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Cryptocat author gets insanely fast backing to build P2P tech for social media

The idea for Capsule started with a tweet about reinventing social media.
A day later cryptography researcher, Nadim Kobeissi — best known for authoring the open-source E2E-encrypted desktop chat app Cryptocat (now discontinued) — had pulled in a pre-seed investment of $100,000 for his lightweight mesh-networked microservices concept, with support coming from angel investor and former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, William J. Pulte and Wamda Capital.

I’m designing a decentralized social media solution where each user hosts their own microservice. These then connect to one another in a mesh, allowing following and sharing posts. It will be lightweight, user friendly and secure.

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Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg explains his plans for taking the company public

Bustle Digital Group — owner of Bustle, Inverse, Input, Mic and other titles — could eventually join the ranks of startups going public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
During an interview about the state of BDG and the digital media industry at the end of 2020, founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg laid out ambitious goals for the next few years.
“Where do I want to see the company in three years? I want to see three things: I want to be public, I want to see us driving a lot of profits and I want it to be a lot bigger, …

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Threat of inauguration violence casts a long shadow over social media

As the U.S. heads into one of the most perilous phases of American democracy since the Civil War, social media companies are scrambling to shore up their patchwork defenses for a moment they appear to have believed would never come.
Most major platforms pulled the emergency break last week, deplatforming the president of the United States and enforcing suddenly robust rules against conspiracies, violent threats and undercurrents of armed insurrection, all of which proliferated on those services for years. But within a week’s time, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google had all made historic decisions in the name …

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Facebook blocks new events around DC and state capitols

As a precaution against coordinated violence as the U.S. approaches President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Facebook announced a few new measures it’s putting in place.
In a blog post and tweets from Facebook Policy Communications Director Andy Stone, the company explained that it would block any events slated to happen near the White House, the U.S. Capitol or any state capitol building through Wednesday.

Update: Through Inauguration Day, we’re blocking the creation of new Facebook events happening in close proximity to DC and state capitols. And we’re doing a secondary review of inauguration-related events and removing policy-violating …

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Daily Crunch: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash

WhatsApp delays enforcement of a controversial privacy change, Apple may get rid of the Touch Bar in future MacBooks and Bumble files to go public. This is your Daily Crunch for January 15, 2021.
The big story: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash
Earlier this month, WhatsApp sent users a notification asking them to consent to sharing some of their personal data — such as phone number and location — with Facebook (which owns WhatsApp). The alert also said users would have to agree to the terms by February 8 if they wanted to continue using the app.
This change prompted legal threats and an investigation …

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Signal’s Brian Acton talks about exploding growth, monetization and WhatsApp data-sharing outrage

Brian Acton is crossing paths again with Facebook. Over more than a decade of building and operating WhatsApp, the company’s co-founder first competed against and then sold his instant messaging app to the social juggernaut. Only a few years ago he parted ways with the company that made him a billionaire in a bitter split over messaging and privacy.
Now Acton says the ongoing outrage over what Facebook has done to the messaging service he helped build is driving people to his latest project — Signal. Acton, who serves as the executive chairman of the privacy-conscious messaging app’s holding …

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The deplatforming of a president

After years of placid admonishments, the tech world came out in force against President Trump this past week following the violent assault of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. From Twitter to PayPal, more than a dozen companies have placed unprecedented restrictions or outright banned the current occupant of the White House from using their services, and in some cases, some of his associates and supporters as well.
The news was voluminous and continuous for the past few days, so here’s a recap of who took action when, and what might happen next.
Twitter: …

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Why Twitter says it banned President Trump

Twitter permanently banned the U.S. president Friday, taking a dramatic step to limit Trump’s ability to communicate with his followers. That decision, made in light of his encouragement for Wednesday’s violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol, might seem sudden for anyone not particularly familiar with his Twitter presence.
In reality, Twitter gave Trump many, many second chances over his four years as president, keeping him on the platform due to the company’s belief that speech by world leaders is in the public interest, even if it breaks the rules.

Now that Trump’s gone for …

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Twitter permanently bans President Trump

Twitter permanently removed the president of the United States from its platform Friday, citing concerns over the “risk of further incitement of violence” and Trump’s previous transgressions.
“In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action,” Twitter wrote. “… We made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence.”
Trump will not be able to get around Twitter’s ban by making a new account or using …

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Trump returns to Twitter with what sounds like a concession speech

It’s been a long couple of days for the country, but President Trump only had to wait 12 hours before returning to his social network of choice.
In an uncharacteristically scripted three minute speech, the president denounced the “heinous attack” on the Capitol. “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,” Trump said, warning the individuals involved that they will “pay.”
The previous day, Trumped directed a crowd of his supporters who had gathered for a “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House to march toward Congress. That event turned into a violent riot …

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