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Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey Backs Elon Musk’s Plan to Reinstate Donald Trump's Account

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Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey Backs Elon Musk’s Plan to Reinstate Donald Trump’s Account

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has supported Elon Musk’s plan to reinstate Donald Trump’s account, asserting that the decision to ban the former US President was “a failure.”

Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter following the January 6 Capitol Riots for violating the platform’s rules against violence incitement, a decision the company has said was taken by then CEO Jack Dorsey.

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On Tuesday, Elon Musk said that he would restore Trump’s banned account on Twitter if his deal to acquire the company is completed.

“I think it was a morally bad decision to be clear and foolish in the extreme,” he said at a Future of the Car event hosted by the Financial Times.

Backing Musk’s comment, Twitter co-founder said that the decision to issue the ban on Trump’s account was “a failure.”

“I do agree. There are exceptions (CSE, illegal behaviour, spam or network manipulation, etc), but generally permanent bans are a failure of ours and don’t work, which I wrote about here after the event (and called for a resilient social media protocol),” he Tweeted.

He re-shared a January 13, 2021 tweet that stated he did “not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban” Trump from the platform but had “made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter.”

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Musk, the world’s richest man Musk called the ban a “morally bad decision,” saying permanent bans undermine trust in Twitter.

“If there are tweets that are wrong and bad, those should be either deleted or made invisible, and a suspension–a temporary suspension–is appropriate, but not a permanent ban,” said Musk.

“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake … It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” he added.

The Tesla tycoon’s USD 44 billion takeover bid was accepted by Twitter’s board of directors last month, but it still needs regulatory approval. Trump has said he would have no interest in rejoining Twitter even if his account were reinstated, insisting that he plans instead to stick with his fledgling social media network, Truth Social.

Last week, Musk denied a report that Trump had encouraged him to buy Twitter, tweeting that he has had “no communication, directly or indirectly,” with the former president.

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Trump, for his part, has said he would not return to Twitter even if his account were restored, instead of promoting his own social media venture, Truth Social.

Musk agreed last month to buy Twitter in a $44 billion deal. However, he said that the transaction wasn’t a done deal and that several steps, including a Twitter shareholder vote, still needed to be completed.


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Elon Musk-Twitter Deal Is a ‘Breath of Hope’, Says Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called Elon Musk’s proposed takeover of Twitter a “breath of hope” as the two met in Brazil on Friday, adding he hoped the US billionaire would help end the “lies” about his widely criticised stewardship of the Amazon rainforest.

Bolsonaro and Musk, the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, met to discuss rural Internet connectivity and monitoring of the Amazon. The meeting comes at a sensitive time for both men.

Bolsonaro faces an uphill battle to get re-elected in the October, and has become increasingly isolated on the global stage, while Musk was on Thursday accused of sexual harassment in a news report – an allegation he denies.

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Bolsonaro, a far-right nationalist, has blasted major social media platforms for their efforts to combat disinformation, including taking down his baseless comments linking COVID-19 vaccines to developing AIDS. Musk, who Bolsonaro called a “legend of liberty,” has vowed to defend free speech on Twitter.

Bolsonaro has been globally condemned for advocating more mining and farming in the Amazon and for Brazil’s environmental backsliding. Recent satellite data show deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has surged to a 15-year high under Bolsonaro.

Speaking alongside Musk at an upscale hotel in the countryside near Sao Paulo, Bolsonaro hailed the billionaire’s bid for Twitter, saying “it was like a breath of hope.”

“We need, and are counting on Elon Musk for the Amazon to be known by all in Brazil and the world, to show … how we have protected it, and how much harm is caused by those who spread lies about that region,” he told a news conference.

Later, in a press conference without Musk, Bolsonaro gushed about meeting the US billionaire. “It’s the start of a relationship which I’m sure will soon end in marriage,” he said.

Bolsonaro added that Musk’s Twitter purchase would represent “the freedom of press that we always want and desire, total freedom, without limit,” he said.

Bolsonaro also said that he was making Brazil’s Alcântara space base near the equator available to Musk’s rockets.

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Musk tweeted on Friday afternoon that he aimed to discuss further monitoring of the rainforest and an effort to bring broadband internet to rural areas – a scheme that he had previously discussed with members of Bolsonaro’s government.

