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Twitter

  • #ZumaMustGoChallenge: South Africa’s newest dance mocks protesting grannies

    South Africa has a rich history of struggle songs, with the likes of Siyaya, iYoh Solomon and Senzeni Na uniting protesters for decades. So when three white grannies tried to create their own, they should have realised the ridicule they'd be subjecting themselves to. Thus, the #ZumaMustGoChallenge was born. On 7 April, tens of thousands of South Africans took to the streets to protest President Jacob Zuma. But it's well known that South Africans know how to make light of a tense situation, and when journalist Mamaponya Motsai uploaded the video of three white grannies singing their own creation, she gave Twitter just...

  • #SouthAfricaIn3Words: one complex country, one complex hashtag

    South Africa. Another large, populous country in southern Africa that harbours a wealth of promise, but hasn't yet lived up to it this century. With the recent economic upheaval, widespread protests from citizens, and calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign, stability isn't a word that could be used as a descriptor for the state of the nation. Nope. Instead, Twitter users needed at least three others today to describe South Africa as acutely as possible. #SouthAfricaIn3Words is one of those hashtags that don't stem from any particular news story, or furthers one general rhetoric, but rather takes a look at...

  • #HandsOffZuma vs #ZilleMustGo: a hashtag war is brewing on Twitter

    Social media users might seem to travel altogether in fast-flowing streams and strong currents, but that's rarely ever the case. While there are more than a few hashtags supporting the countrywide protest action in South Africa today against President Jacob Zuma, a new hashtag has emerged that is supporting the current president. Memeburn's #AntiZumaMarches coverage: #ZumaMarch: 30+ pictures of today’s anti-Zuma protests across South Africa 15 South African politicians worth following on Twitter Everything you need to know about South Africa’s #AntiZumaMarches Memeburn's images from Cape Town's 7 April 2017 protest #HandsOffZuma is one such trending counter-hashtags to emerge today. It...

  • 15 South African politicians worth following on Twitter [Digital All-Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. Social media has evolved rapidly over the past 15 years, becoming an essential tool for many rather than a mere curio. In fact, Twitter has gained a reputation as the leading news and entertainment source for many around the world. With that (and our current political climate) in mind, we take a look at some of the South...

  • Twitter Lite is a web app for those living the data struggle

    Twitter has announced that its mobile site is now more convenient for the 45% of global mobile users working on 2G or slower networks. Dubbed Twitter Lite, the mobile app is said to reduce data costs, load quickly on slower networks, as well as take up less space on smartphones. Twitter Lite is a faster, data friendly way for people to use Twitter to see what’s happening in the world. 👉https://t.co/AIUgyCAFj0pic.twitter.com/9EIG7pgK6O — Twitter (@Twitter) April 6, 2017 The web app offers the main features of the main app -- namely the timeline, sending tweets, direct messaging, trends, profiles and notifications. But it also offers a "data saver"...

  • South Africa govt: social media messages ‘sent to disturb the economy’

    Since South Africa's landmark cabinet reshuffle last week Friday, chatter on the country's online social spheres has been laden with disappointment, minimal support and a sense of defiance. Don't believe me? Even last night's Botswana earthquake was blamed on President Jacob Zuma. This defiance is also set to manifest in calls for a country-wide protest and strike on 7 April, seemingly akin to Zimbabwe's mass stay away last year. But the country's government isn't too thrilled about it all -- at least according to messages posted on its official Twitter profile. Taking to Twitter last night, the South African government's official...

  • Twitter eggs are fried, users respond

    If you took a relaxing weekend away from social media, then count yourself lucky: you missed the chaos that is a Twitter design change. On Friday, Twitter rid its network of the iconic egg profile pictures -- and people weren't ecstatic. The change comes largely because "Twitter eggs" have become synonymous with trolls -- users who are so obsessed with harassment that they don't even have time to upload a Pepe icon. This reputation is something Twitter doesn't want -- for itself or its users. It says that some innocents who don't know how to change their profile picture were getting caught...

