The PCGuide Weekly Roundup – August 16th

The PCGuide Weekly Roundup – August 16th

Similar to last week, TikTok has, again been dominating the news, for both bad and good reasons. First, we saw the company attempting to sue Donald Trump over the executive ban he proposed, then it seemed Twitter was potentially the next suitor for TikTok’s US operations, beating out Microsoft, and finally, TikTok announced the first wave of Influencers to be paid by the Creator Fund. TikTok hasn’t been the only social media platform that’s been embroiled in controversy, as Instagram is accused of illegally storing biometrics data of 100 million users with a potential fine of $5000 per user. Finally, Facebook has also made the headlines off the back of Twitter’s attempt to quell QAnon content with many groups relocating to the platform to spread their misinformation.

We’re going to give you a small insight into these pieces but if you fancy reading the full stories, head over to the individual articles.

Looking initially at the Trump lawsuit, it’s clear TikTok means business, putting their foot down on the U.S. President.

After growing concerns, company and political party-wide bans and a potential sale to Microsoft, Trump issued an Executive Order to ban TikTok completely within 45 days, making “any transaction” with the Chinese-owned company ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) illegal and punishable by a fine up to $300,000 or even criminal prosecution.

The decision, which is controversial at best and may even violate human rights, has resulted in a lawsuit between TikTok and the Trump Administration, reported first by NPR.

The lawsuit, which could be held as soon as Tuesday, will take place in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, NPR heard from a source who was advised not to speak for the company.

Apparently, TikTok is suing the Trump Administration on the grounds that this ban is unconstitutional because it did not give the company time to respond and the justification for the ban is “based on pure speculation and conjecture,” and that it has “no findings of fact [and it] just reiterates rhetoric about China that has been kicking around”.

Let’s see if this lawsuit goes through. It’ll certainly be a landmark case if so!

Now, let’s take a look at Twitter potentially buying the platform. Microsoft had originally stated that if the purchase was to go ahead, it should be completed by September 15th, 5 days before Trump’s ban will come into effect. However, there’s a new competitor engaging in talks over purchasing the US arm of TikTok: Twitter.

An unlikely competitor, Twitter has much less money than Microsoft. However, it argues, due being much smaller, Twitter is “unlikely to face the same level of antitrust scrutiny as Microsoft or other potential bidders,” reports The Wall Street Journal, who heard from unnamed sources involved with the talks.

It’s unclear whether Twitter will be able to fork out what has been estimated as tens of billions of dollars to buy TikTok before the 45 days are up. However, a potential merge with the short-form video app would likely be a gamechanger for Twitter, which focuses on short-form written tweets. Especially after the platform infamously axed Vine in 2016.

If Twitter does manage to get a deal through, we’re sure Microsoft will be less than impressed, missing out on the opportunity to gobble up a bunch of data.

To round off the TikTok news, let’s look at something a little less controversial, its implementation of the Creator Fund to compensate it’s uploaders.

In July, TikTok announced its Creator Fund, which would be used to “encourage those who dream of using their voices and creativity to spark inspirational careers” and reward TikTok users for “the passion and dedication put into inspiring, uplifting, and entertaining the TikTok community”.

At first, it was announced that the fund would dish out $200 million to a variety of creators, as long as they met the requirements: be 18 or over, have at least 10k followers, and have accrued at least 10k video views in the last 30 days. Due to the incredible response and enthusiasm for the fund, TikTok has now promised to spend $1 billion on their creators in the US over the next three years, and more than double that globally.

Yesterday, the first wave of 19 creators who will be receiving the fund were announced. The line up includes some creators with a background in the online entertainment industry, like David Dobrik, who has amassed 20 million followers on the app. It also includes “classic TikTok success story,” Brittany Tomlinson, who managed to gain 5 million followers after a video of her trying kombucha for the first time went viral. And, of course, they included a dancer and choreographer in the mix (would it even be TikTok without a viral dance?), Michael Le, who is known for creating original, viral choreography on the app.

Let’s see if now you can essentially monetize your videos without sponsorships, more content creators flock to the platform.

Now TikTok is out of the way, let’s talk about the other social media giant Instagram.

Instagram has been accused of illegally harvesting and storing over 100 million users’ biometric data, reports Bloomberg. The Facebook-owned video-sharing app has apparently violated an Illinois privacy law – the Biometric Information Privacy Act – which prohibits the collection of a user’s biometric data without consent.

The class-action lawsuit was filed overnight in the state court in Redwood City, California and could see the social media giant paying out $5000 per data breach if a court determines that it acted recklessly or intentionally in doing so. Although, the base fine for each violation is $1000.

While there’s been a variety of data-leaks from various platforms, if Instagram has been intentionally storing biometric data, it’s a big violation of the users’ rights.

Finally, let’s take a look at that Facebook news. A Guardian investigation reported this week found that newly established QAnon groups are gaining popularity and growing rapidly across Facebook.

Following a huge crackdown on the pro-Trump conspiracy theory by Twitter last month, QAnon Believers have found a new home on Facebook. Twitter originally banned 7000 accounts (with the intention of banning 150 000) and blocked any URLs associated with the conspiracy.

The New York Times reported at the time that an insider had alleged that Facebook was planning to do the same. However, on Tuesday, August 11th, The Guardian reported more than 170 QAnon groups, pages and accounts across Facebook and Instagram with more than 4.5 million aggregate followers and spanning 15 different countries.

According to The Guardian, they have also found 73 novel QAnon groups that were started in May 2020 or later and have amassed at least 1000 followers each, with some of the largest groups hosting some 200 000 members. These groups, according to the investigation, show the spread of QAnon around the globe, with members from the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

Let’s hope Facebook cracks down on this QAnon content just like Twitter in an effort to oust the spread of this misinformation.

Now we’ve covered all of the main news pieces, let’s jump into the features and guides we’ve published this week.

We’ve again had a focus on helping you build a successful YouTube channel by providing you with the best software for YouTube videos as well as the best hardware for YouTube videos, hopefully providing everything you need to either start a channel or take it to the next level. Moreover, we’ve aimed to give you the top ten tips to help you out with your content, making it more ‘professional’ and certainly maximizing shareability.

For your computer animation enthusiasts out there, we’ve published some articles to help you out also including the best animation software. So, if you’re a beginner wanting to get into computer animation or want to try out some great tools at home, you can with the options listed.

And that’s another week on PCGuide round-up. Next week we’re going to be looking at some more computer animation guides as well as a bunch of how-tos focused around your mouse. Stay tuned for that!