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News

  • Trump may face legal action for blocking people on Twitter

    US attorneys have sent US President Donald Trump a letter claiming that by blocking his citizens on Twitter he is violating their First Amendment right to free speech. The letter accuses Trump of blocking people because they either mocked or disagreed with him, which the Knight First Amendment Institute deems unconstitutional. "This Twitter account operates as a 'designated public forum' for First Amendment purposes, and accordingly the viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional. We ask that you unblock them and any others who have been blocked for similar reasons," the letter reads. One of The Knight First Amendment Institute's clients...

  • Knysna Fire: another Western Cape disaster trends on social media

    Knysna, a town situated on the Garden Route approximately 420km east of Cape Town, is battling a huge blaze sweeping across dense indigenous forest. The fire escalated in the early hours of Wednesday, largely fueled by gale force winds ahead of Cape Town's current storm system. Read more: Memeburn's ongoing coverage of Cape Town's winter storm As a result of the blaze, national roads have been closed with three deaths also reported in the region. Knysna's Eden District Municipality declared that "various fires are out of control" in a statement on Wednesday. While Twitter for much of today featured #CapeStorm as the top trending...

  • Tornadoes and Katrina: the totally fake news from Cape Town’s storm

    If you're reading this piece, good for you. It means that you're actively searching for the truth among the steaming pile of manure that is "fact" on social media. There have been a number of fake images and videos circulating on social media during the intense cold front currently lashing Cape Town and surrounds. Thanks to swelling public interactions, they've also gone viral. And that's not a good thing. Considering the severity of the storm -- the fact that people are now homeless in the likes of Imizamo Yethu, Khayelitsha and Mfuleni -- should be more than enough reason for people...

  • Cape Town storm: what’s running, delayed or cancelled in the city

    You've probably heard the numerous warnings on social media about the weather set to rock Cape Town on Wednesday, but if you haven't, it's going to rain. More than 50mm is expected in certain areas within 24 hours, with wind gusts pushing 90km/h in some parts of the peninsula too. Cape Town's winter storm coverage: Alerts ring across Twitter as Cape Town’s Wednesday storm bears closer Track Cape Town’s storm in realtime with these 3 free resources #StormHelen: Twitter names Cape Town's storm after Helen Zille Naturally, some people are going to work from home, and thanks to the internet that's possible in 2017. Others...

  • Everyone in Cape Town is a closet meteorologist, Facebook thread reveals

    Cape Town's citizens just love talking about the weather, and that's no more apparent than in this Facebook comment thread. Popular snow forecast and monitoring site Snow Report's Facebook page is laced with comments about Cape Town's current winter storm after it asked people to send in reports of the current conditions of their suburb. And Facebook users naturally obliged. Read more: Memeburn's ongoing coverage of Cape Town's winter storm The post received around 700 comments to date, with a further 200 shares and 570 reactions, with some users also posting images and videos of their surrounds during the storm. Cape Town's winter storm...

  • #StormHelen: Twitter names Cape Town’s storm after Helen Zille

    It's common practice for the United States' National Hurricane Centre to give storms common names, but not cold fronts. Cape Town seems to think that this should change. As Wednesday's #MotherOfAllStorms draws ever closer towards South Africa, Cape Town believes that the weather system should be named after the premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille. Alert: An extreme storm is coming tonght and tomorrow across WCape. I will post regular updates. Pls prepare for v strong wind and rain. — Helen Zille (@helenzille) June 6, 2017 After the above tweet was posted, #StormHelen began trending across South Africa around 4pm Tuesday, just...

  • South Africa’s in recession again, and people are blaming Jacob Zuma

    Statistics South Africa has today confirmed that the country's economy is shrinking. "The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has contracted to -0.7% in the first quarter of 2017," the national government's news portal wrote in a press release. The nominal GDP, which stood at R1.1-trillion in Q1 2017, was down by R17-billion over Q4 2016 with trade the biggest loser. The SA economy moved into #recession with Q1:2017#GDP down 0,7% following a 0,3% contraction in the Q4:2016 https://t.co/zDyVIRpqJM pic.twitter.com/0QUTUhkOdT — Stats SA (@StatsSA) June 6, 2017 Largest negative contributor to growth in #GDP in Q1:2017 was trade, catering & accommodation industry, down by 5,9%...

