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Social

  • Rain in Johannesburg, drought in Cape Town: SA’s weather according to social media

    As boring as it might seem, the weather has been a massive talking point for South Africans in 2017. And no, it's not because 55-million of us are awkwardly engaging in small talk. With Cyclone Dineo passing over the country's extreme north this week (social media had plenty to say about her), we also have Johannesburg and Cape Town on two extreme ends of the rainfall spectrum. Although Johannesburg is a summer rainfall region, the city is experiencing quite a bit this week with the SA Weather Service issuing warnings of possible floods in Gauteng. Cape Town, on the other hand,...

  • WhatsApp Status: will it be a Snapchat clone?

    Who knew that WhatsApp originally started out as a way to leave status messages, so others knew what you were up to? Well, it looks like that feature is finally receiving an overhaul this week. "The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you're up to . This was months before we added messaging," said WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum in a blog post. Koum explained that the team had always wanted to updating and "evolving" the feature. Who knew that this evolution might be rather similar...

  • #AskThePublicProtector: South Africans troll Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Twitter

    The South African government should know by now: Twitter does not take anything seriously. So when it created #AskThePublicProtector, it should have come as no surprise that no one was using it to ask Busisiwe Mkhwebane questions she would ever read aloud. Mkhwebane has only been working as Public Protector since October last year, so she may not fully grasp the way South Africans deal with politics on Twitter. The platform allows a certain level of anonymity -- and the users hold the power. On Twitter, the public are able to throw comments they never would in person. They can post without...

  • #DeleteUber 2.0: ex-Uber engineer details sexual harassment

    Less than a month after users boycotted Uber due to CEO Travis Kalanick's ties to US President Donald Trump, a former employee has sparked new outrage over a blog post detailing institutionalised sexism at the company. Susan J. Fowler, now an engineer at online payment company Stripe, left Uber last December. She is but one of many female engineers who left the company after human resources (HR) allegedly refused to deal with the inherent sexism in the workplace. In an essay posted Sunday, Fowler listed the many failings of both the HR department and the men she worked with. Fowler says she became aware of...

  • YouTube reportedly ditching long, unskippable ads

    YouTube's in-video advertising will undergo a transformation in the coming months, this according to a new report by Campaign. The report suggests that the Google-owned video powerhouse is looking at a new advertising strategy, and will ditch its 30-second unskippable ad format looking instead to more user-friendly, bite-sized ad snippets. The company has "decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers," according to a Google spokesman quoted by Campaign. According to a new report, YouTube will be ditching longer advertisements on its platform in favour of more...

  • Tropical Cyclone Dineo in pictures: devastation captured on Twitter, Instagram

    UPDATE: 17 Feb, 1.17pm: The Middle Letaba Dam in Limpopo is reportedly 102% full. Community members have been alerted. #Dineo Water and sanitation department says the Middle Letaba Dam in Limpopo is 102% full. An alert has been sent for possible flooding. — EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) February 17, 2017 UPDATE: 17 Feb, 9.08am: The Mozambique government have confirmed that seven people have died. The storm is currently moving through Limpopo. #dineo is officially in Polokwane right now pic.twitter.com/wKfH0okaoB — Senku Matsepane (@SenkuMatsepane) February 17, 2017 The clouds this morning in Muyexe, Giyani #Dineopic.twitter.com/ylf6WGEEaT — African Child (@ZikhonaTshona) February 17, 2017 UPDATE: 16 Feb, 1.30pm: At least four people, including a child,...

  • Disable Facebook autoplay videos on all platforms: a how-to guide

    Few things are more annoying than runaway videos on your devices thanks to Facebook autoplay. You can be mindlessly scrolling through your timeline one minute, and the next, some rando in a chicken suit starts dancing on your screen. No one wants that. Thankfully, this system, along with audio accompaniment, is coming to mobile devices too! But did you know that you can switch off the Facebook autoplay system entirely? Absolutely. And here's how you can do just that on Desktop, Android, and iOS. Desktop On Facebook's desktop website, you'll need to navigate to the top right of the site's headline bar and click...

