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Novel Coronavirus Brings The Best and Worst Out of TikTok

The videos created on TikTok often find their ways to other social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook, reaching a wider audience. And then came the hate messages targeting the Muslim community

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TikTok
The videos created on TikTok often find their ways to other social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook, reaching a wider audience. Wikimedia Commons

The popular and highly controversial short video-sharing platform TikTok has once again hogged the limelight even as India battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have read reports about how streetchildren used TikTok to beat the stress ever since the country went into a lockdown, then you could hardly miss findings about how misinformation aimed at discouraging Muslims from taking preventive measures against COVID-19 circulated on the platform.

The videos created on TikTok often find their ways to other social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook, reaching a wider audience. And then came the hate messages targeting the Muslim community.

Urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to spread hate mongering on social media, the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (Apex Confederation of Muslim Organisations) chief Navaid Hamid alleged that 30,000 “fake clips are in circulation on TikTok to spread disinformation that Muslims are spreading COVID-19 in the country” and that “these clips are creating tensions between communities across India”.

The government took note of the developments and even wrote a letter to some of these platforms, including TikTok, to take down videos that spread misinformation about the disease. TikTok says it is doing its bit to fight the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus – from improving moderation efforts to removing thousands of videos that violated its rules.

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“In the present context in particular, invalidated or misleading content poses an acute concern and is an area of focus for social media platforms. At TikTok, we have heightened our moderation efforts, and have been monitoring and systematically removing content from our platform that violates our Community Guidelines,” said a TikTok spokesperson.

“In India, we have removed thousands of videos that have contradicted legitimate advice about COVID-19 from credible authorities, as well as content that could cause imminent harm to public health and safety,” the spokesperson added.

In fact, such has been the popularity of TikTok that several law enforcement agencies — including Bengaluru City Police, Delhi Police, Uttarakhand Police, Kerala Police, Punjab Police and Maharashtra Police — have used the platform to raise awareness about how to fight COVID-19.

TikTok
The popular and highly controversial short video-sharing platform TikTok has once again hogged the limelight even as India battles the COVID-19 pandemic. Wikimedia Commons

“Over the last few weeks, our platform has prioritised informative content and supported several government and law enforcement agencies, as well as non-profit organisations across India in disseminating information regarding responsible practices in an entertaining and responsible manner,” the TikTok spokesperson said.

Several global organisations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNDP are now using TikTok to share useful content and shed light on how to stay safe.

ALSO READ: WhatsApp Limits Frequency of Forwarding Messages

The short-video sharing platform owned by Beijing-based ByteDance last week said it donated 400,000 hazmat medical protective suits and 200,000 masks worth Rs 100 crore in order to help doctors and other medical professionals tackle the spread of COVID-19 in India. (IANS)

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Windows 10: May 2020 Update Features Linux 2, latest Cortana updates

The May 2020 Update of Windows 10 contains feature improvements

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Windows 10
Windows 10 May 2020 update is now live with built-in Linux and Cortana. Pixabay

The Windows 10 May 2020 Update has started to reach customers globally with features like Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 as well as latest Cortana updates.

The biggest under-the-hood change to the May 2020 Update is the inclusion of the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2), with a custom-built Linux kernel.

The Linux integration in Windows 10 will greatly improve the performance of Microsoft’s Linux subsystem in Windows.

“As the world and people’s routines change, it is important that we focus on meeting the over a billion people around the world relying on Windows where they are now,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The May 2020 Update comes with feature improvements that will help save you time and maybe even be a source of fun,” it added.

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The Cortana assistant has been updated with a new chat-based interface where one can either speak or type your requests. Pixabay

The Cortana assistant has been updated with a new chat-based interface where one can either speak or type your requests. The new and updated interface can be accessed from the Windows 10 taskbar.

Also Read: Facebook Takes on TikTok; Launches Experimental App Collab

The update brings the popular Your Phone app’s Calls feature to ARM supported PCs from Microsoft and our OEM partners.

One will now place, receive, or text reply to incoming phone calls directly on PC without having Android phone right next to PC.

“With the Your Phone app, one can stay in flow by sending or receiving texts, checking notifications and getting instant access to Android phone’s photos and apps via computer’s large screen and keyboard,” said Microsoft. (IANS)

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Facebook Takes on TikTok; Launches Experimental App Collab

Facebook takes on TikTok again, this time with music making app Collab

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Facebook
FAcebook launched a music making app named "Collab". VOA

Taking on Chinese short-video making platform TikTok, Facebooks experimental app division has introduced a new iOS app called Collab for making and mixing music with friends.

Facebook’s app-focused New Product Experimentation (NPE) team announced the invite-only beta version of Collab that brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music.

“Collabs are three independent videos that are playing in sync. With the app, you can create your own arrangement by adding in your own recording or by swiping and discovering an arrangement to complete your composition. No musical experience is required,” the Facebook NPE team said in a statement on Wednesday.

In a TikTok-like feature, Once a collab is created, you can publish it for others to watch and mix and match further.

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In a TikTok-like feature, Once a collab is created, you can publish it for others to watch and mix. Pixabay

You can also share the music creation to Instagram, Facebook Stories, or any other platform.

Also Read: 80% Maharashtra School Students Don’t Report Cybercrimes: Survey

To request access, the iOS users can sign up for waitlist at https://npe.fb.com/collab.

“We’ll be opening up invites in batches, starting with folks in the US and Canada, as we continue to improve the experience,” said Facebook.

The social networking giant has aimed to take on TikTok in the past, with Reels editing feature on Instagram and the standalone app Lasso. (IANS)

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80% Maharashtra School Students Don’t Report Cybercrimes: Survey

It is also reportes that 33% students deleted content due to which they were targeted for cybercrimes

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37 per cent of the students revealed that they were affected by some sorts of cybercrimes. Pixabay

At least 80 per cent of school students in Maharashtra aged between 10-17 do not report cybercrimes they face online to their parents, teachers and the police, a new survey revealed on Thursday.

The study done with 1,148 children studying in the 6th-9th standard across 18 schools in Maharashtra, found that 33 per cent students deleted content due to which they were targeted for cybercrimes, while 31 per cent informed their friends about it.

The survey by a non-profit startup Responsible Netism and Cyber Peace Foundation, Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) was conducted between October 2019 to February 2020 to understand internet usage trends of children across Maharashtra.

The research found that 37 per cent of the students revealed that they were affected by some sort of cybercrime including their accounts being hacked, cyberbullying, being threatened online, harassment by strangers and even receiving pornographic content.

“Millions of kids in Maharastra today are being exposed to cybercrimes owing to the ease of access and anonymity that internet offers,” Sonali Patankar, Founder President, Responsible Netism, said in a statement.

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60 per cent of students faced other Cybercrimes such as cyberstalking, online gambling, etc. Pixabay

“Our research points to the fact that technology companies are not stringently safeguarding the interests of children towards ensuring their cyber wellbeing,” Patankar added.

Also Read: Every 4 in 10 Adults Suffer From Gastrointestinal Disorders Globally: Researchers

The findings showed that at least 60 per cent of students faced other crimes such as cyberstalking, online gambling, body shaming, added to inappropriate groups online, threatened online, etc.

According to the study, 46 per cent of the students revealed that they were dependent addicted to their devices (phones, tablets, computers) and it affected their studies. The report also revealed that Whatsapp and Tiktok are the two most-used apps by children in the state while PUBG and GTA are the most popular online games amongst children. (IANS)