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A person uses the Twitter app on an iPhone. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

On Friday, Wired's Emily Dreyfuss joined a growing chorus of voices advocating that we delete our tweets and use an app to automatically delete future posts.

The bottom line: Prominent figures in industries like Hollywood, sports, and even media increasingly find themselves embroiled in controversies over old tweets that are racist, sexist or homophobic coming back to haunt them.

What they're saying: "Increasingly, old tweets are being used as ammunition to get their owners fired or ruin their reputation by people with an ax to grind," Dreyfuss writes.

  • This is especially effective given that social media services, like Twitter, don't provide much context for individual posts, including the larger conversation they belong to and their intended audience.

Yes, but: Some argue that social media can be a helpful tool to uncover bigoted views held by public figures, and especially government officials — even if they posted those tweets years ago.

  • As Dreyfuss notes, CNN's Andrew Kaczynski, for example, has written about politicians' tweets that exposed views relevant to their positions. And if you peruse Twitter, you'll regularly see users resurfacing old tweets from Donald Trump that contradict his current stance on various issues.

Still: Online trolls can use just about any kind of tweet as a reason to harass a Twitter user, so deleting them regularly can be helpful protection. ("It’s so insane that in 2018 anyone keeps their tweets for more than a week!" recently tweeted The Atlantic's Taylor Lorenz, who also auto-deletes her posts.)

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
17 mins ago - Technology

Epic's long game against Apple

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Epic's Apple lawsuit is costing the company dearly, but the game developer has its eye on a valuable long-term goal: prying tomorrow's virtual worlds loose from the grip of app store proprietors like Apple.

Between the lines: Epic isn't spending a fortune in legal fees and foregoing a ton of revenue just to shave some costs off in-app purchases on today's phones. Rather, it's planning for a future of creating virtual universes via augmented and virtual reality — without having to send a big chunk of their economies to Apple or Google.

Updated 22 mins ago - Health

The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact.

Why it matters: The U.S. aims to at least partially vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4, a move expected to accelerate the current drop of new infections here. But variants are the wild card, and in a global pandemic where only about 8% of all people have received one dose, the virus will continue mutating unabated.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
47 mins ago - Health

Democrats are still looking for a plan on drug prices

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Democrats have no workable plan to tackle the cost of prescription drugs, even with full control of Washington and after campaigning on the issue for years.

The picture: Voters still care about the cost of drugs, but Democrats don't have a feasible legislative strategy yet — or an agreed-upon policy to fit into a legislative strategy.

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