Twitter reunites woman with man who gifted her a bike when she was a child refugee

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Sometimes the internet takes a break from being on fire and churns out something good. This week, a woman was able to thank the man who gave her a bike when she was a five-year-old refugee, with the help of Twitter’s supreme tracking abilities. 

As Saddam Hussein began targeting Kurdish communities in the 1990s, Mevan Babakar and her family fled Iraq and moved to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia, and eventually to a city called Zwolle in the Netherlands. Babakar and her mother later settled down in London. 

During her stay in Zwolle, a kind man who worked at a refugee camp gifted her a bike “out of the kindness of his own heart.”  Read more…

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Instagram tests a serious Boomerang upgrade

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It looks like Instagram is getting ready to finally revamp one of its most popular features: Boomerang.

Instagram is readying as many as five new styles of looping video for its app, according to code discovered in its Android app.

The new effects were spotted by researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who has a solid track record of uncovering unreleased features in social media apps. According to her findings, here are some of the new types of Boomerang effects coming to Instagram:

  • “Hold,” which puts a slight delay at the end of a clip so there’s a bit of a pause between loops

  • “Dynamic,” which speeds up at the end of the clip

  • “Slowmo,” which loops the clip in slow motion

  • Two called “duo,” which appear to be more like a classic Boomerang, just set at different speeds Read more…

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Twitter tests filter to bury unwanted DMs even further

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So, you say you’re already a pro at ignoring your unsolicited and unwanted Twitter direct messages. But what if there was a way to ignore them even harder?

It’s your lucky day. The social media giant that brought us such hits as the hashtag and the retweet with comment feature is back at it again with a new hotness that’s sure to change the Twitter game. Specifically, the company announced Thursday the test of a new DM filter that could help you achieve your dream of never seeing another direct message again. 

“Unwanted messages aren’t fun,” read the tweet announcing the test. “So we’re testing a filter in your DM requests to keep those out of sight, out of mind.” Read more…

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YouTube will block copyright trolls from swiping creators’ revenue

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YouTube is making good on its promise to defend its creators from copyright trolls, specifically third parties that claim monetization on users’ videos over seconds of content.

📣This is an important step (with more to come!) towards a better Copyright system for creators & music partners long term.

More on the policy, how it may affect creators, and key dates for enforcement here → https://t.co/byXoCd9lah

— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) August 15, 2019

On Thursday, YouTube announced a new policy change that will stop copyright holders from manually claiming monetization of a creator’s entire video over short song clips and unintentional audio. Read more…

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Gay penguins adopt an egg after months of trying to hatch rocks

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A gay penguin couple are trying to hatch an egg together. 

Skipper and Ping, two male king penguins residing at Zoo Berlin in Germany, arrived as a pair from another zoo in Hamburg in April. Zookeepers were able to tell the couple wanted to start a family soon after their arrival, since Skipper and Ping would take turns trying to incubate rocks and pieces of fish between their legs. 

“It is very common that two penguins of the same sex come together,” Zoo Berlin spokesperson Maximilian Jäger said. “I don’t think it is the majority of penguins, but it is not rare either. We are sure they would be good parents because they were so nice to their stone.”  Read more…

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Netflix’s ‘To All the Boys’ sequel will arrive just in time for Valentine’s Day

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The wait isn’t over, but its end is in sight. Netflix confirmed Thursday that the sequel to 2018’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before will premiere on Feb. 12, 2020 – and a third film, completing the trilogy of novels by Jenny Han, is already in production.

#ToAllTheBoys: P.S. I Still Love You premieres February 12!

And a third film —To All The Boys: Always And Forever Lara Jean — is already in production!!! pic.twitter.com/EPfUYbOaKl

— See What’s Next (@seewhatsnext) August 15, 2019

P.S. I Still Love You picks up with Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) happily dating, but a complication arrives in the former of their childhood friend John Ambrose McLaren (Jordan Fisher) – another one of the boys Lara Jean once loved. Read more…

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Instagram will let users report ‘false information’

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Instagram is, very slowly, ramping up its tools to fight misinformation.

The photo-sharing app will now let its users report posts that contain “false information.” Reported posts may be sent to one of Instagram’s fact-checkers and the post could eventually be hidden from Instagram’s Explore page and hashtag pages. 

In other words: if you spot fake news or some other type of misinformation in the app, you can now report it, and it might be removed from the more public-facing areas of the app. A small step to be sure, but one that could maybe one day have a more lasting effect.

Instagram previously announced that it would hide posts fact-checkers had deemed “false,” but there was no way for individual users to report posts.  Read more…

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