Nearly 1,000 Twitter employees donate more than $500,000, to the American Civil Liberties Union, to fight Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. The donations are matched by CEO Dorsey and Chairman Kordestani. Twitter lawyer:
Our work is far from done. In the coming months we’ll see a flurry of legal challenges, legislative pushes and public pronouncements. But as long as civil liberties are threatened, I’m proud to know that as individuals we will stand up to defend freedom and look after people.
Dorsey says Twitter is considering to expand the character limit of tweets from 140 characters to 10 000.
Twitter replaces the star it used for favorites with a heart, and renames the feature, “likes”. The hearts will also appear on Vine’s apps and website.
Twitter runs its first TV ad during live coverage of baseball’s season-ending World Series. The ad promotes Moments.
At the Twitter Flight Developer Conference Dorsey apologizes for Twitter’s past behavior and says he is committed to try to improve developer relations.
Our relationship with developers got confusing, unpredictable. We want to come to you today and apologize for the confusion…We need to have a better conversation with our developer community, with everyone in this room… We can’t stand alone. We need your help…Tweet at us what you’d like to see at Twitter. Tweet with the hashtag #helloworld, we will take all of this information and input to make decisions over time to make sure the platform is something you’re proud of and will use more and more.
Ballmer announces he has taken a 4% stake in Twitter. CEO Jack Dorsey has a 3% stake. Co-founder Evan Williams has a 6.8% stake. Twitter shares rise 5% after the tweet is determined to be authentic.
In a posting to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Twitter announces that 336 jobs will be cute, 8% of its workforce.
The restructuring is part of an overall plan to organize around the Company’s top product priorities and drive efficiencies throughout the Company. The Company intends to reinvest savings in its most important priorities to drive growth…The roadmap is also a plan to change how we work, and what we need to do that work. Product and Engineering are going to make the most significant structural changes to reflect our plan ahead. We feel strongly that Engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team, while remaining the biggest percentage of our workforce. And the rest of the organization will be streamlined in parallel.
According to multiple sources, Twitter is planning to lay off workers in the coming week, affecting most, if not all, departments. CEO Dorsey will also halt a plan to expand the company’s San Francisco’s headquarters. The company currently has 4,100 employees. The company does not comment.
Twitter launches Moments (previously known as Project Lightning), a curated “best of Twitter” feeds. The content is accessed through a lightning icon, which leads to a menu of posts. The company says it will allow outside companies to create Moments, including partners such as Bleacher Report, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, Major League Baseball, NASA, the New York Times,Vogue and the Washington Post. .
Twitter officially announces Dorsey is permanent CEO. Costolo leaves the board. Dorsey hires Bain as COO.
Sources say Dorsey is expected to be named the company’s new permanent CEO as early as October 1. Dorsey will apparently continue to be CEO of Square.
Snowden joins Twitter. He only follows a single account, the NSA.
On the Re/code Decode podcast Dunham tells Swisher she has quit Twitter and Gawker citing verbal abuse and body-shaming.
I don’t look at Twitter anymore. I tweet, but I do it through someone else. I really appreciate that anybody follows me at all, and so I didn’t want to cut off my relationship to it completely, but it really, truly wasn’t a safe space for me.
She says the decision was prompted after she posted a picture of herself in her boyfriends’ shorts:
It wasn’t a graphic picture. I was wearing men’s boxers, and it turned into the most rabid, disgusting debate about women’s bodies, and my Instagram page was somehow the hub for misogynists for the afternoon.
She also says she has stopped reading Gawker and Jezebel:
I used to read Gawker and Jezebel in college and be like, ‘I can’t wait to get to New York where my people will be to welcome me.’ And it’s like, it’s literally, if I read it, it’s like going back to a husband who beat me in the face — it just doesn’t make any sense.
Sources say Twitter is building a new product that will allow users to share tweets that are longer than the company’s 140-character limit, enabling users to publish long-form content to the service. Users can already tweet out blocks of text with products like OneShot, but those are images, not actual text published on Twitter. The company is also considering changing how it measures its 140-character limit, possibly removing links and user handles from the count.
