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Facebook announces ‘I’m a voter’ button ahead of 2016 Philippine elections

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The Philippines is just a day removed from holding its national elections, which will probably go down as one of the closest and most riveting races on record. On Monday, May 9, some 55 million Filipino voters will march to the polls and cast a ballot to fill key positions — the president and vice president included — in public office.

And, unsurprisingly, Facebook wants in on the 2016 Philippine elections — if only to serve as the digital equivalent of indelible ink on one’s forefinger, unreliable as it may be.

Come Monday, Filipino Facebook users who are eligible to vote will see an “I’m a Voter” megaphone button on their Facebook News Feed. Clicking it will allow the user to “highlight their status as a voter to their Facebook friends, without specifying who they voted for.”

I’m assuming this will be determined more by age and geography and less by a special algorithm that determines if one is indeed in a position to choose the next leaders of the Philippines.

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Nevertheless, kudos to Facebook, as well as the Commission on Elections (Comelec), for coming up with a millennial-friendly campaign to improve voter turnout. In case you’re wondering, the average voter turnout for national elections in the country hovers around the 75-percent mark.

In a press statement, Facebook said it has seen “over 190 million Facebook interactions on the Philippine elections by more than 17 million Filipinos” and that this polling season “has been one of the most engaged elections globally on Facebook.”

The election-day button has been used in the UK, Taiwan, Spain, and Singapore during their respective elections.

[irp posts=”10612″ name=”Facebook rolls out new desktop feature”]

Apps

Twitter expands character limit to 4,000 characters

But not for everyone

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Despite the traditional limitations, the platform’s users have always found a way to express themselves beyond Twitter’s character limits. Whether broken through extensive threads or third-party sites, strict limitations don’t exist anymore. Now, Twitter is essentially getting rid of the character limit by introducing its biggest expansion to date.

Announced today, Twitter will allow users to post tweets with up to 4,000 characters. That’s a gigantic leap from the original 140-character limit and the expanded 280-character limit in 2017. But, of course, some good things come with a price.

Not everyone will have access to the new feature. Currently, only Twitter Blue subscribers in the United States can create tweets of up to 4,000 characters. Besides original tweets, subscribers can also quote tweet with the same expanded limit.

Thankfully, the new feature will not inundate everyone’s feeds with an ocean of text. Any tweets going beyond 280 characters will be cut off with a “show more” prompt.

Through the past few months, the platform has changed a few fundamental elements before Musk took over. Most importantly, Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service is now much more expansive. Among other things, subscribers now get the coveted blue checkmark attached to their profiles. Now, they also get a massive boost in capabilities when it comes to tweeting.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is teasing an ad-free subscription tier

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Alibaba is working on its own ChatGPT alternative

Joins Microsoft and Google

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The United States isn’t the only country interested in language learning software. After the widespread success of ChatGPT, a few other companies — including Microsoft and Google — are developing their own versions of the popular software. Today, a new contender is joining the fray. Alibaba has officially announced the development of its own chatbot.

Reported by CNBC, the Chinese giant is currently testing its alternative to ChatGPT. Unfortunately, the announcement did not come with any more details or a timeframe for its release. However, the company does assure enthusiasts that it has been working on generative AI since 2017.

Within only a few months, ChatGPT created a maelstrom of hype for language learning models. The software can generate lengthy but comprehensible essays about any topic. Though there is some debate as to how ethical it is, remarkably intelligent software is slowly finding its niche in today’s world.

To compete with ChatGPT, Microsoft and Google have announced their own software this week. Microsoft is infusing the technology into Bing and Edge. Meanwhile, Google has its own software called Bard.

Also, besides Alibaba, Chinese search engine Baidu is also testing a chatbot called “Ernie bot.” With several companies working on generative AI, the technology is undoubtedly here to stay.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

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Google will blur NSFW photos soon

Turned on by default

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When I search for “food porn” in Google, I’m looking for enticing photos of food to whet my appetite for dinner. Sometimes, Google has other plans and shows me more than what I bargained for. Finally, the search engine is implementing a way to save us from those awkward moments. Google will soon blur explicit images from search results.

For Safer Internet Day, Google has announced the feature to help protect users from accidentally seeing graphic images — including both gore and pornography — from a search. The feature, which will start rolling out in the coming months, will turn on by default. Instead of showing the images directly, users will face the blurred version and a prompt to view the image despite the warning.

If you don’t mind an accidental shower of NSFW imagery, you can turn the feature off at any time. Alternatively, as always, users can also choose to filter out all explicit search results, blurred or otherwise.

Though the feature is easily adjustable, Google will not offer the same flexibility to supervised accounts. Any accounts supervised by a parent or a school will not be able to change how they view explicit content. Parents can add supervision to the accounts of their children.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

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