Media Insider: Twitter Fights Vaccine Misinformation With New Search Tool, The Washington Post Adds Subscription Tools to Arc, Instagram is Killing its Standalone Direct App

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.

A variety of social media words

THE VERGE | MAKENA KELLY
Twitter fights vaccine misinformation with new search tool

To prevent the spread of anti-vax misinformation, Twitter launched a new search tool that will prompt users searching for vaccine-related tweets to head to vaccines.org. Twitter — and other social media companies — have faced growing pressure over the last few months from lawmakers and the public to remove anti-vaccination propaganda from their platforms. In a recent company blog post, Del Harvey, VP of Trust and Safety, said, “We’re committed to protecting the health of the public conversation on Twitter. Ensuring individuals can find information from authoritative sources is a key part of that mission.” As of right now, users will see the tool on iOS, Android, Twitter’s mobile site, and the newly designed desktop site in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Brazil, and Korea.

Read the blog post here: Helping you find reliable public health information on Twitter

DIGIDAY | MAX WILLENS
The Washington Post adds subscription tools to Arc

The Washington Post announced that it has added a suite of subscription tools to Arc — the modern publishing system engineered to meet the needs of the world’s largest publishers. According to the article, “The Post plans to offer clients a machine-learning tool that will help identify which kinds of readers are most likely to become subscribers. Unlike some other facets of Arc’s platform, publishers do not need to be Arc clients to use the subscription tools.” Because consumer revenue has emerged as a top priority for digital publishers, The Post is hoping that its first-hand experience with publisher problems will set it apart.

Related: In pivoting to paid, publishers run into tech headaches

TECHCRUNCH | INGRID LUNDEN
Instagram is killing Direct, its standalone Snapchat clone app, in the next several weeks

Instagram will be shutting down Direct, the standalone direct messaging app, to consolidate more of its various apps onto a single platform. “Instead, Facebook and its Instagram team will channel all developments and activity into the direct messaging feature of the main Instagram app,” TechCrunch reports. For those who use the Direct app, their conversations will automatically move over to Instagram. Although there will no longer be a standalone app, Instagram will continue developing Direct features.

Check out what else Instagram has been working on: Instagram prototypes video co-watching

THE NEW YORK POST | KEITH J. KELLY
Salon Media in talks for $5M fire sale in last-ditch effort

In a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Salon Media Group reportedly stated it has reached a $5 million deal to sell itself to a company called Salon.com LLC. Although the filing contained no other details on the mystery buyer or buyers, the New York Post reports that “the deal would only require a $550,000 payment at closing.” As for the remaining amount, $100,000 is going to an escrow account, a $500,000 deposit has already been paid, and the additional $3.85 million would be paid in two installments over the next two years. The filing also revealed that Salon Media CEO, Jordan Hoffner, resigned suddenly earlier this month and Richard MacWilliams has been named acting CEO.

Check out the SEC filing here.

COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW | COREY HUTCHINS
Should a Colorado library publish local news?

Longmont, Colo., voters may be asked to consider new taxes to fund a special governmental subdivision. Some residents hope to include a community news component in the proposed “library district.” Longmont has some of the fastest internet speeds in the nation after a recent vote approved a publicly owned fiber-optic broadband network — ideal for running a “modern” newsroom. Mayor Brian Bagley, an attorney who has lived in Longmont for a decade, is encouraging all those involved to develop a plan on how a taxpayer-supported library district that runs a newsroom can do so without politics influencing coverage. “I am highly skeptical,” he told CJR.

ICYMI: Journalism is a public service. Why don’t we fund it like one?

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Joanna Giannell is a Senior Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. She is also an animal lover and music enthusiast. Tune into her insights as a social curator at @PRNpets.

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