Social Media

Facebook will no longer recommend any political groups

Globally and permanently

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Leading up to U.S. presidential elections last November, Facebook, along with other social media platforms, tightened their policies over politically induced content. Their goal was to stave off a potential repeat of 2016’s elections when social media unfairly influenced the results of the polling period. Now, after the events of last year’s elections and this year’s riots, Facebook is making it permanent. Facebook will no longer recommend any political groups for good, as reported by Reuters.

Prior to the new policy, lawmakers had persistently called Facebook out for continuing to foment hate across the platform. Despite the promises, inciteful parties kept using the platform to recruit new members and spread misinformation through niche groups.

As it usually works, Facebook suggests groups for users with similar interests. If the algorithm determines that you might like far right groups, it will continue to suggest similar ones that you might like.

Even then, sneaky conspirators can easily dupe the system by, for example, creating a seemingly innocuous group and, when the group finally has enough members, slowly inculcating them into controversial belief systems.

At the very least, Facebook is doing something to lessen the effect of social media manipulation. However, we’ll have to see how the platform will enforce the new policy going forward.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp now forced to share data with Facebook

Social Media

Twitter is working on an undo tweet button

Perfect for mistakes

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Don’t you just hate tweeting something and instantly regretting it right after? Unfortunately, because of its rapid-fire system, putting out the wrong tweet is way too common. Though anyone can easily delete their tweets right after, it won’t stop unwanted eyes from seeing the tweet in the five seconds that the tweet was up. Thankfully, Twitter is working on an undo tweet button for the future.

According to social media detective Jane Manchun Wong, the social media platform is testing the button to retract tweets within five seconds after the tweet is sent. It even has a convenient timer. The upcoming feature will mimic the capabilities of Gmail, which already allows users to unsend emails a few seconds after sending them.

Unfortunately, Twitter has neither confirmed nor announced when the feature will come to the platform. It’s also a far cry from the highly coveted “edit tweet” button that everyone wants.

Besides the undo tweet button, Twitter is also working on more features for the platform. According to a previous report, Twitter is experimenting with a premium subscription model for content creators on the platform. Amid the rapid expansion of other platforms, Twitter is trying to expand its reach for other needs and more users.

SEE ALSO: Twitter teases a premium Super Followers system

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Social Media

WhatsApp introduces voice and video calls on desktop

Update rolling out now

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Since the pandemic, telecommuting software has turned into one of the hottest tools you’ll need today. With everyone working from home, everyone needs a good way to communicate with others in the office. However, amid the rise of Zoom and Google Meet, one popular communication app has not joined in on the fun: WhatsApp. According to a new update, that’s rapidly changing. WhatsApp is introducing voice and video calls on desktop.

Compared to other apps, WhatsApp has quickly ascended into one of the most popular mobile communication tools. However, the app has never adopted a desktop version, outside of text messaging.

In the recently announced update, WhatsApp has started rolling out the update for its desktop users. (At the time of this writing, I already have the update on my laptop.)

Further, the update is optimized for any orientation. The desktop app can easily adapt to portrait or landscape orientations.

In terms of security, WhatsApp promises that the calls are end-to-end encrypted. The company is supposedly unable to listen in on calls on its end.

After the update, WhatsApp has also stated that it is working on a next one featuring group voice and video calls. Currently, the desktop update is only eligible for one-on-one calls. Still, it’s a useful feature for all users.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp delays roll-out of new privacy policy until May

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Apps

Facebook unveils BARS, a TikTok-like app for rappers

Builiding a community dedicated for rappers

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Facebook has launched a new platform called BARS and it’s specially made for rappers. What’s its unique selling point? Unlike TikTok, BARS does not focus on transitions and lip-syncing to make content.

The app will allow budding rappers to focus on the lyrics rather than investing their time on expensive equipment and studios. You can choose from a wide array of premade beats, which can be leveraged by the rapper with their own lyrics and effects.

It also has a Challenge mode, wherein users can perform freestyle rap while incorporating auto-suggested lyrics. Aspiring rappers can just focus on the lyrics and record themselves to these beats. In addition, the app helps rappers finetune their craft as well with the help of auto-suggested rhymes while the user is writing.

BARS will let you select your rap experience level upon sign-up: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. The Beginner selection will provide a handy auto-rhyme dictionary to help kickstart your experience. Advanced rappers get the Freestyle mode with several words to create an instantaneous rap.

Once users finish recording their videos in the app, they can share them across various social media outlets. The app has a TikTok-like feed where the discoverability is maximum. The app also promises “studio quality vocal effects,” including actual AutoTune.

After creating the videos, you can save them to your camera roll and share them on other social media platforms. For now, only a small number of iOS users can download the app in the US. Interested users can also sign up for the waitlist in the app.

BARS Community Manager DJ Iyer revealed in a blogpost that the Coronavirus pandemic has been one of the major reasons behind the creation of the app. “I know access to high-priced recording studios and production equipment can be limited for aspiring rappers. On top of that, the global pandemic shut down live performances where we often create and share our work,” he Iyer added.

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