Conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones and Infowars get permanently banned from Twitter

Alex Jones got axed from Twitter after confronting Oliver Darcy, a CNN journalist who had publicly pointed out instances in which the professional tragedy troll had violated Twitter’s policies, just outside the US congressional hearing where Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg were testifying.

Jones harassed Darcy about his work and his employer even ridiculing his looks and it was all broadcasted on Twitter-owned Periscope. Alex thought he could get away this time, but no – it backfired. His abusive behaviour got him and Inforwars permanently banned last Thursday afternoon.

He won’t be able to create new accounts on Twitter or take over any existing ones. Twitter “will take action” if in the future it discovers other accounts being used to get around the ban of Jones and Infowars. If axing Jones from Twitter is the path to make the platform healthy, then the timing was a little too late as they had enough time and reasons to ban him.  It still feels like a mess since it took a congressional hearing and increased scrutiny requirements imposed on the platform and this is not how it should work.

It’s gadget season for Apple, Google and Microsoft – some will be worth buying, some not…

Apple has an event slated for this Wednesday at its Cupertino headquarters. The rumours and scoops have already converged around 3 new iPhones, including an update to the iPhone X, a larger screen version of the X and a lower-cost, large screen model built with a less expensive LCD display.  9to5Mac reported leaked images of both the new iPhones and the updated Apple Watch. At this point, it’s not clear how many surprises we expect to see. While you wait, check out this thread that highlights the company’s headaches in the past year:

Microsoft will hold its event on October 2nd in NYC where we should expect to see more than just a couple of refreshed Surface devices. Microsoft products including Windows 10 update features, Office, Cortana, Your Phone app and other software and services that have potential consumer appeal are likely to feature too – Just don’t expect a Surface Phone.

Google has confirmed that their hardware launch will be on October 9th in New York and is expected to roll out the widely leaked Pixel phone alongside a new Android-based smartwatch, an update to the Pixelbook, and other hardware. With the Pixel’s specifications and design, even an unboxing video already out there, will Google have to find a different distribution model?

Instagram is building a standalone e-commerce app for shopping

The speculated app – IG Shopping – will let users browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase them directly within the app. The photo-sharing giant platform already has 25 million businesses that have Instagram accounts and two out of five Instagram users follow at least one of these business accounts. The idea certainly makes sense as Instagram is already a shopping app and it seems like it would be better to build this functionality into the app the way they did with IGTV but sure give us another app!!! The app could be cancelled before release but Instagram believes it’s in a position of strength to expand into e-commerce.

In other Instagram news: to build trust in its user base and also make it harder for bad actors to exploit the platform, they recently added tools to verify account identities by showing username changes and country of origin and allowing access to third-party authenticator apps to keep its users safe. You can also apply to be verified but only for accounts that have large audiences (sorry normals). They are also testing a new profile layout with a sidebar that will allow users to save posts and discover new accounts to follow. Also, check out this long read by Josh on why IGTV isn’t a flop yet and why it will have to work harder than Stories (which was an instant hit) to gain an audience. [Read More]

Youtube added a dark theme to its Android app

A few lucky users already started getting the update by late July but now the dark theme is rolling widely with the latest version of the app (13.35.51) Try updating the app via the Google Play Store or grab the installer to sideload from APKMirror and choose those versions that have nodpi.

Desktop Twitter is getting a redesign

With all the controversy surrounding Twitter, they’re testing a redesign of its desktop site (it’ll be a progressive web app) with night mode, data-saving mode, bookmarks, and more. The user interface will look similar to Twitter on a mobile browser. If implemented, it would be the first major Twitter web redesign in a long time.

Uber and Little are looking to enter Rwanda

The ride-hailing companies have already approached Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) with an aim to start operations in the country. If they go ahead, this will be the 9th and 3rd market for each respectively. Taxify will likely follow suit. The regulator hopes that the growing demand for ride-sharing mobile apps will drive competition and improve the quality of customer service in the cab transportation business.

GDG Nairobi Meetup

Nigeria’s tech ecosystem should not be built exclusively on foreign capital

Interesting Read

Companies have been collecting, selling, and reusing your personal data for decades, and now that the public has finally noticed, it’s too late. The personal-data privacy war is long over, and you lost. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica catastrophe offers one example.


Clicked covers trending international and regional tech stories you might have missed from the past week. Read previous editions here.

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George Kamau
I brunch on consumer tech | first.last at techweez dot com