVID-19. White House physician Sean Conley issued a memo Friday confirming the positive results of SAR-Cov-2 virus, which often is more commonly known as COVID-19. Trump was seen boarding a helicopter Friday evening that was bound for Walter Reed Medical Center for several days of treatment.

The diagnosis sent shares tumbling Friday on the key exchanges, including Nasdaq. The news put downward pressure on all major American indices, but heaviest on tech shares.

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Top five tips to use Twitter’s new Voice Tweets feature

August 25, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Twitter has unveiled a new Voice Tweet feature, an exciting new way for brands to connect with fans and followers by leveraging the power of the human voice.
  • Voice Tweets can add context and nuance that strictly visual language can’t capture.
  • Voices.com’s CEO David Ciccarelli shares five tips for building a strategy that caters to audiences’ ears, not just their eyes, and creating successful Voice Tweets.

In a 2009 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey recalled how the platform got its name. He said the definition for the word “Twitter” was perfect because it “was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds.’ And that’s exactly what the product was.”

This may have been true then, but Twitter evolved from a website full of inconsequential information to one of the world’s largest news sources. Today, the social media platform broadcasts everyone’s messages, including individuals, Fortune 500 companies, and even global superpowers.

Just as the site itself has grown and changed, its content features have evolved as well. The Twitter team added support for GIFs and videos along the way, and tweets are now 280 characters when they were originally confined to 140. Most recently, Twitter announced its new Voice Tweet feature. Voice Tweets represent the social media giant’s first departure from the visual realm. It’s an exciting opportunity for brands to connect with their fans and followers in a whole new way.

The value of voice

Communication that’s strictly visual can leave out a lot of information. That missing context can often lead to separate interpretations by different readers or viewers, and occasionally those interpretations are decidedly at odds. Voice, on the other hand, allows users to utilize all the nuances and complexities of inflection and tone, letting them convey additional meaning and subtext that eliminates ambiguity and enables deeper connections with the audience.

Twitter’s new auditory feature ergo, Voice Tweets are an exciting opportunity for businesses to enhance their brand touchpoints with platform users by leveraging the power of the human voice. The key is putting in the effort and getting the rollout right the first time.

To build a strategy that caters to your customers’ ears instead of their eyes, follow these five steps when creating Voice Tweets:

1. Appoint an audio ambassador

In addition to the CEO, select or hire one or two people to represent your brand as audio ambassadors. These people (and their voices) will be synonymous with your company, so they should be adept at connecting with audiences. Your ambassadors will be responsible for all audio operations and can assist in accessibility usage for those who are deaf and hard of hearing. In the U.S., 15% of adults 18 and over have some trouble hearing, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Create threads under your original Voice Tweets with transcriptions to improve accessibility and utilize SEO keywords.

2. Be clear on key messaging

To create coherent messaging, you need to clarify both the broad themes and specific details. Being clear on messaging can determine what keywords people associate with your brand and what future searches they’ll make. What words or phrases do you want to be associated with your company? What would you and company leadership consider off-brand? Make a list and distribute it to all parties involved to ensure that the right messaging is top of mind. Then, plan to update your individual messages with audio cues that are specific to each campaign.

3. Define your style

Kantar TNS reports that almost 80% of Twitter users follow one or more brands. That’s a sizable audience that represents a major opportunity, but it also means you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Your Voice Tweets should establish an auditory identity while staying consistent with your brand’s style and personality. Define your style by determining your tone (for example, conversational or professional) and preferred word choice.

4. Create high-quality recordings

It may come as a shock, but most voice-over recordings happen in home studios. That’s not just a recent symptom of the COVID-19 pandemic — it’s a trend that’s been happening for the past decade. You don’t need to rent out an expensive recording studio to start publishing your brand’s first Voice Tweets, but you also don’t want to record in a busy home with lots of noise and distractions. Find a quiet space to record — whether it’s a closet or a spare bedroom — in order to improve the audio quality.

5. Listen to audio clips before publication

Have you ever recorded a voicemail greeting and then played it back? If you’re like most people, you probably thought you nailed it on the first take only to listen in horror as you “umm” and “ahh” your way to the end. Voice Tweets should be no different, and your audio ambassador should always listen carefully to ensure that each tweet conveys a simple and coherent message that exemplifies your brand. Before anyone presses publish, verify that the recording is something you’d be comfortable or even proud to hear over and over.

As a nod to the original character limit, Voice Tweets give your brand 140 seconds to get your message across. Before you wax poetics about whatever strikes your fancy, focus on crafting each tweet in a way that builds and supports your brand’s overall auditory identity. Capitalizing on a new feature is a large undertaking, but these five steps should give you a good place to start.

