Weekly Buzz: CBC Pauses Twitter Activity

Happy FriYAY and welcome back to the Weekly Download. Here’s the digital news you need to know this week:

CBC is the latest public broadcaster to hit pause on Twitter, Instagram drops an exciting update for those with profile links, Twitter changes the way it approaches “hateful” content on the app, Meta’s new AI project turns doodles into animations, and some hilarious and heartwarming Friday fun.

CBC pauses Twitter activity due to “government-funded media” label

CBC/Radio-Canada is the latest broadcaster to step away from Twitter after being labelled as “government-affiliated media” by the social media platform. Just last week, NPR in the U.S. made the decision to quit Twitter after being slapped with the same label due to concerns regarding erosion of credibility. 

“Twitter can be a powerful tool for our journalists to communicate with Canadians, but it undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do to allow our independence to be falsely described in this way,” said CBC corporate spokesperson Leon Mar. “Consequently, we will be pausing our activity on our corporate Twitter account and all CBC and Radio-Canada news-related accounts.”

According to Twitter, the label, which appears next to CBC News’ Twitter handle and on its tweets, is part of the platform’s efforts to increase platform transparency by providing users with more context about the sources of information they’re consuming.

Is this just the beginning of a mass media exodus from Twitter? It’s a story we’ll be following closely.

Twitter will limit — but not remove — “hateful” tweets as part of new policy

And speaking of Twitter labels, the platform will now slap a label on tweets that include hate speech and other “hateful conduct,” to let users know that the post’s visibility has been limited … but it won’t actually remove the posts in question. 

According to Twitter CEO Elon Musk, the move is part of Twitter’s new “Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Reach” policy.

According to the company, tweets with the new warning labels will have “limited visibility” on the platform, meaning that Twitter’s algorithm will reduce their reach and searchability. 

Twitter emphasized that the limited visibility will affect only the specific offending tweets and that the accounts that tweet the hateful content will not be penalized in any way. Users will also be able to submit appeals if they believe their tweets have been wrongly labelled. 

Instagram now allows you to link up to five URLs in your bio 

Great news! A new Instagram update will allow you to include up to five links in your Instagram bio

Previously, only one link was supported, leading many users to turn to third-party apps like Linktree. The update, announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, is “probably one of the most requested features” Meta has had, according to Zuckerberg. 

Links can be added by editing your profile in the mobile app, where you can give them titles and customize the order they appear in. One caveat to note: If you’ve added more than one link, anyone visiting your profile will still have to click through a “[Your first link] and 1 other” message to view all links. So if you have more than one link to share, users are going to have to do some extra clicking to see them all.

Overall, this is a positive (if extremely late!) development for Instagram users looking to grow their online presence and drive more traffic to their websites or other pages. The update is available to all users, whether they have a personal or business account.

Meta’s new AI project turns doodles into animations

A fun new AI project from Meta is bringing your doodles to life. 

The company hopes that by open-sourcing its new animated drawings project, other developers can use the code and dataset to create new experiences.

“By releasing the models and code as open source, the project provides a starting point for developers to build on and extend the project, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration within the open source community,” Meta wrote about the project in a blog post.

According to Engadget, Meta’s Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team originally released a web-based version of the tool in 2021. The way it works is quite simple: Upload a drawing of a single human-like character, or select a demo figure to get started. If you choose to use your own doodle or drawing, you’ll be prompted with a consent form that asks if Meta can use your drawing to help train its models. 

After resizing a capture box around your creation, you’ll see an animated version of your doodle based on preset animations from four categories: dance, funny, jumping, and walking.

Learn more about the project and how you can use the tool by watching the video below:

Friday Fun

This week’s Friday Fun is brought to you by Michelle Obama and Jimmy Fallon — watch the hilarious and heartwarming video below!

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site