tiktok

Tiktok is valued at $75b, is spending $3m/day on US advertising, and in China, it has been turned into a state propaganda vehicle

It's been a year since Chinese social media giant Bytedance relaunched its super-popular app Musica.ly as Tiktok; the company is now valued at $75b, and in the USA it has become a serious challenge to US-based social media companies, courting a young audience (so young that it's getting into legal hot water over it). Read the rest

Teens are filling Tiktok with memes deploring #Life360, a parenting app that tracks teens

Life360 is an app that lets you track a mobile phone user in fine-grained, realtime detail, with options to set alert for things like "is this person exceeding the speed limit?" It's widely used by parents to track their teens, and this seems to be the summer where it comes into its own, with millions of families around the world relying on it to act as a kind of remote leash for their kids. Read the rest

To do in LA this weekend: laugh your head off at PUBLIC DOMAIN THE MUSICAL at the Hollywood Fringe

Last night, I went to see Public Domain: The Musical at the Actor's Company Theater in West Hollywood. I had no idea what to expect, but I was prepared for the worst (I've been to shows at fringe festivals where I would have walked out in the first five minutes, except I was the only person in the audience), and I was totally wrong. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. Read the rest

Short videos of skilled and playful workers performing their jobs with acrobatic flair

Kaitlyn Reed created a Twitter thread of videos of (mostly Chinese) workers performing manual tasks with incredible acrobaticism, dexterity and flair; the videos were ganked from Tiktok, the massively popular China-based video platform that is mostly know in the west as a place where tweens make and share elaborately choreographic lipsync videos augmented with a suite of skillfully applied video effects. Read the rest

Read the full text of the Mueller report here, as redacted by Barr

Dems fight for unredacted report's release

A rapidly proliferating software license bars use by companies with poor labor practices

Katt Gu and Suji Yan's Anti 996 License allows developers to prohibit the use of their code by companies that do not adhere to basic labor practices (996 is a Chinese software industry term for shops where coders work 9AM-9PM, 6 days/week). Read the rest

Why are creators paying for TikTok’s mistake?

TikTok is an app that makes it easy for people to make short lip-synching videos, which unsurprisingly makes it a goldmine of creativity and memes. TikTok recently got in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission because it failed to comply with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA requires online services that are either “directed at” children under the age of 13 or have knowledge that they have users who are under 13 to arrange for parental permission before they start collecting personal information about those users. Read the rest

You'll never guess what app teens use for sexting these days

What's the hottest teen chat app right now? Not Snapchat. Not Tiktok. And not Facebook Messenger (like, eww).

Nope. It's none of those. Read the rest

FTC fines app TikTok/Musical.ly $5.7 million for child data privacy violations

Today's FTC ruling impacts how the TikTok app works for users under the age of 13.

India set to adopt China-style internet censorship

New rules limiting internet freedom could be imposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government any time after Thursday night.

Watch: Tourist in Australia picks up a "pretty octopus," not realizing he could die in minutes if stung

A tourist in Australia picked up a beautiful tiny octopus and originally posted it on TikTok with "What a pretty octopus" written in Mandarin. But what the tourist didn't seem to know is that he was holding a blue-ringed octopus, which "carries enough venom to kill 26 full grown adults in a span of minutes," according to Gizmodo.

Via Gizmodo:

The venom of the blue-ringed octopus, which contains the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, causes paralysis and the sting is so small that most people have no idea that they’ve been poisoned until it’s too late.

To make things even more horrifying, there’s no anti-venom available for the blue-ringed octopus. The only known treatment is to massage the victim’s heart until the venom works its way throughout a person’s body in a matter of hours.

And from Traveller:

Marine ecology expert Michael Keough from the University of Melbourne said picking up an octopus exposes the hand to the beak, a few millimetres-long horny barb located on the bottom of the octopus between its tentacles.

"It can only bite if it's on top of something," he said.

Designed to pierce the exoskeletons of crabs, the octopus's beak releases a neurotoxin from its glands that causes paralysis, causing its prey to stop breathing and die "within an hour".

Read the rest

Instagram "influencers" phished and accounts stolen

Instagram influencers are easy marks for phishers: they are unlikely to be security-savvy, are easily taken-in by marketing patter, have huge easily-grifted audiences, and Instagram won't even give them their accounts back afterward. Taylor Lorenz:

For young influencers with no direct contacts at Instagram or Facebook, it can be nearly impossible to retrieve a stolen account. Hackers will change the contact email address and phone number and reset the username so the account is impossible to find. Then, they’ll run ads on it until they can sell the whole page off for a large price, sometimes more than a hundred thousand dollars.

Faisal Shafique, a college student who Instagrams under the handle @Fact, said that he earns roughly $300,000 a year from posting sponsored content for brands like TikTok and Fashion Nova. When Brooks seized control of his account several weeks ago, it put those brand deals in jeopardy, potentially costing him his livelihood. Shafique was able to retrieve his account back before it was sold off, but he estimates he would have lost a half-a-million-dollar property if he hadn’t.

See also The Rise of the Nanoinfluencer -- people with smaller but still exploitable social media followings who get paid in care packages of the (sometimes expensive) stuff they post about. Read the rest

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