David Ciccarelli is the founder and CEO of Voices.com, the largest marketplace for audio and voice-over products and services in the world with over one million business and voice actor registered users.

The post Top five tips to use Twitter’s new Voice Tweets feature appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

Twitter now lets everyone limit replies to their tweets

August 11, 2020 No Comments

Twitter may describe itself as the town square, but that doesn’t mean you have to talk to everyone walking past your seat at the cafe. Today, to increase the amount of “meaningful conversations” that take place on Twitter, and to help people weed out abuse and spam in their replies, the company announced that it is rolling out a new feature where users can limit who replies to their Tweets.

After a brief run in beta, the feature is rolling out globally starting today to users of the iOS and Android apps, as well as twitter.com, Suzanne Xie noted in a blog post announcing the feature. TweetDeck is not yet supported, Twitter tells me.

A small globe icon will start to appear at the bottom of your tweet, and if you do nothing, everyone will still be able to reply — this is the default option. Or, you can tap it and limit replies just to those who follow you; or just to those who you tag in the tweet itself.

And, if you pick the third of these and tag no one, it’s also a way to broadcast a tweet or a thread of tweets with no replies at all. (This all applies to “open” accounts; those that have locked who can view their tweets are limited by default; and it doesn’t seem to replace the option to hide replies, which Twitter launched last year. We asked and Twitter declined to make any update or statement on the “hide replies” functionality.)

Those who can’t reply will get a greyed-out icon, but they can still view, retweet, retweet with comment and “like” the tweets.

The basic idea behind limiting replies is more control. Specifically, setting parameters around those who can reply can help the original poster curtail abusive or trolling replies, or to limit replies to keep the conversation on track. Both can be especially critical in a number of use cases common on Twitter. Those tweeting about a sensitive issue or a political topic are classic scenarios that bring out trolls. And those trying to broadcast a conversation with a specific group (or indeed in a monologue) with the intention of making that conversation publicly viewable can now do it without interruption.

“Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what’s happening when they can choose who can reply,” Xie wrote. “We’ve seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren’t really possible before. Starting today, everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don’t get in the way of meaningful conversations.”

Xie said that beta test feedback has been positive. Those using the feature said they felt more comfortable and protected from spam and abuse, and the feature is getting used: It found that those who have submitted abuse reports and had access to the new limit reply tool were three times more likely to use the settings.

It seems that limiting replies is more of a complement to, not a replacement for, muting and blocking: 60% of those using the limit replies feature weren’t already muting and blocking other users. Xie doesn’t mention how it is used alongside another spam-controlling feature Twitter launched last year, hiding replies.

People who are limited from replying directly can still retweet with a comment, and thus still inject whatever they want to say. But Xie noted that “these settings prevented an average of three potentially abusive replies while only adding one potentially abusive retweet with comment,” adding that there was no uptick in unwanted direct messages, either.

The feature getting announced today has been a while in the making, both from a product and even longer from an idealogical point of view.

The concept for limiting replies was first announced back at January at CES, when Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s VP of Product said that the primary motivation [for the feature] was control. “We want to build on the theme of authors getting more control and we’ve thought … that there are many analogs of how people have communications in life,” he said at the time.

The feature then formally started to roll out in a limited test in May, and the version that is getting turned on today looks just like that. (In fact, the screen shots are exactly the same, except with a more recent date on the tweets.)

But the bigger thinking behind the new feature stretches back earlier than this year.

Twitter has long (as in years now) been working on creating better ways to channel its open-ended social platform to keep it from getting exploited and abused.

The issue stems from the platform’s basic DNA: Twitter was built around the idea of anyone being able to reply to anyone else, regardless of whether two users follow each other, or whether someone wants to hear a certain response. The issue, some argue, is that Twitter has dragged its feet because the open-ended aspect is actually in Twitter’s best business interest, since it encourages more engagement and use. (For a recent example of that argument pertaining specifically to cancel culture conversations, see here.)

Admittedly, it can be one of the more empowering feelings you can have on this big internet of ours, to be able to reply to someone on Twitter when you have an opinion on something, or just a question. Never mind that the reply may never come, or come from an army of trolls. And indeed, that open-ended aspect hasn’t always played out as a positive every time.

People, some of whom might be vulnerable or going through difficult situations, can be singled out for negative responses by other users, leading some of them to leave Twitter altogether, sometimes in very high-profile incidents. At a time when social media has become ever more influential and is being criticized by many asking whether it is fair enough, responsible enough and responsive enough in relation to the (incendiary and other) content that bounces around its playing fields, it has been a bad look for Twitter, and it’s been trying for years now to fix it. 

I’m guessing that some will decry the move to limit replies as a curtailing of free speech and free expression, that it might give a stronger voice to those who are actually using Twitter to disseminate abusive information themselves, by potentially limiting how people can respond.

