Connect with us

Tech

Twitter Permanently Suspends Donald Trump’s Account, Cites ‘Incitement of Violence’ Risk

Published

on

Twitter said on Friday that it has permanently suspended US President Donald Trump’s account due to the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the US Capitol on Wednesday.

The suspension of Trump’s account, which had more than 88 million followers, silences his primary megaphone days before the end of his term and follows years of debate about how social media companies should moderate the accounts of powerful global leaders.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the company said in a tweet.

It was the first time Twitter has banned a head of state, the company confirmed.

Social media companies have moved swiftly to crack down on Trump and some of his prominent right-wing allies and supporters in the wake of the turmoil in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, which led to five deaths.

Trump has repeatedly used Twitter and other platforms to claim his defeat in the November 3 election was due to widespread voter fraud and to share other conspiracy theories, and had urged supporters to come to Washington on Wednesday and march on the Capitol to protest the election result.

Facebook said earlier this week it was suspending his account through until at least the end of his presidential term.

The Republican president is due to hand over to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.

In a blog post on Friday, Twitter said that two of the president’s tweets posted that day were in violation of its policy against the glorification of violence.

Twitter had temporarily blocked Trump’s account on Wednesday following the siege of Capitol Hill, and warned that additional violations by the president’s accounts would result in a permanent suspension.

Trump was required to delete three rule-breaking tweets before his account was unblocked. He returned to Twitter on Thursday with a video acknowledging that Biden would be the next US president.

Twitter said that Trump’s tweet that he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration was being received by a number of his supporters as confirmation that the November election was not legitimate.

It said another tweet praising “American Patriots” and saying his supporters “will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” could be seen as “further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an orderly transition.”

Critics of major social media platforms, including top Democratic politicians, praised Twitter’s move and said it was long overdue, while Trump suppporters expressed outrage.

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., in a tweet on Friday decried the ban, saying dictators who had threatened genocide continued to have Twitter accounts. He did not provide names.

The White House had no immediate direct comment. The Trump campaign’s Twitter account criticised the company for “silencing” the president of the United States.

Using the @POTUS account, Trump said he would look at building his own platform.

‘LOOTING AND SHOOTING’

Trump’s prolific use of social media helped propel him to the White House in 2016. He has used his personal @realDonaldTrump account, which has sometimes tweeted more than 100 times a day, to reach supporters, spread misinformation and even fire staff.

In a 2017 interview on Fox Business, Trump said “I doubt I would be here if it weren’t for social media, to be honest with you,” according to a transcript released by the network.

Both Twitter and Facebook have long afforded Trump special privileges as a world leader, saying that tweets that may violate the company’s policies would not be removed because they were in the public interest. They said he would lose access to those privileges upon leaving office, however.

Twitter last year started labeling and putting warnings on Trump’s tweets that broke its rules against glorifying violence, manipulated media or sharing potentially misleading information about voting processes.

In May, Twitter affixed a warning label to a Trump tweet about widespread anti-racism protests over the police killing of George Floyd that included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Facebook, which has come under fire from employees and lawmakers for not doing more about Trump’s inflammatory posts, declined to act on the same message.

Trump still has access to the official @WhiteHouse and @POTUS accounts but will lose this when his presidential term ends. Asked if Trump could create another account, a Twitter spokeswoman said if the company had reason to believe he was using accounts to evade Friday’s suspension, those accounts too could be suspended.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

 


What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Poco X2 Starts Getting Android 11 Through MIUI 12.1 Update, Comes With January 2021 Security Patch

Published

on

Poco X2 has started receiving MIUI 12.1 that brings Android 11, Poco India confirmed to Gadgets 360. The update comes nearly six months after the Poco X2 received the MIUI 12 update that didn’t bring the anticipated Android 11 — and was based on Android 10. The Android 11 update for the Poco X2 comes along with the January 2021 Android security patch. You can also expect some of the core features of Android 11.

The Android 11 update for the Poco X2 is gradually rolling out to the users, Poco India told Gadgets 360. This means that you may need to wait for some days to get the latest experience on your Poco X2 device.

Several users have reported the arrival of the Android 11 update for the Poco X2 on social media. Some screenshots shared by the users suggest the Android 11 update comes as the MIUI 12.1.2.0.RGHINXM. The update is sized at 2.4GB and includes the January 2021 Android security patch.

You can check for the Android update on your Poco X2 by going to Settings > About phone.

Some users have raised complaints on Twitter that after updating their Poco X2 the Android 11 update, they’ve started facing issues and lags in performance.

 

Gadgets 360 has asked Poco India to provide clarity on the issues being noticed by the users. This story will be updated upon receiving a comment from the company.

In August last year, the Poco X2 received MIUI 12 Global Stable ROM update that debuted with build number MIUI 12.0.1.0.QGHINXM. That update was, however, based on Android 10.

The Poco X2 was launched in India in February last year as a rebranded Redmi K30 4G. The smartphone featured a 120Hz display and was based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC. It included a 4,500mAh battery that supports 27W fast charging.


What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Continue Reading

Tech

WhatsApp Treating Indian Users Differently from Europeans Matter of Concern: Government Tells Delhi High Court

Published

on

WhatsApp is treating Indian users differently from Europeans over opting out of its new privacy policy which is a matter of concern for the government and it is looking into the issue, the Centre informed the Delhi High Court on Monday.

The central government told the high court that it was also a matter of concern that Indian users were being “unilaterally” subjected to the change in privacy policy by the instant messaging platform.

The submissions were made before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma during hearing of a petition by a lawyer against the new privacy policy of WhatsApp which is owned by Facebook.

