Schools in U.S. Taking Precautions Over TikTok Threat for Dec. 17 | PEOPLE.com

A number of school districts around the country are responding to an anonymous threat on TikTok that seemingly warns against students attending class on Friday.

The threat, or “challenge,” as some have referred to it, reportedly calls on students to commit acts of violence on Dec. 17. According to Syracuse.com, the threat labeled December 17, “National Shoot Up Your School Day,” and does not name a specific school or district.

While PEOPLE was not able to identify the TikTok post where the threat originated, there are now hundreds of other TikTok posts referencing the challenge and warning students to take precautions.

“Idk if this is true or not but apparently there is a threat on December 17 2021, schools in America are going to have a school shooting or bombing,” one user on the platform wrote. “[Once] again idk if this is true but if it is, stay safe. My mom called and told me so I looked it up. … stay safe America.”

Added another: “I’m scared off my a—, what do I do???”

In a statement, TikTok said it has not found evidence of the threat despite the alarming posts that have since gone viral.

“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” the company said in a statement sent to PEOPLE and published on Twitter.

Source: Schools in U.S. Taking Precautions Over TikTok Threat for Dec. 17 | PEOPLE.com

Parler set to return to Apple’s App Store – BBC News

Apple is to allow the controversial social media app Parler, a popular platform with far-right supporters, back onto its App Store.

The app was pulled following the deadly US Capitol riots on 6 January.

In a letter to two Republican lawmakers on Monday, Apple said Parler had made updates to its app and content moderation policy that would lead to it being reinstated.

It is not yet clear when Parler will return to the App Store.

Source: Parler set to return to Apple’s App Store – BBC News

Pittsburgh rapper Reese Youngn tops 1 million YouTube views with ‘No More Parties’ Remix | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The buzz has been building for years around Reese Youngn and now the rapper from Homewood is finally blowing up. The spark is the video for his ‘No More Parties Remix’.

Reese Youngn – “No More Parties” Remix (THE LET OUT …

Reese Youngn No More Parties Remix#TheLetOutOfficial VideoShot by @treeburkeFollow Reese @reeseyoungn

Source: Pittsburgh rapper Reese Youngn tops 1 million YouTube views with ‘No More Parties’ Remix | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Facebook will ban Australian users from sharing or viewing news

Facebook on Wednesday announced that it will no longer allow publishers and users in Australia to share or view news articles in response to a new proposed media law in the country.

With the legislation, the Australian government seeks to require online platforms like Google and Facebook to pay news outlets for displaying and linking to their content.

Source: Facebook will ban Australian users from sharing or viewing news

US President Joe Biden ‘pauses’ TikTok and WeChat bans – BBC News

US President Joe Biden has paused legal action against TikTok and WeChat, which could have seen the apps banned in the United States.

While president, Donald Trump had sought to ban both apps, claiming they were a national security threat.

Both companies had taken legal action against the proposed bans.

The new administration has now asked for an “abeyance” – or suspension – of proceedings while it revisits whether the apps really pose a threat.

The delay means both apps can continue to operate in the US while new staff at government agencies “become familiar with the issues in this case”, the legal documents state.

Mr Trump had claimed that the spread in the US of mobile apps developed and owned by Chinese firms threatened “the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”.

Messaging app WeChat has more than one billion users worldwide, but says the US only accounts for 2% of its revenue.

Video-sharing app TikTok has about 800 million users worldwide, of which 100 million are in the US.

Source: US President Joe Biden ‘pauses’ TikTok and WeChat bans – BBC News

Zuckerberg’s Biden problem – BBC News

President Biden’s open dislike of Facebook could spell problems for the social network.

This week, Joe Biden took the job that many believe Mark Zuckerberg secretly craves, or at least craved. And in doing so, he completed a reverse metamorphosis for Zuckerberg. A butterfly no longer, he finds himself alienated politically.

“He’s not a welcome figure at the cocktail party any more. And I don’t think he has been for a long time,” says Sarah Miller, director of the American Economic Liberties Project. She also happens to be on Joe Biden’s transition team.

“There is not a lot of love lost there,” she told me. “Facebook is broadly seen as the most prominent villain, among all the tech monopolists.”

Obama’s administration was considered to be close to Silicon Valley and to Facebook. If Biden was ever a friend, he’s not now.

In fact, the president often uses Facebook as a byword for the ills of a free internet gone wrong.

Talking to the New York Times a year ago he said:

“I’ve never been a fan of Facebook, as you probably know. I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan. I think he’s a real problem.”

It’s not just Biden. In the days after Biden’s election victory, his deputy head of communications, Bill Russo, tweeted:

“If you thought disinformation on Facebook was a problem during our election, just wait until you see how it is shredding the fabric of our democracy in the days after.”

Source: Zuckerberg’s Biden problem – BBC News

Control over the @POTUS Twitter account has now been given to Joe Biden – MarketWatch

Since the November election, the transfer of presidential power between Biden and Trump has been a trending topic.

Another transition taking place on Wednesday is the control over the @POTUS Twitter TWTR, +1.99% account.

While it is true that Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account was suspended on Jan. 8, the ban does not include the official @POTUS account.

 

Source: Control over the @POTUS Twitter account has now been given to Joe Biden – MarketWatch

Parler argues Amazon shut it down to block Trump from joining – POLITICO

Parler expected President Donald Trump would join its service after his Twitter account was suspended last week — a possibility that Amazon was trying to block by forcing it offline, the company told a federal judge.

In a Thursday hearing at a federal court in Washington state, Parler attorney David Groesbeck said that the site, which saw a surge of new users after mainstream social media sites blocked Trump and others who had posted incendiary content around the Jan. 6 riots, would have been a logical destination for the president. Executives thought “he would move over to Parler,” Groesbeck said.

