media

online workshops, writing books, and more social media

Four years ago, I realised that my interest in writing about varied subjects could be fulfilled only by being a freelancer. Since then, I have been writing regularly for various publications on subjects ranging from elections to features on travel and cinema. But just as I was settling into a comfortable rhythm and the opportunities seem to be multiplying, the Covid-19 virus brought the world to a standstill.

Suddenly, I was staring at many months of no assignments. A column I had started at the beginning of the year was put on hold and a publication I frequently contributed to, put a pause to freelance contributions.

Romantic notions

Freelancers are looked upon as the lucky few who have managed to break the clutches of bonded employment by working on their own terms. Interestingly, in most of the professional fields/domains today, freelancers are known to have strong bargaining power for their

Read More

Turkey tightens grip on social media with new law

Istanbul (AFP) – Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday passed a controversial bill giving the government greater control of social media, a move criticised by human rights advocates as an attempt to increase online censorship.

Under the new law, social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter have to ensure that they have local representatives in Turkey and to comply with court orders over the removal of certain content or face heavy fines.

The legislation targets social networks with more than a million unique visits every day and says servers with Turkish users’ data on them must be sited locally.

If companies refuse to comply, they will face fines and restrictions making the platform unusable.

The bill was submitted by the ruling AKP and its nationalist partner the MHP, which have a majority in parliament, and passed after a night-long marathon.

Twitter, contacted by AFP, did not make an immediate comment.

Read More

Misleading viral coronavirus video shows flaw in social media platforms

A video that made false claims about the coronavirus received tens of millions of views and amplification from President Donald Trump when it went viral on Monday — until Facebook and Twitter removed it from their platforms.

The incident illustrates a flaw in how social media companies police misinformation, tech mogul and philanthropist Bill Gates told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer on Tuesday.

Gates, a top backer of global public health initiatives and co-founder of Microsoft (MSFT), said that the spread of the “outrageous” video illustrates the way social media platforms struggle to contain damaging misinformation on social media platforms before it gains wide attention, adding that they “probably should have improved” how they monitor such posts to prevent outcomes like the one that occurred on Monday.

The video “spread so fast that even though, eventually, the social media people stopped it,” he says. “It was so famous that now

Read More

Egypt female social media influencers get two-year jail terms

Cairo (AFP) – An Egyptian court Monday sentenced five female social media influencers to two years in jail each on charges of violating public morals, a judicial source said.

The verdict against Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three others came after they had posted footage on video-sharing app TikTok.

“The Cairo economic court sentenced Hossam, Adham and three others to two years after they were convicted of violating society’s values,” the judicial source said.

The ruling, which can be appealed, included a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($18,750) for each defendant, the source noted.

Hossam was arrested in April after posting a three-minute clip telling her 1.3 million followers that girls could make money by working with her.

In May, authorities arrested Adham who had posted satirical videos on TikTok and Instagram, where she has at least two million followers.

Lawyer Ahmed Hamza al-Bahqiry said the young women are facing

Read More

Egypt female social media influencers get 2-year jail terms

Cairo (AFP) – An Egyptian court Monday sentenced five female social media influencers to two years in jail on charges of violating public morals, a judicial source said.

The verdict against Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three others came after they posted footage on video-sharing app TikTok.

“The Cairo economic court sentenced Hossam, Adham and three others to two years after they were convicted of violating society values,” the source said.

The ruling — which can be appealed — included a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($18,750) each, the source added.

Hossam was arrested in April after posting a three-minute clip telling her 1.3 million followers that girls could make money by working with her.

In May, authorities arrested Adham who had posted satirical videos on TikTok and Instagram, where she has at least two million followers.

The arrests highlighted a social divide in the deeply conservative Muslim country over

Read More

Business groups call for action on fraudulent social media ads

Some fake adverts receive 250,000 views before they are identified as selling counterfeit goods, says new report. Photo: Getty
Some fake adverts receive 250,000 views before they are identified as selling counterfeit goods, says new report. Photo: Getty

Business groups are calling on social media platforms to tackle fake adverts selling counterfeit goods.

