Trump executive order targets social media’s ‘selective censorship’


President Trump signs the executive order.
Pres. Trump signs an executive order that seeks to overturn protections for Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Photo: White House

Days after Twitter labeled a Tweet by President Trump as false, Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that seeks to overturn liability protections for social media services.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the president’s most powerful political opponent, called the move “a desperate distraction” on the day U.S. deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic reached 100,000.

Twitter tests feature that lets users clamp down on conversations


Twitter tests new feature that lets users limit who can reply.
Imagine a Twitter where only specified people can reply to a given tweet.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Twitter is expanding testing of a new feature that lets users specify exactly who can reply to their tweets. The new conversation settings, which Twitter said Wednesday it is rolling out to a small percentage of users, lets people limit replies to people they follow or to certain individuals.

It’s Twitter’s latest attempt to tame toxic conversations on the free-wheeling platform. (As you might expect, not everyone is thrilled with the concept.)

Twitter testing new threaded conversation layout on iOS and web


A new Twitter threaded conversation layout might declutter the tweet machine.
A new threaded conversation layout might declutter Twitter.
Image: Twitter

Twitter announced Tuesday it has started testing a new way threaded conversation layout meant to make it easier for its users to see who is communicating to whom.

The new layout – being tested on Twitter’s iOS app and via the web – is meant to help users keep better track of long threads and people responding to sub-tweets coming off an original thread.

Celebs join the COVID-19 fight by telling billions to stay home


Selena Gomez shows us how to wash
If the singing thing doesn't pan out...
Screenshot: Selena Gomez/Instagram

Say what you will about celebrity influencers. They are using social media to tell millions of followers to stay home and “wash your hands.”

Taking a break from vanity and self-branding (well, sort of), influencers have answered the call by the United Nations to use their platforms to promote public health messages to help contain the spread of COVID-19.