Tag Archives: Twitter

Tucker Carlson To Revive Show On Twitter

Tucker Carlson will be reviving his show on Twitter, after being abruptly dismissed from Fox News last month, The Guardian reported.

In a tweet captioned, “We’re back,” Carlson on Tuesday shared a video discussing his next moves. The former host said he would be taking his show to Twitter, which he described as “the last remaining platform in the world” to allow free speech.

According to The Guardian, Carlson offered few details but promised a “new version of the show we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years.” He did not mention when the show may air.

Carlson’s pivot to Twitter comes after the site has become more welcoming to mostly-conservative accounts previously banned for spreading hate speech and disinformation under Elon Musk’s new direction. The billionaire took over the site in October 2022 and promptly allowed previously banished accounts to return, including that of Donald Trump.

The Guardian noted that Twitter responded to a request for comment with a poop emoji.

Axios also reported that Carlson announced he would be bringing his show to Twitter.

“Starting soon we’ll be bringing a new version of the show we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years to Twitter,” he said in the video. “We bring some other things too, which we will tell you about. But for now, we’re just grateful to be here. Free speech is the main right that you have. Without it, you have no others.”

According to Axios, the Twitter move would seem to technically violate Carlson’s contract with Fox, but his lawyers’ letter effectively holds that Fox breached the contract first. Carlson’s contract runs until January 2025 and Fox wants to keep paying him, which would prevent him from starting a competing show.

The Hill reported that neither Fox nor Carlson has said why Carlson left the company, but reports have surfaced in recent weeks, suggesting the host’s private text messages disparaging company leadership, which were disclosed as part of Dominion Voting System’s blockbuster defamation lawsuit against Fox, led to his ouster.

According to The Hill, Elon Musk sat for an extensive interview with Carlson in his former Fox News program just days before the host left the network. Carlson gave no further details on his new project, including length, subject matter, or frequency.

Personally, I can see some potential problems if Tucker Carlson does bring his show to Twitter.
Right now, Twitter is owned by Elon Musk, who appears to be favoring conservative accounts. It is entirely possible that Mr. Musk could lose interest in Twitter and sell it to someone else. If that person’s viewpoints clash with Carlson’s, his show might be removed from Twitter.

There’s also a potential problem with Fox News, who is continuing to pay Carlson to prevent him from starting a competing show. Would Fox News see Carlson’s Twitter show as breaking a non-compete contract?

Overall, I think Carlson would be better off creating a podcast of whatever he wants to say, instead of using Twitter as if it was a news network.

More Than Half Of Twitter Blue’s Earliest Subscribers Flew Away

Twitter Blue’s struggles since its launch nearly six months ago are more severe than previously revealed, new data suggests. Since Musk’s version of the subscription service launched last November, Twitter has only been able to convert around 640,000 Twitter users into paying Twitter Blue subscribers as of the end of April, Mashable reported.

Mashable also reported that while those numbers are lackluster, an even more telling detail about Twitter Blue is just how many of its earliest subscribers have canceled their subscriptions.

Out of about 150,000 early subscribers to Twitter Blue, just around 68,157 have stuck around and maintained a paid subscription as of April 30. Subscriptions are $8 per month – $11 on mobile.

According to Mashable, the total early subscriber numbers are linked directly to internal leaks published by the Washington Post last year showing that at total of 150,000 users originally signed up for Twitter Blue within just a few days of its launch in November. Twitter temporarily disabled new signups for about a month shortly after those users subscribed as a result of accounts signing up for Blue with the intent to impersonate major brands on the platform.

Mashable noted, that means around 81,843 users, or 54.5 percent, of Twitter users who subscribed to Twitter Blue when it first launched in November are no longer subscribed to the service. That’s an abnormally high churn rate for an online subscription services. Churn rate is the percentage of uses that unsubscribe from a service.

Twitter Blue is a paid offering from Twitter which provides subscribers with premium feature such as an edit button. However, it appears the most enticing features for subscribers are Musk’s featured additions to the service – namely the blue verification checkmark and the algorithm boost that provides Blue subscribers with prioritization in the For You feed and in the replies to tweets.

However, numerous Twitter Blue users have voiced their displeasure to Musk publicly on the platform about what they believe to be inadequate amounts of boosted reach. Mashable previously reported in March that around half of Twitter Blue subscribers have less than 1,000 followers.

