TIME Transportation

Fake Twitter Bomb Threats to Airlines On the Rise

An American Airlines plane is seen at the Miami International Airport in Miami in 2013.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images

Tweeted threats have disrupted at least sixteen flights in the past five days

Airline bomb threats on Twitter have disrupted at least sixteen flights in the past five days, prompting new concerns about aviation security — and the way pranksters can cause serious trouble with social media.

Most recently, an American Airlines flight landed in Chicago safely Tuesday after a tweet claiming to be from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) claimed there was a bomb on board, USA Today reports.

That same day, another (now suspended) Twitter account called @RansomTheThug also claimed there was a bomb aboard a United Airlines flight that had already been canceled days earlier due to blizzard concerns. “In terms of the quantity of threats we’re seeing now, you just haven’t seen it,” Glen Winn, former head of security at United Airlines and Northwest Airlines, said.

But as was the case with the 14-year-old Dutch girl who threatened American Airlines as a joke last year, not every tweet is serious. “In the history of aviation sabotage, I don’t believe there’s ever been a threat called in where there’s actually been a bomb,” Douglas Laird, a former security director at Northwest Airlines, said.

Still, all threats are taken seriously and evaluated by airline security according to confidential criteria. Airlines are also required to report threats to Transportation Security Administration.

[USA Today]

TIME Social Media

Snapchat Now Shows You Video From Comedy Central, Vice and More

'Discover' is Snapchat's latest experiment with branded content

Snapchat is adding a new portal for editorial content from a range of media partners, the company said Tuesday. The new feature, called “Discover,” will offer Snapchat users video content from National Geographic, Vice, Comedy Central and others, including TIME sister publication PEOPLE.

“Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams,” reads Snapchat’s announcement of the new feature. “It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.”

The deal makes sense for the publishers involved, many of whom are looking for ways to put their content in front of younger users to build relationships as their income levels — and thus value to advertisers — increases. Most of Snapchat’s 100 million-plus monthly users are between the ages of 13 and 25, with many users checking the app multiple times a day.

While big brands like McDonalds and Taco Bell have long used Snapchat as a way to connect to younger consumers, the company didn’t roll out a formal advertising mechanism until this past October. These pieces of sponsored content, like a sneak preview of the movie Ouija, appear in users’ feeds under more traditional messages from friends.

Snapchat is currently valued at about $10 billion. The startup, helmed by CEO Evan Spiegel, turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook back in 2013.

TIME Social Media

You Can Now Send Private Group Messages on Twitter

And there's a new video capture feature, too

Twitter is rolling out a new group direct messaging feature, the company said Tuesday.

With the new feature, you’ll be able to privately chat with up to 20 people at a time. When you add somebody to a group chat, they’ll get a notification letting them know. The people you pick to add to your group chat don’t need to be following one another to enter the chat.

Group DMs might finally do away with “Twitter canoes,” long public conversations in which precious message space often get swallowed up by participants’ handles. The new feature is also a fresh sign Twitter is thinking about ways to make its typically very public service more intimate at a time when it faces competition from the rise of direct mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Messenger.

Twitter also said Tuesday it’s introducing a way to record, edit and post videos directly within its mobile app. Most Twitter users looking to share video content on the service previously used Vine, a standalone app Twitter acquired back in 2012.

Expect both new features to appear on your Twitter app “in the coming days,” the company says.

TIME Social Media

Facebook and Instagram Go Down While Twitter Explodes

Facebook Inc. Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings Figures
The Facebook logo is displayed on an Apple iPad Air in this arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27, 2014 Bloomberg/Getty Images

Users around the world reported that they could not access either site

Social-networking site Facebook went down briefly Tuesday, along with its subsidiary Instagram.

The company issued a statement saying, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can,” according to Reuters.

Users across the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia said they were unable to access either site for upwards of 30 minutes.

Several took to social-media rival Twitter to voice their frustrations.

Rotten Tomatoes took advantage of the moment to make a punning comparison to a cheap Colin Farrell movie.

Fellow sharing website 9gag memed up the whole experience.

And naturally, the MySpace jokes were aplenty.

TIME

Turkey Censors Facebook Pages That ‘Insult’ the Prophet Muhammad

Turkish islamists protest Charlie Hebdo in Istanbul
Turkish islamist protestors hold placards in front of Fatih Mosque during a rally against the French magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' over the publiction of a depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in Istanbul, on Jan 25, 2015. Sedat Suna—EPA

The court also threatened to block access to Facebook as a whole

(ANKARA, Turkey) — Turkey’s state-run news agency says a court has ordered authorities to block access in the country to Facebook pages that “insult” the Prophet Muhammad, in the latest move to censor the Internet.

The Anadolu Agency says a court in Ankara issued the order late Sunday. The court also threatened to block access to Facebook as a whole, if its order isn’t implemented.

The decision comes days after another court ruling to ban access in Turkey to web pages featuring the controversial cover of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo depicting the prophet.

