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Twitter Reports a Jump in Government Removal Requests in Latest Transparency Report



Twitter Launches New Program to Help Healthcare Providers Stay Up to Date on Latest Industry Announcements

Twitter has published its latest transparency and enforcement update, which outlines all of the accounts and violations it took action on during the period between January 1st and June 30th, 2021, highlighting key trends and shifts in platform usage, and misuse, as it looks to improve the user experience, in alignment with its freedom of speech ethos.

And there are indeed some interesting trend notes – first off, Twitter says that it received a record 43,387 legal demands from governments to remove content in the period, impacting some 196,878 accounts. 

As explained by Twitter:

“Of the total global volume of legal demands, 95% originated from only five countries (in decreasing order): Japan, Russia, Turkey, India, and South Korea. We withheld or required account holders to remove some or all of the reported content in response to 54% of these global legal demands.

Twitter became a key focus of Russian authorities last year, with the platform facing a possible ban at one stage for refusing to comply with requests from the Kremlin to remove content. Twitter eventually did comply with the order, after Russian authorities slowed down the service, but the situation remains tenuous, as Twitter grapples with its principles of facilitating free speech over more restrictive rules in some regions.

Indian authorities have also sought to censor elements of the app, which Twitter has also balked at, leading to conflicts in that region as well, while Japanese officials have also sought removals related to political conflicts.

It’s a challenging element for Twitter, which poses a significant threat to the app’s growth, especially if the platform does end up getting hit with regional bans. Each conflict sees Twitter’s share price drop as a result, and with the app becoming a bigger tool for information sharing and public debate, this will continue to be a source of concern in many respects.

On another front, Twitter also forced account holders to remove 4.7 million Tweets that violated the Twitter Rules in the period, also a record amount.

Twitter Transparency Report

“Of the Tweets removed, 68% received fewer than 100 impressions prior to removal, with an additional 24% receiving between 100 and 1,000 impressions. In total, impressions on these violative Tweets accounted for less than 0.1% of all impressions for all Tweets during that time period.”

As you can see here, Twitter removed the most content for violating its ‘Sensitive Media’ policies, which Twitter says saw an increase in action due to “initiatives launched to bolster operational capacity”. So more moderation staff lead to more content reviews, which has resulted in more offensive material being removed from the app, a good result.

Twitter also says that it permanently suspended 453,754 unique accounts for violations of its child sexual exploitation policy, with 89% of them being proactively identified through industry hash sharing. Twitter also suspended 44,974 unique accounts for the promotion of terrorism and violent organizations.

Twitter additionally reports that the US became the single largest source of government information requests in the period, with 3,026 requests.

Twitter Transparency Report

“These requests accounted for 27% of all accounts specified from around the world, and Twitter complied, in whole or in part, with 68% of these US information requests.

With former US President Donald Trump being banned from the platform, and various officials under investigation for their conduct in relation to the Capitol Riots in January last year, it makes sense that more information was being sought in relation to such activity in the app.

It’s an interesting snapshot of Twitter’s enforcement actions, and key trends that could impact the app moving forward. The most significant is likely the ongoing conflicts with governments over potential censorship, and the removal of tweeted content at their behest – and what happens if Twitter refuses such. Again, Twitter wants to ensure that it holds true to its free speech fundamentals, but as the app becomes a bigger target for influence operations, and is seen by more politicians as a means to sway voters, it’ll likely continue to come under pressure on this front, which will put Twitter management in a difficult position, in holding to its principles while also managing shareholder expectations.

That seems problematic, especially if it does end up facing bans as a result. Twitter’s presence in India, for example, is 24.5 million, its third-biggest user market, and as we’ve seen with TikTok, Indian authorities will ban a social app on political grounds, if it sees fit.

Twitter, the business, would struggle to take a blow of the magnitude. But could it deal with the potential user fall-out of operating at the bidding of local authorities?

It seems that this could become a bigger point of consternation at some stage, as government removal requests continue to flow in.

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Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer: Born or made great?



The Big 3 have won a total of 56 Grand Slams in their career.

Ecogastronomy, puppet arts, viticulture and enology, influencer marketing, or bakery science. In 2022, you can become anything you want and there are even specialized undergraduate degrees to help you gain all the relevant skills at university. Essentially, you can now be academically trained in any subject and learn practically everything you need to excel at your job.

In the context of sports, and particularly tennis, this is no different. There are plenty of degrees you can pursue to complement your career as an athlete, physiotherapist, or coach with useful knowledge about the human body, anatomy, and health.

This basically means that professional tennis players of the 21st century can complement their extraordinary talent and training routine with a relevant education and an elite team of professional and eminent physiotherapists, coaches, PR, and strategists. Ultimately, players have countless tools that can help them win matches, stay healthy, and be well-liked by the press and the fans.

