Category Archives: X

X Adds Support For Passkeys On iOS After Removing SMS 2FA Support Last Year



X, formerly known as Twitter, today announced support for passkeys, a new and more secure login method than traditional passwords, which will become an option for U.S. users on iOS devices. The technology has been adopted by a number of apps as of late, including PayPal, TikTok, WhatsApp, and others, TechCrunch reported.

Initiated by Google, Apple, Microsoft, and the FIDO Alliance, alongside the World Wide Web Consortium, passkey technology aims to make password less logins available across different devices, operating systems, and web browsers. The feature arrived on iOS devices in September 2022, and Google accounts last May, according to TechCrunch.

Unlike logins which rely on a username and password combination, passkeys use a biometric authentication like Face ID or Touch ID, a PIN or a physical security authentication key to validate login attempts. This process combines the benefits of two-factor authentication (2FA) into a single step, to make the login process more seamless while also being more secure.

X, formerly Twitter, posted information about How to use passkeys:

Passkey is a feature that allows a secure and convenient alternative to passwords, designed to streamline sign-ins across multiple devices. Passkeys provide enhanced security compared to traditional passwords since they are individually generated by your device for each account, making them less susceptible to phishing attacks and unauthorized access.

Passkey is currently only available to use when logging in on iOS.

Why should I use a passkey?

We encourage users to enroll in passkey for the following benefits:

* Seamless log in experience: Passkeys make signing easy and convenient. Once you are set up, you can use your passkey to log in to your account across different devices without having to remember or reset a forgotten password.

* Advanced security: Passkeys provide a stronger level of security for your account. Since they are uniquely generated by your device, they are less vulnerable to security threats as fraudulent, deceptive, or unauthorized attacks.

How does passkey work?

Passkeys are constructed using public key cryptography from the WebAuthentication (or “WebAuthn”) standard. When you register an account, your device generates a unique key pair – one public and one private — for each account. The public key is shared and stored on X, while the private key remains on your device. Your passkey is never shared with X to ensure maximum security, and further reducing the likelihood of unauthorized account access.

Is a passkey mandatory for login?

Passkeys are highly encouraged to enhance your account’s security, but it is not required for login.

Engadget reported that X says it won’t require users to sign up for passkeys, but it’s not a bad idea to do so if you find other multi-factor authentication methods (such as inputting a code from an authenticator app cumbersome). Passkeys also effectively nullify X’s SMS-based two-factor authentication method, which the company has paywalled behind X Premium.

In my opinion, it might not be a bad idea to consider whether or not you want to use a passkey on your X account(s). Personally, Im not sure what I think about it.


X Is Rolling Out Audio And Video Calls To Android



Elon Musk’s own social network X is rolling out the ability to make audio and video calls from the app to its Android client, TechCrunch reported.

One of the engineers working on the project posted about the feature release and said it would be available to Android users after an app update.

According to TechCrunch, in August 2023, CEO Linda Yaccarino first talked about introducing video calls to the platform and eventually rolled it out to iOS users in October.

Notably, any user can receive a call but only paid users can place a call. It’s one of the long list of things only paid users can do on X. However, X removed the ability for premium users to set an NFT as a profile picture earlier in the month.

X, formerly known as Twitter, provided information about Audio and Video calls:

We’re releasing a new way of communicating on X, Audio and Video calling. Audio and Video calling is now available on iOS and Android.

The basics

* Premium subscribers have the ability to make audio and video calls.
* All accounts are able to receive calls.
* You’re able to control who can call you from the Direct Messages Settings.
* By default you’re able to receive calls from accounts you follow or have in your address book (if you’ve previously given us access to your address book).
* To be able to call another user, they must have sent you a direct message at least once before.
On Android, you need to have push notifications enabled to get notified when you get a call.

To make an audio or video call

* Tap the envelope icon. You’ll be directed to your messages.
* Tap an existing DM conversation or start a new conversation.
* Tap on the phone icon, from there you can;
* Tap Audio call to start an audio call
* Tap Video to start a video call
* The account that you call will receive a notification that you’re calling them and if they don’t pick up they’ll get a notification that they missed a call.

After that, there are descriptions of how to manage an audio call or a video call. X users are able to control who can call them. There is the option of being able to choose who is able to call you. You can receive calls from: people in your address book, people you know, or verified users.

Mashable reported that in order to call someone on X/Twitter, you must be a Premium users (paying $8 per month) – or Premium+, which will set users back $16 per month – if they’d like to make a call. However, any user can receive audio and video calls on X. Only the user placing the call has to pay.

