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India riled after big brands back Kashmir on social media

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Pro-Kashmir social media posts by KFC, Hyundai and other global brands have sparked uproar in India


Pro-Kashmir social media posts by KFC, Hyundai and other global brands have sparked uproar in India – Copyright AFP Manjunath Kiran

Pro-Kashmir social media posts by KFC, Hyundai and other global brands have sparked uproar in India, with diplomats saying Tuesday that the controversy had prompted an apology from a foreign government.

Control of Kashmir has been contested between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947 and the nuclear-armed foes have fought two wars over the territory.

Both countries regularly trade heated diplomatic barbs over the issue and Pakistan marks every February 5 as a national holiday in a gesture of solidarity with people living on the Indian-administered side of the region.

This year, several Pakistan-based social media properties connected to some of the world’s biggest corporate names used to occasion to proclaim their own messages of support, including several American fast-food chains and South Korea’s Hyundai.

“Let us remember the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and stand in support as they continue to struggle for freedom,” a Twitter account associated with the automaker’s Pakistan operations posted on Sunday.

India said Tuesday that its ambassador to South Korea had immediately sought an explanation from Hyundai at its Seoul headquarters.

Foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also spoke with his South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong to convey “strong displeasure” over the phone, according to an Indian readout of the discussion.

Chung “conveyed that they regretted the offence caused to the people and Government of India by the social media post,” ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

Hyundai issued a statement to distance itself from the Twitter account, which it said was operated by a company partner.

“We deeply regret any offense caused to the people of India by this unofficial social media activity,” it said on Tuesday.

Pakistan-based social media properties connected to Pizza Hut, KFC and Domino’s Pizza were among those also posting messages to mark the Kashmir holiday, prompting boycott calls among incensed Indian social media users.

The posts were later deleted and several brands later issued apologies.



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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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The Most Visited Websites in the World – 2023 Edition [Infographic]

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The Most Visited Websites in the World - 2023 Edition [Infographic]

Google remains the most-visited website in the world, while Facebook is still the most frequented social platform, based on web traffic. Well, actually, YouTube is, but YouTube’s only a partial social app, right?

The findings are displayed in this new visualization from Visual Capitalist, which uses SimilarWeb data to show the most visited websites in bubble chart format, highlighting the variance in traffic.

As you can see, following Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the next most visited social platforms, which is likely in line with what most would expect – though the low numbers for TikTok probably stand out, given its dominance of modern media zeitgeist.

But there is a reason for that – this data is based on website visits, not app usage, so platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, which are primarily focused on the in-app experience, won’t fare as well in this particular overview.

In that sense, it’s interesting to see which social platforms are engaging audiences via their desktop offerings.

You can check out the full overview below, and you can read Visual Capitalist’s full explainer here.

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Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

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Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

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Branding and rebranding is getting more fun, here we look at some of cheekiest brands that have caught our eye – for the right and wrong reasons.



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