You can find these ‘A teams’ all around the tour nowadays: players of the former next gen have taken advantage of their early success to incorporate experts on every specialty into their team and others like Carlos Alcaraz or Holger Rune have come directly in the tour alongside first-class teams headed by former World No. 1 and Slam champion Juan Carlos Ferrero and respected coach Patrick Mouratoglou respectively.

Understandably, tennis legends who have been on tour for almost two decades have progressively adapted to the quest for perfection too. You must remember Novak Djokovic’s radical diet change mid-career or Rafael Nadal’s loyal sports doctor for most of his injury-prone career.

21st-century professional tennis players have learned it all as far as tennis skills are concerned. In fact, objectively any top-100 player can produce Djokovesque cross-court backhands or Nadalese down-the-line forehands any time – we have seen rallies of the highest level in practices, Challengers and junior tournaments.

So, one must think that if every player on the tour can produce top-level tennis and is surrounded by the perfect team, what is stopping them from winning 20+ Grand Slam titles like Nadal, Roger Federer, and Djokovic?

Nadal, Federer and Djokovic — the Big 3

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in discussion at the 2022 Laver Cup.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in discussion at the 2022 Laver Cup.

The Big 3 — Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic — are living proof that in life there are things you just can’t learn, despite our self-help books saying otherwise. Tennis is different from other mainstream sports in that it remains an individual and extremely mental sport.

These three players belong at a higher level than anyone else, and it is not only the 63 combined Slam titles that separate them from their opponents. It is clearly not their physical form either, quite the opposite currently. It is the ability to remain serene, focused, confident, and indifferent to the crowd, pressure, and expectations, to play one point at a time, whether it is a break or a championship point, and to extract it from the surrounding context.

Being the best of all time does, however, not imply being the better player in all matches. We don’t have to go far back to find an example of a time when Nadal and Djokovic were the clear underdogs in a match. For instance, in Wimbledon 2022 we saw Nadal win a match with an abdominal tear and an average 80-mph serve speed (on a grasscourt!) against Taylor Fritz, a top American player in his best-ever season.

In essence, the three GOATs have had the ability to know how to win even when they are the worst players on the court, and if that greatness is something we all could learn or train for, it would stop being called so and we would see it more often.

Whether it is the experience, intelligence or just intrinsic and unique talent that has led to Big 3’s unprecedented achievements we won’t ever exactly know and, I am afraid, they are giving no opportunity to the so-called Next Gen to even dream of replicating their record book and help us make sense of what it takes to become a tennis master.

In any case, we can only feel extremely fortunate to have lived on the same timeline as the greatest trivalry in sports history. All of us, but the Next Gen, can only hope Nadal and Djokovic do not follow Federer’s retirement path anytime soon. And one only needs to watch their last matches against each other to (rightfully) assume that might not happen anytime soon.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

Poll : Who will end up with most Grand Slam titles?

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram



Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like Elon Musk’s chaotic management approach at Twitter is having some broader impacts, with more companies reportedly considering lay-offs in the wake of Musk culling 70% of Twitter staff (and keeping the app running), and Meta now apparently also considering charging for blue checkmarks in its apps.

Yes, the Twitter Blue approach to making people pay for verification, which hasn’t proven overly popular on Twitter itself, is now also seemingly in consideration at Meta as well.

According to a new finding by reverse engineering pro Alessandro Paluzzi, there’s a new mention in the codebase of both Facebook and Instagram of a ‘paid blue badge’.

Paluzzi also shared a screenshot of the code with TechCrunch:

That does appear to refer to a subscription service for both apps, which could well give you a blue verification badge as a result.

Mets has neither confirmed nor denied the project, but it does seem, at least on the surface, that it’s considering offering checkmarks as another paid option – which still seems strange, considering the original purpose of verification, which is to signify noteworthy people or profiles in the app.

If people can just buy that, then it’s no longer of any value, right?

Evidently, that’s not the case, and with Twitter already bringing in around $7 million per quarter from Twitter Blue subscriptions, maybe Meta’s looking for a means to supplement its own intake, and make up for lost ad dollars and/or rising costs of its metaverse development.

It seems counter-intuitive, but I guess, if people will pay, and the platforms aren’t concerned about there being confusion as to what the blue ticks actually mean.

I guess, more money is good?

Meta has, in the past, said that it won’t charge a subscription fee to access its apps. But this, of course, would be supplemental – users wouldn’t have to pay, but they could buy a blue checkmark if they wanted, and use the implied value of recognition for their own purposes.

Which seems wrong, but tough times, higher costs – maybe every app needs to start digging deeper.

Meta hasn’t provided any info or confirmation at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.

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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta’s Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023



YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta's Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

YouTube Shorts and Meta’s Reels are both making
headway in the intensely competitive video shorts sector.  

During Alphabet’s Q4 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Sundar Pichai reported that YouTube Shorts has surpassed 50 billion
daily views. That’s up from the 30 billion reported in Q1 2022.

However, it still …

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