Personally, I’m not a fan of this at all. There is ample room for Premium or Premium+ users to use their call to harass people or to send threatening audio or video messages. I also don’t like the idea of giving X/Twitter my voice.


X To Be Investigated For Allegedly Breaking EU Laws On Hate Speech



The social media platform X, formerly Twitter, is being investigated for allegedly breaking EU law on disinformation, illegal content and transparency, the European Commission has announced, The Guardian reported.

The decision to launch formal infringement proceedings against the company, owned by the US billionaire Elon Musk, comes weeks after X was asked to provide evidence compliance with new laws designed to eliminate hate speech, racism, and fake news from platforms in the EU.

Under the Digital Services Act, which came into force in August, a company can be fined 6% of its global income or be banned from operating across the EU if it is found to have breached the law.

The European Commission has opened formal proceedings to assess whether X may have breached the Digital Services Act (DSA) in areas linked to risk management, content moderation, dark patterns, advertising transparency, and data access for researchers.

On the basis of the preliminary investigation conducted so far, including on the basis of an analysis of the risk assessment report submitted by X in September’s Transparency report published in 3 November, and X’s replies to a former request for information, which, among others, concerned the dissemination of illegal content in the context of Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel, the Commission decided to open formal infringement proceedings against X under the Digital Services Act.

The proceedings will focus on the following areas:

The compliance with the DSA obligations to countering dissemination of illegal content in the EU, notably in relation to the risk assessment and mitigation measures adopted by X to counter the dissemination of illegal content in the EU, as well as the functioning of the notice and action mechanism for illegal content in the EU mandate by the DSA, including in light of X’s content moderation resources.

The effectiveness of measures taken to combat information manipulation on the platform, notably the effectiveness of X’s so-called ‘Community Notes’ system in the EU and the effectiveness of related policies mitigating risks to civic discourse and electoral processes.

The measures taken by X to increase the transparency of its platform. The investigation concerns suspected shortcomings in giving researchers access to X’s publicly accessible data as mandated by Article 40 of the DSA, as well as its shortcomings in X’s ads repository.

A suspected deceptive design of the user interface, notably in relation to checkmarks linked to certain subscription products, the so-called Blue checks.

CNBC reported that the European Union has opened infringement proceedings into social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, over suspected failure to combat content disinformation and manipulation.

According to CNBC, it is the first probe under the Digital Services Act.

The bloc’s regulator, Thierry Breton said Monday that the move is in response to suspected breaches of X’s transparency obligations and its duties to counter illegal content and disinformation. It is also in response to what the EU calls a “deceptive” design of the user interface, relating to its so-called blue checks.

In my opinion, I am certain that the European Commission will push forward with its investigation of X, formerly known as Twitter. We will have to wait and see how this proceeding turns out.


X May Lose Up To $75 Million In Revenue As More Advertisers Pull Out



Engadget reported that X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, typically earns the most money in the last months of the year, as brands ramp up their advertising campaigns. According to The New York Times, though, the company’s earnings report for this quarter might look different than usual.

Based on internal documents The Times has seen, over 100 brands and even other types of advertisers, such as political candidates, have fully paused their ads on the website, while dozens more are considering pulling their campaigns. If advertisers don’t come back, X could lose up to $75 million in ad revenue earnings this year.

According to Engadget, IBM, Apple and Disney were among the brands that quickly pulled their ads from X after the incidents. Lionsgate specifically cited Musk’s tweet as its reason for suspending its advertising campaigns, while Ubisoft was one of the first video game companies to withdraw its ads from X.

According to The Times’ report, Airbnb has halted over $1 million worth of advertising on X, and Netflix has pulled $3 million in ads. X could also lose $4 million in ad revenue due to Microsoft’s subsidiaries pausing their campaigns. Uber and Coca-Cola are two other well-known brands that have chosen to put their advertising on X on hold.

Reuters reported that Musk backing an antisemitic post on the platform last week has led several companies including Walt Disney and Warner Bros Discovery to pass their advertisements on the site formerly called Twitter.

According to Reuters, X has struck back and sued media watchdog group Media Matters, alleging the organization defamed the platform with a report that said ads for major brands including Apple and Oracle had appeared next to posts touting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party.

Advertisers have fled X since Musk bought it in October 2022 and reduced content moderation, resulting in a sharp rise in hate speech on the site, according to civil rights groups.

