Russia slows down Twitter for not removing ‘illegal content’

Twitter users in Russia will need to practice patience every time they visit the website. Roskomnadzor, the country's communications authority, has announced that it's slowing down Twitter's speed for failing to remove illegal content and materials with prohibited information. The decision comes shortly after Russia sued Twitter, Google, Facebook and other websites for allegedly failing to delete posts urging children to take part in illegal protests over the sentencing received by Alexei Navalny, a prominent Vladimir Putin critic. However, Roskomnadzor's announcement didn't mention those posts in its announcement.

Instead, it cited tweets containing child pornography and drug use, as well as posts inciting minors to commit suicide as its reason for the move. The regulator said it has sent Twitter over 28,000 requests to remove illegal content since 2017 and that 3,168 materials with prohibited information still remain on the platform. It put emphasis on tweets calling for minors to commit mass suicide on March 3rd, which the website allegedly didn't remove. Roskomnadzor said its decision to throttle speeds on Twitter is meant to protect Russian citizens and to force the website to comply with the country's legislation.

A Twitter spokesperson provided us with the following statement: “We are aware of reports that Twitter is being intentionally slowed down broadly and indiscriminately in Russia due to apparent content removal concerns. Let us be clear – we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding child sexual exploitation, it is against the Twitter Rules to promote, glorify or encourage suicide and self harm, and we do not allow the use of Twitter for any unlawful behaviour or to further illegal activities, including the buying and selling of drugs. We remain committed to advocating for the Open Internet around the world and deeply concerned by increased attempts to block and throttle online public conversation."

The Twitter slowdown will be implemented on all mobile devices and 50 percent of non-mobile devices, including PCs. In addition, the regulator threatened to block Twitter in the country completely if it continues to "ignore the requirements of the law."

Update, 2:15PM ET: Added a statement from Twitter.

Apple publishes first menstrual symptom data from women’s health study

Back in 2019, Apple teamed up with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for its women's health study. The initiative aims to uncover insights about people's health in relation to menstrual cycle by collecting data through the Research app for the iPhone and Apple Watch. Now, the tech giant has published its first set of data, which came from analyzing the menstrual cycle symptoms tracked by 6,141 out of the first 10,000 participants who enrolled to take part. 

Based on the results, the most common symptom is abdominal cramps reported by 83 percent of the participants. That's followed by bloating and tiredness, reported by 63 percent and 61 percent of the participants, respectively. They also reported acne, headache, mood changes, appetite changes, lower back pain and breast tenderness. 

Meanwhile, the more uncommon symptoms include diarrhea and sleep changes (37 percent each), as well as constipation and nausea (32 percent each). The least tracked symptoms were hot flashes and ovulation pain, which were only reported by 22 percent and 20 percent of the participants, respectively. In addition, Apple and its partners analyzed the reported menstrual symptoms in relation to participants' ages, ethnicities and locations to show similarities and differences across demographics.

Apple
Apple

The team says it's hoping the study can remove stigma around menstruation and normalize the experience of symptoms so that women, girls and people with menstrual cycles don't get deterred from seeking care for menstrual-related pain. "By building knowledge," the results' announcement reads, "the study is helping to understand factors that make menstruation difficult and isolating for some people. This includes cycle irregularity, extreme pain, or ovarian cysts." Anybody interested in contributing to the study can still do so by downloading the Research app, though they need to be at least 18 years old to participate.

Elon Musk reveals why the SN10 Starship exploded

For a short while after SpaceX's SN10 Starship touched down on March 3rd, it seemed like the prototype made it out of its test flight unscathed. The vehicle exploded on its landing pad around a minute later, though, creating a massive inferno like its predecessorsdid. Now, Elon Musk has revealed what went wrong in responses sent to followers on Twitter. The SpaceX chief said the SN10 engine was low on thrust probably due to "partial helium ingestion from [the] fuel header tank" and that the impact crushed the rocket's legs and part of its skirt. SpaceX is now working on multiple fixes for the issue so that it doesn't affect SN10's successor, the SN11, anymore.

Chris Bergin of NASA Spaceflight tweeted that the issue is a "tricky one," seeing as the helium ingestion was caused by the pressurization system added to the CH4 tank to prevent what caused SN8 Starship's explosion. Musk said that's a "fair point," and he approved the change because it sounded good at the time.

SpaceX's Starship is a heavy-lift launch vehicle that's being developed to carry cargo and human passengers to Earth's orbit and beyond. SN10's explosion won't be slowing down the company's testing efforts — in fact, it recently rolled out the SN11 prototype to its Boca Chica facility to start preparing for its fourth high-altitude test launch.