Micro-blogging site Twitter has announced that it will handover the @POTUS (President of the United States) account to American President-elect Joe Biden after he is inaugurated on January 20, 2021, regardless of whether incumbent leader Donald Trump concedes before that.
The POTUS US government account currently has more than 32.8 million followers. The current tweets posted during the Trump administration will be archived, and the account will be reset to zero tweets.
In a statement to The Hill news website, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed on Friday that the tech giant is “actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021”, which also includes @WHITEHOUSE, @VP, @FLOTUS, and a number of other official accounts.
The process is being done in consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration, the spokesperson added.
The micro-blogging site has also confirmed that Twitter staffers will soon meet representatives from the Biden-Harris team to “review how the new administration plans to use its government-related accounts”.
Major media outlets have projected Biden as the winner of the November 3 presidential election after he won more than the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory.
Trump, who claimed that the election was a fraud, is yet to concede and was also mounting challenges in court over allegations of vote count misconduct.
A federal law sets what is called the “Safe Harbor” deadline, falling on December 8 this year, the day by which states must submit the winner of the presidential election if they are to be insulated from legal disputes.
Electoral College representatives will meet six days later, on December 14, to formally select the next US President.
‘What you see on the internet is not the whole truth’, are the words of improv artist and comedian Kaneez Surka while describing how people build an online identity for themselves or their love lives…writes Siddhi Jain.
The host of Bumble’s new podcast ‘Is Romance Dead?’, Kaneez explores the multifaceted idea of romance – and attempts to answer if it’s dead – through her fun, insightful interviews with experts across domains, including from the world of literature, cinema, food, music and pop culture.
In the first episode exploring the relationship between social media and romance, Kaneez has had some interesting takeaways. She speaks about that, and more, in a chat with IANSlife. Read on:
For Indian millennials and GenZ dating and romance via the internet revolution is commonplace. You took on the theme of social media and romance in the first podcast. What are your takeaways?
Kaneez: The internet is such a big part of the evolution of romance. This episode was so important for that reason. My biggest takeaway was how curated is the information we put out there about ourselves. A lot of people put edited versions of themselves, their romance, their lives out there. There’s a pressure to put the perfect version of yourself, your romance or your identity out there. That’s the sense I got from most of the people I interviewed. What you see on the internet is not the whole truth.
Do you think chivalry is dead? Does it have a place in modern dating and love?
Kaneez: Is chivalry dead? I do think that genders are trying to find a new dynamic for themselves in 2020, so I don’t think it’s dead, just like romance, it’s evolving. In a modern day romance, chivalry can come from both partners. I don’t think the onus should lie on one partner in the relationship. I think both partners can be courteous towards each other, can respect each other, can be kind to each other, can look after each other.
What are some of the key questions you will attempt to find answers to, during the course of the podcast?Kaneez: Some of the questions I wanted to understand were, obviously, ‘Is Romance Dead’? I did go into the podcast with an idea or understanding or belief that romance was dying, and I think I really did learn the opposite during my interviews. When I asked people this question, I realised that it’s not dying, it’s evolving in this day and age. While it looked like it was dying to me, I think now I believe it’s evolving.
What do you think are some bizzare trends when it comes to romance in India?
Kaneez: I don’t know if this was a bizarre trend but one of the trends that I picked up from many episodes featuring many experts, was how everyone is looking for that Instagrammable moment, whether it is at the wedding or the perfect cake or the outfit or the perfect travel destination with your partner or honeymoon etc. I found that fascinating because it was just across the board where everyone’s looking for that Instagrammable moment. Another trend was how due to lockdown, the wedding trend had shifted from this big family celebration to a more intimate, romantic celebration. I found that very fascinating, especially in India because people had to keep numbers small. The intimate romantic gatherings were more about the couple now, than the families.
You have taken a very broad-based approach to exploring modern-day romance. What were your first thoughts when you learnt about the podcast ‘Is Romance Dead’? How was it like to work on a podcast on love and romance?
Kaneez: The makers of the podcast approached me and I was very excited because first, I do a lot of content related to relationships, love and romance, so it felt like something down my alley. Second, the idea of finding out if romance was dead was exciting for me. Initially, I thought this is just another project and then as I started getting more into it — maybe because I come from a more cynical place when it comes to romance, I’m not a romantic at heart, I’m more of a realist — I tried to be more open-minded and maybe learn a thing or two about how different people perceive romance and that’s what happened.
I learnt quite a lot about how romance isn’t just the one thing I thought it was. I don’t want to become a grumpy old person about love, and I wanted to use this opportunity and this podcast to broaden my own personal perspective on romance and love and I hope it has the same effect on the listeners.
I’ve been associated with Bumble for the last two years now, working on various campaigns with them, so once again it felt like a really nice fit to work on a podcast like this.
