Internet security in the world of social media is a huge issue. The social media giants are trying to develop the best methods for making their services safe for users.
Most notably, Twitter announced that it is suspending its text messaging service to prevent hackers from taking over an innocent party’s account because of two eye-catching intrusions. News about the suspension came last Wednesday, shortly after hackers briefly hacked actress Chloe Grace Moretz’s account. Infiltrators tweeted several insane news posts including one that began with a series of memes featuring an obese Bugs Bunny. Twitter temporarily disabled the tweeting feature via SMS or text message to protect her account.
This came a week after the hack that really got the company’s attention, the one in which Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey’s account was hijacked. In his case the hackers took the opportunity to convey racist and misogynistic comments to his four million followers.
Both accounts were restored shortly after the errant tweets were deleted.
Twitter explained that the phone number associated with the accounts had been compromised due to a security check by a mobile service provider. It turns out that Twitter’s SMS feature allows users, whose phone number is linked to an account, to post tweets by sending a text message to a code associated with their mobile service provider. This allows hackers, who have successfully stolen numbers from a wireless service provider, to send tweets by text message from the compromised phone number. According to Twitter, the security team is working to secure the feature and re-enable it as soon as it’s safe.
In light of these public embarrassments, Twitter has recently introduced a number of new tools intended to make the platform more secure; these include a new filter that sorts messages that may contain offensive content into a separate inbox and a new moderation policy to examine posts that are reported to the platform for targeting specific religious groups. These big name hacks and the $170 million fine imposed on Google for failing to protect the privacy of children has awakened many tech giants to the understanding that user safety is essential to their bottom line.
Social media apps, like any other product or service, can drop with a bang or end with an aw dang. Just ask Vine or Google+. While the world of social media is ever-expanding and ever more connected, with the likes of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter at the forefront, we should take a quick look back at two apps that came in hot, then fizzled.
Vine dropped in 2013 and was later bought by Twitter. Upon release, it was pretty hilarious and the first of its kind. Edit 6 second videos in different pieces to make something funny. What an idea. Vine was a hit. But then Snapchat added a story, Instagram added a story, and the limited 6-second video became a negative. Still, love to those who rocked the Vine platform. The creativity and comedy by Viners was a pre-curser to the meme world of today.
Then there’s the story of Google+ and why it even existed. Why did it exist? Few could figure out its value. Was it for kids? Was it an alternative to LinkedIn? It lasted for 8 years be virtue of Google’s deeeep pockets and still, few had a clue. RIP to that platform – no sweat off Google’s back, they run the world anyway. Finally, let’s take a moment to remember all of the other failed social media platforms that are no longer with us and let us thank them for their service.
Japanese Breakfast has created an authentic sound built around indie pop and atmospheric synths that pleasure the ears. A sound that for one fan could have been more “rudimentary”. This past Tuesday, Michelle Zauner- lead singer of the band received some rather interesting Twitter criticism for her song “Till Death”. The self proclaimed musician who slid into her DMs essentially tried to rewrite her song by offering opinions that no one asked for.
This fan sent a lengthy and unnecessary message to the band’s account on Twitter. His main criticism was that the bass line on the song “sounded forced” and that the song “deserves a simple dropping bass riff that isn’t too flashy”. Most of the message consisted of the critic telling Michelle how she should have recorded her own music. Basically, this is a horrible way to get one of your favorite artists to notice you. Not to mention, this critic is representing the toxicity of mansplaining that many women face regularly.
Zauner cleverly replied to the critic on Twitter, joking “*rerecords album*”. The advice given from this “fan” caused a stir of interesting tweets and Twitter jokes related to his comments. While the Twitter critic certainly got his voice heard, hopefully he learned that there are more pleasant ways to reach out to one of your icons. Before offering unsolicited advice, it may be smart to take a friendlier approach and not be too demanding- so that you don’t make a fool of yourself. On the plus side, this situation can teach us how to properly combat internet mansplainers- one snarky tweet at a time.