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Khaby Lame Reportedly Becomes Most-Followed TikTok Video Creator

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By ANI | Updated: 24 June 2022

Social media personality Khaby Lame has achieved a new record of garnering 142.8 million followers on the short-form video hosting service, TikTok.

Lame, has surged past popular TikTok video creator Charli D’Amelio who currently has 142.3 million followers, reported Variety. The 22-year-old’s video content includes reacting to absurd life-hack videos and recreating the video himself to show an, even more, easier and more logical hack.

Known for performing several comedic bits, Lame’s videos do not have any dialogue. However, his straight-faced iconic expressions and body language have made him one of the most widely loved and acknowledged TikTok creators globally.

In an official statement released in 2021, Lame had expressed he was ‘passionate about entertaining people and making them laugh reported Variety.

“I am passionate about entertaining and making people laugh since childhood, and I am thankful to TikTok for offering me a global stage to share my passion with the rest of the world. I will continue to work towards my dreams, knowing I can count on a beautiful community ready to cheer me on. Thank you and I love you all!” read the statement as quoted by Lame.

The famous TikTok creator was inspired by celebrities like Will Smith, Eddie Murphy, French actor Omar Sy, as well as several cartoons, reported Variety. On being asked what was his favourite video out of the numerous content he has created, Lame replied that ‘all of his videos’ have made him proud.

“I don’t have one in particular. I love all of my videos and all of them have made me proud.” said the 22-year-old.

Lame’s first viral video was posted on November 2020 which was viewed over 17 million times, reported Variety, In the short clip, Lame was seen reacting to a life hack where after a man lock’s a woman’s backpack to a post. Through his signature expressuiomns and gestures, Lame showed how the woman could easily extricate herself by just taking off her backpack.

Khaby Lame’s first ever posted video was on March 2020 after he was asked to leave his factory office during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from achieving 142.8 million followers on TikTok, he now boasts of having 78 million Instagram followers as well, reported Variety.

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Twitter Hires Former NBCUniversal Executive Joe Benarroch to Handle Business Operations

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At Comcast's NBCUniversal, Benarroch oversaw communication strategy for its Advertising and Partnerships division.
By Reuters | Updated: 5 June 2023

Former NBCUniversal executive Joe Benarroch will join Twitter on Monday, in a role focusing on business operations, he told Reuters.

Benarroch said in an email that he was looking forward to working with the company’s team to “build Twitter 2.0 together.”

“Welcome to the flock, @benarroch_joe! From one bird to the next,” tweeted incoming Twitter Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino, who was appointed in May. She did not mention the position Benarroch will be taking.

Welcome to the flock, @benarroch_joe! From one bird to the next.

Let’s get to work @Twitter#timetofly

— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) June 4, 2023

At Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Benarroch oversaw communication strategy for its Advertising and Partnerships division, reporting to Yaccarino, who was advertising chief there before joining Twitter.

Benarroch is being appointed following the departure of a number of executives, adding to Yaccarino’s challenges.

Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, said on Thursday that she has resigned from the social media company.

On Friday, Reuters reported that the head of brand safety and ad quality, A.J. Brown, has decided to leave.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Benarroch’s appointment on Sunday.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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E-Commerce Platform Meesho Crosses 500 Million App Downloads on Google Play, App Store

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The company has achieved the 500 million download milestone in six years.
By Press Trust of India | Updated: 2 June 2023

E-commerce platform Meesho has become the world’s “fastest shopping app” to cross 500 million cumulative downloads across Google Play and iOS App Store, mobile data analytics provider has said.
The company has achieved the 500 million download milestone in six years, data.ai, formerly known as App Annie, said in a statement.

According to data.ai, over half of Meesho app downloads (274 million) came in 2022.

“Indian e-commerce platform Meesho has emerged as the world’s fastest shopping app to cross 500 million cumulative downloads across Google Play and iOS App Store combined, reaching this milestone in six years,” data.ai said.

According to data.ai, with just 13.6 MB size, Meesho’s android app is the lightest e-commerce app in India on Play Store, which makes it compatible with low-end smartphones.

“We are delighted to partner with them and provide them with the insights they need to continue to grow their business,” data.ai, Head of Insights, Lexi Sydow said.

Meesho, CXO for user growth, Megha Agarwal said India has 750-800 million people with smartphones and internet access, and it presents a huge opportunity for the company to spark the next wave of e-commerce adoption in India.

“This milestone is a great validation of our User-First mantra, which helps us continuously spot and address customer pain points to deliver an immaculate online shopping experience,” Agarwal said.

Earlier, Meesho announced that it recorded 140 million annual transacting users on its platform in 2022.

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WhatsApp Launches New Global Security Centre Page With 10 Indian Languages

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The new feature will inform users about the layers of privacy that WhatsApp provides.
By ANI | Updated: 1 June 2023

Instant messaging application WhatsApp has launched a new global ‘Security Center’ page which will act as a one-stop window for users to learn more about how to protect themselves against spammers and any unwanted contacts.

WhatsApp on Thursday said it has created this page to build awareness about the various safety measures and in-built product features that empower users to take control of their safety.

The ‘Security Center’ will be available in English and 10 Indian languages — Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Urdu, and Gujarati.

“Protecting personal messages with end-to-end encryption is one of the best lines of defence against scammers and fraudsters and in addition to that WhatsApp is consistently working on new and innovative ways to enhance people’s safety and privacy,” it said.

The new feature will inform users about the layers of privacy that WhatsApp provides and lists some top tips to give users more control over their accounts, including two-step verification, scams, and identifying fake accounts, among others.

Last month, WhatsApp launched an integrated safety campaign ‘Stay Safe with WhatsApp’ in India highlighting product features that empower users to take control of their online safety and ensure a safer messaging experience.

