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Twitter Supports UK Riot Censorship

In wake of the recent riots in London, the prime minister of England has proposed that the government censor social media posts on twitter and facebook. The main purpose of the censorship was to break up looters from organizing and posting details about what is going on.

Today, a spokesperson for twitter released a statement about the issue, “Our only comment is that if the government would like to talk about this we’d be happy to listen.

This is a little surprising consider twitter is very pro-speech and allows just about anything to be posted. However, at the same time it seems that twitter should absolutely work with the U.K. government to stop the rioting before more people get hurt. Censorship is never good but it sometimes is necessary and this may be one of those cases.

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Twitter’s New Activity Stream

Twitter has announced a few activity stream feature to help users more easily discover what is happening on twitter in relation to them. The activity stream contains “@username” and then “activity.”

The @username tab is meant to replace the mentions tab and twitter said it is mainly a personal notifications dashboard. The activity tab is meant to show retweets, favorites, and follows.

A representitive of twitter released the following statement, “It provides a rich new source of discovery by highlighting the latest Favorites, Retweets, and Follows from the people you follow on Twitter – all in one place.” They later added, ” It’s easier than ever to explore Twitter, connect with people, and discover what’s happening around the world.”

This looks to be very similar to facebook’s setup both in design and goals. It is a cool new feature and I personally will take advantage of it to explore twitter further.

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Looters Arrested

We have all heard the saying, “stupid is as stupid does.” Some looters involved with the London riots definitely fit the description. After posting pictures on twitter of their stolen loot, many looters found themselves in handcuffs. Police in London have been sorting through pictures and arresting individuals who have been involved with the looting.

Police have started using the power of social media for a variety of methods. Police in Vancouver also used twitter and facebook to sort of rioters and arrest those who were caught on camera destroying cars, businesses, and ATM’s. Other police forces are using twitter to connect with local residents to report crime or suspicious activity.

Thankfully, these individuals are being put to justice, thanks to twitter. This is just another reason why twitter can be a great resource.

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Twitter Images Now Public

Twitter images, twitter’s photo sharing service, has now been released to all users of twitter. Since it was first released earlier this year, Twitter said that they planned on releasing it in batches to work out all the kinks and bugs. However, it appears that every twitter user can now attach and share images. The images will be hosted on photobucket.

To share a photo, simply click the photo on the bottom left corner of the box. You can then choose any photo on your computer that is 3MB or less.  The photo will then be visible to anybody you follow or who follows you as an embedded image. Other people will see a message “click to view” that will allow them to see the image.

Soon, twitter will release a gallery feature so that all your photos can be organized however you would like them to be.

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Introducing Twitgram

Have you ever wanted to send someone a direct message on twitter but couldn’t because they are not following you? Well, now you can. With a new program called twitgram, you can direct message anybody, regardless of whether or not they are following you, with no character limits.

Essentially, you go to twitgram.com, enter the twitter username you want to message, and send them a message. You then send them a tweet letting them know you sent them a message.

Twitgram is not directly associated with twitter, which is why it is important to tweet the user that you sent them a message. The user then logs in twitgram with their twitter login and can view the message.

Twitgram describes themselves as a combination of twitter/email. It looks to be a fun alternative and should provide some hilarious messages to our beloved celebrities, politicians and athletes.

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How Much are Sponsored Tweets Worth?

Have you ever wondered how much a sponsored tweet from a celebrity or athlete is worth? Well according to a recent survey, advertisers find a sponsored tweet is worth about $63 and publishers value a sponsored tweet about $134. This discrepancy is most likely because the true value of a sponsored tweet has not been established, considering they are still fairly new.

Sponsored tweets are slowly becoming big business as more advertisers try to connect with publishers. So far in 2011, 62.8% of respondents said they had been paid in some way for a sponsored tweet, up from only 57.6% in 2010. However, about 10% of people said they have not or would not ever consider accepting compensation for a sponsored tweet or other form of advertising.

Regardless, sponsored tweets look to become big business for users on twitter with large followings. A couple sponsored tweets a day could make for some nice pocket change or even enough to make a serious living off of.

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New Twitter is Here

As earlier mentioned, all twitter users have now been forced to start using the “new” twitter version. It was announced early last week that the old version would be phased out this weekend.

This was not a big deal for most people, considering an overwhelming majority of people had already switched to the new version. There was no reason not to switch because the new twitter layout is much cleaner, faster, and easier to navigate.

If the folks at twitter do see this, then please listen. You do not need to update your layout every few months. Do not be like facebook and make annoying changes to our profiles every three months. It’s extremely annoying and most of us do not like it. Twitter is perfect the way it is.

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Twitter Helps London Cleanup

A large group of twitter users are organizing themselves in order to help cleanup the streets of London after almost a week of massive rioting. A twitter account @riotcleanup was started just two days ago and already has 70,000 followers.

Last week, a peaceful protest was started after a man was shot and killed by police. However, anarchists and looters soon seized the opportunity presented to them and began pillaging the streets, burning police cars and wrecking stores.  Damage is estimated to be in the tens of millions of pounds range.

Currently, the twitter account is organizing groups of volunteers to clean up specific spots of the city to take the burden off devastated business owners and people. With no end to the rioting in sight, the cleanup will most likely take days. Hopefully, police can finally take control of the situation so that peace and order can be restored to the streets of London.

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Lebron James and Twitter Drama

Lebron James, like 50 Cent, seems to love to create drama on twitter. In his recent tweets, James came to the defense of Tim Tebow after an ESPN commentator blasted Tebow for his athletic skills and performance on the football field.

Merrill Hodge criticized Tim Tebow for his accuracy and throwing fundementals. In one of his tweets he said the following,

” Sitting watching tape of Bronco offense from last year! Orton or Tebow? It’s embarrassing to think the broncos could win with tebow!!”

Lebron James immediately came to Tebow’s defense with a rebuttal on Twitter. He responded with a few tweets including the following,

“Listened to Merril Hoge today on [SportsCenter] and he was just blasting Tebow. The man hasn’t even play a full season and its only his 2nd year in.”

The next few hours should be interesting as both sides go back and forth at each other. Who would have thought something as fun as Twitter could create so much drama?

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Celebrating Ramadan on Twitter

An Islamic professor is using twitter in a way never seen before. Throughout the entire month of Ramadan, Hussein Rashid will be tweeting sections of the Torah in 140 character verses. During Ramadan, Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sex during the daylight hours. They also must immerse themselves deeply into reading the Qur’an.

Right now the hashtag #Quran has exploded and will probably end up being a top trend for many days to come. There are also thousands of variations of the hastag that are being used worldwide by Muslims to tweet their favorite verses from the Quran.

This is a great way for Muslims to share and spread their faith among each other. In the future, it seems almost certain that more religions will build upon this idea for their own religious traditions.

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