The Weekly Download – May 15, 2020

Welcome back to another edition of The Weekly Download! 

This weekend marks the first long weekend of the summer for Canadians, and although the holiday is going to look a little different this year, we still want to send you on your way with the top digital marketing news and Friday Fun.

On the agenda: Justin Trudeau’s #CanadaHomeworkHelp offer backfires, Twitter steps up to manage COVID-19 misinformation, Facebook introduces Avatars, Instagram’s latest features to promote app positivity, and Friday Fun thanks to @RateMySkypeRoom and Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.

Justin Trudeau’s Offer to Help Kids with Homework Backfires

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to let Canadian kids know he’s available for #CanadaHomeworkHelp, but the offer backfired, resulting in thousands of partisan replies.

The PM invited kids (and parents) to submit their toughest questions for homework help, using the related hashtag. Some of the results weren’t quite what the PM’s communications team was hoping for:

But others embraced the efforts and applauded the offer in the midst of these uncertain and difficult times:

Twitter Will Alert People to Misleading COVID-19 Tweets

The fight to limit the spread of misleading COVID-19 information continues, and Twitter is doing what it can when it comes to questionable tweets.

Announced on Monday, Twitter will start alerting users when a tweet makes disputed or misleading claims about the novel coronavirus. Twitter’s move follows stricter policies aimed at cracking down on misinformation from other digital giants, including Facebook and Google.

Under the new policy, Twitter will decide which tweets are labeled and will remove posts if they are harmful to users. Questionable tweets will run with a label underneath that directs users to a link with additional information about COVID-19. Other tweets might be entirely obscured by a warning label alerting users that “some or all of the content shared in this tweet conflict with guidance from public health experts regarding COVID-19.”

While the platform’s new initiative is welcomed by many, others are skeptical about Twitter’s ability to police such content. According to Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, Twitter “will not be able to take enforcement action on every tweet with incomplete or disputed information about COVID-19.”

Facebook Introduces ‘Avatars’

After initially launching in other parts of the world, Facebook’s Avatars have finally launched for users in North America.

Similar to Bitmoji, users can build and customize their Avatar with hairstyles, outfits, and more to represent themselves on the platform.

Users can use their Avatar in stickers and tools across the platform, and even more ways to use them are on the horizon.

Have you created your Facebook Avatar yet?

Instagram Introduces New Features to Further Limit Bullying

Negativity control is Instagram’s latest attempt to curb bullying on its platform

A new feature will allow users to delete negative comments in bulk, as well as block or restrict multiple accounts — certainly more useful for those with larger followings. 

Instagram is also rolling out controls to manage who tags or mentions you on the platform. In Settings, users can choose to give permission before being mentioned or tagged in a comment, caption, or in a Story to everyone, only people they follow, or no one at all. 

And lastly, to highlight positivity, Instagram will soon be testing Pinned Comments, in which users will be able to select a number of their favourite comments and pin them to the top of their comment thread.

Friday Fun

@RateMySkypeRoom Will Judge Your Video Conferencing Room

Let’s face it — since the rise of video conferencing popularity thanks to COVID-19, we’ve all been silently judging peoples’ work-from-home spaces. And it turns out, we’re not the only ones!

The Twitter account @RateMySkypeRoom takes screenshots of reporters, celebs, and other public figures as they conduct virtual interviews and meetings from home and assign a rating to their decor and backdrops ranging on a scale of 1 to 10.

Listen to Jimmy Fallon and The Roots ft. Brendon Urie on #FallonAtHome

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site