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Would-be Twitter rival T2 adds DMs — a feature others, including Threads, don’t yet have on July 31, 2023 at 5:46 pm

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As the battle among would-be Twitter rivals continues, one of the smaller apps to via for Twitter (now X‘s) fleeing user base, T2, has added an in-demand feature that even Meta’s Threads doesn’t yet have: DMs. The company recently announced it added support for direct messages, which has been among users’ top requests, it said.

The addition differentiates T2 from buzzier Twitter competitors like Threads, Bluesky, and to some extent, Mastodon, where Direct Messages work a little differently — they are effectively just posts that have the “direct” visibility selected but are not end-to-end encrypted.

Similarly, T2’s direct messages also aren’t end-to-end encrypted, but they do at least allow users to connect more privately on the app. Of course, sensitive conversations should generally not be shared on new social media apps but on dedicated privacy apps, like Signal or even WhatsApp, which has prioritized encryption.

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With the rollout of DMs on T2 on July 26th, users can now find a new link in the app’s sidebar. The company explains users can control who’s allowed to DM them via the Settings tab in T2. From here, you can choose to allow DMs from anyone on the app, only from accounts you follow, or you can turn off receiving DMs altogether.

The company said it opted not to encrypt direct messages so it can combat spam and harassment in these conversations. It even built-in nudges in DMs to automatically detect possible insults or other threatening behavior, then nudge the sender to change their message. Nudges like this can be somewhat effective. Twitter, pre-Elon Musk, had once used nudges in an attempt to get users to tone down their replies. It said that 34% of people revised their initial reply after seeing the prompt, or chose not to send the reply at all. Plus, after being prompted once, people then composed 11% fewer offensive replies in the future, on average.

T2 was founded by Twitter and Google veterans, including co-founder Sarah Oh, Twitter’s former human rights advisor, and Gabor Cselle, who had sold his prior companies to Twitter and Google. The company’s goal has been to build an alternative to Twitter that had an increased focus on trust and safety — or, as Gabor’s profile reads, “a kinder, safer public square.”

That’s an area where another Twitter rival, Bluesky, has since stumbled. The latter has been under attack for moderation missteps that saw it failing to crack down on bigotry and even allowing usernames with racial slurs to slip through in recent days.

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Bluesky, however, has seen its app installed 1 million times to date, outpacing the number of invites available to its still private network. T2, meanwhile, continues to operate as a web app but is optimized for mobile screens. Its user base should reach around 15,000 by the end of the week, the company says. T2 has not yet announced any concrete plans around decentralization — meaning using a protocol like ActivityPub, which powers Mastodon, and soon Threads, or Bluesky’s AT Protocol, in order to connect with other social networks.

Currently, the team views decentralization as a major hurdle to moderation and building a lasting, stable and civil community, we understand, as users can move to other servers when they don’t want to abide by stricter moderation rules.

​ As the battle among would-be Twitter rivals continues, one of the smaller apps to via for Twitter (now X‘s) fleeing user base, T2, has added an in-demand feature that even Meta’s Threads doesn’t yet have: DMs. The company recently announced it added support for direct messages, which has been among users’ top requests, it said. 

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The Binge-Watching Epidemic: A Cultural Phenomenon or Cause for Concern?

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Binge-watching has become an integral part of modern entertainment consumption, with staggering statistics highlighting its prevalence across various demographics.

According to a 2013 study, 62% of Americans admitted to binge-watching regularly. More recent data from YouGov Omnibus reveals that 58% of Americans engage in binge-watching, with 72% of those surveyed doing so regularly.
A significant 87.61% of U.S. consumers indulge in binge-watching, with streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime playing a crucial role in enabling and fostering this phenomenon (84% of binge-watchers use these online streaming services).

Binge-Watching Habits Revealed

Delving deeper into the statistics, we uncover fascinating insights into the habits of binge-watchers. Sundays emerge as the most popular day for binge-watching, perhaps as a means of unwinding before the start of a new week. Interestingly, while 45% of binge-watchers prefer to consume shows weekly, a significant portion (approximately 20%) watch between 5-10 episodes in a single sitting.
The allure of binge-watching is so strong that 8.4 million people have “binge-raced” a series within 24 hours of its release on Netflix. This statistic testifies to the power of on-demand content and the insatiable appetite for instant gratification.

