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Trump won’t be allowed back on Twitter before Midterms

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One week before the US midterm elections, leaders of major civil rights groups spoke with Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

The purpose of the call was to pressure Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, to disallow many banned users from returning to the platform, and to give company staffers the tools necessary to combat election-related misinformation.

The groups represented on the call were the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Color of Change, Asian American Foundation, and Free Press.

In total, the leaders spoke with Musk for almost an hour.

During the call, the civil rights leaders expressed their concerns about Twitter being used as a tool to spread hatred and disinformation.

They also criticised Twitter for not doing enough to protect vulnerable communities from online harassment.

Some of the organizations represented have co-signed an open letter to Twitter’s advertisers to encourage them to “cease all advertising on Twitter globally if he [Musk] follows through on his plans to undermine brand safety and community standards including gutting content moderation.”

In response, Musk said that he would look into their requests and get back to them.

After the call, Musk tweeted that users who’ve been banned from Twitter for violating its rules — a group that includes Donald Trump— will not have the chance to return to the platform for at least another few weeks.

That’s after the midterms.

He also said that he would consider giving staff members more information about how Twitter’s algorithms work, so they can better combat misinformation.

This is not the first time that Musk has faced pressure to do more to clean up Twitter.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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OpenAI to offer premium ChatGPT service

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OpenAI has announced a monthly plan that will give you priority access to the ChatGPT bot

ChatGPT Plus is set to cost $20/month, and allow a user the ability to use the chatbot even during peak times, where free users would have to wait.

The company also says the plan will give you “faster response times” and “priority access to new features and improvements.”

OpenAI will be sending out invitations for the service to people in the U.S. over the next few weeks, before expanding to other regions around the world.

This comes amid the company revealing that a mobile phone version of the chatbot is being developed.

Currently, it is only available as a computer program.

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Meta stocks soar in ‘Year of Efficiency’

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Meta Platforms has announced a better-than-expected sales quarter, as well as a USD$40 billion stock buyback.

The parent of Instagram and Facebook cut its cost outlook for 2023 by $5 billion, and projected first-quarter sales that could beat Wall Street estimates.

Meta stock surged nearly 19% in after-hours trade.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg described the focus on efficiency as part of the natural evolution of the company, calling it a “phase change” for an organisation that once lived by the motto “move fast and break things.”

“We just grew so quickly for like the first 18 years,” Zuckerberg said in a conference call. “It’s very hard to really crank on efficiency while you’re growing that quickly. I just think we’re in a different environment now.”

The cost cuts reflect Meta’s updated plans for lower data centre construction expenses this year.

In November, the company cut more than 11,000 jobs in response, a precursor to the tens of thousands of layoffs in the tech industry that followed.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we are focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organisation,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

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U.S. Fed Reserve hikes interest rates by 25 basis points

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The U.S. Federal Reserve has announced its latest interest rate hike

 
The 25 basis-point increase comes after a half-point hike in December, and a three-quarter-point increase the month before that.

And it came with the forecast that the Fed isn’t finished.

“We will need substantially more evidence to be confident that inflation is on a sustained downward path,” U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference.

Powell noted positive signs that inflation was beginning to abate.

“We can now say I think for the first time that the disinflationary process has started, and we see it in goods prices, so far…but it is insufficient to signal an end to the rate hikes, though it would be stepping down from last year’s rapid pace of increases.”

Future rate increases would be in quarter-percentage-point increments.

“We will continue to make our decisions meeting by meeting, taking into account the totality of incoming data and their implications for the outlook for economic activity and inflation,” Powell added.

The decision lifted the benchmark overnight interest rate to a range between 4.50% and 4.75% – a move widely anticipated by investors and flagged by U.S. central bankers ahead of this week’s two-day policy session.

Inflation, based on the Fed’s preferred measure, slowed to a 5% annual rate in December.

The Fed hopes it can continue nudging inflation lower to its 2% target without triggering a deep recession or causing a substantial rise in the unemployment rate from the current 3.5%, a level rarely seen in recent decades.

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