Twitter is preparing to shut down its six-second video app, Vine. A plane carrying Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence skidded off the runway Thursday night at a New York City airport — nobody was injured. And we’ve compiled some of the week’s best longreads to get your weekend going.
HERE ARE THE TOP STORIES
Twitter is killing its beloved six-second video app and stand-alone social network Vine.
The dissolution marks the ignoble end of a long, painful decline for Vine, which emerged as one of the most creative spaces on the internet following its debut in 2013. (Here’s how bad things got.) Across the internet, the shuttering feels momentous — the end of yet another vibrant and truly weird pocket of the web. Here are some of the best Vines throughout the years.
But the decision reveals what Twitter’s most devoted users have known for years, suggesting that the company sees it now, too: Twitter is, first and foremost, about current events.
A little extra tech
Alexa, will you marry me? In a quarterly earnings statement, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company's virtual assistant Alexa may be the company’s most beloved product yet — a quarter of a million people have proposed to it.
A Donald Trump official says his campaign has “three major voter-suppression operations underway.” The unnamed aide said that in addition to having rolled out anti-Hillary Clinton spots on African-American radio stations in San Antonio, Texas, the campaign will now target that voter demographic on Facebook through “dark posts,” with the ultimate goal of minimizing Clinton’s total vote potential.
Facebook dark posts — which are essentially unpublished posts that appear in the News Feed but not on the page itself — allow campaigns to communicate directly with certain individuals.
UK embassies in six sub-Saharan African countries have accepted more than £57,000 in sponsorship from oil companies to hold parties.
The events, where oil executives mingled with Foreign Office officials, included the Queen’s birthday celebrations and a party on a Royal Navy battleship, BuzzFeed News’ James Ball reports.
John Sauven, the UK director of the campaign group Greenpeace, told BuzzFeed News the discovery “raises urgent questions over the kind of influence British oil firms have over UK government officials.”
US authorities arrested 117 Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters who were camped out on private property and blocking roads on Thursday.
For the last two months, protesters have convened in North Dakota to oppose the construction of the pipeline, a 1,172-mile-long structure that runs through four states to transfer crude oil.
Protesters have maintained that the land isn’t private and was given to Great Sioux Nation in the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1851. The land was subsequently taken back by the US government. Mike McCleary / The Bismarck Tribune via AP Photo
QUICK THINGS TO KNOW
US news: A federal jury cleared the first seven people to face trial in connection with the armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge in January.
World affairs: Bill Clinton and the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il met in 2009 — here’s what they talked about (the dictator thought Clinton should come back for a vacation sometime).
New podcast: The first episode of BuzzFeed’s latest podcast, See Something Say Something, premieres today. Every week, Ahmed Ali Akbar gathers folks together to drink tea, tell stories, and talk about being Muslim in America.
Movies: Poverty experts are defending the British film I, Daniel Blake for its realism after its depiction of life on welfare in the UK was described by critics as “laughably inaccurate.”
Inside the strange, paranoid world of Julian Assange: The WikiLeaks founder is out to settle a score with Hillary Clinton and reassert himself as a player on the world stage, says BuzzFeed News special correspondent James Ball, who worked for Assange at WikiLeaks.
The internet’s favorite congressman is a joke: Rep. Steven Smith of Georgia’s 15th District was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump and has been a vocal and provocative advocate for the candidate on Twitter. Two things, though: Georgia doesn’t have a 15th District, and there’s no congressman named Steven Smith. Meet the man behind the myth.
The slow fade of Tom Hanks: For over 30 years, Hanks has been one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars — the quintessential Dad. But that simple likability camouflages the political potency of Hanks and the brand of white, middle-class Dad he’s come to represent.