In the company’s court filing, Parler’s chief executive argued that possibility was behind Amazon Web Services decision to stop hosting its content.”

I believe AWS’s decision to terminate service to Parler was based, not on expressed concerns about Parler’s compliance with the AWS Agreement, but in part on a desire to deny President Trump a platform on any large social-media service,” John Matze said. Parler stresses that it does little to limit what its users can post and has become popular among conservatives.

Key context: After his Twitter suspension, Trump was considering other options and other conservatives either angry at Twitter or that have been booted from the site have pushed Parler as the new destination. If the company had succeeded on getting Trump to sign up it would have been a major boon for a site which has long been a niche platform.

At the hearing: Groesbeck also flatly denied that Parler was involved in the attack on Capitol Hill last week and urged Judge Barbara J. Rothstein to order Amazon Web Services to reinstate its web hosting service.

“AWS is alleging without evidence that Parler was used to incite the riots,” Groesbeck said. “There is no evidence other than some anecdotal press references that Parler was involved in the riots of Jan. 6.”“Millions of Americans have had their voices silenced by AWS,” Groesbeck said.How we got here: Late on Friday, Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account, citing concerns that he might incite further violence. Conservatives angry with what they called censorship of the president abandoned the platform for alternatives like Parler that have less moderation.

Parler, which had 15 million users at the time it was cut off Sunday, was adding about 1 million new users each day, lawyers said at the hearing.

Source: Parler argues Amazon shut it down to block Trump from joining – POLITICO

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch ban Donald Trump

The chorus of social platforms banning President Donald Trump keeps growing stronger.

On Wednesday, after a day which saw Donald Trump use Twitter to seemingly encourage violent extremists storming the U.S. Capitol building, the company temporarily locked Trump’s Twitter account and laid out the conditions under which it would permanently suspend the President.

Soon after, Facebook announced it had banned Trump from posting to his Facebook profile for 24 hours. Then Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, made the same call. Then Snapchat followed suit, though without any stipulation on duration. And by Thursday, Facebook and Instagram said they were banning Trump indefinitely. Twitch joined in and disabled Trump’s account Thursday as well, noting in a statement to Mashable that it would “reassess his account after he leaves office.”

“As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” Twitter wrote in a tweet explaining its plan. “This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets.”

On Thursday, Twitter confirmed that Trump has deleted the violating tweets, but wouldn’t specifically say if Trump currently is able to tweet.

“We can confirm that the violative Tweets have been deleted. Confirming the 12 hour lock did begin after the Tweets were deleted, but we’ve nothing more specific to share on timing,” a Twitter spokesperson said. This appears to contradict an earlier statement by Twitter to Mashable, which suggested the 12-hour countdown began when Twitter hid the tweets. Trump has yet to tweet since complying with Twitter’s demand.

Source: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch ban Donald Trump

U.S. states plan to sue Facebook next week, sources say

The complaint would be the second major lawsuit filed against a Big Tech company this year. The Justice Department sued Alphabet’s Google in October.

  • A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook Inc for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week, four sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
  • The complaint would be the second major lawsuit filed against a Big Tech company this year. The Justice Department sued Alphabet Inc’s Google in October.

Source: U.S. states plan to sue Facebook next week, sources say

Fleets: Twitter launches disappearing tweets tool worldwide | Technology | The Guardian

Twitter has launched a new feature worldwide called ‘fleets’: tweets that disappear after 24 hours, similar to the stories feature on Snapchat and Instagram.

Twitter has previously announced its plan for these ephemeral tweets, dubbed “fleets”, and tested the feature in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea.

“Some of you tell us that tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there’s so much pressure to rack up retweets and likes,” Twitter’s design director, Joshua Harris, and product manager, Sam Haveson, wrote in a blog post.

Source: Fleets: Twitter launches disappearing tweets tool worldwide | Technology | The Guardian

Trump blasts Twitter as ‘very discriminatory,’ says the social-media company removes his followers

In two tweets on Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump went after Twitter over what he said were discriminatory practices.

Source: Trump blasts Twitter as ‘very discriminatory,’ says the social-media company removes his followers

BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down for consumers on May 31st | PhoneDog

It’s time to pour one out, because BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down.

It was announced today that the consumer version of BBM is closing on May 31st, 2019. After that date, the BBM app will stop working. Emtek, who licensed the BBM consumer business from BlackBerry in 2016, says that BBM stickers and BBMoji can’t be exported out of the app, so you won’t be able to use them after the shutdown. You can issue refunds of your in-app purchases for stickers that you’ve bought, though.

Source: BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down for consumers on May 31st | PhoneDog

Google Maps’ Street View Won’t Let You Unblur Images

Recently, the internet has noticed something peculiar about Google Maps: Once something gets blurred in Google Street View, there’s no turning back. Here’s how to blur an image in Google Maps—and why you should think twice before doing it.

Last month, a Reddit post in a group for posting life tips detailed how users who are unhappy with Google’s Street View pictures can request them to be blurred on Maps. There is any number of reasons why someone might want to do so. Google, for example, has always blurred the fronts of domestic violence shelters to protect victims.

Source: Google Maps’ Street View Won’t Let You Unblur Images

Pokemon Go Fans Aren’t Happy About the Newest Community Day

 

Pokemon Go fans aren’t thrilled with next weekend’s Community Day mini-event.

Yesterday, Pokemon Go revealed that any Ampharos evolved during next weekend’s Community Day event will learn the move Dragon Pulse, a move it can’t usually learn during the game. This led to widespread complaints by many fans who already weren’t happy that April’s Community Day event would focus on Mareep, a sheep-like Pokemon with a largely underwhelming set of moves and stats.

Source: Pokemon Go Fans Aren’t Happy About the Newest Community Day

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