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TikTok Launches Free Marketing Education Series for SMBs

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TikTok Launches Free Marketing Education Series for SMBs

TikTok is launching a new initiative to help small businesses learn the key tips and tricks to maximizing their success on the platform.

Called ‘Follow Me’, the new, free education program will include a range of expert tips and insights to help refine and improve your TikTok marketing approach.

The six-week, email-based series will provide an overview of key best practice notes, including how to set up a free Business Account, how to use TikTok’s Creative Center for content inspiration, and explainers on TikTok’s Ads Manager and other promotion features.

As explained by TikTok:

“The 6-week program will run from July 11th to August 19th, and provide SMBs with resources on how to get started on TikTok and take their small business to the next level. Follow Me will serve as a guide for SMBs looking to share their stories, build their community on TikTok, and achieve their business goals.”

The course will also include insights from TikTok’s Small Business Ambassadors, including Cassie Sorenson, Tassel Amor and Jacob Zander, who will share their SMB journeys in the app.

“Cassie and Jacob will share their TikTok journeys and provide tips on how to best tap into the power of community and entertainment to drive real business results.”

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It could be a good way to learn the ropes of TikTok marketing, direct from those that have already seen success on the platform – and with the platform continuing to grow, and dominate pop culture trends, many businesses are indeed now looking at how they can tap into TikTok to boost promotion and brand awareness.

According to estimates, TikTok is on track to exceed 1.5 billion users in 2022, which would make it one of the top three social media platforms in the world by total users, and that ubiquity could be very valuable in improving brand awareness, and reaching a wider audience.

If you can get it right, which is what this new course is all about, and it may be just the thing that you need to get your TikTok presence growing, and bringing in customers from the app.

You can sign up for TikTok’s ‘Follow Me’ course here.

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Fresh fears after Facebook’s role in US abortion case

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Facebook's role in an abortion prosecution has raised fresh worries from advocates

Facebook’s role in an abortion prosecution has raised fresh worries from advocates – Copyright AFP/File Javed TANVEER

Glenn CHAPMAN

Facebook sparked outrage by complying with US police probing an abortion case, boosting simmering fears the platform will be a tool for clamping down on the procedure.

Criticism built after media reports revealed the social networking giant had turned over messages key to a mother being criminally charged with an abortion for her daughter.

Advocates had warned of exactly this kind of thing after America’s top court revoked the national right to abortion in late June, as big tech companies hold a trove of data on users locations and behavior.

Jessica Burgess, 41, was accused of helping her 17-year-old daughter to terminate a pregnancy in the midwestern US state of Nebraska.

She faces five charges — including one under a 2010 law which only allows abortion up to 20 weeks after fertilization.

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The daughter faces three charges, including one of concealing or abandoning a corpse.

Yet Facebook owner Meta defended itself Tuesday by noting the Nebraska court order “didn’t mention abortion at all”, and came before the Supreme Court’s highly divisive decision in June to overturn Roe v Wade, the case which conferred right to abortion in the United States.

“That sentence would seem to imply that *if* the search warrants mentioned abortion, there would be a different result. But of course that’s not true,” tweeted Logan Koepke, who researches on how technology impacts issues like criminal justice.

When queried about handing over the data, the Silicon Valley giant pointed AFP to its policy of complying with government requests when “the law requires us to do so.”

Nebraska’s restrictions were adopted years before Roe was overturned. Some 16 states have outright bans or limits in the early weeks of pregnancy in their jurisdictions.

– ‘Can’t release encrypted chats’ –

For tech world watchers, the Nebraska case surely won’t be the last.

“This is going to keep happening to companies that have vast amounts of data about people across the country and around the world,” said Alexandra Givens, CEO of the non-profit Center for Democracy & Technology.

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She went on to note that if companies receive a duly-issued legal request, under a valid law, there are strong incentives for them to want to comply with that request.

“The companies at a minimum have to make sure that they’re insisting on a full legal process, that warrants are specific and not a fishing expedition, searches are very narrowly construed and that they notify users so that users can try to push back,” Givens added.

Meta did not provide AFP the Nebraska court’s order. The police filing asked the judge to order the company not to tell Burgess’s daughter about the search warrant for her Facebook messages.

“I have reason to believe that notifying the subscriber or customer of the issuance of this search warrant may result in the destruction of or tampering with evidence,” police detective Ben McBride wrote.

He told the court he began investigating “concerns” in late April that Burgess’s daughter had given birth prematurely to a “stillborn child”, which they allegedly buried together.

Advocates noted that apart from not using Meta’s products, one sure way to keep users’ communications out of government hands would be for them to be automatically encrypted.

Meta-owned WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption, which means the company does not have access to the information, but that level of privacy protection is not the default setting on Facebook messenger.

“The company has never said it would not comply with a request from law enforcement in a situation related to abortions,” said Caitlin Seeley George, a campaign director at advocacy group Fight for the Future.

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“If users could rely on encrypted messaging, Meta wouldn’t even be in a position where they could share conversations,” she added.

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