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X Adds New Notifications for Posts that Have Had a Community Note Added

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X Adds New Notifications for Posts that Have Had a Community Note Added

Is Community Notes the singular solution to effective content moderation on social apps? No.

Is it a handy complement that can assist in addressing various forms of misinformation and misrepresentation, while also enabling users to better highlight concerns in posts? Definitely.

The challenge lies somewhere in between, as Elon looks to push Notes as X’s main safety net to address all types of concerns, while analysts continue to highlight flaws in the Community Notes system, which is leading to more misleading content being amplified in the app.

Though this will help.

Today, X has announced that it will now distribute more notifications to users who’ve engaged with a post that’s later had a Community Note appended.

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As per X:

“Sometimes a note appears on a post after you’ve seen it. To help, Community Notes sends notifications to people who have engaged with a post that later receives a note. We’ve now scaled it up to handle even the most visible and highly-engaged posts, so more of you will be (and are already) seeing these.”

This is a good addition, which will help to at the least raise questions among X users about the content that they’ve seen, replied to, Liked, etc.

If a post, for example, gave them the impression that something had happened, when it actually hadn’t, these kinds of follow-ups could be very effective in slowing the spread of false reports, which would also include deepfakes, AI-generated images, etc.

There is a lot to like about Community Notes in this respect. But again, the problem is not so much that the Notes are overly unreliable, nor that they don’t serve a purpose. It’s more than X is putting too much faith in the process being the savior for its misinformation issues, by letting users decide what’s true and what’s not, without X management stepping in, or at least, not stepping in at the same level that Twitter’s past health and safety team had been.

But a lot of this comes down to perception. As per its “Twitter Files” internal exploration shortly after the company changed hands, Elon and Co. outlined what they perceived to be massive corruption in information flow, as the past Twitter team sought to suppress certain information at the behest of government officials.

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But that’s not really what the documents showed. What the insights did show is that Twitter’s health and safety team worked with various official authorities to ensure that it remained aware of related concerns. Some of those it actioned, most it didn’t, but the reports demonstrated what most would view as a responsible approach to managing key discussions, and the amplification of such, through official partnerships that could have some bearing on future strategy.

The problem is, this also involved an issue that Elon himself believes was a conspiracy theory, in the COVID pandemic.

In dealing with COVID, the Twitter team made decisions based on the best information it had at the time, and in retrospect, some of those calls may not have been correct. But that’s in retrospect, and in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, the team were doing what they could. But that’s all the evidence that Elon and his team needed to flag this as mass censorship, marking Twitter as a vehicle for “accepted narratives”, which he’s now determined that X will never be.

Which is why he wants Community Notes to work, so that some information deemed untrue, false, misleading, some of that will still get through. Because you can’t trust the mainstream discussion, but you can trust the people, in Musk’s view.

The problem with that is Community Notes doesn’t really work in highlighting a lot of misinformation because it’s based on political consensus, meaning that people from both sides of the political spectrum need to agree on notes before they’re displayed.

On a range of highly divisive issues, that agreement will never come. Like COVID, the war in Israel, the war in Ukraine, border protection, etc. Some of these are hardline topics, that no one’s going to concede. So relevant Notes are never shown, and never seen, leading to broad circulation of misleading claims, based on X’s own system.

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Is that a better outcome than having X’s own team step in? It’s impossible to say, but I do feel that, at some point, this is going to lead to significant issues as a result.

So while there are good points to the process, and there is a definite value in Community Notes, and notifications like these new retrospective prompts, the process is not what Elon and Co. think. Which could be problematic.

Conceptually, there’s a logic there, and other approaches, like Reddit’s up and downvotes system, have provided similar results.   

But Community Notes is unlikely to be the shield that Musk seems to believe, or want to believe, as he reforms the app.



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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