  • Track Cape Town’s storm in realtime with these 3 free resources

    You might've heard passing reports about Cape Town's inclement weather forecast today. These reports suggest that the oncoming cold front will be one of the fiercest the city has seen in quite some time. While you'll likely need an umbrella before leaving the house tomorrow, you can also track the progress of the front as it sweeps across the peninsula. Cape Town’s winter storm coverage: Cape Town storm: what’s running, delayed or cancelled in the city #StormHelen: Twitter names Cape Town’s storm after Helen Zille Alerts ring across Twitter as Cape Town’s Wednesday storm bears closer Much like hurricanes and other weather systems, cold fronts...

  • Alerts ring across Twitter as Cape Town’s Wednesday storm bears closer

    Weather is usually a subject of awkward small talk, but in Cape Town in 2017 it's all everyone is talking about. While the city's dam levels have dropped to just over 19% this week, today also sees what could be one of the city's most vicious storms in 30 years. Cape Town’s winter storm coverage: #StormHelen: Twitter names Cape Town’s storm after Helen Zille Track Cape Town’s storm in realtime with these 3 free resources A number of warnings have been issued this week by a slew of official sources, from the South African Weather Service (SAWS) to the Western Cape local government. And...

  • Russian govt hacked US voting infrastructure days before election

    Classified documents recently acquired by the US National Security Agency (NSA) show that the Russian government attempted to hack US voting infrastructure and software just days before the November election, a report by The Intercept reveals. The documents, allegedly leaked by federal contractor Reality Winner, detail how Russian military intelligence embarked on a spear-phishing campaign to acquire information from an unnamed voting software company. In one instance, the hackers disguised themselves as Google and attempted to get login credentials. In another, they posed as e-voting vendors and sent MS Word documents that hid malicious code. Just days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the government's engagement...

  • Theresa May wants more stringent internet regulations after London attack

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called for stricter internet regulations after seven people were killed in a terrorist attack in London Saturday. In a statement following the attack, May acknowledged that there was no connection between the planning of this attack with the one in Westminster Abbey in March, or Manchester last month. She follows that the UK is facing a "new trend" of copycat terrorists who merely need to watch the news to learn how to plan a successful attack. May looks specifically at the internet for quelling these kinds of copycats. "We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it...

  • Sorry Donald Trump: Pope Francis is Twitter’s most popular world leader

    In April, Burson-Marsteller released a study on how world leaders use Instagram to communicate with their constituents (or subjects, depending on who you ask). But while Instagram is an up-and-coming way to market yourself as a politician, there has always been One Platform to Rule Them All, and that platform is Twitter. It all began 5 March 2007, when Illinois Senator Barack Obama became the first world leader to join the platform in the build-up to his presidential campaign. Since then, 856 leaders have joined the text-based platform to make it the most popular among politicians and popes alike. Thinking we're only one signature away...

  • Cape Town women ‘assaulted’ by Uber driver, ‘threatened’ by SAPS

    Update: Upon request for comment, Uber's representatives sent Memeburn the following statement. We are deeply committed to the safety of all who use the Uber app. Immediately upon hearing of any situation involving a rider or driver, Uber takes the necessary steps to investigate the allegation and is in contact with both the rider and driver to offer support. Uber has an incident response team who are trained to deal with any critical safety issues and works with the relevant stakeholders in order to resolve any incident with a matter of urgency. We are constantly developing new technologies to ensure safety before,...

  • UberEATS doughnut promo in Cape Town, Joburg causes mild Twitter frenzy

    Today marks National Doughnut Day in the United States, but the likes of Uber South Africa also see cause for celebration. Across the Atlantic, the UberEATS division is today hosting promotions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, focussing on delivering those sweet treats with holes at their centre to its users. In Johannesburg, the company has partnered with Krispy Kreme. "We’ve teamed up with Krispy Kreme to deliver their most sought after doughnuts. With a tap of your UberEATS app, 12 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts could be yours for R12. Enter the code KKEATS to get these delivered free of charge," Uber writes on...

  • Parliament takes swipe at Jacob Zuma, ANC through WiFi hotspot names

    We know that politicians often mock and chastise one another in Parliament through points of order and the like, but what about WiFi hotspots? In a rather tech-savvy jibe at President Jacob Zuma and the ANC, it seems that parliamentarians have found a new way to mock the president and the ruling party. According to a tweet posted by DA member of Parliament and shadow minister of energy Gordon Mackay, these were some of the "wifi networks at Parliament today". Some of the wifi networks at Parliament today 😂: pic.twitter.com/ebmLUjluHm — Gordon Mackay MP (@GordonMack_) June 1, 2017 The tweet was published on...