Mashable reported that so few large accounts were formerly verified under Twitter’s old, pre-Musk verification system had signed up for Twitter Blue, that the company has since given out free “complementary” subscriptions to the service to many users with at least 1 million followers.

Personally, I have noticed that some celebrities on Twitter have publicly posted that they were not paying for Twitter Blue. As an example, Stephen King tweeted: “My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t.”

I think the only reason some celebrities who have over 1,000 followers were given a free Twitter Blue subscription was to make it look as though Twitter Blue was popular. Information from Mashable makes it clear that Twitter Blue isn’t as popular as Elon Musk wants the world to think it is.

Twitter Acknowledged Security Incident Affecting Twitter Circle Tweets

Back in April, several Twitter users were affected by a bug that showed private Twitter Circle tweets to random users in the For You tab. A month later, Twitter acknowledged the security incident and informed users in an email sent out on Friday that the bug has now been fixed, 9to5Mac reported.

Twitter Circle is a feature that works similarly to Instagram’s Close Friends, which lets you share posts with only the users you’ve chosen. As such, anyone can keep their account open to the public and still share tweets about their personal lives with their closest friends, for example.

But the bug that Twitter has now confirmed was causing these tweets to show up on the timeline of people who weren’t part of that Circle. Even worse, random users who didn’t even follow the affected accounts could see the tweets from private Circles.

TechCrunch also reported that a security error that made Circle tweets – posts that only go out to a small subset of trusted friends – surface publicly. TechCrunch reported the glitch in early April, but the platform confirmed the issue on May 5th in an email sent to Twitter Circle users.

According to TechCrunch, Twitter Circle has been buggy for months, which is concerning for a feature that people use to tweet things they don’t want to share with all of their followers. When we reported on the issue last month, numerous users had been tweeting that people outside of their circle were liking their private tweets; one user even said that she posted nude photos on her Circle, which slipped through the cracks and surfaced for unintended eyes.

Most often, it seemed that Circle tweets were being surfaced in the For You timeline to users who follow the poster, but were not in their Circle. Others reported that their Circle tweets were reaching even further than those who follow them.

Fortune posted the entire email that was sent out to Twitter Circle users:


We’re contacting you because your Twitter account may have been potentially impacted by a security incident that occurred earlier this year (April 2023).

What Happened

In April 2023, a security incident may have allowed users outside of your Twitter Circle to see tweets that should have otherwise been limited to the Circle in which you were posting. This issue was identified by our security team and immediately fixed so that these tweets were no longer visible outside of your Circle.

How to Protect Your Account

We take our responsibility to protect your privacy very seriously and it is unfortunate that this happened. While there’s no action for you to take specific to this issue, we invite you to visit our Public and Protected Tweets page… (A link to that page was posted here in the email.)

This is an automated mailbox. For any questions or concerns you may have about this incident, please reach out to Twitter’s Office of Data Protection through our Data Protection Inquiry Firm.

We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day.

Twitter Office of Data Protection

I don’t use Twitter Circle, and my personal account is private. As such, I have not been affected by this particular glitch. Those who had their Twitter Circle posts leak outside their Circle have a right to be upset about it, and I doubt Twitter’s email would make them feel any better.

Clearly, something broke in Twitter’s background, and that’s a problem. If Twitter Circle tweets are leaking out – it indicates that something has gone very wrong behind the scenes at Twitter. It feels like it has gotten into a downward spiral.

Twitter’s New Policy is “Freedom of Speech, Not Reach”

Twitter Safety posted about a new policy that it described as “Freedom of Speech, Not Reach: An update on our enforcement philosophy”. From the update:

“Our mission at Twitter 2.0 is to promote and protect the public conversation. We believe Twitter users have the right to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship. We also believe it is our responsibility to keep users on our platform safe from content violating our Rules.

These beliefs are the foundation of Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Reach – our enforcement philosophy which means, where appropriate, restricting the reach of Tweets that violate our policies by making the content less discoverable.

Today, we’re excited to share an update on our approach to policy enforcement that better aligns this philosophy with our commitment to transparency.

Restricting the reach of Tweets, also known as visibility filtering, is one of our existing enforcement actions that allows us to move beyond the binary “leave up versus take down” approach to content moderation. However, like other social platforms, we have not historically been transparent when we’ve taken this action. Starting soon, we will add publicly visible labels to Tweets identified as potentially violating our policies letting you know we’ve limited their visibility.