Musk was not asked about harassment allegations when he took questions after arriving in Sao Paulo, where he was also greeted by business leaders such as Telecom Italia Chief Executive Pietro Labriola and Banco BTG Pactual Chairman Andre Esteves.

Musk’s meeting with Bolsonaro, a longtime conservative firebrand who defends Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, is indicative of the right-ward drift of his personal politics. On Wednesday, he said he previously voted for Democrats, but will now vote for Republicans.

For Bolsonaro, who has worried international observers as many fear that he may refuse to hand over power if he loses the October election, Musk’s visit was a public relations coup.

Bolsonaro lost an ally when former US President Donald Trump lost his 2020 re-election bid, and has not spoken with US President Joe Biden since the Democrat took office.

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© Thomson Reuters 2022


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WhatsApp Request Account Inform Feature Rolling Out on Desktop: Report

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WhatsApp has reportedly started rolling out a beta update that lets users request their account information on WhatsApp desktop. The feature was initially introduced on Android and iOS to comply with EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Request Account Info feature is said to only be available after updating your WhatsApp desktop to the latest beta version. The feature seems to be rolling out slowly, and is said to currently only available to beta testers. WhatsApp earlier this week also began introducing free cloud-based API services in a push to get more businesses using the app. A recent report had also indicated that WhatsApp Premium, a subscription-based model, is being tested for WhatsApp Business.

As per a recent report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo, the social media app has started rolling out a beta update that lets users Request Account Info on WhatsApp desktop. The feature was limited to WhatsApp on Android and iOS till now. Users will be able to access the “Request Account Info on Desktop” feature only after updating their WhatsApp desktop beta to the latest – it has currently been spotted in v2.2219.3 beta, but was initially spotted in development in the v2.2204.1 beta version – though at time, it was not visible to testers. Even now, the report mentions that the feature may only be available to certain beta users.

The WhatsApp Request Account Info feature was introduced for Android and iOS in 2018 as a part the company’s compliance with the EU’s GDPR rules. When users request a report from WhatsApp, it gets ready in three days. However, users may have to wait for some more time before they are able to download it. The report will encompass details including all activity information, contacts device details, or privacy settings.

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In other news, WhatsApp this week announced it is also introducing free cloud-based API services in a push to get more businesses using the app. WhatsApp already has an API, or type of software interface, for businesses to connect their systems and engage in customer service chats on the service, which generates revenue for Meta.

A recent report had also indicated that WhatsApp Premium, a subscription-based model, is being tested for WhatsApp Business. Under this model, business accounts may choose to pay a certain sum for various features and capabilities. Reportedly, WhatsApp Business profile owners can also opt out of WhatsApp Premium and continue using the current version. The first mention of a subscription plan was in April when it was reported that the feature will allow businesses to link up to 10 devices after they subscribe to a plan.


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WhatsApp to Introduce Cloud-Based API Services, Confirms Meta Platform CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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WhatsApp is introducing free cloud-based API services in a push to get more businesses using the app, Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the company’s messaging event on Thursday.

The messaging service, which has increasingly courted business users, is one of several platforms where Facebook-owner Meta has launched more shopping and business-focused features.

Zuckerberg, speaking at Meta’s “Conversations” event, said the offering would mean “any business or developer can easily access our service, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customise their experience and speed up their response time to customers by using our secure WhatsApp Cloud API hosted by Meta.”

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WhatsApp already has an API, or type of software interface, for businesses to connect their systems and engage in customer service chats on the service, which generates revenue for Meta.

Meta, which bought WhatsApp for $19 billion (roughly Rs. 1,47,355 crore) in a landmark 2014 deal, said that businesses would not be able to message people on WhatsApp unless they have requested to be contacted.

WhatsApp also said on Thursday it was planning to provide optional paid features as part of a new premium service for users of its specialised business app, which is geared at small businesses.

Those features, which are still being developed, will include options to manage chats across up to 10 devices and customised click-to-chat links that businesses can post on their websites and share with customers.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, speaking in a session with Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg at the conference, said a third of the users ordering rides via WhatsApp in India are new customers.

The ride-hailing company, which launched its WhatsApp chatbot in December, is now planning to further customise the service starting for users in and around Delhi and expanding to markets like Brazil, he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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