Twitter has announced a new paid subscription tier that will give users the option to edit their tweets or flat out undo them (isn't that what the delete function does?). The cost will be around $2.99 a month. Leo says that Twitter is trying to make a profit now, and promoted tweets aren't doing it.
Richard is having a major problem with Facebook. Someone hacked into his account and altered all his information. So he's lost complete control of every account he uses. Leo says that's what Two Factor Authentication , with an authenticator app. It can guard against. You can also set up trusted contacts, which can aid in verifying who you are as you are trying to get control back. But since it's too late for that, you can only hope to get ahold of someone at Facebook to get help in getting control of your account back.
Google has made a deal with the Australian government to pay royalties to media companies for providing search results that drive traffic to their content. Meanwhile, Facebook has decided to turn off news links altogether. The result is that all traffic going to media sites in Australia will disappear overnight. Leo says it'll be interesting to see who blinks first.
.Facebook has announced that it is developing a smartwatch for launch in 2022, and they are also in a cold war with Apple over advertising. The watch will enable users to post messages to the social media website and will target users with ads that Apple prevents over privacy concerns. According to recent news stories, an upcoming iOS and iPadOS feature will require apps and data companies such as Facebook to ask for users' permission before tracking them across other sites and websites. In response, Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told staff that Facebook needs to 'inflict pain' on Apple.
Chinese tech giant Huawei was caught this week creating phony Twitter accounts to push their products in Belgium. The accounts consisted of phantom tech reviewers and experts who spoke positively of Huawei products. Leo says while Huawei was only caught doing what all tech companies have done, and while it's against Twitter TOS, they haven't really enforced it all that much. Even the FCC has been caught doing it to push an anti-net neutrality position.
In what looks like a revolt of the average joe against the billionaires, the stock market this week was rocked by an event organized by people on REDDIT and other social media networks to buy stock in GameStop and AMC. The stunt turned some into millionaires as the mob action made the stock rise while causing hedge funds who "shorted" the stocks to lose billions. Average people used stock apps like RobinHood to buy up shares and drive up the stock.
Larry keeps getting notifications about a video he posted on Facebook. People are complaining that they can't open it. Leo says that it's a phishing scam and they likely got his email address on a mailing list, then hacked into his Facebook page. Larry changed his password. But it happened again a day later. Could his LastPass password be compromised?
Susan says that private companies like Facebook and Twitter can censor speech if it's violent. Leo agrees. But the larger question is, just how much power does big tech wield? It's a LOT, and it rightly has people concerned. It's reasonable to ask if we've given companies like Facebook and Twitter too much power, even when they use it properly.
The deadline for TikTok to cease operations or sell to a US investor has come and gone, leading Leo to conclude that the Trump administration has bigger fish to fry. TikTok sued, and Oracle won the bid to buy TikTok. But the deadline to complete the sale has passed as of Friday. The government has chosen to do nothing. So Leo thinks that TikTok may be in the clear. At least for now.
Meanwhile, TikTok downloads have surged during the pandemic, second only to Zoom with 23 million downloads.
Jim's Facebook account was suspended and they won't reverse it. He's now been banned. What can he do? Leo says not much. He's living on their platform and they make the rules. So if he violates their terms, they can lock him out with no recourse. But Jim says it's a mistake. Sadly though, there's nothing he can do about it. He could sneak back on. Leo says to try creating a new account and verified. What's the worst that can happen?