• Twitter CEO Gently Tells Trump: Your 'Lost' Followers Are Bots and Spam Accounts

    Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyOn Tuesday, President Trump hosted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in the Oval Office for a closed-door meeting, during which the leader of the free world spent an inordinate amount of time complaining about lost Twitter followers, according to a source familiar with the conversation.The Twitter chief, for his part, tried to reassure the president that the company’s staff merely wants his follower count to be as bot-free as possible.This is what the most powerful person in the world was preoccupied with Tuesday.A large percentage of the meeting, which included senior White House officials such as Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino, was spent addressing the subject of @realDonaldTrump’s follower count. The president stated his belief that he had lost some of his roughly 59 million followers in anti-Trump, anti-conservative Twitter purges, according to a source familiar with the meeting. Dorsey, according to this knowledgeable source, had to explain to the president that like other Twitter users, @realDonaldTrump periodically loses followers when the site deletes fake or bot accounts. Dorsey even said he himself had lost followers as a result of Twitter’s efforts to delete fake accounts.During this private gathering in the West Wing, Dorsey assured Trump that the company wants him, and everyone else on Twitter, to have only real followers, according to the source.Trump also said he’s heard from other prominent conservatives about problems with Twitter, though he declined to name names.The summit with Twitter’s CEO is unlikely to assuage the president’s concerns about tech giants and social media, of which he has many. Two people close to Trump previously told The Daily Beast that Trump has repeatedly griped to associates about how his predecessor, President Obama, has had more Twitter followers than he has, even though-by Trump’s own assessment-he is so much better at Twitter than Obama is.The Washington Post first reported that the president devoted much of the White House meeting to grumbling about his Twitter followers. Earlier in the day, Motherboard broke the news that Trump and Dorsey were meeting on Tuesday. Dorsey also used the meeting to promote Twitter’s efforts to fight opioid addiction, which include using a special emoji to promote National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It is unclear how interested Trump was in discussing those efforts, at least compared to his time spent inquiring about the alleged purging of his followers.Beyond confirming that the meeting had indeed occurred, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not respond to The Daily Beast’s follow-up questions as of press time.The discussion came a few hours after early morning tweets from the president accusing Twitter of playing “political games” with his follower count and calling for congressional intervention against the company. “Constantly taking people off list,” Trump tweeted. “Big complaints from many people.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

  • Stop Everything: Did Meghan Markle Secretly Give Birth to Baby Sussex?

    As the world celebrated the one-year birthday on Tuesday of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s third child, Prince Louis, idle gossip began to grow regarding another royal baby birthday. Did Meghan Markle secretly already give birth? And, if so, how long before she and Prince Harry announce the news? With mounting clues supporting the theory […]

  • 'She took her last breath in my arms': Woman's tragic post after baby dies on flight

    "I immediately knew something was horribly wrong."

  • 15-year-old student 'ashamed' and 'disgusted' after being dress coded at school

    A high school student in Kentucky says that she was “extremely humiliated” by a teacher who reprimanded her for a set of overalls, which she alleges are within the school’s dress code.

  • Sri Lanka 'bombing mastermind' named as Moulvi Zahran Hashim

    Sri Lankan intelligence has named the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday attacks as Moulvi Zahran Hashim, an extremist local cleric who incited his followers to violence with fiery sermons on his social media channels. The revelation comes after senior government officials accused the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) a little-known group promoting Islamist terrorist ideology, as the perpetrators of the horrific suicide bombings which have now killed 310 people, including eight British citizens. India’s CNN News 18 channel first reported the possible involvement of Hashim in the massacre, claiming that Indian intelligence sources had indicated to the Sri Lankans that he was planning to attack the Indian High Commission in Colombo in early April. An initial probe into deadly suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka that killed more than 300 people shows it was "retaliation for Christchurch," the country's deputy defence minister said Tuesday. "The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka (on Sunday) was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch," state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament. Read more | Sri Lanka attacks Over the last two years, Hashim gained thousands of followers and attracted the attention of jihad experts for his incendiary preaching on a pro-Islamic State Sri Lankan Facebook account, known as ‘Al-Ghuraba’ media, and on YouTube. Robert Postings, a writer and researcher on the Islamic State, said on his Twitter account that he had first encountered Hashim in late 2017 when the “self-styled” preachers was disseminating pro-Isil propaganda on Facebook. YouTube videos of the Islamist who is now the face of one of the worst terrorist atrocities since 9/11 shows him railing against all non-believers, including Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, and declaring that only Muslims are fit to rule. The backdrop to his sermons included images of the burning Twin Towers. Three days after the attack, there have been no claims of reponsibility by Islamic State, the NTJ, or any other group for the series of six devastating bombings across three hotels and three churches on Sunday. There have also been conflicting reports about the fate of Hashim, with claims circulating that he was one of the suicide bombers who carried out the attack and counter-claims that he may be on the run in the neighbouring Maldives islands. Although known primarily as a luxury honeymoon destination, the Maldives also supplied hundreds of radicalised fighters to Isil’s failed attempts to set up an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East. Hashim himself was known among the Muslim community as a divisive figure who was said to have dropped out of his seminary in India either because of ideological differences or over money worries. He is believed to have clashed with fellow clerics and encouraged his followers to attack rival mosques. Hilmy Ahamed, the vice-president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, told The Telegraph he had been trying to warn officials about Hashim’s extremism for three years after it emerged that he was radicalisng young pupils in his Koran classes. "We were very concerned that this guy was preaching hate on social media and uploading a lot of videos,” he said. Mr Ahamed said Hashim continued to shuttle between India and Sri Lanka, travelling by fishing boat to avoid detection. Hashim's group began as an offshoot of the Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamaath, which has repeatedly fractured due to internal disputes. People attend burial ritual of the victims of multiple terror attacks during a funeral ceremony in Negomboo Credit: Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images The group could not have carried out the attack without external help, added Mr Ahamed. One working theory among regional security experts is that returning fighters could have provided training and logistics to the marginal NTJ which, although a cheerleader of global jihad, had only been known previously for defacing Buddhist statues in Sri Lanka. In January, police in Puttalam, some 100 miles north of Colombo, raided a coconut plantation, where they discovered 100kg of C4 explosives, 100 detonators, 75kg of ammonium nitrate and potassium chlorate and six 20 litre cans of nitric acid.   Reports at the time did not name the group involved but said the site may be linked to a newly emerging militant group that was tied to the vandalising of Buddhist statues. Suspects were arrested but later released on bail. Three months later, Sri Lankan security agencies received a tip-off from Indian and US intelligence agencies that the NTJ may be preparing to carry out terrorist acts against churches, but the crucial information was not passed to country’s prime minister. Since the attacks, the Sri Lankan government has apologised for failing to act on the intelligence brief.