Biggest social media hoax, Zoom Shirts and more digital news

The end of TikTok?

India has banned TikTok over claims that the app doesn’t properly safeguard the data and privacy of users. The decision came along with 58 other Chinese apps that won’t be accessible via mobile or desktop within India. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also announced that the U.S. is looking at banning Chinese social media apps. As the app has exploded in popularity over the last few months, investigating what and when it accesses user data is critical. This highlights the growing push from consumers to know how their personal information is being used, be it by TikTok, Facebook or other digital platforms.

See the details of the U.S.’s statement on TikTok here.

#StopHateForProfit

Nearly 400 brands, including biggies like Coca-Cola, Clorox and Microsoft, have halted all advertising on Facebook this month as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign. In an effort to appease these advertisers and keep them on the platform, Facebook has reiterated and updated its hate speech policies. However, it wasn’t enough for those who had signed on. Interestingly, of the brands that signed on, only a handful are actually in Facebook’s top 100 advertisers. The majority of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from smaller, B2C companies overall. So, the loss of 400 major brands will likely only be a drop in the bucket. It’s not just Facebook in the crossfire though, Reddit has addressed how they are also enforcing their policies against hate speech.

Learn more about why brands have paused Facebook advertising.

The buzziest fake app there ever was

Does 👁👄👁 mean anything to you? That was the question the internet was asking last June as the rumored new social network overtook Twitter feeds. The string of emojis began popping up in Tweets and profile names quickly. The Twitter account that started the craze, named “it is what it is,” directed people to input their email and make a donation in order to receive an invite to the beta version. In the end, it turned out to be a ruse. But, in a few short days, it is what it is had collected over 30,000 email addresses and raised $200,000 for organizations supporting criminal justice reform and mental health services for Black and trans communities. Plus, it is what it is is now the prime example of how to generate online hype and excitement. There are lessons to be learned for all industries. Like the fact that “exclusive” is still enticing, even if you don’t know what you’re getting.

Take a deep dive into how the team pulled off this stunt.

Spam emails on the rise

Have you spotted more spammy emails recently than usual? You’re not alone! This tried and true method of ransomware has seen an increase in recent weeks with spammers sending out hundreds of thousands of emails each day trying to lure unsuspecting email users to open and click. Many have included subject lines related to coronavirus or senders claiming to be from the Department of Health. Stay informed and vigilant to protect you and your organization from these malicious attempts!

Read more about how these ransomware attacks work from ZDNet.

Quick, put on your Zoom Shirt!

As many continue to work from home, we’ve collectively admitted that we may not be wearing professional attire at all times. The Internet has dubbed the professional shirt or sweater you keep in your home office and throw on before video calls your “Zoom Shirt.” The quick speed that this phrase and concept spread is fascinating. It speaks to how collective culture has become in the last several months with people spending more time online. It’s unlikely video calls (or the subsequent Zoom Shirt) will be going away anytime soon, so might be time to invest in a nice one! (Side-note, did you know that the video call is 50 years old this month?)

The New York Times dives into this new concept.

We’re here to keep you up to date on the always-evolving digital world. Check out the digital news you might have missed last month.

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