Connect with us

Tech

TikTok faces lawsuit over ‘blackout challenge’ content

Published

on


TikTok and parent company ByteDance have been accused of negligence after the death of a 10-year-old who allegedly attempted a challenge she saw on the app. According to the wrongful death suit, Nylah Anderson was found unconscious in her bedroom in Pennsylvania on December 7th. She was taken to hospital but died after five days in pediatric intensive care.

Nylah’s mother Tawainna claimed her daughter attempted the “blackout challenge,” which encourages people to hold their breath or otherwise asphyxiate themselves until they pass out. Nylah saw a video about the challenge on the For You page “as a result of TikTok’s algorithm,” the suit said, according to NBC News. “The TikTok defendants’ algorithm determined that the deadly blackout challenge was well-tailored and likely to be of interest to 10-year-old Nylah Anderson, and she died as a result.”

“I want to hold this company accountable,” Tawainna said at a press conference. “It is time that these dangerous challenges come to an end, that other families don’t experience the heartbreak we live every day.”

“This disturbing ‘challenge,’ which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend,” a TikTok spokesperson told Engadget in a statement. “We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss.”

The deaths of several other children have been attributed to the challenge. In April 2021, 12-year-old Colorado boy Joshua Haileyesus died after being on life support for 19 days. His family claimed he attempted the challenge. Italy last year temporarily blocked TikTok for users who were unable to verify their age after the death of a girl who allegedly undertook the challenge.

In March, it emerged that a group of attorneys general is investigating TikTok over the potential harms that its app can cause to children and “what TikTok knew about those harms.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Tech

I tried (and failed) to channel my inner Bezos

Published

on


We live in an age where the power of narrative is so strong that it has become the defining way to build organizations, products and brands. In recent decades, the tech industry has presented itself as the savior to all of our problems, and now dominates so much of our culture as a consequence. And there is a quasi-religious fervor to this, especially when we look at the lionization of certain individuals, or the fact that paid-for-marketing-types are called “evangelists,” and the in-group mentality that forms afterward.

If the model for this sanctified tech guru was Steve Jobs, then its most recent exponent must be Elon Musk. Musk’s rise coincided with a vacuum left in the wake of Jobs’ demise, and his image – his personal brand – has been tweaked several times in the last two decades. Compare this footage when he received his first McLaren F1 to a . And Musk’s savviest piece of personal branding is to make him an aspirational figure both as an engineer and entrepreneur.

Noted philosopher Andre Agassi once said that “image is everything,” and that was back in the days before social media. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently after watching Apple TV’s WeCrashed. There’s a scene where Anne Hathaway’s character enlists the help of a personal branding expert who asks her, deep down, what sort of person she wants to be. It’s a scene designed to emphasize her inner turmoil at the time, but it got me wondering. Were these consultants invented for the purposes of the story, or do they really do exist?

It turns out that there’s a whole industry of people helping the titans of industry massage their personal brand. But branding, in this context, isn’t the same as styling or something similarly superficial. Its boosters would say it’s a combination of psychotherapy and marketing that, when done properly, is about resolving deep-seated internal conflicts in your psyche. And yes, you might need to pick a pair of shoes that test well with adults aged 29-45, but it’s a lot more about crafting a story around you, about you, which you can present to the wider world.

Branding consultant Lucy Freeman says that many of her clients reach their late ‘30s or early ‘40s and feel suddenly unmoored from their own personalities. “They come to this realization that [having reached a point of leadership in a company] they’ve let themselves disappear,” she said. That’s a problem, especially if they’re now expected to take on a more public-facing role and now need to “fight their way out of the company brand.”

Branding expert Am Golhar says that, often, it’s about how people “want to be perceived” that drives them to seek out help. Ed Zitron, owner of PR agency EZPR, agrees, saying that the point of personal branding is to gain “attention with the media,” so a person can “position themselves as good at, or smart, about something.” He added that “third-party validation is huge: You’d rather listen to a reporter that’s ostensibly done research on something than an ad or piece of marketing collateral.”

