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Google, Facebook Twitter grilled in US on fake news

This latest hearing is the first since the storming of the US Capitol.

Politicians believe that was a tipping point for greater regulation.

They have said they plan to change the legislation that protects online platforms from liability for content posted by third parties.

The session began in combative style with the chair Mike Doyle asking all three executives whether they felt they bore responsibility for the events in Washington. None were prepared to give a one word "yes" or "no" answer as he demanded.

Teen 'mastermind' pleads guilty to celeb Twitter hack

Graham Ivan Clark was 17 when he co-ordinated the scam - which hijacked the profiles of celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Barack Obama.

He would spend three years in prison as part of his plea deal, a Florida court filing said.

But Clark has already served 229 days of this three-year sentence.

Now 18, but sentenced as a "youthful offender", he may also be able to serve some of the sentence at a boot camp, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Twitter unveils 'super follow' feature

This could take the form of extra tweets, joining a community group or receiving a newsletter, the firm said.

Twitter unveiled its plans at a virtual event held for investors.

It's the first time in a while that the platform has announced significant changes to the way in which people can use it.

It also said it was testing a live audio discussion service - which has proved popular on a new rival, the audio-only social network Clubhouse.

"Why don't we start with why folks don't believe in us," said Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Twitter permanently suspends Trump's account

Twitter said the decision was made "after close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account".

It comes amid a Big Tech purge of the online platforms used by Mr Trump and his supporters.

Some lawmakers and celebrities have been calling for years on Twitter to ban Mr Trump altogether. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted on Thursday that the Silicon Valley giants should stop enabling Mr Trump's "monstrous behaviour" and permanently expel him.

Twitter launches disappearing 'fleets' worldwide

 Feature in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea.

"Some of you tell us that Tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there's so much pressure to rack up retweets and likes," design director Joshua Harris and product manager Sam Haveson said in a blog post.

"Because they disappear from view after a day, fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings," they added.

Facebook and Twitter grilled over US election actions

Democrats questioned whether steps taken to flag that President Trump's claims of election fraud were "disputed" had gone far enough.

Republican members of the Judiciary Committee asked whether the tech firms should be taking such action at all.

This was the second time the CEOs had been cross-examined in three weeks.

They were previously questioned by the Senate Commerce Committee last month in what was a more rowdy event.

Once again, the issue of a law known as Section 230 loomed large.

Facebook, Twitter and Google face questions from US senators

At present, the companies cannot be sued over what their users post online, or the decisions they make over what to leave up and take down.

Some politicians have raised concerns this "sweeping immunity" encourages bad behaviour.

But the chief executives say they need the law to be able to moderate content.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Google's Sundar Pichai were summoned before the Senate after both Democrats and Republicans agreed to call them in for questioning.

'A loophole'

Twitter: Major outage affects users around the world

The social media giant said the issue was caused by an "inadvertent change" it made to its internal systems.

Users in countries including New Zealand, the US and UK were unable to use the platform for more than an hour, with many receiving error messages.

The service was later largely restored, and the California-based company said the site should soon be working for all of its users.

According to DownDetector.com, reports of problems with Twitter began to spike at about 10.30am in New Zealand time.

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Twitter says hackers downloaded private account data

The breach saw the accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West and Bill Gates among other celebrities used to tweet a Bitcoin scam.

Twitter also revealed the perpetrators had downloaded data from up to eight of the accounts involved.

It declined to reveal their identities but said none of them were "verified".

This means they did not have a blue tick to confirm their ownership, and thus were not among the most high-profile hacked accounts.

Instagram 'will overtake Twitter as a news source'

The 2020 Reuters Institute Digital News report found the use of Instagram for news had doubled since 2018.

The trend is strongest among young people. It said nearly a quarter of UK 18-24-year-olds used Instagram as a source of news about coronavirus.

But social media platforms were also among the least-trusted sources.

Just 26% of people said they trusted social media as a source of information about the virus. A similar percentage said they trusted news that had been shared via chat apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.