How Tweets Could Prevent War, an App Store Dilemma, and More News

Twitter is shocking and Apple is balking, but first: a cartoon about posthumous photo sharing.

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Today’s News

Did Twitter help stop war with Iran?

After a week on Twitter that included President Donald Trump’s ill-conceived (and probably illegal) threat to bomb Iranian cultural sites, world leaders proved they can use the site for constructive dialogue, too. Following an Iranian rocket strike on Tuesday night, both Trump and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeted out their hopes that the recent tit-for-tat attacks would not turn into a true war. Their exchange, which Middle East expert Ilan Goldenberg called “real-time deescalatory twitter,” proved social media can be an incredible modern-day solution to the long-running challenge of communication between nations in crisis.

An alleged spy app puts Apple in a bind

Last month, both Google and Apple removed a popular social messaging app called ToTok from their official app stores after US intelligence officials claimed the United Arab Emirates likely uses the app for state surveillance. But by Saturday, Google had quietly reinstated ToTok in its Play Store. The reason? The app does exactly what it says it does, and any kind of piping of information would be beyond what Apple or Google can actually observe. Now it’s Apple’s turn to decide what to do.

Fast Fact: 30+

That’s the number of civil rights organizations that have called out Amazon-owned home security company Ring for arranging secretive deals with hundreds of police departments across the country. A recent interview with Amazon’s top hardware executive revealed that he’s “proud” of the program, and hinted at a future with even more facial recognition.

WIRED Recommends: CES Gadgets

Our writers are neck-deep in futuristic gadgets at the biggest electronics show of the year, CES. From luggage that follows you around to underwater scooters, you can follow along on their journey with live updates all this week.

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