Twitter

The hashtag is 10! Yes, the symbol that started out as the lowly "number sign" or "pound" on the telephone keypad and later morphed into something entirely different is 10 years old today. And it has accomplished quite a lot. In fact, it's hard to imagine modern communication without it.

And you might think it was all by design. That the folks running Twitter needed a catchy little tool to help their new platform catch fire, and the hashtag is what they came up with.

But that's not the way it happened.

The former president's message after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., was brief, but it hit the right note for many.

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion ... ," Barack Obama tweeted, accompanied by a photo of himself, jacket slung over his shoulder, smiling at four young children gathered at a windowsill.

In name and in aim, it's a bill for our political moment.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois presents: the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement, or COVFEFE Act.

As Congress has taught us time and again, any legislative priority can be pretzeled into an acronym if you simply toss away the conventions of standard American English.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

Spokespeople at the White House and the State Department say the Trump administration remains committed to cooperation among Arab allies in the Middle East. The reassurance comes after a series of tweets in which President Trump appeared to be siding with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states in their push to isolate Qatar.

President Trump's Twitter account may be popular among his fans at home, but his latest missives are complicating the work of American diplomats overseas. As some diplomats push back, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert cautions that they "are expected to use their judgment."

Consider Trump's personal attack on London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, after Saturday night's deadly terrorist attack in the British capital.

President Trump has been tweeting about a federal court ruling that temporarily blocked his plan to suspend funding for "sanctuary cities."

These are cities — among them New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco — that have limited their cooperation with federal immigration authorities. For example, they may refuse to detain people who are in the U.S. illegally on behalf of the federal agents.

Now, the Trump tweets:

President Trump's Tweets, Annotated

Mar 7, 2017

President Trump tweets a lot. With tens of millions of followers on Twitter, Trump proposes policy, shares his latest actions and reacts to the news. But 140 characters rarely gives the full context. Here, we attempt to do just that for key tweets beginning on Jan. 20, when he officially took office.

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On Saturdays, Jim Stokes searches for typefaces.

And on the floors of parking lots, the displays in antique stores and the dust jackets of his modest 4,000 book science-fiction collection, he finds them.

Then, he waits until Sunday to post them on Twitter.

Preventing banned users from creating new accounts and changing its search tool to minimize blocked accounts are among the new steps Twitter is taking to prevent "the most prevalent and damaging forms of behavior" on its social media platform.

The moves come months after Twitter gave its users new ways to mute and report abusive posts, as NPR's Alina Selyukh reported in November.

Is the commander in chief also acting as the troller in chief?

President Trump on Monday morning ridiculed Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who became emotional Sunday while condemning the president's travel ban, which temporarily bars travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

"I noticed Chuck Schumer yesterday with fake tears," Trump said during an Oval Office photo op with small-business leaders. "I'm going to ask him who is his acting coach."

Hundreds were detained at airports around the country Saturday in a chaotic and confusing day following President Trump's Friday night executive order temporarily banning Muslims from seven countries.

It spurred protests and backlash — even from some in Trump's own party, for either mismanagement of the rollout of the order or the values it represents.

Twitter has suspended several accounts linked to the alt-right movement, which has been associated with white nationalism.

The move comes as Twitter is rolling out a series of actions to curb hate speech and abuse on its platform as criticism has mounted of the company's failure to rein in harassment, racism, sexism and anti-Semitism.

Twitter's inability to curb harassment and trolling has long plagued the social platform — by far its biggest criticism. The company is now trying something it hopes will rein in abusive users.

Twitter says it's adding new ways for users to flag or avoid seeing offensive posts in the broadest attempt yet to tackle the problem.

This week, actress and comedian Leslie Jones quit Twitter after receiving a barrage of targeted racist, sexist and otherwise abusive messages following the release of the all-female remake of Ghostbusters.

Adam Fagen/flickr

While students are out of school for the holiday break, Florida’s attorney general is waging a Twitter campaign to keep kids safe in cyberspace. The campaign urges parents to get a good look into their children’s electronic devices.

Kids have more time to spend online when school is out. Attorney General Pam Bondi says predators know this and are looking for potential victims. She says predators use online games with message boards and Internet chat rooms to pose as teenagers and ask for face-to-face meetings. 

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