Emerge founder Emily Austen recruits a behavioral psychologist as part of her process, with a mission to help identify “what [the client’s] POV should, or could, be to have the space to say something others cannot.” She added that being seen as an “entrepreneur has become a status symbol,” a phenomenon supercharged by the ability to broadcast what you’re doing over social media. “It satisfies the [public] fascination with success, and it looks glamorous and exciting,” she said.

I also asked if it would be possible to drag some random from the street, My Fair Lady style, and turn them into a branding superstar. Golhar says that there’s “got to be something there,” citing the example of Gemma Collins, a British reality TV star who leveraged her larger-than-life personality on The Only Way is Essex to become a household name.

All of the people I spoke to described, in one way or another, a process whereby the figure looking to change has to first interrogate themselves. Golhar says that it’s about them going through an “alignment process [to discover] who they are.” Thought Leadership PR founder Helen Croydon added that the questions you ask people include “why they chose this career path” and what are their “talking points.” Before you can brand, or rebrand yourself, you need to understand what it is that you’re selling.

One common anxiety that clients share is the belief that they’re about to become a strutting diva. After all, executives don’t need a brand, which sounds a little too much like caring about what other people think of you, do they? (I mean, we all do care about what other people think about us, but it seems gauche to do anything so drastic as to do anything about that.) Freeman says that the process is more about re-discovering your “non-negotiables and absolute truths.”

Another thing that came up repeatedly was a desire for these figures to demonstrate that they were an expert in the subject matter at hand. “They do care about their image,” said Croydon, “but [they’re] more concerned with portraying professional expertise in their industry.” The hope is, as always, that the greater your esteem, the more you’ll be able to leverage that into future opportunities.

There are shortcuts, if you can afford it, that will help cut some of the time it would normally take to build your new brand. Croydon, for instance, explained that agencies will hire journalists to ghostwrite material on behalf of their clients. She herself employs a number of writers who can produce such content in the service of furthering someone’s brand. Not, she explains, because the individuals can’t do it themselves, but often they’re sufficiently time-poor that they need the help.

Zitron has made his name as a vocal critic of much of what the PR industry does and isn’t a fan of the idea of personal branding at all. “There isn’t an honest [process],” he said, “personal branding is intentionally choosing what you want to share with the world at large.” That, however, “involves hiding specific things, or intentionally obfuscating parts of your life so you look better or are accepted by more people.” “If you are building a narrative for a singular person that is not ‘this is their history and this is where they’ve got to in their lives,’ then you are intentionally misleading people.” Zitron added that while there is “nothing wrong with trying to present your best self,” which, of course, we’re all doing a lot of the time, there’s a problem if “you are doing so with malicious intent.”

But despite Zitron’s warnings, I did want to explore the world of personal branding, hell, it might even help me in my career. Freeman was kind enough to sign me up for a 90-minute session where we would delve into what exactly my personal brand was, and what it could be. She started by asking me questions about what I like, what my values are and what brings me joy. Then we moved on to questions about what I’d like to do more and less of, looking for problems in my day that I’d like to get past.

Then we spent a long time discussing, for instance, how my friends, family and co-workers perceive me – or how I think they do. These were, I’ll admit, hard questions, and there’s a noticeable pause when I’m asked Who do you tell yourself you are? The follow up was harder: Who are you afraid to tell yourself that you are? It was heavy stuff. Now, in any normal story, this is the point where I reveal I’ve got lots of good tips on finding my own personal brand to share with you. But that didn’t happen, mostly because, based on my responses, Freeman told me “you have never, actually thought about [your authentic self] for a second.”