There are a couple of counter arguments, though. One is that people can still see and retweet what someone says, one way of responding. A retweet with comment can still be pretty powerful: Sometimes these tweets can go viral and be seen even more than the original tweets themselves.

Xie noted that people will be able to see when replies have been limited, and that Twitter is working on ways of making that more obvious. That might well include pointing people to further information elsewhere. And the new timeline containing “Retweets with Comments” launched in May gets four times more visits on Tweets using these settings, Xie said.

There have, in fact, been a number of tweaks to reduce the amount of noise on the platform: Last year Twitter turned on the ability to hide replies, and over the years Twitter has improved the process for reporting harassment (including a number of updates and tests around harmful language), blocking people (although it seems this has some people contesting it) and muting people.

And it’s worth pointing out that Twitter has been making a lot of efforts to better detect and help users report original tweets that are abusive, discriminatory, contain fake news and the rest.

That might be the most important point here. This is a net positive for the platform, but still just one step in a long journey to work on improving the climate on Twitter overall.

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Twitter broadly bans any COVID-19 tweets that could help the virus spread

March 19, 2020 No Comments

You don’t have to go far to find someone online downplaying the severity of a global pandemic that’s shut down entire economies and ground everyday life to a halt. Knowing that, Twitter will take extra steps to remove tweets that put people at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus as it rapidly sweeps through communities around the globe.

On Wednesday, Twitter updated its safety policy to prohibit tweets that “could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19.” The new policy bans tweets denying expert guidance on the virus, encouraging “fake or ineffective treatments, preventions and diagnostic techniques” as well as tweets that mislead users by pretending to be from health authorities or experts.

In its blog post, Twitter says that it will “require people to remove Tweets” in these cases and we’ve asked the company for more clarification on what that looks like.

Update: Twitter indicated that it will take context like account history into account in making its enforcement determinations, which it says remain unchanged. As far as having users remove offending tweets, according to the company’s existing guidance “When we determine that a Tweet violated the Twitter Rules, we require the violator to remove it before they can Tweet again.” A user is notified of this via email and given a chance to delete the tweet or make an appeal. While that is happening, the tweet is hidden from view.

Given the new guidelines Twitter has outlined, the platform is going to have its work cut out for it. Under the ruleset, a tweet that claims “social distancing is not effective” would be subject to removal. Twitter will also require users to delete tweets telling followers to do ineffective or dangerous things like drinking bleach, even if the tweet is “made in jest” because that content can prove harmful when taken out of context.

Twitter has also banned tweets that make calls to action encouraging other users to behave in a way counter to what health authorities recommend, with the example tweet of “coronavirus is a fraud and not real – go out and patronize your local bar!!” Some political figures have faced criticism for similar statements in recent days, including Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) who encouraged Fox Business viewers “to just go out… go to your local pub.”

The rules will also ban tweets in which people play armchair doctor and make claims like “if you have a wet cough, it’s not coronavirus — but a dry cough is.” Users will also not be allowed to make coronavirus claims that single out groups of people based on race or nationality, like discouraging followers to eat at Chinese restaurants. Other race-based claims like John McAfee’s tweet that “Coronavirus cannot attack black people” won’t fly either.

Twitter’s new set of coronavirus-related misinformation rules is as thorough as it will be difficult to enforce. Many, many tweets would appear to fall under the deepened policy designed to prevent health misinformation from spreading on the social network.

To meet the unique challenge posed by the pandemic, Twitter said it has put a “content severity triage system” in place so that the most potentially damaging tweets can be identified and removed, with less emphasis on users flagging the tweets themselves. The company previously announced that it would be relying more heavily on automation and machine learning to act on content that violates platform rules, which Twitter admits may lead to mistakes in some cases.

In an effort to rise to the gravity of the situation, Twitter’s policies lay out an aggressive and fluid approach that we don’t always see from social networks. We’ll be following along to see how the platform experiment goes in the coming days and if Twitter can help stem the flow of potentially lethal misinformation as the world wakes up to the global threat of COVID-19.

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Elon Musk tweets out #DeleteFacebook, saying ‘it’s lame’

February 11, 2020 No Comments

Facebook receives plenty of pointed criticism from numerous corners, including for refusing to police political speech on Facebook, its seemingly endless string of privacy breaches and its apparent coziness with the Trump administration.

One of the platform’s most prominent critics, somewhat unexpectedly, is comic, writer and actor Sacha Baron Cohen. Indeed, his powerful speech to the Anti-Defamation League in November, characterizing Facebook as the “greatest propaganda machine in history,” quickly went viral. (We republished it here.)

