‘Tip Jar’ To Send or Pay Money to Others on Twitter

Latest Twitter Feature Is Bound to Create Ethical Issues

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The social media platform Twitter has recently launched the feature of Tip Jar that allows individuals to send actual money to other people on the social networking site. The tech firm has stated that this feature is an easy way by which people could support the innovative voices of individuals that makes up conversations.

In the beginning, only a selected number of individuals would be able to receive tips, which would be a group made by Twitter comprising of creators, experts, non-profit organizations, and journalists. However, the feature of the tip jar has also been criticized by certain people, as it would be exposing some of the personal information of the individual, including their email address.

The function of the tip jar would essentially add a small-sized icon on the user profile, but only on mobile devices for the time being. It would include a drop-down menu for payment methods, including the services of PayPal, the Cash App, and Venmo, the latter both are currently popularly used throughout the United States.

Possible leaking of information

As the payments are being made using an external source, it has been pointed out by Twitter users that using the tip jar feature through a PayPal account would allow the recipient of the money to access the postal address of the sender.

In some of the other cases, the email address could also be easily seen of the recipient, even if the money was not sent from the account at all.

After the issue was highlighted by the security expert Rachel Tobac, the product lead of Twitter Kayvon Beykpour later thanked her for her efforts in highlighting the issue, but Twitter has said that they are unable to control the handling of information by PayPal for their tip jar feature.

Instead, it has been stated by Twitter that they would be further updated information regarding the tip jar to make it clear to their users that some of their personal details might be shared during their transaction made during tipping using the feature of the tip jar.

According to PayPal, the issue has arisen due to the fact that Twitter’s tip jar had been using their payment option of goods and services, which allows sharing some of the details while shipping products. They also said that people are able to toggle to the option of friends and family during the payment for tip jar during their transaction to completely avoid this issue.

The tip jar also provides support for Bandcamp, which is widely used by the musician community, and Patreon, which is used by all kinds of independent creators on digital media, including podcasters and YouTubers.

Twitter has said that this addition was inspired by individuals who usually add payment links or ads of Patreon on tweets that went viral.

Possible issues with tip jar feature

As time passes and the initial testing for the tip jar feature becomes a hit, further people would be allowed to add this functionality on their user profile soon. However, multiple concerns have been raised regarding its usage.

In particular, journalists are often not allowed to receive gifts, while it is still unclear if the news organizations those journalists are working for would allow them to receive these tips.

The correspondent of the Politico’ Washington, Ryan Lizza, tweeted that the tip jar feature by Twitter would raise some issues for the newsrooms. He also asked if the reporters working at one of your favorite networks or publications would be allowed to accept monetary donations from any individual on the internet.

For which another news reporter working at a newspaper based in the United States tweeted that the tip jar feature would likely create some ethical issues, while on the other hand, the job of a news reporter does not provide enough money.

The Twitter tip jar is the newest experiment from a social networking site, which has observed massive growth in the past few years.

In the earlier few days of the month of May, Twitter has been able to acquire Scroll, which is a subscription service that removes ads from participating news webpages and has publicly announced that they would be parting with the upcoming subscription service by Twitter.

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