Should politicians have the right to delete their own tweets ... forever?
- 29 August 2015
One of the founders of a project to catalogue politicians' deleted tweets has hit back at Twitter for shutting down its accounts - even though he admits they were violating the network's rules.
It was a blow to a project designed to scrutinise public servants. Twitter has put a halt to the functionality of 31 "Politwoops" accounts. These were designed to highlight the behaviour of politicians who tried to delete things they'd posted on Twitter.
It worked by using a clever bit of software to consistently scrape the messages of politicians and discover when they tried to delete tweets. The Politwoops software would then automatically retweet those messages for posterity - making the "delete" button into something like its opposite, at least for politicians.
"The ability to delete one's Tweets - for whatever reason - has been a long-standing feature of Twitter for all users," the company said in a statement.
Why has India blocked mobile internet messaging?
- 27 August 2015
India's Gujarat state has reportedly shut down mobile internet messaging on WhatsApp after deadly riots - but people there continued to swap messages online.
A curfew has been imposed and the army has been called in - and now authorities have turned off mobile internet access in some parts of Gujarat. Reports differ on how extensive the block is and what exactly it covers, but it appears that mobile messaging has been cut off in the main city of Ahmedabad and other cities. Two days of violence has left eight people dead, although there was calm early Thursday in the ahead of funerals planned for those killed.
Is it right to 'Facebook shame' alleged harassers?
- 26 August 2015
"No-one stood up for me," student Jasleen Kaur wrote on Facebook. "I decided to stand up for myself."
The Facebook post has sparked a heated debate in India about the "shaming" of alleged harassers on the internet. In her post earlier this week, Kaur said a man on a motorbike made obscene remarks to her at a traffic light in Delhi. She reported the incident to the police but also uploaded a picture of the man, which has since been shared more than 130,000 times.
Why are Syrians sending love letters to Angela Merkel?
- 26 August 2015
Far-right protesters in Germany may be booing Chancellor Merkel, but Syrians are sending her loving notes on Facebook.
The message came in a tweet from Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees on Tuesday. Syrian citizens, the office said, would no longer be subject to the Dublin Regulation. The real meaning behind the rather dry edict? Germany won't send Syrian asylum seekers back to the EU country where they first landed - for instance, Greece or Italy. The move will potentially allow thousands to claim refugee status in Germany, and it seems to have been big news among Syrians.
Is it OK to dress up as Caitlyn Jenner?
- 26 August 2015
Halloween is weeks away but some costumes are already causing controversy online.
An outfit inspired by Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover has been called "transphobic" and "deplorable."
When Moscow banned Fairy liquid, and other Western cleaning products
- 26 August 2015
As Russian authorities took steps to remove foreign washing-up liquid and washing powder from shelves, Russians online reacted with both concern - and plenty of jokes.
The Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said it would take action against number of foreign washing products on Tuesday, including ones produced by Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, and other multinational companies. In a statement, the watchdog said tests had uncovered toxic ingredients.
The foodie who hid an eating disorder
- 25 August 2015
Blogger Gemma White didn't think she had the symptoms of anorexia or bulimia. But behind the pictures of luscious cakes and scrumptious meals on her blog, she was hiding a secret that was spiralling out of control.
Are video pranks really all that funny?
- 24 August 2015
Over the past year, several controversial pranks have been among YouTube's most-watched videos. They're often surprising, sometimes cruel - but are they really funny?
Some of the biggest online video stars rack up hits by playing tricks on strangers. On BBC Trending we've talked to a few of them - including comedians who aggressively invade your personal space and Yousef Saleh Erakat, aka FouseyTUBE, whose pranks often try to make serious points, but have also led to confrontations with strangers.
Why are some Egyptians pining away for their long-gone king?
- 23 August 2015
Amid the turmoil and unrest of Egypt today, some are reminiscing about life under the country's last monarch - prompting an online debate about how good the "good old days" really were.
"I'm begging King Farouk not to leave Egypt to the army," an Egyptian tweeted recently - quite an odd plea, as Egypt hasn't had a monarch for more than 60 years. But that message, and thousands like it, were shared in a sort of mass historical role play that pushed the phrase "Tweet as if you're in the 1950s" to the top of Egypt's Twitter charts.
Your top comments about... online comments
- 22 August 2015
Are comments on news websites dead? Well, judging by reaction to a recent post about their possible demise - no way.
Earlier this week, BBC Trending looked at the debate about online comments in depth after news site The Daily Dot decided to close their comments section. The site's editor, Nicholas White, says he's now looking to social media for audience feedback, amid criticism of trolling and incivility on comments sections. But others, such Marie Lyn Bernard, aka Riese, of the LGBT website Autostraddle, says comments can serve a purpose, and that community interaction on a website can be a force for good, and give a tight-knit community a space to air their opinions.