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Big Revolution - Listen up, Twitter

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Welcome to Thursday's newsletter, coming to you from a very wet Manchester. — Martin from Big Revolut
 
June 18 · Issue #749 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Thursday’s newsletter, coming to you from a very wet Manchester.
— Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Twitter is rolling out the ability to record and share audio clips. The feature is being gradually introduced to iOS users now, but there’s no word when Android users will get it. More on this below.
  • Zoom will provide end-to-end encryption to free users after all. The company has u-turned on a much criticised move to only give strong encryption to paying subscribers. Under the new plan, anyone who verifies their identity will be able to use end-to-end encryption.
  • Google has announced a big diversity drive in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. The company plans to boost diversity in its senior leadership, help US users find Black-owned businesses, and fund Black entrepreneurs, and job training and education initiatives.
  • The eBay scandal goes right to the top. The company has admitted that its CEO at the time (who left last month) signed off on the bizarre harassment campaign against two critics that has made headlines this week.
The big thought
Recording audio in Twitter's iOS app. Credit: Twitter
Recording audio in Twitter's iOS app. Credit: Twitter
Listen up, Twitter
Being able to record and add audio to tweets feels like a feature that should have been introduced about 10 years ago when short snippets of media were all the rage, and services like 12seconds.tv and Audioboo were relatively popular.
But finally Twitter has launched the feature, which is rolling out gradually to iOS users at first. On a personal level, I like some of the potential here. Being able to record a short interview and instantly share it is quite nice, and some forms of musical and comedy performances would work well this way. But sadly, that’s very 2010 thinking.
In 2020, the reality is that trolls will use it to send abusive messages. And as Vice points out, moderating them will be harder than with text.
In 2020, the reality is that social media companies get less of a free pass on accessibility. These audio clips have no text captions, so they render a chunk of content inaccessible to deaf users.
These things matter now in a way that they didn’t in the playground of social media 10 or 15 years ago. I’m keen to try the new audio feature, but the fact Twitter didn’t have answers to these concerns lined up for the feature’s launch is concerning.
While the company is now shipping features far more frequently than it was a decade ago, it still has some catching up to do when it comes to making them fit for the real world today.
One big read
What Happens When the Police Request Your Facebook Data What Happens When the Police Request Your Facebook Data
American police are increasingly using non-public information from Facebook accounts in their investigations. They requested data from 164,782 separate accounts in 2019, and Facebook provided the data in 88% of cases.
One big tweet
If you don’t have Twitter’s audio feature yet, you can always do this… 😉
Jane Manchun Wong
setting up audio twttr

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That’s all for today...
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