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Twitter names first international markets to get checks on political advertisers

Twitter has announced it’s expanding checks on political advertisers outside the U.S. to also cover Australia, India and all the member states of the European Union. This means anyone wanting to run political ads on its platform in those regions will first need to go through its certification process to prove their identity and certify a local location via a verification letter process. Enforcement of the policies will kick in in the three regions on March 11, Twitter said today in a . “Poli...
Tags: Social, Asia, Twitter, Europe, Advertising Tech, Indonesia, Australia, India, US, Social Media, Tech, Eu, European Union, Thailand, Philippines, General Election

Movable Ink adds augmented reality to email marketing arsenal

Movable Ink has always helped marketers create highly customizable, visually interesting emails. Today, the company announced a new capability for marketers who want to introduce light-weight augmented reality (AR) to their campaigns. Moveable Ink co-founder and CTO Michael Nutt says the company was looking for a way to provide customers with AR experiences with less fuss than most current methods. “Marketers were looking for something interesting in AR, but they wanted to do it themselves witho...
Tags: Marketing, Tech, Augmented Reality, Email Marketing, Cto, Movable Ink, Michael Nutt

Uganda loses 5 million internet users as a result of Social Media Tax

Half-way through 2018, Uganda introduced a Social Media (OTT) tax which required Ugandans to pay a tax if they wanted to access services such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and many others. It turns out, based on released data by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the tax has had a significant impact on the number of internet users in the East Afrikan country resulting in a drop of 3 million internet users over a 3 month period. What is also interesting when one looks at the data relea...
Tags: Startups, Africa, Social Media, Tech, Uganda, UCC, Uganda Communications Commission UCC, Facebook Twitter WhatsApp, Syndication, East Afrikan

UK parliament calls for antitrust, data abuse probe of Facebook

A final report by a British parliamentary committee which spent months last year investigating online political disinformation makes very uncomfortable reading for Facebook — with the company singled out for “disingenuous” and “bad faith” responses to democratic concerns about the misuse of people’s data. In the report, published today, the committee has also called for Facebook’s use of user data to be investigated by the UK’s data watchdog. In an evidence session to the committee late last ...
Tags: Security, Social, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe, UK, Privacy, Advertising Tech, Russia, US, Social Media, Business Model, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Policy, United States

Funds for Richard’s Rainwater, New CPRIT Executive, & More TX Tech

—Pinpoint, an Austin startup that makes analytics tool to measure software engineering’s contribution to businesses, has raised $13.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Other investors include Storm Ventures, Boldstart Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Slack Fund, Social Capital, and Cherubic Ventures. The new money brings Pinpoint’s total funding to $16.5 million.—A Texas-based startup will be among the participants at the Hatch Pitch competition at South By Southwes...
Tags: Startups, Texas, Microsoft, China, Cancer, Cherubic Ventures, Funding, Trends, Social Media, Tech, Investment, Sustainability, People, Palo Alto, Vc, Commercialization

Using social media to measure air pollution’s psychological toll

People are less happy on days when the air is more polluted, according to an analysis of 210 million posts on the Chinese social media site Sina Weibo. Researchers have suspected air pollution takes a psychological toll generally, and dirty air due to industrialization, coal burning, and motor vehicles has become a drag on well-being for Chinese city dwellers. But these effects are difficult to measure. That’s where Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, comes in. An international team of resear...
Tags: Startups, Social Media, Tech, Weibo, Sina Weibo, Syndication

TikTok spotted testing native video ads

TikTok is testing a new ad product: a sponsored video ad that directs users to the advertiser’s website. The test was spotted in the beta version of the U.S. TikTok app, where a video labeled “Sponsored” from the bike retailer Specialized is showing up in the main feed, along with a blue “Lean More” button that directs users to tap to get more information. Presumably, this button could be customized to send users to the advertiser’s website or any other web address, but for the time being it ...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Apps, Video, Advertising Tech, China, Advertising, Tech, Video Ads, Ads, Ad Tech, Native Ads, Bytedance, Tiktok, Disney s Kingdom Hearts

The new period emoji is a first step in ending period shame

Emoji has become a universal language of its own, but up until now there wasn’t one for people to say “I’m on my period” — and that’s more important than you might think. This bloody brilliant news came earlier this month when the Unicode Consortium (the official body that manages emoji worldwide) confirmed in a blogpost that they had approved 59 new emoji designs, including a “drop of blood” that will be added to our emoji catalog in spring this year after more than 55,000 people voted for it. ...
Tags: Startups, Social Media, Tech, Unicode Consortium