Ah. Maybe it’s true, then, that in order to cultivate a personal brand that there has to be some nugget of raw something that can be shaped into something more effective. I wonder, too, if you don’t require a fairly hefty dose of self-belief, enough to propel you toward the idea of considering your brand in the first place. Clearly that is something I’ll need to work on.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Microsoft tests Windows 11 desktop widgets with web search bar

Published

on


Microsoft is adding an optional web search to the Windows 11 desktop in the operating system’s latest Insider Preview Build. The company describes the feature as “lightweight interactive content” — the first, it says, of many such tools it’s considering adding to Windows 11 — but let’s call the thing what it really is: a widget.

Not everyone signed up to the latest Windows 11 preview build will see the new search box, but anyone who does and doesn’t like it can disable the feature by right-clicking on the desktop, selecting “Show more options,” and then toggling “Show search.”

If you are running the latest preview build, you’ll also have to restart your computer to give the search box a chance to show up.

Is it a useful feature? Probably for some, and probably not for others. It’s a web search rather than a system search (which you can add to the taskbar in Windows 10 and 11 for easy access), and could be useful if you need to quickly pull up content after starting your machine from scratch. But most people, I suspect, constantly have at least one browser window open, and will probably find it easier to search from there than go to the desktop. (A cynic might note that it’s also another way for Microsoft to steer users to Edge and Bing.)

At any rate, it’s interesting to see the company play with desktop widgets, as opposed to corralling these tools into a separate panel (for more on that, see our review of Windows 11).



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Democratic lawmakers want FTC to investigate controversial identity firm ID.me

Published

on


A group of Democratic lawmakers led by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to ID.me, the controversial identification company best known for its work with the Internal Revenue Service. In a addressed to , the group suggests the firm misled the American public about the capabilities of its facial recognition technology.

Specifically, lawmakers point to a ID.me made at the start of the year. After CEO Blake Hall said the company did not use one-to-many facial recognition, an approach that involves matching images against those in a database, ID.me backtracked on those claims. It clarified it uses a “specific” one-to-many check during user enrollment to prevent identity theft.

Following that statement, the IRS began to distance itself from ID.me, it would reconsider its use of the platform in late January. It subsequently began allowing taxpayers to authenticate their identity . But as the letter points out, many state and federal agencies continue to require Americans to submit photos and documents to ID.me before they can access vital services, including unemployment insurance.

“Americans have particular reason to be concerned about the difference between these two types of facial recognition,” the senators write of ID.me’s turnaround, noting a one-to-many approach inevitably means millions of people will have their photographs “endlessly” accessed. “Not only does this violate individuals’ privacy, but the inevitable false matches associated with one-to-many recognition can result in applicants being wrongly denied desperately-needed services for weeks or even months as they try to get their case reviewed.”

In making the statements it did, the group is asking the FTC to determine whether ID.me committed “deceptive and unfair business practices.” The company already faces an investigation from the House Oversight and Reform Committee. In a statement it shared with , ID.me declined to comment on the specific concerns mentioned in the letter from Senator Wyden. Instead, the company pointed to its track record of preventing unemployment fraud.

“ID.me played a critical role in stopping that attack in more than 20 states where the service was rapidly adopted for its equally important ability to increase equity and verify individuals left behind by traditional options,” the company said. “We look forward to cooperating with all relevant government bodies to clear up any misunderstandings.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Real Estate2 mins ago

New Video Takes A Peek Inside A $25-Million Los Angeles Midcentury Mansion

Opinion4 mins ago

NWA Powerrr S8E7 | Matt Cardona & Cardonas v Nick Aldis & Commonwealth Connection! Kamille v Paola!

Markets8 mins ago

President Biden awards Public Safety Officer Medals of Valor — 5/16/2022

Personal Finance10 mins ago

Flonase Sensimist Allergy Relief Nasal Spray Allergy Medication just $8.19 shipped!