Cohen isn’t done railing against Zuckerberg, however. Last Wednesday, he tweeted in frustration, “We don’t let 1 person control the water for 2.5 billion people. We don’t let 1 person control electricity for 2.5 billion people. Why do we let 1 man control the information seen by 2.5 billion people? Facebook needs to be regulated by governments, not ruled by an emperor!”

On Saturday morning, Tesla founder Elon Musk responded to Cohen, himself tweeting “#DeleteFacebook it’s lame.”

It was short, sweet and to the point (and presumably buoyed Cohen).

One might imagine that Musk, who has always spoken his mind, has been emboldened of late thanks to the skyrocketing value of Tesla. But Musk has long been a critic of Facebook, tweeting in 2018 after deleting his companies’ Facebook pages that he doesn’t “like Facebook. Gives me the willies. Sorry.”

Musk and Zuckerberg have butted heads in the past over the future of artificial intelligence, too. In 2014, Musk reportedly met with Zuckerberg, researchers from Facebook’s AI lab and two other Facebook executives at Zuckerberg’s Palo Alto home in an effort to convince Musk that he was wrong about the potential dangers of AI. Musk wasn’t persuaded, calling Zuckerberg’s understanding of the future of AI “limited” in 2017.

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Twitter confirms a new ‘Subscribe to Conversation’ feature for following tweets of interest

March 18, 2019 No Comments

In addition to testing out a new format for conversations within a prototype app called twttr and other features like a “Hide Tweet” button, Twitter today confirmed it’s also developing a feature that would allow users to subscribe to individual conversations taking place on its platform.

The new option was first spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a reverse engineer who often peeks inside popular apps to discover their yet-to-be-launched features and changes.

Wong tells TechCrunch she found the “Subscribe to conversation” feature within the Android version of the Twitter app, where it’s a user interface prototype for now. The button simply reads “Subscribe to conversation” and is positioned at the top right corner of a tweet view, she says.

Reached for comment, Twitter didn’t provide details about specific launch plans. It noted the feature was under development, and pointed TechCrunch to its tweet confirming this. The company’s short statement reads, “This is part of our work to make Twitter more conversational.”

Healthier and better structured conversations are among Twitter’s top goals at present, as the company tries to make its app easier to use and less prone to abuse.

The new subscription feature would allow someone to follow a thread without directly signaling their interest, or having to join in the conversation themselves. With a click of the button, users could instead opt to receive notifications when new tweets were added to that conversation.

To some extent, this feature is another example of how the change from stars to hearts as Twitter’s favoriting mechanism has had a ripple effect on Twitter’s development. The star had indicated interest, but didn’t convey an emotion. Twitter wanted to evoke a more positive vibe, so it shifted over to hearts several years ago. But as a result, people felt they could no longer save tweets they wanted to later reference using the default engagement mechanism, as it indicates an endorsement. (And not all tweets you’re saving are those you support.)

Twitter later addressed this problem with a separate tweet-saving feature, Bookmarks.

Now it’s creating yet another way to track tweets – and, in this case, the resulting conversation, too.

If Twitter had kept stars, it could have built out its “Likes” page with all these variations on tweet-saving and more. It could have added toggles for notifications, and who knows what else – keyword search across your saves? bookmarking with tags? private and public boards or collections, like Moments, but built from bookmarked collections?

Aggregating these features in one place could have made Twitter a valuable reference and “Read It Later” tool to rival apps like Pocket and Instapaper – or even web browser bookmarking itself.

But that’s not the path Twitter took, so now we’ll have Likes (hearts), Bookmarks, and conversation subscriptions, it seems.

Twitter declined to say when the new feature would arrive.

Update: 3/15/19, 5 PM ET to clarify Twitter spokesperson also directly confirmed the development of the feature, as did the tweet the company posted.

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Elon Musk’s Tesla Tweets Could Spark a Fight With the SEC

August 15, 2018 No Comments

A fight the CEO would have trouble winning, according to experts.
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Twitter testing a feature that shows how many are ‘talking about’ tweets

November 26, 2017 No Comments

 Twitter is experimenting with a new feature that will show how many people are “talking about” individual, popular tweets. The metric shows up under some embedded tweets when they appear elsewhere on the web, and seems to replace both the retweet and replies totals with one, cumulative total. The new look for embeds as seen above is just a small experiment according to Dan Jackson,… Read More
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Post Intelligence says it can make your tweets better

March 24, 2017 No Comments

Post Intelligence robot Social media can be hard. I’m not speaking hypothetically here. There have definitely been days where I’ve thought, Shoot, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted on Instagram or Twitter — and then completely failed to post anyway because I had nothing to say. Maybe I would’ve done better if I’d used Post Intelligence. Read More
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