These labels bring a new level of transparency to enforcement actions by displaying which policy the Tweet potentially violates to both the Tweet author and other users on Twitter. Tweets with these labels will be made less discoverable on the platform. Additionally, we will not place ads adjacent to content that we label. You can learn more about the ways we may restrict a Tweet’s reach here. https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/enforcement-options …

…While these labels will initially only apply to a set of Tweets that potentially violate our Hateful Conduct policy, we plan to expand their applications to other applicable policy areas in the coming months. This change is designed to result in enforcement actions that are more proportional and transparent for everyone on the platform…”

The Verge reported that one of the actions Twitter can take is to limit the reach of hateful tweets. The tweets remain online but become less discoverable as they’re excluded from areas like search results, trends, recommended notifications, For You and Following timelines and more.

TechCrunch reported that one of the actions Twitter can take is to limit the reach of hateful tweets. The tweets remain online but become less discoverable as they’re excluded from areas like search results, trends, recommended notifications, For You and Following timelines and more.

Personally, I’m going to take a “wait and see” approach to this. In general, labeling tweets with hate speech is something Twitter should be doing. My concern is that the labels regarding hate speech could be used to harm marginalized people, or be posted more often on accounts who favor one political party over the other.

Elon Musk Shut Down National Weather Service Alerts

Since acquiring Twitter, Elon Musk maintained that one of his major objectives was to eliminate the bots. Last night, Twitter did just that. One problem, though: The bots blocked are the good ones, Mashable reported.

According to Mashable, numerous public service Twitter accounts have lost their ability to automatically post breaking news and events. Twitter has been removing API access, which allows many of these accounts to post in an authorized way by the platform, as it switches to Musk’s new high-priced paid API system.

Many of these affected Twitter accounts have automated updates, but they aren’t the type of hands-off bot accounts that some may think of when they hear the term “bot.”

For example, numerous National Weather Service accounts that provide consistent updates, both automated and manually posted by humans, shared that they could no longer provide their up-to-the-minute, potentially life-saving updates.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Wilmington, Ohio, tweeted: “Twitter is now limiting automated tweets and as a result this account can no longer post warnings as we have done so in the past. We will continue to provide general updates, but always ensure that you have multiple means for receiving weather information & alerts.”

NWS Tsunami Alerts tweeted: a thread of tweets. The first tweet said: “Twitter is now limiting automatic tweets and as a result, this account can no longer post all #Tsunami Warnings, Advisories, Watches, and Information Statements as they are issued. We will make every effort to continue manual posts [thread emoji] (1/5)”

“During a #tsunami event, our primary mission is to message our Warning Points through official @NWS channels- this serves the most people in the fastest way possible. Social media posts are automated to speed up the posting process until more help can arrive [thread emoji] (2/5)”

“We encourage you, as always, to have redundant notification methods for #tsunami alerts: @NOAA weather / all-hazards radio, the free @fema app, 3rd-party & enterprise apps, and other can serve you in this way [thread emoji] (3/5)”

“In the event of a worst-case scenario where #tsunami inundation / flooding will happen, the Emergency Alert System on tv/radio and Wireless Emergency Alerts on your cell phone will work as a mass notification service. [Thread emoji] (4/5)”

“Finally, remember your natural warning signs. We appreciate your trust and will work toward a solution for this issue. Have a good weekend. – Your National Tsunami Warning Center Team. [Thread Emoji] (5/5).

Out of curiosity, I checked Twitter to see if any of the earthquake apps were still running. The USGS ShakeAlert account, which is run by the U.S. Government, seems to be still running.

That said, if you live in California, you don’t need to worry about earthquake warnings. Tons of people will tweet about a potential earthquake, or one they recently experienced, and it always ends up in “What’s Happening”.

NPR Quits Twitter

CNBC posted an article titled: “NPR quits Twitter, becoming first major U.S. news outlet to do so”. NPR said Wednesday it will stop sharing content on Twitter after the social media company labeled NPR “state-affiliated media,” a term also used for Russia- and China-based propaganda outlets.

CNBC reported that the news outlet’s organizational accounts will no longer post new content on its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major U.S. news organization to do so since Elon Musk took over Twitter late last year.

NPR was surprised by Twitter’s decision to label the company “state-affiliated media,” according to a report by the outlet. Here is part of what NPR wrote about that:

…The decision by Twitter last week took the public radio network off guard. When queried by NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn, Twitter owner Elon Musk asked how NPR functioned. Must allowed that he might have gotten it wrong.

