Twitter service restored following global platform outage

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Updated 16 October 2020

Twitter service restored following global platform outage

SAN FRANCISCO, California: Twitter was restored Thursday evening after a technical problem caused a global outage of nearly two hours on the social media platform used by hundreds of millions worldwide.
The outage marked a new setback for the company, which for the past two days has been fending off accusations of bias over its decision to block a news report critical of Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden.
“We are continuing to monitor the issue, and things appear to have returned to normal,” Twitter’s application programming interface site said at 0011 GMT Friday.
The California-based company tweeted earlier: “We had some trouble with our internal systems and don’t have any evidence of a security breach or hack.”
According to downdetector.com, users on every continent had reported being unable to use the platform, but the outages were concentrated on the east and west coasts of the United States, as well as Japan.
The outage appeared to have started around 2130 GMT.

The Twitter shutdown came at a delicate moment. The company this week took the dramatic step of reducing the reach of a New York Post article critical of Biden, drawing a harsh rebuke from conservatives.
Thursday’s outage was the latest technical breakdown to knock Twitter offline. The platform experienced an hour-long outage in July 2019, one lasting several hours a year ago and yet another last February.
More worrisome are hacking attacks on popular social media platforms like Twitter.
In July, prominent Americans including former president Barack Obama, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Tesla chief Elon Musk saw their Twitter accounts hacked.
The attack targeted at least 130 accounts, with tweets posted by the intruders duping people into sending $100,000 in Bitcoin, supposedly in exchange for double the amount sent.
Several people aged 17 to 22 have since been charged for the hack, in which they targeted Twitter employees for personal passcodes to get into the company’s internal systems.
In September 2019, Twitter experienced a brief but embarrassing attack: the account of its founder Jack Dorsey was hacked and erratic and offensive messages were posted from it.


Saudi Arabia, Google partner in plan to ‘level-up’ Mideast

Lino Cattaruzzi, managing director for Google in MENA. (Supplied)
Updated 18 October 2020

Saudi Arabia, Google partner in plan to ‘level-up’ Mideast

  • The program includes cloud training for local businesses, as well as workshops on advanced digital skills, such as a machine learning platform that will teach about 140,000 developers with a focus on women

DUBAI: Several Saudi ministries have teamed up with tech giant Google to launch a set of projects aimed at helping the Kingdom’s economic strategy and digital transformation.

Google said the initiatives will focus on Saudi Arabia and the MENA region and will boost economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic. The program, named “Grow stronger with Google,” will include a comprehensive list of digital tools, grants and training opportunities to support local businesses and job seekers across the region. In the Kingdom, Google will target the retail, tourism and technology sectors, including Saudi Post, which will list 100,000 local entities on the company’s digital platform and train employees in online marketing.
“We are proud to partner with Google in this initiative to bring value to Saudi nationals, residents and local businesses, especially SMEs through bringing them together using the Google ‘My Business’ platform,” said President of the Saudi Post Anef Abanomi.
“Through this partnership we aim to list up to 100,000 businesses in the first phase in line with Saudi Post’s strategic transformation objectives to improve quality of life and help SMEs achieve their e-commerce and digitization goals,” he added.
Lino Cattaruzzi, managing director for Google in MENA, said in a press release: “During the pandemic, online tools have been a lifeline for many in Saudi Arabia. Making the most of the online opportunity can help Saudi people, businesses and communities and in the wider region bounce back stronger.” He said the program will equip businesses and individuals in the Kingdom with digital skills, especially in sectors that have been most affected by the pandemic, such as retail and tourism.

HIGHLIGHT

In the Kingdom, Google will target the retail, tourism and technology sectors, including Saudi Post, which will list 100,000 local entities on the company’s digital platform and train employees in online marketing.

The tech giant has also partnered with several Saudi bodies — including the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Tourism — to implement the programs. One project is set to train 50,000 students and businesses in digital marketing.
“We remain fundamentally optimistic about the future of this region, and we’re confident that by working together with local partners, we can boost recovery and build on the rapid acceleration of tech adoption we’ve seen during the crisis,” Cattaruzzi said.
The program also includes cloud training for local businesses, as well as workshops on advanced digital skills, such as a machine learning platform that will teach about 140,000 developers with a focus on women.
Google said it wants to help 1 million people and businesses throughout the MENA region learn digital skills and grow businesses by the end of 2021.