The campaign focused on educating users about WhatsApp’s safety features and tools like two-step Verification, block and report and privacy controls that equip people with the necessary safeguards to help protect them from online scams, frauds and account-compromising threats.

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Google Removes ‘Slavery Simulator’ Game From Play Store After Racism Outcry in Brazil

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Brazil's prosecutor's office has opened a "hate speech" probe into the game downloaded by hundreds of people.

By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 27 May 2023

Google has withdrawn a gaming app that allowed players to buy, sell and torture Black virtual “slaves” after a racism outcry in Brazil.

Dubbed “Slavery Simulator,” the Portuguese-language game saw players trade in slaves and strategise to prevent the abolition of slavery in order to amass virtual riches.

The prosecutor’s office said it had opened an investigation for “hate speech” related to the game downloaded by hundreds of people.

The app itself had come with a disclaimer condemning “all types of slavery” and insisting the game was “solely for entertainment purposes.”

After withdrawing the app from its Play Store, Google said in a statement that “applications that promote violence or hated against groups of people or individuals because of their skin colour or ethnic origin” would not be allowed on its platform.

The company invited users to report offensive content.

Brazil’s ministry of racial equality said it had asked Google to put in place measures “to filter out content containing hate speech, intolerance and racism” and “to prevent it from spreading so easily, without moderation.”

Racism is still a problem in Brazil, the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery, in 1888. More than 56 percent of the population is Afro-Brazilian.

“Brazil is one of the countries with the most consumers on Google’s platforms, and there one finds this app that recalls the era of slavery, with bonuses for those who torture the most,” said Renata Souza, a leftist regional lawmaker in Rio de Janeiro.

“This is not only racism, but also fascism,” she told AFP. “Here in Brazil, we have a neo-fascist movement that is not afraid to show itself… because of the lack of regulation on social networks.”

Google has spoken out against a bill seeking to stem online disinformation in Brazil, saying it “seriously threatens free speech.”

Supporters call the bill a badly-needed defense against disinformation and online extremism, but detractors say it amounts to censorship.

A Supreme Court judge ordered an investigation of Google and Telegram over what he called their “abusive campaign” against the bill.

Racism has been on the minds of Brazilians since “monkey” insults were hurled Sunday against their own Vinicius Junior, playing for Real Madrid in Spain.

The lights on the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro were turned off for an hour in solidarity with the player.

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Netflix Expands Crackdown on Password Sharing; Alerts Users in Over 100 Countries

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Netflix on Tuesday said it was sending emails about account sharing to customers in 103 countries and territories.
By Reuters | Updated: 24 May 2023

Netflix on Tuesday expanded its crackdown on password sharing to the United States and more than 100 other countries, alerting users that their accounts cannot be shared for free outside of their households.

The streaming video pioneer has been looking for new ways to make money as it faces signs of market saturation, with efforts including limits on password borrowing and a new ad-supported option.

Netflix on Tuesday said it was sending emails about account sharing to customers in 103 countries and territories, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Mexico and Brazil.

The emails state that a Netflix account should only be used in one household. Paying customers can add a member outside of their homes for an additional fee. In the United States, the fee is $8 (roughly Rs. 700) per month.

Members can also transfer a person’s profile so the user can keep their viewing history and recommendations.

Netflix last year said it was going to limit account sharing and was testing various approaches in some markets.

The company had estimated that more than 100 million households had supplied their log-in credentials to friends and family outside their homes. As of the end of March, Netflix’s paying customers totalled 232.5 million globally.

Under the new policies, people within the same household can continue sharing a Netflix account and can use it on various devices when travelling, the company said.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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Google Pay Rolls Out UPI Payments Support for RuPay Card Holders of These Banks: Details

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RuPay credit cards can be used with Google Pay to seamlessly pay at all online and offline merchants where RuPay credit cards are accepted.
By ANI | Updated: 23 May 2023

Tapping into the growing popularity of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Google Pay in conjunction with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Tuesday announced the capability for users to make UPI payments with RuPay credit cards.

With this development, users can link their RuPay credit cards with Google Pay to seamlessly pay at all online and offline merchants where RuPay credit cards are accepted.

This feature is now available to RuPay credit card holders of Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, HDFC bank, Indian Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India. More banks will follow suit shortly.

To activate, users need to add the RuPay credit card to Google Pay. Users can tap on the “RuPay credit card on UPI” option in their profile and select the bank which issued their RuPay credit card.

Thereafter, users will need to set a unique UPI PIN by entering the last six digits of the card number and expiry, and then entering the OTP from their bank. The statement from Google said users are ready to pay merchants on UPI with their RuPay credit card. “They will enter the set UPI PIN, the same way they do for other UPI transactions,” it added.

Sharath Bulusu, Director of Product Management from Google, said, “Google Pay is a partner to India’s financial ecosystem — enabling millions of users to safely and conveniently make digital payments every day… This feature will give Google Pay users more flexibility and choice in making payments, and will drive greater adoption of digital payments in the country.”

Nalin Bansal, Chief Relationship Management and Key Initiatives, Corporate Business from NPCI, said, “The integration of RuPay Credit Card on UPI delivers a remarkable user experience seamlessly combining the convenience of UPI with the benefits of RuPay Credit Card.”

Bansal said, “We believe this service will mature to provide access to digital credit on demand and consumers will be able to make payments by taking benefit of the inherent security and availability of UPI network across both offline and online platforms.”

In recent years, India has witnessed a huge rise in the number of transactions made through UPI. NPCI reported a massive jump in monthly transaction count as the UPI transactions touched 8.7 billion in March 2023. To further bolster growth of digital payments in the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed linking of RuPay credit cards to the UPI platform in June 2022.

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