All posts in “Gifs”

Indonesia wanted to block WhatsApp because people are sending ‘obscene GIFs’

Image: RITCHIE B. TONGO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

WhatsApp appears to be the latest social media platform to run afoul of Indonesia’s censorship rules.

The populous Southeast Asian nation on Monday vowed to block WhatsApp within 48 hours, if it did not ensure that “obscene” GIFs were removed from the platform.

Indonesia later dropped its threat after Tenor, WhatsApp’s third party GIF provider, appeared to have fixed the issue.

“We see now that they have done what we asked. Therefore we won’t block them,” the director general from Indonesia’s communication and informatics ministry, Semuel Pangerapan told Reuters on Tuesday.

WhatsApp relies on both Tenor and Giphy to provide GIFs to users, and randomly assigns users to either GIF database. Giphy didn’t appear to have the issue, because it offers its clients the option to filter sensitive content.

According to Reuters, iPhone users were unable to access Tenor GIFs on Tuesday, with Tenor saying that it had “already implemented a fix for the content issues.”

Tenor is one of WhatsApp's third-party GIF providers

Tenor is one of WhatsApp’s third-party GIF providers

Image: mashable

WhatsApp is the country’s fourth most popular messaging app, with approximately 39 million users on it, according to research site eMarketer.

Initially, Indonesian authorities were alarmed by reports of “obscene” content circulating on the platform.

“If there is no response [by] Wednesday, we are blocking [WhatsApp],” Pangerapan had told local news outlet Detik on Monday.

But WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, had said that it could not monitor content because communications were encrypted and GIFs were run by third-party providers.

“We’ve directed the Indonesia government to work with these third-party providers to review their content,” Facebook spokeswoman Charlene Chian had told news outlet ABC.

Clamping down on Google too

It doesn’t end there.

Indonesia on Tuesday added that they were also calling on Google to “clean up” its network.

The Muslim-majority country said it would summon representatives of messaging services and search engines, including Alphabet Inc — Google’s parent company.

“We will call all providers, including Google to clean up their network,” said Pangerapan.

Indonesia has strict anti-pornography laws and authorities have been increasingly tightening its grip on the internet.

Earlier this year, Indonesia briefly blocked popular messaging service Telegram, fearing that it was being used by terror groups.

The country also placed a temporary block on Netflix earlier last year, saying that they displayed “violence and adult content.”

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The fastest and easiest way to share GIFs to Instagram on iPhone and Android

Image: brittany herbert/mashable

Sharing photos and videos to Instagram is a no-brainer. But sharing GIFs? That requires a little more work.

The first thing you need to know about sharing GIFs to Instagram is that you’re not really sharing a GIF after it’s all said and done. 

What I mean is, the GIF you want to share basically needs to be converted into a video file. More specifically, an MP4 video file.

Yeah, it’s a little bit of a pain in the ass to convert the files, but hey, if you want to grow your meme-based Insta to even come close to @fuckjerry, you’re gonna need to put in the hard work. 

For iOS

There are dozens of apps available that’ll convert your GIFs into a video file, but none as fast as using GifLab (free) for iOS.

Step 1: Save the the GIF you want to share to Instagram to your camera roll. 

Step 2: Open GifLab and select “GIF to Instagram.”

Step 3: Select your GIF and adjust the playback speed.

Step 4: Tap “Save and share on Instagram.”

Step 5: Break out the 🍸🍷🍹, and enjoy how damn easy that was.

For Android

On Android, the easiest way to post a GIF is with GIPHY CAM (free).

Step 1: Save the the GIF you want to share to Instagram to your camera roll (Download folder). 

Step 2: Open GIPHY CAM and tap on the camera roll (film strip).

Step 3: Select your GIF and then tap the > button.

Step 4: Wait for the GIF to convert, tap the Instagram button, and then share.

Step 5: Break out the 🍸🍷🍹, and enjoy how damn easy that was.

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Facebook finally, finally, finally lets you put GIFs in comments

That sweet reaction GIF finally has a place on Facebook.

After a months-long test of the feature, the social network announced that it’s finally rolling out support for GIFs in Facebook comments.

Beginning today, anyone can add a GIF to a Facebook comment using a new GIF button that appears alongside the emoji picker. Much like the GIF button in Facebook Messenger, the new GIF comments are sourced from Facebook’s GIF partners, including Giphy, Tenor, and Disney.

Importantly, there are a few limitations. Though you can search for GIFs using the feature’s built-in search, adding a specific GIF you have in mind may be a bit more difficult. You can’t upload your own GIFs or post GIFs via a URL like you can with a normal Facebook post.