The popular web series Mirzapur has been renewed for a third season, it was confirmed on Thursday.
Making the announcement, the streaming platform Amazon Prime Video shared that season two of the series, which dropped on October 23, has become the most-watched show on the service in India within a week of release, adding that the season has recorded one of the highest completion rates.
It was also revealed that almost half of the viewers who completed the series had binge-watched the second season within 48 hours of its launch.
The series explores the tussle between power, politics and love. It narrates a story of families looking for power in the city, with bloodshed, violence and grit at the core of the narrative. It stars Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal , Divyenndu, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Rasika Dugal, Harshita Shekhar Gaur, Amit Sial, Anjum Sharma, Sheeba Chaddha, Manu Rishi Chadha and Rajesh Tailang.
Second season also featured Vijay Varma, Priyanshu Painyuli, and Isha Talwar.
“The massive fandom of the show and magnitude of love towards the new season was seen through reactions on social media within days of its release, and we are truly humbled by the response,” said Ritesh Sidhwani of producers Excel Entertainment.
To this, Aparna Purohit from the streaming platform added: “Over the last two years, viewers continued to engage with the immersive universe of ‘Mirzapur’ and its characters. The love that they have showered on the show for this season has been unprecedented. This encouraging response propels us towards creating content that is exciting, unique and something that our audiences can fall in love with over and over again.”
YouTube sensation and influencer Prajakta Koli, popularly known for videos she creates for her channel ‘MostlySane’, says that at no point would she want her viewers to put on their headphones or pause her videos if someone older walked into the room. The 27-year-old has become a top YouTuber with over 5.74 million subscribers as on October 1, 2020…writes Siddhi Jain.
In a candid interview with IANSlife, Koli shares more about her process of content creation and lockdown inspiration for her channel. Read excerpts:
Q: What kind of content do you think works best with Indian viewers? Walking the tightrope between dumbing-down content and refining your content with time, how do you find a common denominator?
A: Any piece of content that people can relate and identify to is what works the best. It is not something you will get your pulse on from the moment you start creating content, however through trial and error you will eventually get an understanding of content and how people will react to it. Audience behaviour is extremely dynamic in our country and you will never really know what is going to work for sure. Over time however, you get a fair idea of what direction works best for your target audience.
Q: While we’re at it, please share how you shape your content keeping in mind the region, since everyone from Mumbaikars to the Indian diaspora watches you?
A: I keep a diary with me where I add things that I find funny or humorous in everyday life situations and keep building on those ideas. When I usually script my videos I ensure I add instances and situations that happen to every family and not something that is region specific. Also, the language of delivery plays a very important role when making content.
Q: If you had to name the three must-have ingredients in a Prajakta Koli video.
A: One thing I ensure is that I create content that you can watch with your family. At no point would I want my viewers to put on their headphones or pause it if their parents or someone elder walked into the room. Second, I like my videos to be as relatable as possible. And third, is to try and make new ideas come to life every week.
Q: You’re diversifying your mediums, and your audience is loving that. What are your plans ahead?
A: I have been someone who has always made plans and stuck with it, but when my plan A didn’t work out and I took a leap of faith and started creating content I decided to go with the flow and take on each day as it comes. But there definitely will be more acting and writing in the future.
Q: The pandemic brought with it many hardships, but also a lot of content inspiration. Please share about both in your work’s context.
A: When the lockdown started my biggest fear was how will I still keep putting out content as I was so used to working with my team and relied on them heavily. Luckily things worked out and I was able to maintain my weekly release schedule. With the lockdown I got more time to think about new content and implement them which people loved so I am thankful in a way that the lockdown happened and I could churn out more content pieces than I would have otherwise.
Q: How has your audience changed during the lockdown, since most YouTubers registered a manifold increase in views.
A: Well, the audiences haven’t diversified that much since the lockdown; it is just the audience behaviour has changed wherein the viewers have started consuming more content on the internet than compared to pre-lockdown.
Q: Your thoughts on malpractices like buying views on YouTube, which must be a fair platform.
A: Major platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube allow you to boost your posts and videos to reach a wider audience, this is legitimate and doesn’t violate any norms of social media, any other means of getting views should not be encouraged or indulged in.
Actor Anupam Kher celebrated garnering over 18 million followers on Twitter by thanking fans for supporting him, and being true to him.
“We are a family of 18.1 million friends, fans and followers on @Twitter,” the actor announced on the micro-blogging site.
“Thank you for your love, warmth, occasional criticism and endless blessings. I learn so much from each one of you about work and life. A BIG THANK YOU!! #Friends,” he added.
The actor is back in the US after spending several months in the country due to the pandemic. He has started shooting for the medical drama “New Amsterdam”. He essays the role of Doctor Kapoor.
“Being part of ‘New Amsterdam’ broadens my horizons. Both as an actor and as a person. It is also fantastic to represent my country in a show which deals with love, compassion and diversity,” Anupam had said previously.
