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US to Probe Social Media Giants Like Facebook, Twitter Over Censorship Concern

Following the meeting, Twitter shares fell six per cent on Wednesday, CNBC reported

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Facebook can do better to retain new mothers: Ex-data scientist. Pixabay
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After Wednesday’s congressional hearings, Facebook and Twitter will now face questions from the Justice Department (DOJ) over allegations of political bias, an issue flagged by US President Donald Trump.

In a meeting in September, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with state attorneys general, would look into whether Facebook and Twitter are “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms”, CNET reported on Wednesday.

The DOJ announced the meeting on a day when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg appeared before the US Congress, admitting to the lawmakers that they were “too slow to act” and “ill-prepared” to tackle foreign interference on their platforms.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

According to The Washington Post, Sandberg told the US Senate Intelligence Committee that they were too slow to spot this and too slow to act. “That’s on us.”

The social networking platforms attracted criticism for being vulnerable to Russia-linked influence campaigns.

Trump has accused Google, Facebook and Twitter of trying to “silence” conservative voices.

Appearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Wednesday in a hearing on online censorship of conservative opinions and misinformation activities ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections, Dorsey said Twitter will remain an “impartial” “global town square”, and it does “not shadow-ban anyone based on political ideology”.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. VOA

“To serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivised to keep all voices on the platform,” he said.

Twitter has constantly denied the claims by Republicans that conservative accounts were shadow-banned or their opinions were censored on the platform.

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Earlier in the day, Dorsey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

Following the meeting, Twitter shares fell six per cent on Wednesday, CNBC reported. (IANS)

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Twitter Announces to Revert its Timeline Into A Pure Chronological Feed

Twitter has updated the "Show the best Tweets first" setting

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Twitter revives pure chronological timeline for over 300 mn users. Pixabay

Giving its over 336 million users more control, Twitter has announced that it will completely revert their timeline into a pure reverse chronological feed.

The micro-blogging platform in 2016 announced that it will only show “most important tweets” and stop the most recent tweets first which irked many users.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Twitter announced that in the coming weeks, it will start testing a “way to switch between a timeline of tweets that are most relevant for you and a timeline of the latest tweets”.

“We’ve learned that when showing the best Tweets first, people find Twitter more relevant and useful. However, we’ve heard feedback from people who, at times, prefer to see the most recent tweets,” said Twitter.

“Our goal with the timeline is to balance showing you the most recent tweets with the best tweets you’re likely to care about, but we don’t always get this balance right,” it added.

TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

This is how it will work.

Flip on the feature in your settings from the iOS or Android Twitter app.

When you open Twitter after being away for a while, the tweets you’re most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline — still recent and in reverse chronological order.

The rest of the tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always.

“At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love,” said Twitter.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“We’re working on making it easier for people to control their Twitter timeline, including providing an easy switch to see the most recent tweets,” said Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour.

Twitter has updated the “Show the best Tweets first” setting.

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“When off, you’ll only see tweets from people you follow in reverse chronological order. Previously when turned off, you’d also see ‘In case you missed it’ and recommended tweets from people you don’t follow,” it noted. (IANS)