The company gives Twitter staffers and certain verified accounts the ability to create two-option polls within its mobile app and desktop site. Polls have a lifespan of 24 hours.
A proposed class action lawsuit claims that Twitter surreptitiously eavesdrops on its users’ private Direct Message communications. For example, if a user privately tells a follower through the service to check out a story on nytimes.com, providing a full URL, Twitter will modify this into a custom link such as “http:/t.co/CL2SKBxr1s” (while still displaying the text “www.nytimes.com” to its users). The lawsuit says that by sending users to Twitter’s analytics servers before passing them on to the linked-to website, Twitter is benefiting by demonstrating to The New York Times and others where the source of the traffic is.
The end result is that Twitter can negotiate better advertising rates.
The claimed damages are as high as $100 per day for each Twitter user whose privacy was violated
Twitter adds a buy button on its website. Users can browse products from over 10000 merchants on Shopify and purchase directly from Twitter. Twitter:
Users will get access to offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else and can act on them right in the Twitter apps for Android and iOS. Sellers will gain a new way to turn the direct relationship they build with their followers into sales
Twitter shares plunge on the New York Stock Exchange, dropping 5.6% to $29.27 which is the lowest level ever. The share price has fallen a total of 45% in four months. Co-founder Dorsey:
We haven’t done a great job at aligning the entire company around our total audience strategy.
Twitter has begun to honour takedown requests from users complaining their jokes have been lifted wholesale and shared by others, passing them off as their own. One freelance writer:
I simply explained to Twitter that as a freelance writer I make my living writing jokes (and I use some of my tweets to test out jokes in my other writing). I then explained that as such, the jokes are my intellectual property, and that the users in question did not have my permission to repost them without giving me credit.
Twitter will respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement, such as allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted image as a profile photo, header photo, or background, allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted video or image uploaded through our media hosting services, or Tweets containing links to allegedly infringing materials.
Twitter removes “#DiscoverMusic campaign” Vine videos that use bright flashing effects that cause epileptic seizures in viewers. Epilepsy Action:
For a huge corporation like Twitter to take that risk was irresponsible.
Costolo steps down from the CEO position, but will remain on the board. Dorsey becomes Interim CEO.
The Nasdaq stock market apologizes for early release of Twitter results. Official statement:
The posting was caused by an operational issue that exposed the release on Twitter’s IR [investor relations] website for approximately 45 seconds.
The Company’s stock crashes after financial analytics firm Selerity posts a quarterly report before the stock market closes. The report shows revenue growth at 74 percent in the quarter, which is below the company’s own forecasts. Twitter shares plunge on the news, and trading briefly halts so the company can disseminate its results. The drop steepens and the stock ends the day down about 18 percent. Executives attribute the slowdown to a transition to an advertising model that prices certain ads based on the result, such as whether the viewer downloaded an app, instead of whether the person simply clicks on it.
Twitter updates its abuse policy to make it tougher for trolls to flood it with threats and harassment.
We are making two policy changes, one related to prohibited content, and one about how we enforce certain policy violations. We are updating our violent threats policy so that the prohibition is not limited to direct, specific threats of violence against others but now extends to threats of violence against others or promot[ing] violence against others.
Twitter bans the posting of naked photographs and videos without the permission of the person in that photograph or video. Updated rule:
You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent
The site makes it easier to submit abuse reports and triples its number of staff to handle the abuse reports. The Company is also improving its methods to deal with trolls, with one method rumored to be telephone number tracking of users that have earned a reputation for repeated harassment.
Standard & Poor’s assigns an unsolicited rating of BB- to Twitter’s corporate debt, after its sale of $1.8 billion convertible notes in September, rating its risk profile at Fair. It said the outlook on the rating is stable:
[Twitter is expected] to experience very strong growth and not encounter a significant increase in competitive pressure. We could raise the rating if Twitter broadens its revenue sources through international expansion and new product launches, maintains its market position, continues to improve its profitability, and achieves positive and sustained discretionary cash flow in excess of $100 million in 2016.
The agency could lower the rating if revenue contracts or other investment-negative events occur.
