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Facebook Removes Over 400 Groups Linked to Violent ‘Boogaloo’ Movement in the US

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In yet another reminder of the power of social networks to fuel extremist movements, Facebook has today announced that it’s removing a cluster of accounts and groups linked to the violent ‘boogaloo’ movement in the US.

As explained by Facebook:

Today we are designating a violent US-based anti-government network as a dangerous organization and banning it from our platform. This network uses the term ‘boogaloo’ but is distinct from the broader and loosely-affiliated ‘boogaloo’ movement because it actively seeks to commit violence. For months, we have removed ‘boogaloo’ content when there is a clear connection to violence or a credible threat to public safety, and today’s designation will mean we remove more content going forward, including Facebook Groups and Pages. 

The ‘boogaloo’ movement is a right-wing group that has been linked to various violent crimes, and has seen increased activity in recent months.

As explained by The Verge’s Casey Newton:

“The roughly seven-year-old boogaloo movement represents a loosely knit group of right-wing extremists, some of whom advocate for a second Civil War. Its name derives from the camp classic breakdancing movie Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo; “electric boogaloo” has become an ironic way of referring to sequels.”

boogaloo example

The content shared within these networks takes on a satirical, even comical tone, but certain elements have been moved to action based on these communications.

Again, from Facebook:

It is actively promoting violence against civilians, law enforcement and government officials and institutions. Members of this network seek to recruit others within the broader ‘boogaloo’ movement, sharing the same content online and adopting the same offline appearance as others in the movement to do so.”

In this initial action against the boogaloo movement, Facebook is removing 220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 Pages and 106 groups directly tied to the group.

“We have also removed over 400 additional groups and over 100 other Pages for violating our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy as they hosted similar content as the violent network we disrupted but were maintained by accounts outside of it.”

Facebook notes that this is the first time is has taken broad action against content within the boogaloo movement – while it has always removed content where there’s a clear call for violence, it hasn’t felt the need to make a more cohesive push against the group due to the nature of these posts. 

That, as noted, has changed more recently:

“We removed over 800 posts for violating our Violence and Incitement policy over the last two months and limited the distribution of Pages and groups referencing the movement by removing them from the recommendations we show people on Facebook.”

Recent civil unrest in the US, inflamed by tensions around the COVID-19 lockdowns and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, seem to have sparked an escalation in boogaloo rhetoric, which has prompted Facebook to take action now to reduce its potential influence.

That’s a positive development, in that Facebook is looking to take a more proactive role in detecting and removing such before it gets more out of hand. It’s also another step towards greater censorship and content moderation from The Social Network, which has infamously refused to take similar action on hate speech or violent rhetoric from other sources.

Could this be an indicator that Facebook is shifting its thinking on such, and looking to address such content in a more definitive way?

Could that also have been sparked by the #StopHateforProfit campaign, which has now seen a number of big-name advertisers pledge to pause their Facebook ad spend over its failure to act on such?

Either way, the outcome is that there will be less inflammatory and dangerous content on Facebook, which is a good result. Now to see if other platforms follow suit. Reddit, for example, has this week implemented new rules to address hate speech and threats, which lead to the removal of 2000 subreddits. 

Will Reddit now also make a similar push against boogaloo related material? 

It seems like an area that should be addressed, though it’ll no doubt once again spark more criticism of Facebook for seeking to silence certain voices. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

Here’s the difficult thing with Twitter no longer having a comms department – now, there’s nowhere to go to confirm info about the app’s latest updates and features, and where each is available, etc.

Case in point – this week, Twitter appears to have launched a new in-stream boost option for tweets, which provides a quick and easy way to promote your tweet without having to launch a full ad campaign.

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by Jonah Manzano (and shared by Matt Navarra), the new boost option would be available direct from a tweet. You’d simply tap through, select a budget, and you would be able to boost your tweet then and there.

Which seems to be new, but also seems familiar.

It’s sort of like Twitter’s Quick Promote option, but an even more streamlined version, with new visuals and a new UI for boosting a tweet direct from the details screen.

Tweet boost

So it does seem like a new addition – but again, with no one at Twitter to ask, it’s hard to confirm detail about the option.

But from what we can tell, this is a new Twitter ad process, which could provide another way to set an objective, a budget, and basic targeting parameters to reach a broader audience in the app.

Which could be good, depending on performance, and there may well be some tweets that you just want to quickly boost and push out to more people, without launching a full campaign.

It could also be a good way for Twitter to bring in a few more ad dollars, and it could be worth experimenting with to see what result you get, based on the simplified launch process.

If it’s available to you. We’d ask Twitter where this is being made available, but we can’t. So maybe you’ll see it in the app, maybe not.

Thus is the enigma of Twitter 2.0.



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Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills

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Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills

US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills. Reuters File Photo

New York: US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills after it advised the social media company on its acquisition by Elon Musk last year.

“As of December 23, 2022, Twitter remains in default of its obligations to Innisfree under the agreement in an amount of not less than $1,902,788.03,” the lawsuit said.

Twitter and a lawyer for Innisfree did not respond to queries.

Elon Musk in October closed the $44 billion deal announced in April that year and took over microblogging platform Twitter.