Generational Divide and Relationship Impacts

Binge-watching appears more prevalent among younger generations, with 90% of millennials and 87% of Gen Z admitting to the practice. This generational divide highlights evolving consumption patterns and potential impacts on traditional viewing habits.
However, binge-watching is not without its consequences, as 45% of all relationships are affected by arguments over spoiled plotlines due to binge-watching. This statistic serves as a reminder of the potential strain this behavior can place on interpersonal dynamics.

Health Concerns and Moderation

While binge-watching offers entertainment and relaxation, experts have raised concerns about excessive screen time’s potential negative impacts. A 2018 poll found that 60% of American adults who use on-demand streaming services binge-watch, highlighting the need for moderation and balance.
Prolonged screen exposure has been linked to issues like digital eye strain, distraction, depression, anxiety, and poor sleep quality. Organizations like Screen Strong advocate for mindful consumption and encourage families to engage in alternative activities promoting physical and mental well-being.
As the entertainment industry evolves to cater to binge-watchers’ demands, it’s crucial to strike a balance between indulging in this cultural phenomenon and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Moderation, self-awareness, and a commitment to overall well-being should guide us as we navigate the ever-expanding world of on-demand entertainment.

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50 Cent Sells Diddy Docuseries to Netflix

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Rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent has reportedly sold his highly anticipated documentary about Diddy’s alleged sex assault allegations to Netflix following a reported intense bidding war.

Documentary Background
Multiple networks and streaming services have been vying for the documentary on Sean “Diddy” Combs, 54, ever since 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, began teasing the project several months ago, sources told TMZ.

Allegations Against Diddy
The documentary focuses on the serious allegations of sexual assault against Diddy, which have been a topic of controversy and public interest as the entertainment mogul is currently facing multiple allegations of sexual assault, including accusations from singer Cassie Ventura.
Netflix Purchase
Ultimately, Netflix emerged as the winner, securing the rights to distribute the film. Though many onlookers assumed that 50 Cent was merely trolling Diddy, news of the upcoming documentary reveals the former’s interest in the latter’s woes wasn’t just circumstantial.
Rivalry Between 50 Cent and Diddy
50 Cent and Diddy have been at each other’s proverbial throats for nearly 20 years, with 50 Cent releasing his diss track “The Bomb,” in which he claimed Diddy knows who killed The Notorious B.I.G., in 2006.
Proceeds to Support Victims
Last year, 50 Cent stated that proceeds from the docuseries would support victims of sexual assault and rape.

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Mysterious Pillars of Light Illuminate Japan’s Night Sky

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On May 11th, 2024, a breathtaking phenomenon captivated the coastal areas of Japan, as nine towering pillars of light pierced the night sky. This rare and awe-inspiring spectacle, known as “isaribi kochu” or “fish-attracting light pillars,” is caused by the refraction of light from fishing boats through ice crystals in the atmosphere.

The Science Behind the Spectacle
The pillars appeared as vertical beams of light extending upwards from the horizon, creating an otherworldly display against the dark sky. The lights originated from the lamps used by fishermen to attract larger catches, particularly for squid fishing. Under specific weather conditions, where temperatures drop low enough for ice crystals to form in the air above the ships, but without precipitation, the light from the fishing boats reflects off these crystals, amplifying the illumination and making it visible from shore as brilliant pillars.
A Rare and Infrequent Occurrence
This phenomenon occurs infrequently, only every few years when the atmospheric conditions are just right. This time, it was witnessed at locations like Mikuriya Port in Daisen Town and Nariishi Beach, with images shared widely on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.
Debunking the Mystery
While the ethereal display sparked speculation about extraterrestrial activities or supernatural events, scientific explanations have clarified the natural causes behind these “fish-attracting light pillars,” rooted in traditional fishing practices and atmospheric optics.
Experience the Wonder
Check out the stunning images and videos of this phenomenon online, and learn more about the science behind this breathtaking display. 
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