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Twitter: Major outage affects users around the world

The social media giant said the issue was caused by an "inadvertent change" it made to its internal systems.

Users in countries including New Zealand, the US and UK were unable to use the platform for more than an hour, with many receiving error messages.

The service was later largely restored, and the California-based company said the site should soon be working for all of its users.

According to DownDetector.com, reports of problems with Twitter began to spike at about 10.30am in New Zealand time.

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Twitter says hackers downloaded private account data

The breach saw the accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West and Bill Gates among other celebrities used to tweet a Bitcoin scam.

Twitter also revealed the perpetrators had downloaded data from up to eight of the accounts involved.

It declined to reveal their identities but said none of them were "verified".

This means they did not have a blue tick to confirm their ownership, and thus were not among the most high-profile hacked accounts.

Instagram 'will overtake Twitter as a news source'

The 2020 Reuters Institute Digital News report found the use of Instagram for news had doubled since 2018.

The trend is strongest among young people. It said nearly a quarter of UK 18-24-year-olds used Instagram as a source of news about coronavirus.

But social media platforms were also among the least-trusted sources.

Just 26% of people said they trusted social media as a source of information about the virus. A similar percentage said they trusted news that had been shared via chat apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Coronavirus: Twitter boss pledges $1bn for relief effort

According to Mr Dorsey, the donation represented approximately 28% of his wealth.

He made the announcement on Twitter, writing that the "needs are increasingly urgent".

Mr Dorsey did not lay out exactly where the funds would be sent to help in the battle against Covid-19.

In the US there is a shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment, and business and individuals are also struggling economically.

Mr Dorsey will use shares he owns in Square to fund the donations which will be distributed through the Start Small Foundation.

Facebook's Twitter and Instagram accounts hacked

The hacking group OurMine posted on the Twitter and Instagram accounts for Facebook and Messenger, writing "even Facebook is hackable".

The accounts have now been restored.

OurMine claims its attacks are an attempt to show cyber vulnerabilities. In January it hijacked over a dozen accounts for teams in the US National Football League.

The group posted a statement on Facebook's Twitter account. "Hi, we are OurMine. Well, even Facebook is hackable but at least their security is better then Twitter."

Twitter bans all political advertising

"While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics," company CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted.

Social media rival Facebook recently ruled out a ban on political ads.

Social media firms are under particular scrutiny ahead of US elections in 2020.

Mr Dorsey explained his position in a thread of tweets.

Twitter vows to support footballers

The social media giant has faced criticism in recent weeks for allowing players to come in for severe abuse online.

Those affected have included Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba and the Chelsea pair of Tammy Abraham and Kurt Zouma.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard have been quick to call for firm action to prevent the targeting of players.

Twitter said on Wednesday it has "taken action on more than 700 examples of abuse and hateful conduct related to UK football" in the past fortnight.

Twitter and Facebook remove Chinese accounts

Twitter said it removed 936 accounts it said were being used to “sow political discord in Hong Kong”.

The network said the accounts originated in mainland China and were part of a coordinated attempt to undermine the “legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement”.

Facebook said it had, after being tipped off by Twitter, removed "seven Pages, three Groups and five Facebook accounts.”

Sonny Bill Williams blasts critics saying he's under pressure to make Rugby World Cup

The midfielder rarely uses Twitter to respond to media stories about him, but Williams was clearly fired up, saying those who say he's under pressure need to 'get their priorities right.'

Williams wrote that playing sport for a living can't be compared to those who are struggling to deal with far bigger problems.

"And for those that say I'm under pressure playing a game that I enjoy," Williams wrote. 

"Get your priorities right. Look at what's going on in the world.

'Kia ora Jacinda!' - Rihanna hits up the Prime Minister on Twitter

"Kia ora @jacindaardern!," she wrote.

"It's been a big year for you & [New Zealand] - congrats!"

The 'Diamonds' singer told Ardern her year could "get even better" if she pledged funds to the Global Partnership for Education.

"I hope you & @MFATgovtNZ agree that educating every child can change the world!" she added.

The organisation is working alongside Rihanna's own charity, the Clara Lionel foundation, to provide education for children in poor countries around the world.