As Facebook downplays news, Twitter gives breaking videos a prominent spot

#womenboycotttwitter
Prykhodov / 123RF

As social media platforms face the backlash of fake news, networks are changing how news is displayed in the feeds. Facebook is showing less news — but now Twitter is doing the opposite and placing live, breaking news videos in a prominent spot at the side of user’s timelines. The move expands Twitter’s push for live video and algorithmically displays related news tweets. Twitter confirmed this week that the change is currently being rolled out across the network.

For users in the United States, the new feature meant watching Wednesday’s shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School unfold through live local coverage from a Miami-based news station. Users could watch the footage in the sidebar, or click on the coverage to see both the live video and tweets related to the February 14 tragedy that killed 17. BuzzFeed said the footage had more than 50,000 viewers at one time.

The change gives live, breaking coverage a prominent spot beside users’ feeds. Twitter says they will use partnerships with local news stations to find reliable sources to use during breaking news. Screenshots of the new feature also show a “hide” option for removing the video from the sidebar.

The change shows Twitter’s strategy in the ongoing fight against fake news. Facebook is choosing to fight fake news by showing less news in general as the platform tweaks the news feed for users’ “well being,” though a push for more local news is also part of the changes. Instead, Twitter is choosing which news to give a prominent spot on the platform through the local news partnerships.

Working with a reputable news outlet could help Twitter spread the more accurate news faster, but it’s unclear how tweets will be affected by the change. The news video is accompanied by a list of related tweets that are selected by algorithms — which means that, while the local footage gets prominent placement, inaccurate tweets could potentially be shared with the news.

“We’re continuing to work on new ways we can surface credible and relevant information to help people stay informed,” Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s video general manager, told BuzzFeed News. “By pairing live video with the conversation on Twitter, there is no faster way to see what’s happening around the world.”

Twitter’s short-form posts and instant nature means the platform is often an outlet for discussing current events — mixing footage of a current event into user’s timelines could take that tendency even farther.

Gaming

Blizzard teases Overwatch hero 31, but name and image may have already leaked

Blizzard teased hero 31 of Overwatch through a faux Developer Update that featured a wormhole and several complicated equations. However, the new character's name and image may have already been leaked.
Movies & TV

Comic-Con 2019 preview: The biggest movie and TV panels you won’t want to miss

Even with more competition than ever, Comic-Con International is still one of the biggest pop culture events of the year. For the latest news about your favorite shows and movies, these are the biggest panels to follow.
Web

Dirty deeds are uncovered dirt cheap with these online background check resources

There are plenty of reasons for carrying out a background check, and not all of them are creepy. Here are several methods to run a background check on someone online, whether you need to vet a potential hire or a new babysitter.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Twitter’s redesign, Libra’s possible delay, Neuralink

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including a Twitter redesign, Facebook's delay of Libra, Neuralink's first public event, growing food in space, and the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.
Social Media

The FTC will hit Facebook with a $5 billion fine over privacy violations

Facebook has agreed to a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its numerous “privacy missteps." Once it goes through, this would be the largest FTC fine for a major technology company – and a huge chunk of…
News

Lua uses animated emotions to help you keep your plants happy and healthy

The Lua Smart Planter is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo to make this smiling plant pot a reality. The device helps you take care of your plants by showing their needs through a series of animated faces.
News

Facebook says it won’t launch Libra until regulators are happy

Facebook says it won’t roll out its Libra cryptocurrency until it’s fully addressed regulatory concerns – though it added that regulation of the currency itself would largely happen in Switzerland, not the U.S.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Social Media

Twitter’s mobile-inspired dark mode desktop makeover isn’t just about looks

Twitter.com may have a new look, but it's one that already feels familiar. The new design for Twitter's desktop version borrows heavily from the platform's mobile apps, with a sleeker look, a new dark mode, and easier navigation.
News

The U.S. Senate really doesn’t like Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency plans

Facebook Libra had its first big regulatory test when Calibra head David Marcus appeared before the Senate Banking Committee. It didn’t go well. Senators of both parties had major concerns about Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency.
Social Media

Instagram is crashing repeatedly for some users. Here’s the latest on the outage

Thousands of Instagram users said Tuesday that the social media app was repeatedly crashing or not opening at all, the third time in just over a month that the social network has experienced issues.
Social Media

Study suggests using emojis makes you appear more friendly — even at work

Can emojis be a clue into your personality? A recent survey suggests that emojis make a person seem friendlier and more approachable, even when used within a professional work environment.
News

FaceApp says it won’t hold on to your face photos. Should you trust it?

If you use FaceApp, you've given its parent company permission to use your face photos for pretty much anything -- even though the app-maker says it won't use them for nefarious purposes or sell them to a third party.
Social Media

Instagram will give users chance to fix accounts in danger of being banned

Instagram will start issuing warnings for accounts that are in danger of being banned. People will also be able to appeal for the restoration of deleted content through the notifications, instead of having to go to the Help Center.