Twitter continues to wage war on abuse, announces new Trust and Safety Council

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Twitter has been a haven for hateful and abusive behavior for years (the company’s former CEO admitted as much a year ago). Despite efforts to the contrary, Twitter hasn’t been very successful in quelling the abuse but that doesn’t mean it should stop trying.

On Tuesday, Twitter’s head of global policy outreach, Patricia Cartes, announced the formation of the Twitter Trust & Safety Council. Described as a part of its foundational strategy to ensure people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter, the council consists of more than 40 organizations and experts from 13 regions tasked with reviewing the products, policies and programs that Twitter rolls out.

Inaugural members include safety advocates, academics and researchers that specialize in the fields of minors, media literacy and digital citizenship, grassroots advocacy organizations that use Twitter to build movements and momentum and community groups designed to prevent abuse, harassment and bullying.

Other organizations, Cartes added, focus on mental health and suicide prevention.

The new council is the latest step by Twitter to combat a serious problem. Last year, then-CEO Dick Costolo told employees in an internal memo that Twitter flat out sucked at dealing with abuse and trolls and they’ve sucked at it for years.

Later that year, Twitter required Tor users to provide a phone number when opening an account and rolled out a “quality filter” to help remove tweets thought to contain threats, offensive or abusive language or those coming from suspicious accounts. In December, the microblogging platform updated its terms of service to further combat abusive and hateful conduct.

Only time will tell how effective the Trust & Safety Council is at further curbing such behavior.

Nintendo opens pre-registration for its first mobile title, Miitomo

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Nintendo is now accepting pre-registrations for its long-awaited debut mobile app,Miitomo.

To get started, you’ll first need to create a Nintendo Account – the company’s new multi-platform account system – by using an existing Nintendo Network ID, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter account or by creating a standalone account.

There’s not much that can be done with a Nintendo Account just yet although pre-registering for Miitomo will score you some Platinum Points (virtual money) that can be used when Nintendo’s new reward service launches alongside Miitomo.

Nintendo provided details about Miitomo late last year, the first of five mobile titles we can expect between now and March 2017. Developed in collaboration with DeNA, Miitomo is more of a social networking app than a true game as it allows users to create Mii avatars which then interact with others in the Nintendo universe.

Miitomo will utilize the free-to-play model meaning it’ll offer in-app purchases for things like outfits for Mii characters and so on.

Interestingly enough, Nintendo’s first mobile app doesn’t lean on iconic characters like Mario or Link. That may be a mistake according to some but in the same respect, Nintendo may simply be playing it safe on its first outing. If we don’t see the usual cast of characters by the second or even the third title, then yeah, there’s probably reason for concern.

Twitter adds video support for direct messages and rolls out native GIF search

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It seems that it’s a case of another day, another new feature for Twitter. This time, however, the microblogging site has revealed two new additions to the platform. The first is native support for GIFs, the second is the ability to record and share videos within direct messages.

Twitter very briefly tested its GIF button earlier this month, when users spotted the icon between the camera and poll buttons inside the Android app. The company has now confirmed that it is rolling the feature out over the “coming weeks,” and it will appear on the iOS, Android and web versions of Twitter. The feature is powered by GIF search engines Riffsy and Giphy.

As with other apps that have native support for GIFs, such as Facebook Messenger, users can browse through the library of files using keywords or by category. The GIFS can be embedded into both Tweets and direct messages.

As a way of giving its DM service similar functions to the public feed, Twitter has introduced the ability to record and send videos within direct messages.

The company has doubtlessly seen how popular Messenger is for Facebook, and wants to try to emulate some of that success with its own messaging service. Twitterincreased its direct message limit from 140 characters to 10,000 last year.

Unlike some of the other features Twitter has introduced recently, these new additions will likely be appreciate by its users. The company has had a torrid time over the last 12 or so months, as it struggles to attract new users and compete with the social media giant that is Facebook.