Some 70 major brands have been targeted by false ads on Facebook (FB), Instagram, YouTube and Google (GOOG) according to a report by the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA).

The fake adverts can receive up to 250,000 views before they are detected says the report.

 “It’s alarming that people are exposed to fraudulent advertisements for counterfeits while they’re thumbing through their social media accounts,” said TRACIT director general Jeffrey Hardy.

“The ads are so professional that they easily deceive consumers into thinking they’re getting a great deal. Instead, they’re being diverted to a rogue website that was built specifically to sell and distribute counterfeits.”

The report

Read More

Business groups urge for action on fake social media ads

Some fake adverts receive 250,000 views before they are identified as selling counterfeit goods, says new report. Photo: Getty
Some fake adverts receive 250,000 views before they are identified as selling counterfeit goods, says new report. Photo: Getty

Business groups are calling on social media platforms to tackle fake adverts selling counterfeit goods.

Some 70 major brands have been targeted by false ads on Facebook (FB), Instagram, YouTube and Google (GOOG) according to a report by the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA).

The fake adverts can receive up to 250,000 views before they are detected says the report.

 “It’s alarming that people are exposed to fraudulent advertisements for counterfeits while they’re thumbing through their social media accounts,” said TRACIT director general Jeffrey Hardy.

“The ads are so professional that they easily deceive consumers into thinking they’re getting a great deal. Instead, they’re being diverted to a rogue website that was built specifically to sell and distribute counterfeits.”

The report

Read More

How a New Wave of Podcasts Is Shaking Up Chinese-Language Media

On June 21, a new podcast appeared on several Chinese and American podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts. Called In-Betweenness, it was recorded by four academics scattered around the world.

The podcast is in Mandarin, and the target audience is Chinese people, but the topic was race in America and across the world—specifically, what’s happening to race relations in the wake of the George Floyd protests. The hosts, based in the United States, Asia and Europe, didn’t shy away from difficult issues. They started the conversation with how Chinese people were characterized as “yellow” in a world order that still favors white Europeans, and ended it with a look at anti-Black racism in China.

Some listeners complained that the first episode was “too theoretical and abstract”—the discussion touched on the French philosopher Franz Fanon’s criticism of Hegel’s master-slave dialectic—but that didn’t prevent people from tuning in. Since it launched, the podcast

Read More

Social media firms make $1bn a year from anti-vax followers, report says

Conspiracy theorists at Hyde Park Corner on 16 May 2020 in London: Getty
Conspiracy theorists at Hyde Park Corner on 16 May 2020 in London: Getty

Social media platforms are making up to $1bn a year from people following anti-vaccine misinformation that could cause “tens of thousands” of coronavirus deaths, researchers say.

The Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) said the number of people viewing pages and posts claiming that a Covid-19 vaccine is unnecessary or would pose a health risk had risen dramatically during the pandemic.

Despite pledges by Facebook and others to crack down on harmful posts, a report found that at least 57 million users now follow anti-vaxxers on mainstream platforms across the UK and US – up 7.7 million since the start of the outbreak.

A YouGov poll suggested that almost one in five British adults say they would refuse the injection if it becomes available, and a further 15 per cent are unsure.

The research suggested that people

Read More

Right-Wing Media Outlets Duped by a Middle East Propaganda Campaign

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

If you want a hot take about the Middle East, Raphael Badani is your man.

As a Newsmax “Insider” columnist, he has thoughts about how Iraq needs to rid itself of Iranian influence to attract investment and why Dubai is an oasis of stability in a turbulent region. His career as a “geopolitical risk consultant and interactive simulation designer” and an “international relations senior analyst” for the Department of Labor have given him plenty of insights about the Middle East. He’s printed those insights at a range of conservative outlets like the Washington Examiner, RealClear Markets, American Thinker, and The National Interest.

Unfortunately for the outlets who published his articles and the readers who believed them, Raphael Badani does not exist. 

His profile photos are stolen from the blog of an unwitting San Diego startup founder. His LinkedIn profile, which described him

Read More