September 20th was supposed to be the day that Chinese social media companies TikTok and WeChat were supposed to be turned off if both weren't sold to a US company. In the eleventh hour, ByteDance, which owns both companies, has managed to avoid the shutdown thanks to a tech partnership with Oracle and Walmart. The new company, dubbed TikTok Global, will also have a 40% minority stake in US investment, plus a 19% stake to Oracle and Walmart. That's a majority that pleases the commerce department and the White House. So the shut down has been delayed for a week.
The popular social media video platform TikTok may stop working in the US on November 12th if a deal isn't made to sell it's US operations to a US company by then. Leo says that while Oracle was reported to have agreed to purchase the platform, the company has said they would only have a vested interest in the company that would route all traffic to their servers. Walmart is also believed to be interested in investing in a new arrangement, Leo says probably for eCommerce rights. But it's all for naught if a deal isn't reached that will meet presidential approval.
Carl's browser window in Facebook goes black and he gets a warning saying to expand his browser window. It happens in both browsers, even if he clicks on full screen icon. What gives? Leo says that the chatroom says that Facebook can cause that. They suggest using the fullscreen option within Facebook.
Leo says that because Social Media algorithms are designed to keep followers engaged, the various platforms are actually becoming tools for propaganda (no matter which side of an issue you're on), pushing people towards extremes. Can we use our own common sense to avoid the trap while online? Leo says we can, but the algorithms are making it difficult.
TikTok will be banned on September 20th in the United States, according to the White House. Leo says that technically, the ban is only on money that is transferred out of the US to China, including ad revenue. The President has also given Microsoft the OK to buy TikTok and they have until Sept 20 to get a deal done. Not only that, but Trump wants the US to receive a cut of the deal if it happens.
Leo downloaded and installed TikTok today, to get the experience before the US bans it. Is he worried about his data getting grabbed by the PRC? Not at all. Leo says it's the most creative and fun app going right now. TikTok has been trying to avoid the ban by having a US CEO, hired over 10,000 US jobs, and even courting Microsoft to buy their US operations. But the White House seems in earnest to ban it.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the US Government may be banning Tik Tok within weeks due to national security issues. The app is already banned in India, and Wells Fargo has banned it as well. The US government has banned it government-wide as well.
Tik Tok is subject to the authority of the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party. The app has deleted posts that are critical of that government. But it also has a feature that looks in your clipboard, which could be a security issue due to data snarfing.
This week, Twitter got hacked, compromising verified user accounts. Leo says it's a big deal, and a little weird, because the Tweets started with BitCoin accounts and spreading out to other verified users. It was all wrapped around "giving back" bitcoin to communities, buy offering a two for one deal on sending bitcoin. A complete hoax. But then, other verified users started to tweet it, including Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Apple, and Elon Musk, clearly indicating that Twitter had been hacked.
Joe got an email from Facebook saying his password has been changed. He changed it and turned on 2-factor authentication, but the password keeps getting changed back. Leo says that's a scary thought and he probably got bit by a phishing scam and that Facebook didn't send him an email at all. Leo says if it was legit, the first thing the hacker would do is change the email notification.
A new round of "Adpocalypse" is happening, as Unilever, Verizon, Coke and others are pulling advertising from Facebook and all other social media because the platforms aren't doing a good job of policing "hate speech."