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India leader in purchasing through social media

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New Delhi: Indian online shoppers rank on top when it comes to buying products from social media sites, according to global technology company Pitney Bowes’ second annual Global Online Shopping Study.

As many as 27 percent of the people surveyed in India said they would consider buying products on social media, followed by Brazil (15 percent) and Russia (14 percent), the study revealed.

Social media is popular among millennials (18 to 24-year-olds) in their purchasing decisions.

In a survey of 12,000 adults from 12 nations, the study found that search engines lead in helping online shoppers find products, online marketplaces and retailer web sites for buying while mobile and social media are gaining traction.

As many as 62 percent of the respondents said search engines are their preferred route to find products while 66 percent respondents chose online marketplaces and 62 percent chose retailers’ web sites for the actual purchasing.

Russia (78 percent), China and the US (76 percent) are the top markets for online marketplace purchases while Australia (81 percent), Britain (72 percent) and Canada (71 percent) are the most likely markets to utilise retailers’ own portals for purchasing, said a statement announcing the survey findings.

“In today’s global marketplace, e-commerce is continuing to connect the world’s economies in new ways, making it possible for brands to sell, compete and expand their footprint,” said Lila Snyder, president, global e-commerce, in the statement.

Nearly a quarter of the people surveyed preferred mobile devices to make online purchases.

Britain (37 percent) leads in purchasing through mobile devices, followed by India (36 percent), China (34 percent) and the US (29 percent).

Just like social media, online purchasing through mobile device is again popular with millennials (33 percent).

However, the biggest barriers for online shopping adoption are high shipping costs (64 percent), delayed delivery (39 percent) and additional fees owed during delivery (48 percent).

Another area of concern deterring online shopping is product return policies and processes (33 percent), the statement said.

India again leads (46 percent) in product return concerns, followed by Germany (44 percent) and the US (39 percent).

Negative customer comments, reviews and ratings is another key area deterring online purchasing — with 31 percent of the online shoppers taking them seriously.

(IANS)

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Here’s Why Sri Lanka Does not Trust Social Media Platforms

Sri Lanka temporarily shut down Facebook earlier in 2018 after hate speech spread on the company’s apps resulted in mob violence

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Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 21, 2019. VOA

Battling the spread of hate speech on social media platforms especially Facebook for long, the Sri Lanka government on Sunday once again “temporarily blocked” social media from spreading fake news in the wake of deadly suicide bombings in the island that killed 290 people.

In a brief statement, the Sri Lankan President’s Secretary Udaya Seneviratne said the government has “decided to temporarily block social media sites including Facebook and Instagram in an effort to curb false news reports”.

Several users in the country reported they could not access Facebook and its photo-sharing service Instagram, Google-owned YouTube and WhatsApp for most part of the day.

Facebook spokesperson Ruchika Budhraja told TechCrunch that “teams from across Facebook have been working to support first responders and law enforcement as well as to identify and remove content which violates its standards”.

Google did not immediately comment.

“It’s a rare but not unprecedented step for a government to block access to widely used sites and services,” said the report.

Sri Lanka has been criticizing Facebook and its platforms for long when it comes to the spread of hate speech.

The island country in March ordered Internet and mobile service providers to temporarily block Facebook and its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram as part of a crackdown on online hate speeches.

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Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York. VOA

“These platforms are banned because they were spreading hate speeches and amplifying them,” government spokesperson Harindra B. Dassanayake was quoted as saying in The New York Times.

The claims are supported by non-profit Freedom House which found “hate speech against minorities continues to foment on various social media platforms, particularly Facebook”.

Last May, a coalition of activists from eight countries, including India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, called on Facebook to put in place a transparent and consistent approach to moderation.

Activists argued that the lack of local moderators a” specifically moderators fluent in the Sinhalese language spoken by the country’s Buddhist majority — had allowed hate speech run wild on the platform.

Also Read- Decide on TikTok by Wednesday, or Ban Ends: SC

The coalition demanded civil rights and political bias audits into Facebook’s role in abetting human rights abuses, spreading misinformation and manipulation of democratic processes in their respective countries.

Sri Lanka temporarily shut down Facebook earlier in 2018 after hate speech spread on the company’s apps resulted in mob violence. (IANS)