Twitter then revised it’s label on NPR’s account to “government-funded media.” The news organization says that it inaccurate and misleading, given that NPR is a private, nonprofit company with editorial independence. It receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

By going silent on Twitter, NPR chief executive says the network is protecting its credibility and its ability to produce journalism without “a shadow of negativity.”…

NPR did not immediately respond to requests for comment by CNBC. Twitter responded to a request for comment with a poop emoji.

NPR plans to shut down its official Twitter accounts, saying a recent decision by the Elon Musk-owned platform to label it as “government-funded media” undermines its credibility, NBC News reported. NPR said that Twitter was “falsely implying that we are not editorially independent.”

“We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence,” NPR said in a statement Wednesday.

In a separate statement, NPR CEO John Lansing said, “Actions by Twitter or other social media companies to tarnish the independence of any public media institution are exceptionally harmful and set a dangerous precedent.”

According to NBC News, Twitter and Musk did not immediately return requests for comment.

The decision to label NPR’s account as “government-funded media” came after Musk and Twitter initially labeled NPR’s account “U.S. state-affiliated media,” a designation customarily used for media outlets with direct ties to government entities, like Russia Today, or RT, and China’s Xinhua.

On April 12, Elon Musk tweeted a screenshot from Bobby Allyn, who wrote: “Re: why state label” Because of the label, NPR is quitting Twitter across all of our 50+ accounts. Our executives say the government-funded media label calls into question our editorial independence and undermines our credibility.

Some wonder if this will cause a chain reaction among news orgs.

What’s your reaction?

Elon Musk responded with “Defund @NPR”.

In my opinion, it appears that Mr. Musk has not only labeled NPR as “government-funded media” but also labeled the BBC that way. It is unclear to me why Elon Musk keeps making that mistake over and over again.

Substack Introduces Substack Notes

Substack has launched Notes to everyone. Notes is a new space where you can publish short-form posts and share ideas with other writers and readers on Substack.

Notes helps writers’ and creators’ work travel through the Substack network for new readers to discover. You can share links, images, quick thoughts, and snippets from Substack posts. As well as being lightweight and fun, we hope that Notes will help writers grow their audience and revenue. Notes lives in a tab beside Inbox at Substack.com and in Substack’s mobile apps. Unlike an Inbox post, a Notes post does not get sent to subscribers by email.

Notes also marks the next step in our efforts to build our subscription network – one that puts writers and readers in charge, rewards great work with money, and protects the free press and free speech. This work is at the core of the Substack model, and we believe it will be an important part of a new economic engine for culture. But what you see today is just the beginning. Notes is a long-term project, and success will ultimately be determined by trust expressed by writers and readers over the course of years. We do not take that trust for granted.

Mashable reported that Substack Notes comes “in the middle of one of the dumbest social media battles to date”. The day after Substack announced their Notes feature, Twitter began blocking likes, retweets, and comments on tweets that include a link to a Substack newsletter and blocked Substack writers from embedding tweets in their newsletters.

The Verge reported that Substack’s Twitter-like feature for shorter posts, called Notes, is launching for everyone on Tuesday. Notes could prove to be a worthy Twitter alternative for some, especially Substack writers who have already built audiences on the platform and are looking for a new place to post after Twitter throttled Substack links and marked them as unsafe.

According to The Verge, each Notes post can include up to six photos or GIFs, but video isn’t supported. Notes you share won’t go into subscriber inboxes; they’ll just live on the Substack website and app. And you can interact with other Notes with like, reply, and “restack” (retweet) buttons.

Engadget reported that Substack has officially launched Notes for all users. The new product takes a lot of cues from Twitter and joins the long list of services looking to lure away users from Elon Musk’s beleaguered social network.

At first (and second) glance, Substack Notes looks a whole lot like Twitter. Instead of tweets, you have notes. Instead of retweets, you get restacks. You can post external links, images, videos and whatever strikes your fancy.

According to Engadget, Substack Notes already caused a fair bit of controversy straight from its first announcement last week. Upon that announcement, Twitter began blocking engagement with Substack-related tweets, though the social media giant has paused the whole bully routine.

Personally, I think the more spaces were writers can post their ideas for other people to read is a good thing. Substack Notes appears to be giving writers who are already on Substack a means by which to attract more subscribers.