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Indian Government Seeks to Exert New Controls Over Online Speech



Indian Government Seeks to Exert New Controls Over Online Speech

The Indian Government is taking more overt action to control what can and cannot be discussed online in the nation, with proposed new rules that would enable the government itself to dictate what’s true and what’s not, and force social platforms to remove false claims or risk fines or bans.

Indian authorities have been pushing social platforms to enforce their agendas for some time, with the government repeatedly calling on social apps to remove anti-government sentiment, in order to manipulate public opinion on several key fronts.

Which clearly oversteps the bounds of content moderation. But that the same time, the debate around what is and is not acceptable on this front continues to rage on, with free speech proponents calling for a more hands-off approach, and the platforms, in many cases, calling for external regulation to alleviate their control over such.

Because here’s the thing – at some level, everyone acknowledges that there needs to be a barrier of content moderation conducted by all social media platforms, in order to weed out criminal or otherwise harmful content. The secondary element is the debate – what constitutes ‘harmful’ in this respect, and what obligation do social platforms have to adhere to, say, government requests for the removal of ‘harmful’ posts, as they relate to government initiatives and/or other elements?

This is the key point that Elon Musk has repeatedly raised in his brief time at Twitter thus far. Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ expose, for example, purports to uncover government meddling, in order to control the messaging that’s being distributed to users via social apps.

But thus far, those revelations have only really shown that Twitter worked with government officials, from all sides of the political spectrum, in order to police illegal content, and/or content that could have impeded, for example, the rollout of the COVID vaccine, at a time when the expanded take-up of vaccinations was our only way out of the endless lockdowns and impacts.

At the time, government officials called on Twitter, and other social apps, to remove posts that questioned the safety of vaccines, or otherwise raised doubts that could stop people from getting the shot. Which opponents of vaccine mandates now say was in violation of their free speech – but again, in an evolving situation, these teams made the best decision they could at the time. Which may have been wrong, and could, inadvertently, have led to some incorrect suspensions or actions taken. But again, given the assessments before them, moderation teams are tasked with increasingly difficult decisions that could impact millions of people.

In this context, the principles those teams have adhered to is correct, and criticizing such process in retrospect is folly – but again, the core consideration is that, in some cases, there will always be a need for some level of moderation that not everybody is going to agree with.

Which is the truly difficult thing.

Meta, for example, has for years been calling for government oversight and regulation of social apps, in order to take moderation decisions about particularly sensitive topics out of its hands, while also ensuring that all platforms adhere to the same standards, lessening the censorship burden on individual platforms and chiefs.

But securing agreement on such, from all governments, is virtually impossible, and while Meta’s called on the UN to implement wide-reaching rules, even that wouldn’t cover all regions, and see all jurisdictions adhering to the same principles.

Because they don’t. Each nation has different levels of tolerance for different things, and none of them want to see their citizens held to the same standard as the other. They manage their own laws and rules independently, and any over-arching regulations would be too much – which is why it’s virtually impossible to secure consensus on what content should and should not be allowed, on a global basis.

And then, once you have a level of control over such, there are also authoritarian governments, like in India, which see an opportunity to exert even more control, in order to quell dissent and criticism. Which, again, is a step too far – but then again, how is that any different to blunting anti-vaccine messages in other regions, or seeking to supress certain stories or angles?

There are no easy answers, which is why this remains a key point of contention, and will be so for some time yet. Elon Musk is trying to shake things up in this respect, by subverting what he perceived as mainstream media bias – but within that, there also needs to be limits.

Citizen journalism, which Musk is touting as a key avenue for truth, can be even more easily manipulated, but if you’re going to accept that one conspiracy is true, then you also need to entertain the others, and that can lead to even more harmful outcomes when there’s no filter of truth or risk.

Ideally, there could be a universal agreement on content standards, and moderation rulings. But it’s hard to see how that comes about.

And while Musk would prefer to remove all moderation controls, and let the people decide, we’ve already seen where that path leads, and the harm that it can cause through manipulation of the truth.

But for some prominent voices, that seems to be what they want.

In Brazil, for example, ousted President Jair Bolsonaro recently sparked riots by questioning the results of the latest election, in which he lost by a significant margin. There’s no evidence to support Bolsonaro’s claims, he simply says that it can’t be true – and millions of people, with limited questioning, believe it.

The same as Trump – despite all evidence to the contrary, Trump still claims that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ via widespread voter fraud and cheating.

If you can make such claims, with no evidence, and spread them to a wide breadth of people via social apps, and they can be accepted as fact by that audience, that’s a powerful means to control whatever narrative you choose.

Musk, in particular, seems to be fascinated by this idea, and has admitted that, in the past, he’s announced major projects that will likely never work in order to manipulate government action.

Maybe, Musk’s whole ‘free speech’ push is simply another means of narrative control, enabling him to bend conditions in his favor, by simply saying whatever he wants, with less risk of being fact-checked or debunked.

Because those that would question such are liars, and he is the truth.

It’s the traditional authoritarian playbook, and without universally agreed terms, there’s no way to know who to trust.

Main image by Avinash Bhat/Flickr

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024



Make money blogging


Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.


Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?




Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach



Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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