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Pakistan Bans TikTok Due to ‘Immoral and Indecent’ Content

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While negotiations over the future of TikTok in the US are still ongoing, and could still result in a national ban, Pakistan has today announced that it’s moving to ban the app – though not for the same reasons as the proposed US action.

As reported by TechCrunch, Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority posted this notice earlier today:

“In view of [a] number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral/indecent content on the video sharing application TikTok, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has issued instructions for blocking of the application.”

Pakistan, a majority Muslim nation, neighbors India, which banned TikTok back in June due to ongoing border conflicts with China. At that time, TikTok had become a huge hit among Indian users, with around 200 million actives, making it TikTok’s biggest single market, and given their proximity, it’s little surprise to see that TikTok had also been on the rise in Pakistan too, though Pakistan’s active audience is much smaller, with only around 35% of the nation’s 212 million citizens able to access to internet.

As such, it won’t be as significant a blow to TikTok’s global numbers. But still, it’s another concern for the controversial app. 

Various questions have been raised about TikTok’s potential to expose young users, in particular, to questionable content. The app was temporarily banned in India early last year due to concerns over “pornographic and inappropriate” videos, which eventually lead to TikTok removing more than 6 million clips, and implementing new measures to enable its reinstatement in the nation. 

TikTok was also fined a record $5.7 million by the FTC in the US earlier this year in a settlement over allegations that it had illegally collected personal information from children under the age of 13, while its also currently under investigation in France due to concerns around its measures to protect younger users. UK authorities have also investigated the same.

And such concerns are indeed relevant – a report uncovered by The New York Times back in August showed that more than a third of the app’s daily users in the US are aged 14 years old or younger. Couple this with past questions around its moderation processes, including the demotion of content posted by users deemed ‘too ugly or too poor‘, and it doesn’t paint a great image of the app, and its measures to assure the protection of younger users. 

Given the various factors, Pakistan’s decision to ban the app is not a major surprise – but as noted, it’s another mark against the app’s name, which further taints the brand, and could eventually lead to a bigger push for more action against the app in other regions.

Definitely, it remains a contentious platform – its young user base, combined with its focus on dance trends, can easily lend the app to more suggestive, concerning actions as uploaders chase engagement. And that’s before you even consider the potential links with the Chinese government, and the app’s requirements to share user data with the CCP. 

As such, while TikTok might not be losing a massive chunk of its audience with the Pakistan ban, the expanded implications are significant, and will further add to opposition against the app. 

It’s little wonder, then, that TikTok is very keen to highlight trends like this instead:

TikTok literally pitched itself as “the last sunny corner of the internet“, where creativity and joy reign supreme.

But is that true? All platforms have to deal with moderation concerns, and those concerns only grow in line with usage. In this sense, TikTok should maybe be given some leeway in addressing such issues – but then again, its parent company ByteDance is very experienced in moderation concerns and dealing with potential issues.

How you view such will largely come down to your own experience of the platform and what it represents, but clearly, valid concerns do remain. Whether they lead to further restrictions on the app, we’ll have to wait and see. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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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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