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Facebook has a complicated history with GIFs. The social network supported GIF uploads in early versions of the service but discontinued it more than a decade ago. In 2015, Facebook reversed course and added support for GIF links via Giphy or other sources and added a GIF button to its Messenger. 

Despite the restrictions, though, Facebook’s GIF features remain hugely popular. Facebook users exchanged nearly 13 billion GIFs on Messenger in 2016 alone, according to the company, which works out to about 25,000 GIFs each minute. 

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Ukraine tweeting a ‘Simpsons’ GIF at Russia is peak 2017 politics

Ukraine vs Russia in today's Twitter feud.
Ukraine vs Russia in today’s Twitter feud.

Image: mashable composite: twitter/emojipedia

Twitter is obviously the place to be for anyone (or any nation) looking to pack a political punch in the 21st century.

So on Tuesday the official Twitter account for Ukraine decided that tweeting a Simpsons GIF at Russia’s Foreign Affairs account, itself pretty active on Twitter, would be the perfect way to properly usher the nations’ conflict into the digital age.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin met with President of France, Emmanuel Macron to deliver a joint press conference on Monday, much to the ire of Ukrainians, Putin said Anna Yaroslavna, queen consort of France from 1051 to 1060, was Russian.

Ukraine later @’ed Russia on Tuesday to set the record straight and give the country a little history refresher about Yaroslavna, who married France’s King Henry I but was in fact Kiev-born. 

Ukraine seemed more than a little peeved that Russia was co-opting history and misleading people into thinking Yaroslav was from Moscow, when in fact Moscow hadn’t even been established in 1051. Dmytro Shymkiv, deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine was so bothered by Putin’s comments about Yaroslavna that he further clarified her heritage on his Facebook account, explaining, “My dear French friends, Russian president Putin tried to mislead you today.”

Russia’s response? Well, Russia simply justified the twisting of facts by saying, “Hey, Ukraine, we have a shared history.” 

Despite the fact that Ukrainian parliament declared independence from the Soviet Union back in 1991, Russia “proudly” declared that it shares the same historical heritage as Ukraine and Belarus, and feels this history should “unite, not divide” them.

Ukraine clapped back at Russia’s bold attempt to sugarcoat the nations’ rocky history along with Putin’s present-day stretching of the truth by reminding Russia that the “shared history” wasn’t exactly “shared” by Ukraine’s choice.

With a touch of snark and a little help from The Simpsons, Ukraine used a memorable political moment in animated pop-culture to troll Russia for its selective memory regarding the long, tangled history between the two countries.

Can we just take a second to accurately appreciate that?

“You really don’t change, do you?” Ukraine asked, delivering an epic burn to Russia.

The GIF, from a 1998 episode of the show titled Simpson Tide, wasn’t Ukraine’s last. The debating and interpretation of centuries-old history and action continued, culminating in yet another GIF at the fingers of the person running the Ukraine Twitter account, this time of Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock.

To completely untangle the history of the Russia-Ukraine feud is, to put it lightly, incredibly complicated and the kind of subject that fills hundreds of very long books. 

A heightened tension between the two nations sparked after 2013 protests took place in Kiev, followed by dangerous attacks in 2014, and a series of trade disagreements and military intervention. From Kievan Rus to Catherine the Great to the Soviet Union to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, the two nations embarked on what is currently one of the deadliest crises in European history. 

So it makes total sense for this long-simmering feud to finally become a battle of memes on Twitter, right? 

Marvelous. Just marvelous.

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Google just launched a GIF maker to make your data look better

Google wants to help make your research look better.

To help journalists share their research and tell stories in a more visual and appealing way, Google just launched Data GIF Maker, a data visualization creator.

“Data visualizations are an essential storytelling tool in journalism, and though they are often intricate, they don’t have to be complex,” Google wrote in their announcement. ” In fact, with the growth of mobile devices as a primary method of consuming news, data visualizations can be simple images formatted for the device they appear on.”

The project came out of Google’s News Lab, an initiative to support journalists and storytelling. The lab also created the popular Google Trends project.

To make a data gif with Google’s new tool, simply add two terms, their titles, and an additional description (for our test, we used data from a 2014 study about how people pronounce internet terms): 

Image: google

The tool will then generate a handy gif like this:

Image: google

Right now the tool is very basic and currently supports comparisons between only two data points, meaning it’s not the best fit for complex data and comparisons. But for simple visualizations, Data Gif Maker is extremely easy to use. By adding some color and animation, journalists can make the research they’re trying to share a lot easier and more pleasant to consume, rather than listing the same information in text.

The tool is free to use and you can try it here.

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