Last year, Turkey closed down access to YouTube and Twitter after a series of leaked recordings suggested corruption by people close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s highest court later overturned the ban.

MONEY job search

10 Ways to Speed Up Your Job Search

building blocks with social media icons on each side
iStock

Want to land a new gig in 2015? Then you'd better launch a personal marketing campaign, career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine says.

The start of the new year is traditionally a good time for hiring.

Yes, this means that job seekers should refine their résumés. But your C.V. is just one of multiple ways job seekers should market themselves. I can think of 10 more off the bat.

I know what you’re thinking: 10 tools, in addition to a resume, sounds like a lot of work

However, many of these build on each other and support the answer to “Why should an employer hire you?” And that’s a question job seekers must answer confidently and convincingly.

Here are the 10 things you’ve got to work on to help propel your search:

1. Social Media Profile

More companies are using social media to find candidates. When you update your resume, update your online profiles as well.

2. Social Media Activity

Don’t just change the details on your profile. Update your status, post an interesting article related to your line of work, make a comment that showcases your professional expertise. If you are looking for a job that requires social media savvy, having a static profile—however, updated—will not be enough without regular and relevant activity.

3. Headshot

You don’t need a professional to take your photo, but you do need a professional-looking photo. A photo on your social profiles makes you seem more personable. Also, from a practical standpoint, a picture can help you with networking—some people won’t remember your name after having met you once or a while ago, but they might remember your face.

4. Cover Letter

A cover letter is not a rehash of your resume. It enables you to highlight your most relevant and compelling facts. It helps you smooth over a story that includes employment gaps and/or career changes. It is a chance for you to make the case for why your dream employer should hire you.

5. Cover Email

You can’t just copy and paste your cover letter into the text of an email. It will be too long and too formal. A cover email is like a cover letter in that it highlights the best, explains away any red flags and makes a compelling case—but it has to do this in a fraction of the space.

6. 20-second Pitch

When you meet someone, you need to introduce yourself. What you say is part of how you market yourself. Keep in mind that your new connection ideally can introduce you to others, including possible employers. So what you say needs to be memorable and repeatable.

7. 2-minute Pitch

You also need to be able to talk about yourself in more than a 20-second sound bite. You may book a networking meeting over coffee and have the chance to share more about your background. Aim for two minutes. This is enough time to give the arc of your career, as well as highlight key accomplishments.

8. Your Pitch for Someone Else to Use

Your friend offers to help and will forward your resume or make an introduction at an event. What do you want your friend to say? Using your cover email and 20-second pitch, be ready with a version in the third person that someone can use to introduce you.

9. Portfolio

Of course, a writer should have clips, and a designer should have samples. But a software developer can showcase programs, a marketer can share a campaign, a consultant can share a slide presentation that summarizes the business case developed. Every professional can showcase their work in some way. A visual, tangible example is so much more powerful than a wordy explanation.

10. Personal website

You can pull all of these items together—social profile, social updates, headshot, short introduction, portfolio, and resume—in a personal website branded with your name. You can list your URL on your business card and résumé to point employers to additional information. A recent survey of over 15,000 job seekers by branded.me and The .ME Registry showed only 4% had personal websites, which implies just having a personal website would be one point of differentiation.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart® career coaching. She has worked with professionals from American Express, Condé Nast, Gilt, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, and other leading firms. She’s also a stand-up comic. This column appears weekly.

Read more from Caroline Ceniza-Levine:

TIME state of the union

The State of the Union Brought Out the Troll in Everyone

Troll on, Twitter.

The State of the Union is becoming a huge night for social media. In 2014, 2.1 million tweets were sent out during the live telecast and in the hour before the 2015 address Twitter was already abuzz. And the trolls (and non-trolls masquerading as such) were out to play.

Check out some of the most trolly tweets of the night.

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana takes a swipe at the President, but spoils it with a grammar mistake.

Former Congressman John Dingell shared his plans for his night away from the Capitol.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa took a dig at one of the First Lady’s guests

White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer brings back memories of Obama-suits-past. The Internet let out a collective shudder.

Sen. Rand Paul on Obama’s free community college proposal

 

 

TIME Social Media

Facebook’s Going to Start Weeding Out Fake News Stories

But don't worry — The Onion is safe

Get ready to see less “news” stories about Santa Claus truthers and dinosaur sightings in Utah proliferating on your Facebook feed.

The social media platform announced in a blog post Tuesday that it is making a concerted effort to decrease the number of hoaxes and misleading stories in users’ News Feeds.

Sample “hoax” post included in its press release Facebook

“People often share these hoaxes and later decide to delete their original posts after they realize they have been tricked,” Facebook explains. “These types of posts also tend to receive lots of comments from friends letting people know this is a hoax, and comments containing links to hoax-busting websites.”

Internal data shows that people are twice as likely to delete a post after receiving a friend’s clarifying comment.