  • Facebook videos will now autoplay on your phone with sound

    Facebook announced yesterday that it will roll out a feature that plays sound on videos whenever a phone's sound is on. "People are watching and sharing more video on Facebook than ever, and we’re focused on continuously improving the video experience," the statement read. In the future, when a user is scrolling their feed with sound on, the sound for videos will fade in and out. They do not specify how long the video will be on screen before the sound will play. To keep sound off, users will have to keep their phones on silent, or disable the setting within the...

  • Update: Now YouTube scares PewDiePie by dropping his show

    Hours after Disney announced they would no longer be affiliated with PewDiePie (AKA Felix Kjellberg), YouTube announced that they had cancelled his show and removed him from its premium advertising program. Last month, Kjellberg released a video that was both antisemitic and abusive. Paying for young Indian men to hold a sign reading "Death to All Jews", the millionaire claimed he meant to highlight how far people will go for US$5. Disney's Maker Studios were involved in the production of his YouTube Red show Scare PewDiePie, in which Kjellberg is placed in game-like situations meant to frighten him. The second season had been...

  • Julius Malema criticises South Africa’s Twitter activists

    At an EFF press conference this afternoon, party leader Julius Malema denounced the actions of South Africans who see Twitter as the highest form of protest. Twitter has been one of the biggest platforms for activism in South Africa recently, mainly because of users' ability to get information out quickly. During last year's #FeesMustFall protests, the platform gave protesters a voice to counter what universities were touting as the truth. In the party's first briefing after the State of the Nation address last week, the EFF outlined their version of the chaotic evening. While accusing President Jacob Zuma of not abiding by...

  • Disney ditches YouTube star PewDiePie over antisemitic videos

    Disney announced yesterday that they would no longer be working with Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie -- real name Felix Kjellberg -- after it was revealed that he had paid two men to pose with hateful imagery in the name of a joke. In mid-January, Kjellberg used an app called Fiverr that allows users to pay five dollars for anything to pay two Indian men to hold up a sign reading "Death to All Jews". The men claimed that they did not understand the term "Jews" and so were ignorant as to what they were promoting. Kjellberg was not able to make the same...

  • Kale Salad: the Twitter account honouring meme creators

    Tired of seeing the Dory accounts and Common White Girls of the world get thousands of retweets for stolen content? You're not alone! Plenty of Twitter users have had their relatable content taken and posted on accounts with millions of followers without credit. If you've been on Twitter for a while, you'll understand the dilemma. Accounts like @Dory and @CommonWhiteGirl both have over a million followers. @KardashianReact has over 800 000. But the people they take content from have at most tens of thousands -- though it averages at around 5000. While this may seem inconsequential, many of the original creators...

  • China’s Weibo is now worth more than Twitter

    Twitter is just not having a good end to the decade. After disappointing Q4 2016 financial results marred the platform's active role in the US Elections, a new report now suggests that Twitter is valued less than its Chinese rival Weibo. Weibo, now boasting a market capitalisation of US$11.13-billion, shades its American rival by just under a billion dollars. Twitter's cap is around US$10.57-billion at the time of writing. Although this isn't a huge blow to Twitter -- after all, it's blocked in China where Weibo is strongest -- it does put into perspective just how far the company has fallen. Image:...

  • Facebook’s ad tracking system now updates in milliseconds

    Facebook announced Friday that it would be providing marketers with in-depth analysis on the ads they pay for. Over the course of the year, the company intends to detail to buyers the milliseconds an ad is on screen -- that is the milliseconds 50% of an ad was on screen, and the milliseconds 100% of an ad was on screen. The company also intends to offer buyers more choice in how they pay for ads. The three new options are completed-view buying, two-second buying and sound-on buying. Completed-view will allow advertisers to pay for video ads that have been viewed in...

  • Beyonce sued for sampling Messy Mya: the YouTube legalities explained

    Both YouTube and Beyonce have had a busy start to the month. That trend is seemingly set to continue, at least for the latter. While just a few days ago she was celebrated on Instagram, Beyonce is reportedly being sued for using vocal samples from a deceased YouTuber in her track Formation without permission. Voice clips from social media celebrity Messy Mya's video, Booking The Hoes From New Wildin, is used within the first ten seconds of the Lemonade track by producer Mike WiLL and Queen B. Another sample of another Mya clip can be heard around the minute mark. The three-times...