The Saudi-based Sakina NGO finds that terrorist groups including ISIS post 90 propaganda tweets a minute. ISIS, Al-Nusra and other groups posted 129,600 tweets in October. Sakina official:
The nature of the extremist can be understood by analysing his posts, identifying his social circle and understanding his internal motives and history
ISIS disseminates content such as beheading videos and the ‘programs’ featuring Cantlie via anonymous paste sites. Links to the first video featuring Cantlie were placed on Justpaste.it, which allows anonymous uploads. Users were redirected to gulfup.com, sendspace.com and directmirror.com where they could view the video after entering a long password string, also provided on Justpaste.it. The group also uploads to Youtube but expects its content to be quickly deleted. ISIS-affiliated Twitter users with backup accounts announce simultaneously when content is being uploaded. They have also hijacked hashtags for trending topics including the 2012 Scottish independence referendum to spread their message. Facebook’s Simon Milner says the company’s safety team in Dublin is ‘consumed’ by dealing with content emanating from the Syrian civil war. Twitter’s Sinéad McSweeney says it has a team working 24/7 to examine reports across a range of issues which is comprised of
in excess of 100 people
Online brokerage firm TD Ameritrade says pre-open orders for Alibaba ($BABA) were around three times the volume it received for Twitter on its market debut day, and higher than the volume it received for Facebook.
FactSet data shows Alibaba has beaten Twitter’s first-day trading volume within an hour of its debut. A total of 110 million Twitter shares were traded on its first day on the market, while Alibaba has already reached volume of 170 million.
A counter-terror official says ISIS militants have discussed the possibility of entering the U.S. via the Mexican border over social media, but says the Department of Homeland Security believes the border currently remains safe. Francis Taylor, DHS undersecretary for intelligence and analysis:
There have been Twitter and social-media exchanges among ISIL adherents across the globe speaking about that as a possibility. [DHS is] satisfied that we have the intelligence and the capability at our border that would prevent that activity.
A Twitter account believed to represent the Jerusalem-based radical group Al Nusra Al Maqdisia (The Supporters of Jerusalem), which has pledged allegiance to ISIS and claims to have represented the group in the 2014 Gaza conflict, threatens Twitter employees with assassination. Twitter user @dawlamoon uses a hashtag that translates to #The_Concept_of_Lone_Wolf_Attacks to make the threats on the platform’s Arabic service:
The time has arrived to respond to Twitter’s management by directly attacking their employees and physically assassinating them!! Those who will carry this out are the sleepers cells of death.
Twitter has suspended @dawlamoon and says it is investigating the threats.
Twitter users satirize ISIS using the hashtag #ISISmovies. Libyan-American writer Hend Amry:
Sometimes, you have to mock, to belittle. Because sometimes, belittlement is your enemy’s greatest fear
Project ‘Truthy,’ a program that detects and tracks misinformation, political smears and other social pollution issues on Twitter has been backed by the U.S. Federal government, which has given nearly $1 million to develop and implement the database. Researchers at Indiana University began in September 2010. The National Science Foundation heads the project. The project team says the service could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.
Truthy uses a sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex networks models. To train our algorithms, we leverage crowdsourcing: we rely on users like you to flag injections of forged grass-roots activity. Therefore, click on the Truthy button when you see a suspicious meme!
ISIS is promoting the hashtag #StevensHeadInObamasHands, an apparent threat against U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff, believed to be captured by the group. The tag is first released in a forum where the group tends to issue publications and instructions. In one use of the hashtag, a doctored photo shows an ISIS fighter with Obama’s face holding Sotloff prisoner, with the caption ‘Why would I care about him?’ Accompanying tweet:
Hey American .. This picture is a copy of the reality that you are not aware of it !
ISIS hijacks popular hashtags in order to promote its messages as part of a sophisticated social media campaign, experts say. In one example of the tactic, a Twitter account related to the militant group, also known as Islamic State, appears to co-opts the #napaquake and #AskRicky hashtags, among others, to spread an image of a masked fighter holding an assault rifle while the White House burns in the background. Accompanying caption:
IF AMERICAN ENTERED THE WAR WE WILL INVADE IT’S [sic] TERRITORY.
Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo announces that the platform is “actively suspending” accounts which are tweeting beheading pictures. This is in response to the tweeting of pictures allegedly showing the Islamic State (ISIS) beheading James Foley, an American journalist. Screenshots of the video, which remained on You Tube for four minutes and 40 seconds, as well as other images were then posted and shared on Twitter.
After Williams’ daughter, Zelda, receives harassing messages and disturbing photos following her father’s death and deletes Twitter from her devices, Twitter announces their policies are being reviewed. Del Harvey, vice president of trust and safety at Twitter, says in a statement to ABC News:
We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.
Twitter announces the Promoted Video program, where advertisers can pay to have their videos appear in people’s Twitter stream. The videos do not play automatically, and advertisers are only charged when users view the video:
In the spirit of making campaign setup easier, we now offer advertisers the ability to run ads with a new Cost Per View (CPV) ad buying model. This means advertisers only get charged when a users starts playing the video. Additionally, advertisers using Promoted Video have access to robust video analytics, including completion percentage and a breakout of organic vs. paid video views.
A case-study published in the Journal of Nervous And Mental Disease says that Twitter may have been the cause of psychotic symptoms in a woman called “Mrs. C.” The article says she showed no signs of mental illness until she became obsessed with Twitter and developed delusions of hidden messages behind people’s tweets. The researchers say Twitter could aggravate psychosis in at-risk populations:
The amount of symbolic language (caused by the limitation of 140 characters per Twitter message), the automated spam responses with seemingly related content, and the general interactive features of Twitter might combine several aspects that could induce or further aggravate psychosis
Social media users hijack the #AMessageFromISIStoUS hashtag after the group introduces it to spread violent images. Twitter users in the U.S. respond with pictures of a bald eagle, a ‘bacon grenade,’ and references to bestiality and threats of military superiority.
TechCrunch reports that Twitter asked investors to keep the numbers quiet. It doesn’t state where it obtained the figures for funding and pre-money valuation, beyond hinting that an investor may have leaked them.
The company releases its first gender and ethnicity report on its employees. Men make up 70 percent of positions in the company. Fifty-nine percent of the employees are white and 29 percent are Asian.
Like our peers, we have a lot of work to do.
Ethnicity and gender figures at Twitter are similar to those that are reported from Facebook, Google and Yahoo.
The hashtag #twitterpurge circulates on Twitter and involves posting nude photos of people who do not consent to it. The hashtag is inspired by the movie The Purge: Anarchy, where all crime is legal for one night per year. It is started by the account @Scv_Purge, which releases 17 photos of nude teenagers, and is followed by the account @Scv_Purge_1, which releases a further 20 after the first account is banned. A Twitter spokesperson tells Flavorwire that they are not responsible for this incident:
We do not proactively monitor content on the platform. Users should report potential violations of our rules through individual Tweets and forms available on our site.
Peter Taylor, Twitter’s former manager of data center deployment, files a lawsuit alleging that he is fired based on his age (57). He says he is let go immediately after undergoing a procedure to remove kidney stones. Twitter releases a statement saying they disagree with the allegations:
This case is without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against it.
Twitter users create a fake Jihadi Vogue magazine cover to spoof ISIS. The cover offers style tips on the right headbands to wear in combat, ‘eight reasons why moustaches are out,’ and ‘accessorize like a neo-Abassid.’
Twitter announces its acquisition of SnappyTV, a platform for clipping and editing small segments of TV shows. This allows Twitter users to easily share TV clips with their followers:
As Twitter has grown as the companion to live events and broadcast media, SnappyTV will help partners and brands bring the best videos into the conversation, when it matters most.
Twitter announces plans to acquire Namo Media, a technology firm specializing in native advertising for mobile devices. Twitter intends to dovetail Namo’s technology into MoPub, the ad serving platform the company acquired last year. The merged platform would deliver promotional material that blends into mobile websites and mobile apps, improving their ability to monetize for users, app publishers and marketers.
Twitter’s share price falls as early investors and insiders cash out at the first opportunity after the lockup period embargo. Shares fall 17.8% to close at $31.85, which is the lowest since the IPO in November 2013. Twitter’s inability to capture mainstream audience aggravates the fall in share price.