At the start of the hearing, the court reiterated what it had said on January 18 that WhatsApp was a private app and it was optional whether to download it or not.

“It is not mandatory to download it. Every other app has similar terms and conditions regarding sharing of user information with others,” the court said and asked why the petitioner was challenging the policy of WhatsApp.

The court also observed that the Personal Data Protection Bill was being considered by Parliament and the government was looking into issues raised in the plea.

During the hearing, ASG Sharma told the court that by not giving Indian users the option to opt out of sharing their data with other companies of Facebook, WhatsApp prima facie appears to be treating users with an “all or nothing approach”.

“Insofar the government is concerned, while the privacy policy offered by WhatsApp to its European users specifically prohibits use of any information shared with Facebook companies for the companies” purposes, this clause is not found in the privacy policy offered to Indian citizens who form a very very substantial part of WhatsApp’s user base.

“This differential treatment is certainly a cause of concern for the government. It is also a matter of concern for the government that Indian users are being unilaterally subjected to the changes in the privacy policy,” the ASG told the court.

“This leverages the social significance of WhatsApp to force users into a bargain which may infringe on their interests in information privacy and information security,” he further said.

He also told the court that though the issue was between two private individuals – WhatsApp and its users – the scope and expanse of WhatsApp “make it a germane ground that reasonable and cogent policies are put in place which is being done by the Personal Data Protection Bill and discussions are very much on”.

Sharma said the government was already looking into the issue and has sent a communication to WhatsApp seeking certain information.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for WhatsApp, told the court that the communication has been received and will be responded to.

The court, thereafter, listed the matter for hearing on March 1.

The petition, by a lawyer, has contended that the updated privacy policy violates users right to privacy under the Constitution.

The plea has claimed that the new privacy policy of WhatsApp allows full access into a user’s online activity without there being any supervision by the government.

Under the new policy, users can either accept it or exit the app, but they cannot opt not to share their data with other Facebook-owned or third party apps.


Does WhatsApp’s new privacy policy spell the end for your privacy? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Continue Reading

Tech

Huawei Said to Be in Early-Stage Talks to Sell Its Premium Smartphone Sub-Brands P and Mate

Published

on

China’s Huawei Technologies is in early-stage talks to sell its premium smartphone brands P and Mate, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said, a move that could see the company eventually exit from the high-end smartphone-making business.

The talks between the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and a consortium led by Shanghai government-backed investment firms have been going on for months, the people said, declining to be identified as the discussions were confidential.

Huawei started to internally explore the possibility of selling the brands as early as last September, according to one of the sources. The two sources were not privy to the valuation placed on the brands by Huawei.

Shipments of Mate and P Series phones were worth $39.7 billion (roughly Rs. 2,89,460 crores) between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020, according to consultancy IDC.

However, Huawei has yet to make a final decision on the sale and the talks might not conclude successfully, according to the two sources, as the company is still trying to manufacture at home its in-house designed high-end Kirin chips which power its smartphones.

“Huawei has learned there are unsubstantiated rumours circulating regarding the possible sale of our flagship smartphone brands,” a Huawei spokesman said. “There is no merit to these rumours whatsoever. Huawei has no such plan.”

The Shanghai government said it was not aware of the situation and declined to comment further.

The potential sale of Huawei’s premium smartphone lines suggests the company has little hope that the new Biden administration will have a change of heart towards the supply chain restrictions placed on Huawei since May 2019, the two people said.

The Shanghai government-backed investment firms may form a consortium with Huawei’s dealers to take over the P and Mate brands, according to the second person, a similar model to the Honor deal. Huawei is also likely to keep its existing P& Mate management team for the new entity, if the deal goes through, the two people said.

Overcoming US curbs

Huawei, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment vendor and No.2 smartphone maker, last November announced the sale of its budget phone brand Honor to a consortium of 30 dealers led by a company backed by the Shenzhen government.

The second source said the all-cash sale fetched more than CNY 100 billion (roughly Rs. 1,12,560 crores). Honor declined to comment.

The Honor sale was aimed at keeping the budget brand alive, as sanctions slapped on Huawei by the United States had hampered the unit’s supply chain and cut off the company’s access to key hardware like chips and software such as Alphabet’s Google Mobile Services.

Huawei may have a similar objective in pursuing the sale of the mobile brands. The two sources said that Huawei’s latest plans for the two high-end brands were motivated by insufficient chip supplies.

Washington says that Huawei is a national security threat, which Huawei has repeatedly denied.

On Friday, Honor indicated that the goal of the spin-off had been reached by announcing it had formed partnerships with chip makers such as Intel and Qualcomm and launched a new phone.

Last year, the company’s Consumer Business Group Chief Executive Richard Yu said US restrictions meant Huawei would soon stop making Kirin chips. Analysts expect its stockpile of the chips to run out this year.

Huawei’s HiSilicon division relies on software from US companies such as Cadence Design Systems or Synopsys to design its chips and it outsources the production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), which uses equipment from US companies.

The P and Mate phone series are among the top players in the higher-end smartphone market in China and compete with Apple’s iPhone, Xiaomi’s Mi and Mix series and OPPO’s Find series.

The two brands contributed nearly 40 percent to Huawei’s total sales over the third quarter of 2020, according to market research firm Counterpoint.

Analysts have already noted recent insufficient supplies of the flagship P40 and Mate40 series due to a severe components shortage.

“We expect a continuous decline in sales of P and Mate series smartphones through Q1 2021,” said Flora Tang, an analyst at Counterpoint.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


Does WhatsApp’s new privacy policy spell the end for your privacy? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Continue Reading