2018 really was more of a dumpster fire for online hate and harassment, ADL study finds

Around 37 percent of Americans were subjected to severe hate and harassment online in 2018, according to a new study by the Anti-Defamation League, up from about 18 percent in 2017. And over half of all Americans experienced some form of harassment according to the ADL study. Facebook users bore the brunt of online harassment on social networking sites according to the ADL study, with around 56 percent of survey respondents indicating that at least some of their harassment occurred on the pla...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Harassment, Instagram, Bullying, Youtube, Social Media, Tech, Whatsapp, Cybercrime, Abuse, United States, Digital Media, Reddit, Cyberbullying, Behavior

Manipulating an Indian politician’s tweets is worryingly easy to do

Here’s a concerning story from India, where the upcoming election is putting the use of social media in the spotlight. While the Indian government is putting Facebook, Google and other companies under pressure to prevent their digital platforms from being used for election manipulation, a journalist has demonstrated just how easy it is to control the social media messages that published by government ministers. Pon Radhakrishnan, India’s minister of state for finance and shipping, publishe...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Asia, Twitter, Finance, India, BJP, Narendra Modi, Social Media, Tech, Whatsapp, Software, United States, Digital Media, United Kingdom, Journalist

Facebook urged to offer an API for political ad transparency research

Facebook has been called upon to provide good faith researchers with an API to enable them to study how political ads are spreading and being amplified on its platform. A coalition of European academics, technologists and human and digital rights groups, led by Mozilla, has signed an open letter to the company demanding far greater transparency about how Facebook’s platform distributes and amplifies political ads ahead of elections to the European parliament which will take place in May. W...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Europe, Transparency, UK, Advertising Tech, Social Media, Tech, Eu, European Union, Ireland, Nick Clegg, United Kingdom, Mozilla, Commission, European Commission

Dating apps face questions over age checks after report exposes child abuse

The UK government has said it could legislate to require age verification checks on users of dating apps, following an investigation into underage use of dating apps published by the Sunday Times yesterday. The newspaper found  more than 30 cases of child rape have been investigated by police related to use of dating apps including Grindr and Tinder since 2015.  It reports that one 13-year-old boy with a profile on the Grindr app was raped or abused by at least 21 men.  The Sunday Times also f...
Tags: Social, Apps, Europe, UK, Instagram, Tinder, Social Media, Tech, Bbc, Policy, Dating, Regulation, United Kingdom, Child Abuse, Dating Apps, Times

FDA chief summons Altria and JUUL to Washington to discuss teen vaping

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is calling Altria and Juul to meet in Washington to discuss their tie-up and how it impacts the companies’ plans to combat teen vaping. Earlier this year, Altria  href="">invested $12.8 billion investment in Juul. “After Altria’s acquisition of a 35 percent ownership interest in JUUL Labs, Inc., your newly announced plans with JUUL con...
Tags: Startups, TC, Tobacco, Washington, Government, Virginia, America, Social Media, Tech, Food And Drug Administration, Fda, E-cigarettes, Marlboro, Head, Juul, U S Food and Drug Administration

Tech platforms called to support public interest research into mental health impacts

The tech industry has been called on to share data with public sector researchers so the mental health and psychosocial impacts of their service on vulnerable users can be better understood, and also to contribute to funding the necessary independent research over the next ten years. The UK’s chief medical officers have made the call in a setting out advice and guidance for the government about children’s and young people’s screen use. They have also called for the industry to agree a code of ...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Europe, UK, Instagram, Advertising Tech, Bullying, Social Media, Tech, CMO, Mental Health, Abuse, Digital Media, United Kingdom, Photo Sharing, Science and Technology Committee

German antitrust office limits Facebook’s data-gathering

A lengthy antitrust probe into how Facebook gathers data on users has resulted in Germany’s competition watchdog banning the social network giant from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms without their consent. The investigation of Facebook data-gathering practices began in March 2016. The decision by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, , also prohibits Facebook from gathering data on users from third party websites — such as via tracking pixels and social plug-ins —...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe, UK, Instagram, Privacy, Germany, US, Social Media, Linkedin, Tech, Eu, European Union, Bbc, Snapchat

Africa Roundup: Zimbabwe’s net blackout, Partech’s $143M fund, Andela’s $100M raise, Flutterwave’s pivot

Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor Partech is doubling the size of its African venture fund to $143 million Zimbabwe’s government faces off against its tech community over internet restrictions A high court in Zimbabwe ended the government’s restrictions on internet and social media last month. After days of intermittent bla...
Tags: Credit Cards, Facebook, Uber, Column, Technology, Money, Maryland, Microsoft, Congress, India, New York City, Nigeria, Africa, San Francisco, Social Media, Tech

Facebook’s head of comms hits the road after 8 years at the company

Facebook head of communications Caryn Marooney is leaving for greener pastures, she announced today, on Facebook of course. She joins the growing number of executives and high-level employees departing the company during and after what may be its toughest year. “I spent a lot of time over the winter holiday reflecting, and with the New Year, and after 8 years at Facebook, I’ve decided to step down as leader of the communications group,” Marooney wrote. “I’ve decided it’s time to get back to m...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Social Media, Tech, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, Communications, Sheryl Sandberg, Cto, Jan Koum, Alex Stamos, Personnel, Marooney, Dan Rose, Neeraj Arora

Facebook de-platforms 4 Myanmar armed groups. Military behind Rohingya abuse didn't like them either.

Facebook said in a blog post today it has banned content from four armed groups in Myanmar (Burma), and promises to continue to remove all “related praise, support, and representation.” There's big pressure for Facebook to do the right thing in the Southeast Asian country where the social media platform has been used to incite racial tension and violence. Here is the entire Facebook post, links removed: Over the past year, we have repeatedly taken action against violent actors and bad content...
Tags: Facebook, Post, Business, Politics, Technology, Human Rights, News, Indonesia, Social Media, Tech, World news, Myanmar, Rohingya, Kia, Facebook Posts, Reuters

Highest Court In Indiana Set To Decide If You Can Be Forced To Unlock Your Phone

The Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that police should not be allowed to force you to turn over your passcode or unlock your device. "The Fifth Amendment states that no one can be forced to be 'a witness against himself,' and we argue that the constitutional protection applies to forced decryption," writes the EFF. Last week, the non-profit digital rights group filed a brief making that case to the Indiana Supreme Court, which is set to decide if you can be forced to unlock your phone. Fro...
Tags: Supreme Court, Seo, Tech, Indiana, Indianapolis, United States, Aclu, Electronic Frontier Foundation, State, Fisher, Indiana Supreme Court, Katelin Eunjoo Seo

A look at’s homepage over the last 15 years

Facebook — the equivalent of cigarettes for your mental health — turned 15 today. We were going to sing “Happy Birthday,” but couldn’t afford the rights to the song because we’re paying off our kids’ debts. Instead, let’s take another trip in the Wayback Machine to see how things have changed at over the years. Before Mark Zuckerberg attended Harvard university in 2004, a ‘face book’ was a pamphlet that students got with fellow students’ names and faces printed on it. The idea was t...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Social Media, Tech, Harvard, Insider, Distract

Instagram’s Adam Mosseri to meet UK health secretary over suicide content concerns

The still fresh-in-post boss of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has been asked to meet the UK’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, to discuss the social media platform’s handling of content that promotes suicide and self harm, the BBC reports. Mosseri’s summons follows an outcry in the UK over disturbing content being recommended to vulnerable users of Instagram, following the suicide of a 14 year old schoolgirl, Molly Russell, who killed herself in 2017. After her death, Molly’s family discovered she ...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Europe, UK, Instagram, Molly, Youtube, Social Media, Tech, Bbc, Artificial Intelligence, Self Harm, United Kingdom, Telegraph

Online platforms still not clear enough about hate speech takedowns: EC

In its latest monitoring report of a voluntary Code of Conduct on illegal hate speech, which platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube signed up to in Europe back in 2016, the European Commission has said progress is being made on speeding up takedowns but tech firms are still lagging when it comes to providing feedback and transparency around their decisions. Tech companies are now assessing 89% of flagged content within 24 hours, with 72% of content deemed to be illegal hate speech bei...
Tags: Google, Social, Facebook, Twitter, Europe, UK, Instagram, Youtube, Germany, Censorship, Social Media, Tech, Eu, European Union, Snapchat, Artificial Intelligence