WhatsApp is rolling out an improved storage management tool to make it more useful for users to easily identify, review and bulk delete content that may be filling their phone.
“We now offer easy cleanup suggestions by bucketing both large files and media that has been forwarded many times, sorting files by size in descending order, and providing a way to preview files before deleting them,” WhatsApp said on Tuesday.
Users will also see a preview of media before selecting one or multiple items to delete.
The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform said that the new storage management tools are rolling out to users worldwide this week.
When available, users can navigate to the new tool by going to “Settings”, then “Storage and data” and then “Manage storage”.
On the company’s third quarter earnings call last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that roughly 100 billion messages are exchanged every day on WhatsApp.
Facebook is working on a long-term infrastructure project to let people message across its family of apps.
With less than a week to go for the US election, Republican lawmakers got an earful from critics for the timing of the “sham” hearing…reports NIKHILA NATARAJAN
Baloney!”, “sham!” and “who the hell are you” scoldings dominated a Senate hearing on Wednesday where the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google took heat in a talking match with US lawmakers over the idea of free speech and alleged anti-conservative bias on the companies’ mighty platforms.
The Congressional grilling quickly shifted into the realm of political circus around the social media content moderation dumpster fire.
With less than a week to go for the US election, Republican lawmakers got an earful from critics for the timing of the “sham” hearing.
At the heart of the heated arguments were 26 words tucked away in a 1996 US law – Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.
Section 230 states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”.
Under American law, Internet firms are typically exempt from liability for content that users post on platforms. President Donald Trump has challenged this via executive order which threatens to strip those protections if online platforms wade into “editorial decisions”.
For 3 hours and 42 minutes, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google were at the receiving end of a firehose version of bipartisan alarm over their phenomenal power to influence behaviour at scale.
The Republicans’ drumbeat centered on Facebook’s and Twitter’s decision earlier this month to slam the brakes on an unverified political story from the conservative-leaning New York Post about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The story cited unverified emails from Biden’s son Hunter.
Trump acolytes jumped on the chance to prove their loyalty. One of them called Twitter’s action on the newspaper “a pattern of censorship and silencing Americans with whom Twitter disagrees”.
For their part, Twitter, Facebook and Google have struggled to frame exactly how they would intervene and in how many scenarios. And what about content that doesn’t fall into their precast rubric or categories of bad stuff? The answers have been less than clear.
Of the three companies, Facebook’s sway over behavioural targeting has raised a string of red flags in the context of the US 2020 election.
Multiple lawmakers pushed back against the idea of “unelected San Francisco elites” deciding if content makes the grade or not.
In opening statements, Dorsey, Zuckerberg and Pichai spoke to the proposals for changes to Section 230. Zuckerberg said Congress “should update the law to make sure it’s working as intended.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that if Google was “acting as a publisher”, he would be okay with the company being liable for content published on its platform.
Wednesday’s hearing comes barely a week after the US Justice Department’s landmark antitrust lawsuit against Google which argues that both advertisers and regular people are harmed by the tech giant’s position as “the unchallenged gateway to the Internet for billions of users worldwide.”
Warnings abound of the coming restrictions and for the “free pass” to end, maybe on the other side of the election results.
Social media is robbing everything away from us — time, health, peace, sleep, self-esteem, confidence, sense of security — everything. But its a boon too!
One can use it to influence the masses, help people and thus, we should be extremely grateful for that. So, it’s all about using it the right way either to influence people or to destroy your life. Just like we have good food, we know that too much of it, in excess becomes an obsession. An excess of anything is dangerous for our health.
While many have built successful businesses out of social media, found great connections others have spiralled into depression, loneliness and sadness; they’ve ruined their sleep, messed up their priorities, started questioning their self-worth and even felt inadequate when comparing their lives with others.
This technology-driven feature is accessible to all. Some make sure that they are using it to their advantage and not to their disadvantage. This brings us to the question, is developing a healthier relationship with social media even possible? Absolutely yes.
Here are few things Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach – Integrative Medicine shares to remember while developing this relationship:
Know that things aren’t always how they look: Everything you see does not have to be real. The lives of most people appear to portray they have done well, but a lot of them are living off their parent’s wealth, living in the homes of or given by their parents, flaunting clothes, jewellery, cars, etc that don’t belong to them.
A lot of people own material things on loan, which in a way is not theirs until they pay off the loan. It’s easy to take loans and show the world a life that is not real. Many holidays, material things, etc that you see being flaunted on social media are sponsored or gifts and not really earned, so know that as well.