Economy45 mins ago

The recession session II | Financial Times

Cryptocurrency46 mins ago

Volume on BitMEX Spot Exchange surpasses $10M in first 24 hours

Forex47 mins ago

Market Update – May 19 – Fears mount

Tech51 mins ago

I tried (and failed) to channel my inner Bezos

NFT52 mins ago

What’s on Guide to the Metaverse – May 20th-May 22nd, 2022

Metaverse53 mins ago

‘NFTs: Enter the Metaverse’ | Watch the trailer for non-fungible token documentary from ABC Localish Studios

Bitcoin54 mins ago

Terra crash not a risk to the broader crypto ecosystem, says Huobi Global CEO

Real Estate1 hour ago

Classic Raleigh restaurant closing after nearly 50 years in business

Opinion1 hour ago

Why is technological transformation significant for your business? – Expert talks with Hudi Shehu

Markets1 hour ago

Today's Stock Market News – 13/05/2022 | Parimal Ade

Economy2 hours ago

Sri Lanka becomes first Asia-Pacific country in decades to default on foreign debt

Tech2 hours ago

Microsoft tests Windows 11 desktop widgets with web search bar

NFT2 hours ago

Golom – One NFT Marketplace to Rule Them All

Metaverse2 hours ago

Unreal reality: The big leap to capitalise on the metaverse boom

Real Estate2 hours ago

Lee & Associates working to open Pittsburgh office of growing national real estate firm

Opinion2 hours ago

U.S. Supreme Court Delivers Bad News For Immigrants on May 16, 2022

Real Estate4 weeks ago

‘Selling Sunset’ Star Christine Quinn And Tech Entrepreneur Husband Have Plans To Disrupt The Real Estate Industry

Markets2 weeks ago

NYC Amazon Workers Vote Against Unionizing; Warren Buffett Reveals Big Investments | NTD Business

Opinion3 weeks ago

Stromae – Fils de joie (Official Music Video)

Metaverse3 weeks ago

Metaverse Market: 38% of Growth to Originate from North America | Information by Device (VR and AR devices and computing devices) and Geography

ICO4 weeks ago

One-Minute Blockchain News – April 19, 2022

Opinion3 weeks ago

New Kia Sportage 2022 review

Metaverse1 week ago

Avoiding Metaverse Mayhem: Regulating Virtual Influencers as Nearly Human

Metaverse3 weeks ago

4 ways brands can succeed in the metaverse with influencer marketing | ITB Worldwide | Open Mic

Metaverse4 weeks ago

TerraZero Technologies Inc. Offers Corporate Update & Business Development Amid Rapidly Growing Metaverse Adoption

Metaverse3 days ago

MEET ZEROSIXONE: THE BESPOKE 3D DESIGN STUDIO THAT BRIDGES BRANDS, NFTS AND THE METAVERSE

Opinion3 weeks ago

Having a plan is the key to gains…in my opinion! Coffee and Crypto with King #shib #saitama

Bitcoin4 weeks ago

Coinbase NFT launches beta, AMC Theatres rolls out SHIB and DOGE payments, and Blockchain.com eyes IPO: Hodler’s Digest, April 17-23

Opinion4 weeks ago

Why We Need A Mangagement Revolution | Business Revolution: Episode 2 | ENDEVR Documentary

Opinion2 weeks ago

Volkswagen Tiguan R review – more fun than an SUV should be?

Markets4 weeks ago

सोयाबीन की नहीं होगी किसानों को कमी Market Times TV #soyabean #soyabeanmandi #soyabeanprice

Metaverse1 week ago

the Metaverse of the art-NFT market, with 35 years of unique experience in virtual worlds.

NFT3 weeks ago

Animoca Leads $3.5 Million Funding Round for NFT Innovators Metakey

Opinion3 weeks ago

KGF 2 Movie 11th Day Worldwide Box Office Collection-KGF Chapter 2 Day 11 Collection| Yash,Prashanth

Economy4 weeks ago

IMF and World Bank highlight fragile state of global economy

Metaverse4 weeks ago

4 questions every CISO should be asking about the metaverse – TechCrunch

Trending

0