Everything you need to know about Facebook, Google’s app scandal

Facebook and Google landed in hot water with Apple this week after two investigations by TechCrunch revealed the misuse of internal-only certificates — leading to their revocation, which led to a day of downtime at the two tech giants. Confused about what happened? Here’s everything you need to know. How did all this start, and what happened? On Monday, we revealed that Facebook was misusing an Apple-issued certificate that is only meant for companies to use to distribute internal, employee...
Tags: Apple, Google, Security, Facebook, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe, Privacy, Finance, Social Media, Tech, Smartphones, United States, App Store, Warner, Nielsen

Brexit backer’s insurance firm and leave campaign fined £120k by data watchdog

The UK’s data protection watchdog has issued fines against a pro-Brexit campaign, Leave.EU, and an insurance company owned by the largest individual donor to the leave cause, Arron Banks’ Eldon Insurance. The penalties have been handed down for what the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) dubs “ serious breaches of electronic marketing laws”.  The fines — served under the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, which governs electronic marketing — total £120,000 (~$157k...
Tags: Facebook, Europe, UK, Privacy, Advertising Tech, US, Social Media, Insurance, Tech, Eu, European Union, Ireland, United Kingdom, Kremlin, NCA, Brexit

Facebook removes hundreds of accounts linked to fake news group in Indonesia

Facebook said today it has removed hundreds of Facebook and Instagram counts with links to an organization that peddled fake news. The world’s fourth largest country with a population of over 260 million, Indonesia is in election year alongside Southeast Asia neighbors Thailand and the Philippines. Facebook said this week it has set up an ‘election integrity’ team in Singapore, its APAC HQ, as it tries to prevent its social network being misused in the lead-up to voting . This Indonesia bust...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Asia, Instagram, Facebook Pages, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Social Media, Tech, Software, Thailand, United States, Philippines, Digital Media, United Nations

Invest In These Video Technologies That Drive Growth

In our new Forrester Tech Tide™ on video technologies for customer and employee experience, we took a look at 18 technologies that support video initiatives. Read the report to find out more about those technologies, and listen to the podcast below for a quick summary.
Tags: Video, Podcast, Marketing, Tech, Nick Barber, Video & Teleconferencing, Tech Tide

Facebook just removed a new wave of suspicious activity linked to Iran

Facebook just announced its latest round of “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” this time out of Iran. The company took down 262 Pages, 356 accounts, three Facebook groups and 162 Instagram accounts that exhibited “malicious-looking indicators” and patterns that identify it as potentially state-sponsored or otherwise deceptive and coordinated activity. As Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher noted in a press call, Facebook coordinated closely with Twitter to discover these...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Instagram, Russia, US, Social Media, Tech, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Israel Palestine, Misinformation, Today Twitter, US Saudi Arabia, Nathaniel Gleicher

Digital influencers and the dollars that follow them

Sunny Dhillon Contributor Sunny Dhillon is a partner at Signia Venture Partners. More posts by this contributor Security tokens will be coming soon to an exchange near you Amazon’s next conquest will be apparel Animated characters are as old as human storytelling itself, dating back thousands of years to cave drawings that depict animals in motion. It was really in the last century, however—a period bookended by the first animated ...
Tags: Iphone, Apple, Amazon, Column, South Korea, Films, Superman, Digital, Samsung, Social Media, Tech, Snapchat, Avatar, Animation, Virtual Reality, Pixar

Leaked TikTok ad deck suggests it has 17M+ MAUs in Europe

An advertising pitch deck used by fast-growing short form video sharing app TikTok has leaked, providing a snapshot of usage in its biggest markets in Europe. The pitch deck was obtained by Digiday which says it was sent to a large (unnamed) European ad agency. Metrics and gender breakdowns for the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy are included in the deck. The slides are dated November 2018. Germany and France come out as the top European markets for the video sharing app, according to the d...
Tags: Social, Apps, Asia, Europe, UK, Advertising Tech, France, Germany, US, Social Media, Tech, Spain, Beijing, Italy, Augmented Reality, Digiday

Google+ accounts and pages will be shut down April 2nd, says Google

Google announced last fall it's killing off Google+ because of the social network's laughably “low usage” and “challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations,” plus revelations of serious security vulnerabilities. In a blog post and related support page that went live today, Google explained how the shutdown will unfold, and the important part for most 'consumer' users is this: they're gonna delete all your posts, photos, videos, and comments, star...
Tags: Google, Post, Business, Technology, News, Social Media, Tech, Google Photos, Google Plus, Picks, Google Sign, Google Pages, Google Community, VentureBeat Picture, Eric Gaillard

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