Five years ago, popular protests across the Arab world seemed to show Twitter’s power as a democratising force, as young people in Egypt and beyond used social media to take on their rulers. Many of these with newfound freedom were living under repressive Sunni regimes.

Twitter has long championed free speech, even the unpalatable, but realises the concept has gone feral. The company says it’s closed 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 for threatening or promoting terrorism. The shutdowns primarily relate to support for Islamic State – the militant group seeking to create a Sunni caliphate within the region. Continue reading

Parents wishing the best for their offspring were once able to buy the hefty Encyclopaedia Britannica in WH Smith stores. It wasn’t cheap for the 28-volume set. With the best binding option the complete set was priced – for Christmas 1983 – at £3,000. That equates to more than £9,400 today. It only sells EB‘s yearbook now and is currently 35% off list price, at £47. The discount is applied, I guess, as it’s last year’s edition, which actually records events of 2013. In the age of 24/7 news, two-year-old recaps are ancient history. Continue reading