News Mash-up: Social Media

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. withdraw / wɪðˈdrɔ / (v) – to take back something that was said, given, offered, etc.

    The company withdrew the job offer because the applicant lied on his resumé.

  2. run out / rʌn aʊt / (phrasal) – to reach the end of something

    On the game show, contestants have to solve a puzzle before the timer runs out.

  3. iterate / ˈɪt əˌreɪt / (v) – to develop a product by repeatedly working on it and improving its previous versions

    Developers iterate the app every month to fix bugs and add more features.

  4. over time / ˈoʊ vər taɪm / (adv) – gradually happening over a long period

    Paul and I barely talked to each other when we first met, but we became best friends over time.

  5. vast / væst / (adj) – large in size, quantity, area, etc.

    My grandparents owned vast farmlands.


Read the text below.

Twitter exploring ‘undo send’ feature

Twitter Inc. is testing an “undo send” function that would give users a short time to withdraw a tweet before it is posted, the company confirmed on March 5.

App researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who searches for unannounced social media features by looking at the sites’ code, tweeted an animation showing a tweet with a spelling error where an “undo” button was available before a short timer ran out.

A Twitter spokeswoman said the feature was being tested as part of the company’s exploration of how subscriptions could work on the platform. She said Twitter would be testing and iterating possible paid-for features over time. (Reuters)

Data from 500M Facebook users leaked online

Details from more than 500 million Facebook users have been found available on a website for hackers.

The information appears to be several years old, but it is another example of the vast amount of information collected by Facebook and other social media sites, and the limits to how secure that information is.

The availability of the data was first reported by news site Business Insider. The report said the information, from 106 countries, includes phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates and email addresses. (AP)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Twitter is testing an “undo send” feature. Would you be interested in such a feature? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • A Twitter spokesperson said that Twitter would be testing possible paid-for features. Do you think most people would be willing to pay for extra features on social media? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Wong searches for unannounced social media features by looking at the sites’ code. Do you think it’s okay for her to announce what she finds to everyone? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • If you discovered that your information had been included in the Facebook leak, how would you feel? Why? Discuss.
  • What kind of information are you willing to put on social media (ex. your phone number, your full name)? Why? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, do most people realize how dangerous it can be to share personal information online? Why or why not? Discuss.