Mashable reported that the ad exodus followed X owner Elon Musk’s public support of an antisemitic conspiracy theory, in a tweet that is amazingly still up. That, combined with a general influx of hateful content that has the tendency to appear next to ads, has created a hostile environment for advertisers.

According to Mashable, X even confirmed a report from watchdog group Media Matters that ads on the platform are being shown alongside hateful content – but X is suing Media Matters for it anyway, claiming that it was a deliberate, malicious attack to “drive advertisers from the platform.”

The Hill reported that the New York Times said it viewed “internal documents” revealing that the social media company is in a tough position. The documents reportedly list over 200 ad units from companies like Amazon and Coca-Cola that have stopped or are considering pausing their advertising on X.

According to The Hill, The Times, said the documents are from the sales team at X, and that they are used to track the impact from advertising pullbacks in November.

In my opinion, there were many steps that Elon Musk could have taken to stop the exodus of brands pulling away their advertising from X, formerly known as Twitter. Suing Media Matters, who pointed out the antisemitic content on Mr. Musk’s platform, will not bring advertising money back.


Elon Musk Says X Will Show Headlines On The Platform Again



Elon Musk said that X, formerly Twitter, will start showing headlines in preview cards with URL’s on the platform again after removing titles last month, TechCrunch reported.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Musk said in an upcoming update, the company will overlay the title in the upper portion of the image of a URL Card. He didn’t mention any specific timeline for the rollout or give an example of what the card might look like.

According to TechCrunch, in August, the Tesla CEO said that X planned to stop showing titles with URL’s in “improved aesthetics.” The company stopped showing headlines in October after the announcement.

Because of this change, users had to tap on the URL card to actually know the title or read the headline. To get around this change, publishers started to write their own headlines on image and post the link separately or include the headline in the image of the generated preview card.

This change might make it easier for publications and not work on custom formats, but that completely depends on the layout of the new card.

Mashable reported that Twitter/X owner Elon Musk has announced the platform will reinstate headlines to link previews for articles. Musk removed automatic article headlines and their subhead text last month because he didn’t like how they looked.

The announcement came less than two hours after Musk himself inadvertently demonstrated how the removal of Twitter/X’s headline previews had severely reduced the platform’s functionality. Sharing a Reuters article about OpenAI, the beleaguered billionaire simply stated that it was “Extremely concerning!” – a statement rendered nonsensical without the link’s context.

According to Mashable, Twitter/X users immediately began roasting Musk for returning a feature many felt he never should have arbitrarily removed in the first place.

9to5Google reported that for years, Twitter/X has been a great source to not only witness breaking news (ie.the recent OpenAI drama), but also to get news from various outlets.

But when Elon Musk opted to remove headlines from link previews, it really took away the usefulness of sharing links on the platform. That is, on iOS and the web. Headlines were never removed from Twitter’s Android app.

Now, things are changing back. Elon Musk announced this week that Twitter/X will, “in an upcoming release,” put an “overlay title” on URL cards. In other words, tweets will start showing headlines again.

iPhoneInCanada  reported that the original change to the headlines on X posed a number of issues for the user base. As one can imagine, cutting headlines caused a lot of context to be lost when sharing articles. Thus, many began having to clarify and write out the headlines as part of the post’s text.

It also became a cause for concern when the legitimacy of some articles and the spread of misinformation became apparent thanks to the change.

In my opinion, Mr. Musk tends to try out new things on X, formerly Twitter, without really thinking through how those changes will affect users. The removal of headlines from news articles is a vivid example of why he shouldn’t be messing around with things.


X Sues Media Matters To Silence Moderation Criticism



X, formerly Twitter, has followed through with owner Elon Musk’s threat to sue the left-leaning nonprofit Media Matters, The Verge reported. Media Matters reported last week that X “has been placing ads for major brands” like Apple and IBM “next to content that touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.”

According to The Verge, Musk and X CEO Linda Yaccarino have dubbed the report unrepresentative of X’s general user experience. Several companies nonetheless pulled ads after that report and Musk’s direct endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory – and Musk’s lawsuit claims Media Matters is legally liable for X’s loss.

Neither Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, nor X argues that Media Matters was falsely claiming to see ads on pro-Nazi content. In fact, the suit confirms that the screenshots the organization posted are real. But it alleges the organization “manipulated” the service to make X serve the offending ads.

The lawsuit accuses Media Matters of interference with contract, business, disparagement and interference with prospective economic advantage – claims that could be difficult to prove given the First Amendment’s high bar for legally prosecuting speech, The Verge reported.

