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Dozens of attorney generals ask Facebook to ditch Instagram Kids

But Facebook has other plans, obviously

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Facebook confirmed a few weeks ago that it’s working on a new project — Instagram Kids. Experts have warned that it could be a terrible idea, but Facebook has shown no interest in turning back.

Now, attorneys general from 44 states and territories of the US urged Facebook to abandon its plans to create an Instagram service for kids under 13. Citing detrimental health effects of social media on kids and Facebook’s murky past of protecting children on its platform.

The letter also noted that social media sites exploit users’ fear of missing out (FOMO) and can lead to body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem.

“Further, Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms. The attorneys general have an interest in protecting our youngest citizens, and Facebook’s plans to create a platform where kids under the age of 13 are encouraged to share content online is contrary to that interest,” the letter said.

The AGs also cited a UK study that found more cases of “sexual grooming on Instagram than any other platform” and noted that in 2020 Facebook and Instagram reported 20 million child sexual abuse images.

Facebook response

A Facebook spokesperson in response to the letter said, “We agree that any experience we develop must prioritize their safety and privacy, and we will consult with experts in child development, child safety, and mental health, and privacy advocates to inform it.”

In a nutshell, Facebook doesn’t get the fundamental fact that kids under the age of 13 don’t need to be on social media. The company defends its move by saying children often lie about their age and make an account on Instagram, where child-friendly features have limited reach. To prevent this, it’s creating Instagram kids to offer a safe and controlled environment exclusive for kids.

The spokesperson also noted that Facebook is a founding sponsor of a new Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital better to understand the effect of digital technology on kids.

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A Nokia tablet is coming soon

Confirmed for October

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Since its resurrection years ago, Nokia has found its footing in the modern smartphone industry. The company has created a niche of smartphones for all markets. Amid their success, they are looking to expand even further. Nokia has confirmed that a Nokia tablet is coming.

Nokia’s official Twitter account posted an account directly confirming the tablet’s launch. The teaser even includes a photo and an official debut date. The included photo shows that the upcoming tablet is roughly more than twice the height of a Nokia 3310. As for the date, the tablet is making its official debut on October 6.

According to past rumors, the tablet will be called the Nokia T20. It will allegedly have a 10.36-inch LCD screen. It will reportedly sport a Unisoc chipset. Though the processor is still a variable at this point, the Nokia T20 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Given the tablet’s timeframe, it can either come in Android 11 or 12 out of the box.

Of note, this isn’t Nokia’s first foray into the tablet industry. Back in 2015, the company tried to get into the market with the Nokia N1. However, at a notable high for the tablet industry, the N1 never rose above the ranks. With the upcoming Nokia T20, the company wants to try again but with a better history behind it this time.

SEE ALSO: Nokia XR20: Rugged smartphone with 4 years of updates

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Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones [UPDATED]

But there’s a reason why

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Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

Editor’s Note: Xiaomi, on Sept 28, sent GadgetMatch the statement below

“Xiaomi’s devices do not censor communications to or from its users. Xiaomi has never and will never restrict or block any personal behaviors of our smartphone users, such as searching, calling, web browsing or the use of third-party communication software. Xiaomi fully respects and protects the legal rights of all users. Xiaomi complies with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking


The article was originally published on September 24, 2021.

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Galaxy S22 Ultra will look like a Galaxy Note phone

Based on a new render

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The Galaxy Note series is in a state of limbo. After the rise of the brand’s foldable phones, Samsung toned down on the iconic Note series. The brand hasn’t even launched a new entry yet – if it even is launching one this year. If you’re a fan of the series, there’s still hope. Based on new renders, the upcoming Galaxy S22 Ultra will look remarkably similar to the Galaxy Note series.

Rendered by Steve Hemmerstoffer and Digit.in based on currently known leaks, the upcoming premium smartphone will reportedly have a built-in dock for the S Pen. Of course, the series had already received stylus support, but the Galaxy S21 series never had a dock for the pen.

Additionally, the renders show a quad rear camera setup much like the previous series. However, the layout does look a bit different from its predecessors. Either way, the upcoming flagship has a hint of familiarity for those more used to the Galaxy Note series.

Unfortunately, the render doesn’t show how the S Pen will look like. For the past few iterations, Samsung did confirm that more optimized S Pens are coming for different devices.

In other details, the renders also show that the headphone jack is here to stay.

Right now, it’s still early to tell if the renders are what the real deal will look like. A lot can still happen between now and the projected launch window in January.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review: Do-It-All device

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