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Hong Kong Protesters use Tinder, Pokemon Go to Spread Messages

Since AirDrop is peer-to-peer, protesters are able to send information directly to mainland tourists travelling to Hong Kong

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Protesters in Hong Kong are taking to Tinder, Pokemon Go and Apple’s AirDrop to invite people to join them on the streets as the city rolls into its third month of unrest triggered by a now-shelved extradition bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China.

Posting information about protests on Tinder is just one of several creative ways Hongkongers are using tech to mobilize people.

For more than eight weeks now, technology has been at the centre of demonstrations against the extradition bill, the South China Morning Post reported citing Abacus, an English-language news brand covering the China tech industry.

These demonstrations have now evolved into a catch-all movement against the local government and are causing disruptions.

The protesters are now demanding an independent inquiry into the police violence, resignation of the territory’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam and democratic reform.

People primarily communicate through Telegram groups and stream their actions on gaming platform Twitch. But as violence has escalated, protesters are resorting to more unorthodox methods of organizing and communicating online.

One of those methods, apart from Tinder, is Pokemon Go.

When the Hong Kong police earlier denied protesters permission to march in one of the city’s suburban neighbourhoods on safety grounds, the demonstrators decided to say that they weren’t going for a march – they were just showing up for a game of Pokemon Go, said the report.

FILE – A Pokemon Go player consults his phone while walking through the Boston Common outside the Massachusetts Statehouse. The game has introduced players to some aspects of history they otherwise might have missed. VOA

The march in Yuen Long town on July 27 was held in response to violent attacks on protesters during which more than 100 white-clad assailants, with some of those arrested having links to triad gangs, stormed into a train station in the area and attacked a group of pro-democracy protesters who were returning from a rally in the centre of Hong Kong.

Another way protesters are spreading their message is through Apple’s AirDrop.

In the old days, people would walk the streets and distribute leaflets to communicate their political causes. These days, the political messages have moved to the cloud, with images sent directly to recipients’ phones – unsolicited.

On Hong Kong subways, people have been receiving posters inviting them to protest through the service that allows Apple devices to send files to each other. The latest call to action involved a general strike that was held on Monday.

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The tool has also been used to communicate with tourists from mainland China.

China’s Great Firewall has largely limited reports on the Hong Kong protests to those in line with government views. This includes information found on social media such as Douyin — China’s version of TikTok.

Since AirDrop is peer-to-peer, protesters are able to send information directly to mainland tourists travelling to Hong Kong. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Allows Tinder To Have Special Access To User Data

The documents running into nearly 7,000 pages were leaked to Duncan Campbell in February 2019 but published on Wednesday

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Tinder
Facebook Dating was eventually launched in September with features similar to those in popular dating apps like Hinge, Bumble and Tinder. Pixabay

Despite dismissing Tinder cofounder Sean Rad as irrelevant, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg allowed the dating app special access to user data, as revealed by leaked exchanges between the two executives.

Access to Facebook data helped Tinder thrive, but there came a point when it inched closer to losing that access, Forbes reported on Thursday.

Released this week, the leaked correspondence is part of a long-running law suit in California state court, between former Facebook app developer Six4three and Facebook.

The documents running into nearly 7,000 pages were leaked to Duncan Campbell in February 2019 but published on Wednesday. According to Campbell’s website, he is an investigative journalist and a forensic expert based in Ireland.

In 2014, Facebook, which is facing several antitrust investigations, announced a new set of rules to prevent third-party app developers from getting access to data on users’ friends. The social networking giant set May 2015 as the deadline for complying to the new rules. But some firms continued to have access to the crucial data, including Tinder.

According to the report in Forbes, Facebook wanted the dating app to share trademark rights on “MOMENTS.”, a photo app that Facebook wanted to launch, an email exchange in March 2015 showed.

Tinder
Despite dismissing Tinder cofounder Sean Rad as irrelevant, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg allowed the dating app special access to user data, as revealed by leaked exchanges between the two executives. Wikimedia Commons

Despite giving Tinder preferential treatment, Zuckerberg rejected the suggestion he meet with Rad, explaining, “I don’t think he’s that relevant. He probably just wants to make sure we won’t turn off their API.”

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Facebook Dating was eventually launched in September with features similar to those in popular dating apps like Hinge, Bumble and Tinder. (IANS)