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Chinese web users blast Musk over space station near-misses

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Chinese web users blast Musk over space station near-misses


Although Musk is widely admired in China, the reputation of Tesla — which sells tens of thousands of vehicles in the country each month — has faltered – Copyright AFP/File STR

Chinese web users slammed billionaire Elon Musk on Tuesday after Beijing said its space station took evasive action to avoid hitting two of his SpaceX satellites, dealing a blow to the tycoon’s reputation in a country that has embraced his Tesla electric cars.

China’s Tiangong space station was forced to take “preventive collision avoidance control” during two “close encounters” with SpaceX’s Starlink satellites in July and October, according to a document submitted to the UN’s space agency by Beijing this month.

On both occasions, the satellites moved into orbits that prompted space station operators to change course, the document said.

“The manoeuvre strategy was unknown and orbital errors were hard to be assessed”, Beijing said of the satellite involved in the October incident, adding that it took action to “ensure the safety and lives of in-orbit astronauts”.

Tiangong — meaning “heavenly palace” — is the latest achievement in China’s drive to become a major space power, after landing a rover on Mars and sending probes to the Moon.

Its core module entered orbit earlier this year, with the station expected to be fully operational by 2022.

Chinese social media users blasted Musk and his companies over the incident, with one hashtag racking up 87 million views by Tuesday morning.

“How ironic that Chinese people buy Tesla, contributing large sums of money so Musk can launch Starlink, and then he [nearly] crashes into China’s space station,” one user commented.

“Prepare to boycott Tesla,” said another, in a nod to a common response in China to foreign brands perceived to be acting contrary to Beijing’s national interests.

Some speculated that Washington would have imposed sanctions if the roles were reversed.

“Why don’t we just do what they do?” one wrote.

California-based SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Although Musk is widely admired in China, the reputation of Tesla — which sells tens of thousands of vehicles in the country each month — has faltered this year following a spate of crashes, scandals and data storage concerns.

But Tesla is still hugely popular and sells around one out of every four of its cars in the country, as well as building a rare wholly-owned factory in Shanghai.



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Twitter Publishes 2023 Marketing Calendar to Assist with Campaign Planning

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Twitter Publishes 2023 Marketing Calendar to Assist with Campaign Planning

Looking to map out your content calendar for the year ahead?

This will help – Twitter has published its annual events calendar, which highlights all of the key dates and celebrations that you need to keep in mind in your planning.

The interactive calendar provides a solid overview of important dates, which could assist in your strategy. You can also filter the list by region, and by event type.

Twitter marketing calendar 2023

You can also download any specific listing, though the download itself is pretty basic – you don’t get, like, a pretty calendar template that you can stick on your wall or anything.

Twitter marketing calendar 2023

Twitter used to publish downloadable calendars, but switched to an online-only display a couple of years back. Which still includes all the same info, but isn’t as cool looking.

Either way, it may help in your process, as you map out your 2023 approach.

In addition to this, Twitter’s also published an overview of some of the major events that it’ll be looking to highlight in the app throughout the year, along with a pitch to advertisers, amid the more recent chaos at the app.

As per Twitter:

We’re moving more quickly than ever, and we’re still the place people turn to see and talk about what’s happening. A great example is the recent FIFA Men’s World Cup. We saw a whopping 147B impressions of event-related content on the platform, up nearly +30% from 2018. We also generated 7.1B views on World Cup video1, with everything from memes to nail-biter outcomes to history being made.”

There’s also this:

Not only is Twitter alive with content and conversation around big moments, but we are also growing. We saw global mDAU acceleration in Q4 to 253.1M, driven by an average sign-up rate of more than 1 million new daily users across Q42.”

That’s the first official usage stat Twitter has shared since Elon Musk took over at the app, and is a significant jump on the 238 million mDAU that Twitter reported in Q2 last year, its last market update before the sale went through.

It’ll be interesting to see if that usage level holds, as Twitter works through its latest changes and updates.

You can check out Twitter’s 2023 marketing calendar here.



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‘Stop the hate’ online, UN chief pleads on Holocaust Day

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A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – Copyright AFP Michal Cizek

The UN secretary-general warned of social media’s role in spreading violent extremism around the globe as he marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, urging policy makers to help stop online hate.

Antonio Guterres said parts of the internet were turning into “toxic waste dumps for hate and vicious lies” that were driving “extremism from the margins to the mainstream.”

“Today, I am issuing an urgent appeal to everyone with influence across the information ecosystem,” Guterres said at a commemoration ceremony at the United Nations. “Stop the hate. Set up guardrails. And enforce them.”

He accused social media platforms and advertisers of profiting off the spread of hateful content.

“By using algorithms that amplify hate to keep users glued to their screens, social media platforms are complicit,” added Guterres. “And so are the advertisers subsidizing this business model.”

Guterres drew parallels with the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, when people didn’t pay attention or protest.

“Today, we can hear echoes of those same siren songs to hate. From an economic crisis that is breeding discontent to populist demagogues using the crisis to seduce voters to runaway misinformation, paranoid conspiracy theories and unchecked hate speech.”

He lamented the rise of anti-Semitism, which he said also reflects a rise of all kinds of hate.

“And what is true for anti-Semitism is true for other forms of hate. Racism. Anti-Muslim bigotry. Xenophobia. Homophobia. Misogyny”

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Weird of the Week

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Weird of the Week

What happened when six doctors swallowed Lego heads for science, and the results of Santa’s DNA test. Plus, is Dolly Parton really recording an album with Slipknot?

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