“We are going to continue our work undeterred. If he sues us, we will win,” Media Matters president Angelo Carsone told The Verge in a previous statement, saying that “Elon Musk has spent the last few days making meritless legal threats, elevating bizarre conspiracy theories, and lobbing vicious personal attacks against his ‘enemies’ online.”

The Hill reported that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said Monday that his office is opening an investigation into Media Matters for America over its recent reports accusing X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, of placing ads for mainstream brands next to pro-Nazi and white nationalist content.

According to The Hill, Paxton’s office said it is investigating the liberal media watchdog group for “potential fraudulent activity” after X sued Media Matters in federal court in Texas, alleging it “manipulated the algorithms” on the platform in order to produce the reports and “alienate advertisers.”

Media Matters initially released a report Thursday saying that it had found ads for companies including Apple, Bravo, Oracle, Xfinity and IBM next to posts on X celebrating Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, The Hill reported. In a follow up report on Friday, the watchdog said it had also found ads for Amazon, NBA Mexico, NBCUniversal Catalyst, Action Network and Club for Growth next to posts featuring white nationalist hashtags.

CNBC reported the National Football League is sticking with X, formerly known as Twitter, as Elon Musk’s site faces an advertiser revolt over hate speech and antisemitism on the platform.

According to CNBC, the NFL has partnered with the platform since 2013 as part of an effort to bring fans exclusive content.

Since Musk took over last fall, the platform has been caught up in several controversies, including those surrounding X’s policy for moderating harmful content.

In my opinion, the correct thing to do, when discovering that antisemitic and Nazi content is on your platform, is to actively remove that content. Filing a lawsuit in an effort to stifle what Media Matters found indicates Musk is not interested in cleaning up X at all.


X Continues To Restrict Links To Rival Apps And News Publishers



Twitter is now slowing down traffic on links to the crowdfunding site Patreon, WhatsApp, and at times, Meta’s Messenger app, a Markup analysis confirms, The Markup reported.

Using a tool launched by The Markup last month, readers discovered that links to these sites were delayed by an average of 2.5 seconds – findings The Markup confirmed. Patreon users told The Markup that the throttling undermines their ability to reach new supporters on Twitter, which has historically been a key platform for building donations.

In September, The Markup reported that Twitter, now officially named X, was slowing down links to Bluesky, Facebook, Instagram, and Substack, also by an average of 2.5 seconds, which can feel extremely slow for users.

The Markup simultaneously launched a tool that lets readers test any link posted on X (which the platform automatically shortens using the t.co domain), and measured the time it took for X to redirect the link to its original destination. The Markup also built a bot that would let them know if any links readers were testing appeared to be throttled.

Shortly after publication, readers began using The Markup’s tool, and The Markup received alerts that Patreon, WhatsApp, and Messenger links appeared to be throttled. To confirm these findings, The Markup created new links and measured over several days the performance of redirects to the 25 top-earning Patreon campaigns, as measured by tracking site Graphtreon on September 30.

According to The Markup, Laurent Crenshaw, Patreon’s senior director of policy and external affairs, said in an emailed statement, “Creators are locked into social platforms that take away their creativity, and their ability to build a business. When a fan decides to follow a creator, they should be able to see 100% of their posts, 100% of the time.”

SocialMediaToday reported that earlier this year, reports indicated that X was throttling links to rival social media and publishing platforms, including Bluesky, Facebook, Instagram and Substack. Further investigations found that X was also delaying load times to The New York Times, Reuters, and various other media that had been singled out for criticism by Elon in his posts.

Which, given Musk’s clear distain for the “mainstream media” is a list that grows almost daily, so if X is really looking to punish links to sites that Elon doesn’t like, Andrew Hutchinson (Content creator and Social Media Manager) suspects there won’t be many websites that aren’t copping a load time penalty sometime soon as a result.

According to SocialMediaToday, X has neither confirmed or denied that its been limiting the flow of traffic to external sites, though there are notes within X’s open-sourced code which indicate that links to rival social apps, even if they’re just named in a post, will result in “de-boosting.”

Musk is not known for playing well with others, or offering what he sees as free promotion via his platforms, according to SocialMediaToday.

In my opinion, Elon Musk appears to be desperately trying to make X so inhospitable that droves of people will leave it for social media platforms that don’t throttle users. Reportedly, Mr. Musk wants to make X into an “everything app”, but he can’t do that if he’s restricting links to the sites that creators use.