Twitter tests a new way to label replies

Twitter is testing a new way to make conversation threads easier to follow, with the launch of a new test that labels notable replies with special icons. If the original poster replies somewhere in the thread, their tweet will have a small microphone icon next to their profile picture. Other tweets may be labeled, as well — including those from users who were mentioned in the original tweet and replies from people you’re already following on Twitter.

These will be labeled with the at symbol (@) and a small person icon with a checkmark by it, respectively.

The new test is the latest in a series of experiments Twitter has been running focused on making its product easier to use, particularly when conversations around a tweet become lengthy.

At the beginning of this year, the company first began a test where it labeled the original poster in a conversation thread as [...]  read more

Twitter revises rules on hate speech targeting religions

The company characterized this as a “start” and suggested that broader anti-hate policies could cover other protected groups in the future.

As a spokesperson explained to BuzzFeed News, this is partly about consistency. The company hadn’t elaborated on why it left some offensive tweets up while taking others down. Now, there isn’t much ambiguity — people who denigrate a faith’s adherents should face some kind of enforcement action.

The revamped policy could have implications for some of Twitter’s other decisions. In June, for instance, it said it would label tweets from politicians that violate its rules. The new approach could see those labels applied considerably more often. It’s certainly going to raise eyebrows among those who claim [...]  read more

Superhuman removes email location logging, will turn read receipts off by default

Superhuman, the buzzy and currently invite-only email startup that you might have come across even if you yourself don’t have access if you’ve ever encountered a “Sent via Superhuman” email signature, is making some changes based on community feedback. These include removing location logging altogether, getting rid of all existing location data, and turning read receipts off by default, and making them an opt-in feature for users.

The email app’s default email tracking behavior (embedding the commonly used advertising tool of a ‘pixel’ in emails to report back to senders info like whether an email’s been opened or not) raised a number of concerns, centered around this blog post by former Twitter design executive Mike Davidson. Davidson’s post generated a lot of community response, and now Superhuman founder Rahul Vohra has issued a response to that response, including a list of [...]  read more

Canada reveals measures to tackle online extremism

Last month, the nation joined other countries and tech companies in adopting a pledge to eradicate online violent extremist and terrorist content in the wake of mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. The shooter livestreamed the attack, and copies of the footage spread like wildfire.

Meanwhile, Canada will host a youth summit to help young people learn about online terrorism and violent extremism, and sound out ideas on how to combat the issues. It’s teaming up with Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft and Google for the event. The companies will “collaborate directly with youth to develop ideas that can be shared broadly with their peers,” Public Safety Canada said in a press release.

The government has funded a number of other initiatives related to online extremism, including $1.5 million CAD to Moonshot CVE for a project that uses online ads and videos to direct people to “content created by credible third parties that challenge ideologies that can motivate [...]  read more

NTWRK moves into live IRL events

NTWRK, is a fascinating experiment in live video shopping for the iPhone set. It’s been described as a blend of QVC and Twitter and Twitch and they just got a new slice of money from investors like Drake and Live Nation to expand into physical events.

There’s been a bunch of attempts at this kind of hybrid event shopping experience, but none of them have quite hit a home run yet. NTWRK was a pretty compelling experience even at launch last year. The core experience is a live show presented only in NTWRK’s app, where guests can talk about products which become available in the app as the show airs.

There was a built in opportunity to offer limited availability streetwear and sneakers, and an audience that founder Aaron Levant knew very well from his time running ComplexCon and Agenda, two big streetwear and marketing shows.

One of the first shows starred Ben Baller and Jeff Staple, and featured a drop of a new colorway of Staple’s iconic Pigeon Dunk from  [...]  read more

Twitter’s underrated Lists feature finally gets some attention

Twitter Lists have never gotten the attention they deserve. A feature largely adopted by Twitter power users, lists allow you to create custom timelines by adding only those users whose tweets you want to track. And this can be done without having to also follow those Twitter accounts, which keeps your main timeline clutter-free. But the Twitter Lists feature has always been somewhat buried in Twitter’s interface — at least until now. The company today announced it’s testing a way to make lists easier to access, by relocating them only a swipe away from your home screen.

According to a tweet shared today, Twitter has been thinking about how to make lists easier to get to.

“One idea we had is for you to be able to swipe to your lists from home,” the company explained, followed by a request for feedback.

Customizable timelines that are easy to access? We’re thinking about ways to do this! One idea we had is for you to be able to swipe to your lists from home. [...]  read more

Week-in-Review: YouTube’s awful comments and Google’s $1B tech-free investment

Hello, weekend readers. This is Week-in-Review where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure.

Last week, I talked about how the top gaming industry franchises were proving immortal and how that could change. I mainly asked questions and I got some great answers in my email. Keep the feedback coming.

An interesting corollary to that conversation was Niantic releasing its Harry Potter title this week, a game that takes liberal gameplay cues from Pokémon GO but attaches it to new IP. The big question is whether Niantic can strike gold twice; here’s an Extra Crunch interview my colleague Greg did with the startup’s CEO.

This week, the biggest tech topic at hand from the big companies was probably  [...]  read more

Still in stealth mode, Duffel raises $21.5m in Series A from Benchmark for its travel platform

Ten months ago London startup Duffel hinted that it would be “a new way to book travel online, aiming at the booking experience ‘end to end’”, and announced a healthy $4.7M funding round, but not much else.

Today it goes further, announcing a $21.5m in Series A funding from US VC giant Benchmark, which also backed Snap, Twitter and Uber. Benchmark is joined by Blossom Capital and Index Ventures, who participated in Duffel’s $4.7m seed round last year.

With this news, we at least get a little more detail. It will be a B2B offering, allowing individual travel agents to large online travel management companies and tour operators to offer a “seamless travel experience” to their end customers, making the booking experience simpler, faster and cheaper.

Is this a new Sabre? Steve Domin, co-founder and CEO of Duffel, [...]  read more

Twitter will remove precise location tagging in tweets, citing lack of use

Update: An earlier version of this post said Twitter is removing location tagging in tweets. In fact, it is only removing the ability to share precise location details like latitude and longitude.

In an announcement today from its support account, Twitter said it is removing the option to tag precise locations in tweets. The feature will still be available for photos through Twitter’s updated camera. The company said this is because “most people don’t tag their precise location in Tweets.”

Twitter users can opt out of location sharing features in its “privacy and safety” menu. If you don’t want to share your precise location details, you should continue keeping [...]  read more

Twitter takes down ‘a large number’ of Chinese-language accounts ahead of Tiananmen Square anniversary

Twitter has suspended a large number of Chinese-language user accounts, including those belonging to critics of China’s government. It seems like a particularly ill-timed move, occurring just days before thirtieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4.

“A large number of Chinese @Twitter accounts are being suspended today,” wrote Yaxue Cao, founder and editor of the U.S.-based publication China Change. “They ‘happen’ to be accounts critical of China, both inside and outside China.”

Cao then went on to highlight a number of the suspended accounts in a Twitter thread.

The Chinese government reportedly began cracking down late last year on people who post criticism on Twitter. The author of that story, The New York Times’ Paul Mozur, has also been tweeting about the takedowns, noting that “suspensions seem not limited to accounts critical of China” and that it appears to be “an equal opportunity purge of Chinese language accounts.”

In response, Twitter’s [...]  read more