In January 2023, Britain’s Crown Estate, an independent commercial business that manages the property portfolio belonging to the monarchy, said that it had begun court proceedings against Twitter over alleged unpaid rent on its London headquarters.

Advertising spending on Twitter Inc dropped by 71% in December, data from an advertising research firm showed, as top advertisers slashed their spending on the social-media platform after Musk’s takeover.

The banks that had provided $13 billion in financing last year for the Tesla chief executive’s acquisition of Twitter abandoned plans to sell the debt to investors because of uncertainty around the social media company’s fortunes and losses, according to media reports.

Recently, Twitter made its first interest payment on a loan that banks provided to help finance Musk’s purchase of the social media company last year.

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Twitter Expands Access to Twitter Blue, Announces New Incentives for Signing Up

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Twitter Expands Access to Twitter Blue, Announces New Incentives for Signing Up

Twitter is making its next big push on Twitter Blue subscriptions, as Elon Musk and Co. look to build Twitter Blue into a more significant revenue driver for the app.

First off, Twitter has now expanded Twitter Blue access to Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain, which will enable millions more Twitter users to potentially sign-up for a verification tick.

I mean, most probably won’t, going on what we’ve seen thus far, but it will likely swell Twitter Blue sign-ups by another few thousand, adding more cash to Twitter’s coffers.

Twitter’s also looking to further incentivize Blue sign-up by offering revenue share for ads shown in reply threads.

The idea here is that if users write interesting tweets, they would get compensated for the discussion they generate – but you need to be signed up to Twitter Blue to get it.

Elon hasn’t shared any further info on potential revenue split or process at this stage.

Twitter’s also looking to bring back an improved Spaces/podcast experience, as a Twitter Blue exclusive, while Musk has also hinted at allowing some users to avoid having to pay for basic API access, when it becomes unavailable next week, if they sign-up.

Oh, and Twitter’s gold checkmarks for business? Yeah, they’re likely going to be expensive if you want them.

Can’t imagine many brands are going to fork out $12,000 a year for a profile badge, along with $50 per staff member you want to add.

But maybe, Elon and Co. have some more tricks up their sleeve here, and they’ll eventually offer more incentives for businesses to sign-up.

But right now, that’s pretty steep.

And also, ‘legacy’ checkmarks will apparently be gone within the next few months.

All of these elements combined could juice Twitter Blue take-up, though it’s still hard to see it becoming the major contributor to Twitter’s revenue as Elon envisions.

At present, based on third-party tracking, the new Twitter Blue program looks to have around 300,000 subscribers, bringing in an extra $2.4 million per month, and $7.2 million per quarter.

Which is pretty good – but again, it’s still a long way from where Twitter wants subscription revenue to be.

When initially outlining his Twitter 2.0 reformation plans, Musk said that he wants to make subscription revenue around 50% of Twitter’s overall intake. That would serve two purposes – if the majority of users sign-up, Twitter can then use Twitter Blue as a form of ‘payment verification’, meaning that those accounts that don’t have a blue tick are increasingly likely to be bots. It would also reduce Twitter’s reliance on ads, which would give Musk more freedom to make moderation decisions as he likes, without considering potential ad placement concerns.

But in order to do this, Twitter needs a lot more users to sign up.

Twitter’s revenue in Q2 2022, the last time it publicly reported its numbers, was $1.18 billion, meaning that Twitter Blue would need to be bringing in around $590 million per quarter to meet that 50% goal.

Which is about 81x what Twitter Blue is currently bringing in, while at 300k sign-ups, that’s also only 0.12% of Twitter’s active user base that’s currently paying for a blue tick.

That’s likely why Twitter is making a new push on the program, in a bid to jack those numbers up, and maybe, in combination with businesses that do end up forking over $1k per month, it could become a more significant element in Twitter’s revenue make-up.

But 50% of revenue still seems like a lofty goal.

It’s also still confusing as to why anyone would pay, because as soon as you do, you’re devaluing the whole point of the verification checkmark in the first place.

The initial blue ticks were designed to delineate noteworthy users and organizations, which Twitter didn’t always get right, but for the most part, you knew that a blue tick account was likely someone who had relevant, authoritative things to say.   

Now, it’s just anyone who can afford it, and with Twitter looking to increase the reach of tweets from Blue accounts, that also means that the app is increasingly becoming more ‘pay to play’ for regular users, with the blue ticks becoming increasingly meaningless from a functional perspective.

And the logic behind them becomes more diluted with every person who signs up. Eventually, all the blue checkmark will mean is that this person can afford to pay – and who cares? Why do they need a blue tick, from a user perspective, to show that they have enough money to spend?

It sort of feels like the NFT trend of 2021, but worse, because it’s replacing an existing system that did serve a purpose.

In any event, Twitter’s not backing away from its Blue subscription plan, and its hopes of maximizing revenue intake, in any way it can, to keep the company afloat.

Which, given the extra debt it’s been saddled with in the Elon deal, is even tougher than ever – but maybe, in combination with everything else, subscriptions will form enough of an extra income stream to meaningfully contribute to its plans.



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