Then, of course, you have apps that can make you thin, add fake abs, decrease waistlines and increase bust lines etc and you see this in awe, then look at yourself and immediately feel inadequate. Today the medical world has a name for it – “Snapchat Dysmorphia,” . It refers to the psychological phenomena of patients bringing filtered selfies to their plastic surgeons to illustrate the desired surgical changes they want to achieve. Understand that it is all fake and no amount of surgeries will ever fill up low self-worth. If you don’t have solid self-worth, social media and society can negatively affect your life and health.
Haven an intention and set the time you want to spend on social media:Before you start your day with social media sit back and reflect on why you are on it or why you are going to spend time on it. Enter it with a mission. Do you want to post a picture, update a status, learn something, inspire someone, motivate, connect with someone or simply scroll and pass time? When we use social media without an intention and agenda, chances are we may end up spending a lot of time on it and gain nothing in return. Identify what is it that you want to gain out of spending time on social media, set time for it and disconnect when the purpose is met. You can use social media to learn, inspire, share, educate etc, and then you can use it to feel good about yourself or get locked into watching the lives of other people.
Before you start your day with social media sit back and reflect on why you are on it or why you are going to spend time on it. Enter it with a mission, be it to learn, share, inspire, motivate, pass time or is it because it’s going to fill some void in you? Know this and be mindful.
It is a virtual world: All the likes, hearts, comments, appreciation, trolling you receive from social media, know that it is coming from a virtual world. You can have a million followers on your page, but that does not mean you are also the most loved or the happiest. A lot of people search for validation on social media, and that’s the worst place to get validation from. You need to connect with reality and unfortunately, for the most part, the virtual world is nowhere close to the real world. If you need to look to social media for constant advice on how to dress, how to date, whom to date, then you need to work at less social media time and more time just being you and living the real you etc.
Truly experience what it is to “Fast” from social media: A lot of people who once thought they cannot do without social media have taken up fasting only to realise how good it feels to be off it for some time. Time and again, take a detox from social media. Shut down completely for a day and experience what it feels like. Improved sleep, better relationships, a happier mind, increased self-worth, having ample time to complete the tasks you have always procrastinated are some of the short and long-term benefits of a social media detox.
In short, social media is a boon as well as a curse and that depends on how you use it. Use social media if you want to, it can give you a lot in return, but use it in balance and use it well.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey were set to be grilled by a US panel on Tuesday over the Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The hearing was scheduled to also cover the topics of privacy and media domination.
The CEOs were to testify on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech companies from liability over the content posted by users on their online services.
Earlier this month, the US Senate Commerce Committee voted to subpoena the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify before the panel.
The hearing will be Zuckerberg and Pichai’s first appearance before Congress since the two testified along with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos before the House Antitrust Subcommittee in July.
US President Donald Trump’s May 28 executive order sought to blunt Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act which generally protects internet companies from legal liability for user comments.
Republicans have repeatedly turned to Section 230 as a key area for reform in response to their concerns that social media companies censor conservative voices, a charge denied by Facebook, Google and Twitter.
Meanwhile, the US Senate Judiciary Committee has also asked Zuckerberg and Dorsey to testify before it on November 17 over suppressing a media article on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
Both Facebook and Twitter faced backlash from the Republicans and US President Donald Trump for their move to block and censor the article that appeared in The New York Post and was critical of Joe Biden.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced that Twitter and Facebook CEOs will appear voluntarily before the committee on November 17.
“The hearing will focus on the platforms’ censorship and suppression of New York Post articles and provide a valuable opportunity to review the companies’ handling of the 2020 election,” the Senate Judiciary Committee said in a statement.
The wartime code-breaking centre in Milton Keynes ,considered as the “birthplace of the computer’ has been hit hard by a drop in visitors and revenue this year due to Covid-induced challenges…Reports Asian Lite News
Facebook has announced a donation of 1 million pounds ($1.3 million) to Bletchley Park, a heritage attraction and museum that served as the British code-breaking hub during World War Two.
Now considered the “birthplace of the computer,” the wartime code-breaking centre in Milton Keynes has been hit hard by a drop in visitors and revenue this year due to Covid-induced challenges, pushing it toward difficult decisions about its future.
The donation by Facebook is aimed towards keeping the centre open to the world.
“By figuring out how to crack the Nazis’ secret communications, the almost 10,000 people who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II – 75 per cent of them women — changed the course of the war and saved millions of lives,” Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer, wrote in a blog post on Monday.
“They did it by building the world’s first programmable digital computer and laying the foundations of modern computer science,” Schroepfer wrote.
Ideas developed at Bletchley Park remain at the heart of cutting-edge research in fields like Artificial Intelligence (AI), online security and cryptography today, more than 80 years after the first codebreakers set up shop there.
Facebook said that it simply would not exist today if not for Bletchley Park.
“The work of its most brilliant scientist, Alan Turing, still inspires our tens of thousands of engineers and research scientists today, and is foundational to the entire field of computing, which has and will continue to shape the lives of billions of people,” Schroepfer said.