Users are given the option to report a new story as false.

Facebook’s instructions on how to report fake news stories Facebook

While Facebook won’t delete or fact-check the content, it will not only reduce the distribution of posts that have been reported as false but also add a warning to future sharers.

But don’t worry — this doesn’t mean The Onion is going anywhere.

Facebook clarified that users rarely reported satirical content, so that humorous genre won’t be impacted.

TIME White House

How Twitter Changed the State of the Union

President Harry S. Truman delivering the State of the Union address in 1948.
President Harry S. Truman delivering the State of the Union address in 1948. Frank Scherschel—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

In the age of Facebook and Twitter, the strategy for the marquee address has shifted

The theatrics are tradition, so the speech may seem the same. On Tuesday night, Barack Obama will saunter down the center aisle of the House chamber, take the rostrum and deliver the annual State of the Union address. There will be robed justices in the front pews, a laundry list of policy proposals, a few tales about the heroic acts of ordinary Americans. On television, the ritual still summons all the pageantry the presidency can muster.

But what’s the true state of the State of the Union? Not quite as strong as the speech once was. The rise of social media, the proliferation of mobile devices and an audience whose attention is divided between multiple screens have sapped some of its power.

The State of the Union is still the singular example of the presidential bully pulpit. But the White House knows the clout of the speech has diminished. The 2014 State of the Union drew 33.3 million television viewers, nearly 20 million less than the audience that tuned into Obama’s first address in 2009. Many of them undoubtedly had one eye on Obama and the other on Facebook or Twitter, where live commentary can influence impressions of a performance. Still others watched it online later.

As a result, Obama’s team has tailored their State of the Union strategy to fit the shrinking power of a prime-time event in the age of social media. Last year the administration implored its supporters to watch the speech on a White House website. For this “enhanced experience,” Obama’s oratory was supplemented by a battery of charts, graphs and data points, which viewers could share with their social networks. For the White House, which has seized upon new methods to circumvent the press, it was a way to mute the blathering cable pundits and deliver an unfiltered message.

This year brings new wrinkles. A coveted post-speech interview in the Oval Office was given to three YouTube stars, who solicited questions from the president’s supporters. And in an acknowledgement that a single speech won’t carry the message, the White House has been dropping “spoilers” throughout January.

Instead of unveiling a raft of new policies on Tuesday, Obama traveled to Michigan to tout the manufacturing sector’s revival, talked the housing market’s rebound in Arizona and plugged his plan to make community college free in Tennessee. The White House built a microsite to showcase many of the policies the president will propose Tuesday, on topics as diverse as broadband Internet and thawing relations with Cuba.

“The awareness that the State of the Union doesn’t count for what it used to produces innovation,” says Jeff Shesol, a presidential speechwriter in the Clinton administration. “The White House is putting less weight on the speech as the centerpiece of their strategy.”

Obama’s top aides say they were forced to adapt by the din of the churning news cycle. “The environment is so cluttered that if you don’t spread out your initiatives and unveil them in channels where people already are, like Facebook or Upworthy, then they’re just going to get lost in the discussion,” Dan Pfeiffer, Obama’s senior adviser, told the Associated Press. “The nature of the experience is different.”

If the media strategy has changed, the process of crafting the speech remains as arduous as before. The task of drafting it begins as early as Thanksgiving, and the speech often goes through more than 20 drafts. Various wonks and advisers from across the government weigh in on structure, language and theme, while the writers struggle to alchemize a laundry list of priorities into lucid prose. Once the text is nearly settled, the president will practice the speech multiple times in the days leading up to the address. During these run-throughs, aides will mark the lines they want to blast out over social media during and after the address.

But if social media has reshaped the rollout strategies, the pillars of a sharp State of the Union speech are the same. You need a clear platform, a theme that carries the argument, and the ability to convert arcane policy into sparkling rhetoric. The principles of good writing, from memorable metaphors to economy of language, are timeless.

“Technology changes, but the power of words doesn’t,” says Peter Wehner, a presidential speechwriter under George W. Bush. “Look back to Lincoln. His best lines would fit on Twitter.”

TIME feminism

This Is What Happens When You Show Off Your ‘Meninist’ T-Shirt

#MENINIST

Some Twitter users got creative with Photoshop

The hashtags #Meninist and #Meninism have been around Twitter for more than a year, and the people who use them generally fall in two camps: people who use the term to call out ways they believe they’ve been victimized by feminism, and people who make fun of the first group for not understanding what feminism means in the first place.

The terms may have started out as a joke, but when the first group starting making T-shirts celebrating their controversial cause, the latter group got clever with their responses, as BuzzFeed points out. Not that many T-shirts have been sold — according to TeeSpring, two designs have moved only 10 and almost 500 shirts, respectively — but the guys who proudly showed them off online didn’t go unnoticed. In fact, they’re on their way to become totally meme-ified. Below, take a look who got creative with Photoshop:

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