  • Twitter cleans up conversations, users still complain

    If you've ever tried to have a conversation on Twitter, you will know just how clunky and difficult it can be. If your friend's handle is something like @15charactershah, you've only got 124 characters with which to craft a reply. That's shorter than that sentence. Reading them is even worse -- when there are three handles and fifteen tweets for one sentence, it's often easier to put the phone down and try to understand South African politics the old fashioned way -- reading actual articles. But the service doesn't want you to understand your government, and has now made it far simpler...

  • Periscope live streams will now feature YouTube-like ads

    After news broke this week that Twitter is mulling a possible paid tier of TweetDeck, the company this week announced a new advertising format for Periscope. The social network will begin to show pre-roll advertisements on the live broadcasting service videos similar to YouTube's pre-video ads. This means that users wanting to watch a clip on Twitter's video streaming service will need to sit through an advertisement first. "Today, we’re introducing a new opportunity for publishers and creators to monetize their content, and for brands to advertise against it, with pre-roll ads on Periscope video within Twitter," the company announced. "Pre-roll ads...

  • TweetDeck might not be free for much longer

    Struggling to nail down a reliable revenue stream while controlling its often-irate user base, Twitter may soon charge you to use some elements of its currently-free service TweetDeck. Outed by The Verge, the social networking company is engaging with users through a survey to "assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version" of the web app. "We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people's Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we're exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals," a company spokesperson told the site. This "advanced Tweetdeck experience", as Twitter...

  • Verified Twitter accounts post swastikas in Turkish hack

    Last week, the Netherlands barred two Turkish ministers from speaking to expatriates ahead of a national memorandum. On 16 April, Turkey will be voting whether or not to allow Turkish President Erdogan to stay in power until 2029. And the president did not take the slight well: according to Fortune.com, Turkey warned that it would retaliate in the "harshest ways." Apparently these ways include Twitter hacks. Last night, Turkish hackers targeted verified accounts to spew Erdogan propaganda across the platform. Rough translation: “#NaziGermany👌#NaziNetherlands, a little👋#OTTOMAN SLAP for you, see you on #April16th. Can’t read it🇹🇷LEARN Turkish #RT” — Alex Hern (@alexhern) March 15, 2017 Hundreds of accounts were...

  • 15% of Twitter users are actually bots, study claims

    It's common knowledge that Twitter is home to more than a few bot accounts, be it for spam, promotions or political purposes. Now, a new study (via CBS) has found that up to 15% of Twitter accounts are actually bots. If one of the more recent Twitter statistics of 319 million active users is taken into account, then that means that over 47-million users are bots. The study, by researchers from Indiana University and the University of Southern California, saw a framework for bot detection being created. The result? "Our models yield high accuracy and agreement with each other and can detect bots of...

  • Trump revises travel ban, social media remains divided

    US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order reinstating a ban on the citizens of six Muslim-majority countries, this time removing Iraq from the original list. It's been suggested that the changes were made to protect the order from being repealed by courts. This is still a #MuslimBan , no matter how much the Trump administration tries to wrap it in better legal reasoning & more docile language. — Gregory Pizarro Jr. (@gregpizarrojr) March 7, 2017 The most obvious change to the order is the protection of US citizens and visa holders -- the new ban is only intended for visa applicants, and...

  • #HandsOffSocialMedia: South Africa responds to social media regulations

    In a press briefing yesterday, Minister of State Security David Mahlobo hinted at the possibility of social media regulation in an attempt to counter "false narratives". Mahlobo claimed that instead of bringing people together in a positive way, social media has become a cesspool for negativity, lies and fake news. "Even the best democracies that are revered, regulating . Most of our challenges are coming from that space. We will discuss how we will regulate it," he claimed. For many South Africans, Twitter is a way to let their voices be heard. It can be argued that the democratic system...

  • #Xenophobia: what Twitter can tell us

    South Africa has been hit anew with a spate of xenophobic attacks, and it is clear that until something substantial is done, foreigners will continue to be blamed for major systemic issues within our society and government. In the 21st century, social media is able to shed a light on social crises that has never been available to us before. So we thought it might be interesting to break down exactly how South Africans are talking about xenophobia on Twitter. We asked Crimson Hexagon if they could send us an analysis of #xenophobia to see how the hashtag was being used. The analysis...