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Twitter blue checkmark: A symbol of shame?

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After receiving a severe backlash from verified users who lost their blue checkmarks from their accounts, Twitter started to provide verification marks to celebrities. But this time, they are unwilling to accept it.

People who refused to have the verification badge include the rapper Lil Nas X, The New York Times, the scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, journalist Kara Swisher, and satire account @dril, among others.

While people who have passed away have also had their verified status restored. Some of those accounts include Bob Saget, Kirstie Alley and Barbara Walters. 

Apparently, Elon Musk’s ignited chaos has largely damaged the honour and authenticity of the blue checkmark at a critical point when he has been eyeing to raise revenue from it. But the attempt proved otherwise as its advertising business witnessed a decline.

A number of high-profile personalities announced that they had been punished with the verification marks of Twitter, CNN reported.

People including actor Chrissy Teigen reported difficulties in attempting to remove the blue checkmark. She also tried to remove it by changing her display name and then ultimately met with success.

She wrote on Twitter: “It attached itself to me. How did it happen so fast? like the movie It Follows.”

The setback from a celebrity shows the gap in the strategy and execution of the plan and also shows how disconnected Elon Musk is from the high-profile Twitter users whose content has long kept the microblogging website afloat.

Cost of blue checkmark higher than revenue

After acquiring the social media giant for $44 billion last year, Musk said that the blue mark will not be only limited to high-profile users but to those who pay $8. 

He also said: “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.”

The Twitter’s CEO’s decision to implement his plans were not welcomed. They had consequences such as a threat of spreading fake news via fake accounts made in the name of popular figures.

Similarly, Musk’s decisions have forced him to revert back to the old system where only a few had blue badges.

With the direction Musk has taken, those who have the badges are seen as loyal to the Twitter CEO but others are embarrassed to have badges on their account.

MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan noted on Twitter: “So, how do all the Musk fanboys and MAGA folks on this site feel about the fact that your conquering hero said he’d bring ‘equality’ and ‘people power’ to this site and then charged you all for Twitter Blue while giving it to people like me for free? Do you feel… owned?”

Many high-profile users have refused to pay for the badge — such as NYT and actor William Shatner — which paint a bleak picture of how would  Twitter raise its revenue parallel to the egalitarianism which Musk intended to promote.

People who refused to pay included LeBron James, Stephen King and Shatner. In response, Elon Musk said he was paying for their subscriptions.

The accounts that lost the mark were restored including President Joe Biden and Pope Francis with labels as “a government or multilateral organisation account.”

Nevertheless, it is a reminder that social media would not be democratised as Silicon Valley tried to do because there are still people who are to enjoy special privileges even on social media with reference to their status in the real world. 

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TikTok plans to introduce an image search capability in order to directly compete with Google.

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TikTok, a Chinese short video platform, is now conducting a trial of a novel functionality that enables users to capture or submit images in order to discover comparable products within the TikTok Shop, as reported by TechCrunch.

TikTok, the current leader in social media, is now aiming to enter Google’s domain in the field of search, indicating a direct competition against Google’s control in visual search.

The functionality, originally observed by user Jonah Manzano, is presently accessible to users residing in the United States and Southeast Asia. Users that have access to the feature will see a camera symbol that is integrated.
This feature allows users to effortlessly search for products by capturing or uploading photographs, eliminating the requirement for written descriptions.

For example, if you are eating at a restaurant and like the dish that is presented on a certain plate, you can take a fast photo using the TikTok app to discover comparable goods that you can buy.

Similarly, if you come across an expensive item while shopping online, you can save its image and use TikTok’s image search feature to locate similar, more affordable options.

Although TikTok Shop has previously utilized conventional search methods, this new advancement represents a notable deviation by harnessing the capabilities of visual search, similar to Google Lens.

TikTok’s decision is a calculated maneuver aimed at not only attracting users’ interest in finding new products but also promoting sales within its e-commerce network.

This development is not only a criticism of Google or Amazon; it is a more extensive effort to rival other participants in the field of visual search and e-commerce, such as Klarna and rising businesses like Cherry.

TikTok’s shift towards e-commerce is apparent in its recent announcement that TikTok Shop accommodates more than 15 million vendors worldwide, including a significant presence in the United States.

The company has made significant investments in platform safety, dedicating more than $400 million and establishing a staff of 7,500 personnel to guarantee the integrity of TikTok Shop.

TikTok continues to pursue its e-commerce goals, while encountering regulatory obstacles, especially in the United States.

TikTok’s momentum remains unaffected by President Biden’s recent measure, which indicates a possible prohibition if ByteDance does not divest the platform.

However, the corporation regards e-commerce as a strategic source of income and a method to maintain consumer involvement within its ecosystem.

TikTok is continuously expanding and improving its TikTok Shop to encourage more user interaction and spending. This will help establish TikTok as a strong competitor in the e-commerce industry.
in the search bar of TikTok Shop.

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Pakistan experiences substantial expansion in the information technology sector.

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Pakistan experienced significant development in the exports of its IT sector, reaching a total of $2.283 billion, as stated in a recent Economic Survey Report.

The increase in exports emphasized the rising global demand for IT services from Pakistan and the sector’s impact on the national economy.

The survey demonstrated that IT freelancers contributed $35 million in remittances, highlighting their significance in the IT industry.

The study data indicates a significant rise in the number of broadband and telecom customers nationwide, with broadband users reaching 135 million and telecom users growing to 194 million.

Earlier this week, the federal government has suggested a substantial 357 percent rise in the budget for the IT sector for the fiscal year 2024-25.

As to reliable sources, the Ministry of IT has been granted a budget of Rs 27.43 billion in the development budget, out of which Rs 6.28 billion has been allotted for the implementation of 15 new projects.

The government has additionally suggested allotting Rs 21.15 billion for projects that are currently in progress, as well as Rs 3.5 billion for the Digital Economy initiative.

Additional noteworthy allocations consist of Rs 1 billion for fostering innovation in the IT sector, Rs 50 million for the digitalization of the national assembly, and Rs 300 million for the implementation of smart office projects in government ministries.

The government has additionally suggested investing Rs 9.92 billion for the Islamabad Technology Development Park and Rs 6.78 billion for the creation of an IT park in Karachi. The budget additionally comprises a proposition for an allocation of Rs 1 billion for the Cybersecurity Fund for the Digital Pakistan initiative.

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The government will set up a firewall to monitor social media.

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In order to regulate “unwanted messages” on social media, the Pakistani government has chosen to establish a firewall.

It’s been discovered that the internet service providers have accepted the government’s request to put in a firewall.

“Deep packet inspection” is a unique characteristic that it will have.

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