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Users want TikTok banned over poor content moderation

Play Store rating drops from 4.5 to 1

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Bytedance’s TikTok is viewed as a potential rival of Facebook’s Instagram. However, the app has come under immense criticism over its weak moderation policies. Videos encouraging sexual harassment, assault, and even misinformation have trended on the app. Additionally, content creators have often used this as a tactic to garner more views and engagement.

Indian netizens are furious over the app’s extremely lacking moderation mechanism. Many activists even allege that the app purposely doesn’t take down these videos. In response, people have turned to Google’s Play Store to show their disagreement by downrating the app. A week back, TikTok had a rating of 4.5 out of 5. Today, it has dropped to 1.3 and could further decline.

It all started when CarryMinati, one of India’s most popular YouTubers posted a video roasting TikTok creator Amir Siddiqui. YouTube India soon pulled down the video stating it was in violation of its policies. Since then, the heat against TikTok started rising.

The final nail in the coffin was when creator Faizal Siddiqui posted a video of him throwing water on a girl that transitions to her having makeup similar to assault marks. He had 13 million followers. His account can no longer be accessed on the app.

This isn’t a remote incident. There are numerous videos on the platform that encourages violence against women, patriarchy, and often extremely disrespectful acts. The outrage against the platform reached its peak in recent days and India’s National Commission for Women filed an official complaint against the TikTok creator. #BanTikTok is a frequently trending hashtag in the country.

India is a prime market for the company with 81 million active monthly users, according to 2019 stats. The number has obviously risen since then thanks to the national lockdown due to the Coronavirus. Indians are spending more time than ever online and creators are on overtime trying to bridge the gap.

In response, the company said, “Keeping people on TikTok safe is a top priority and we make it clear in our Term of Service and Community Guidelines that clearly outlines what is not acceptable on our platform. As per the policy, we do not allow content that risks the safety of others, promotes physical harm, or glorifies violence against women. The behavior in question violates our guidelines and we have taken down content, suspended the account, and are working with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.”

Apps

Google’s Locked Folder can protect your NSFW photos

Protect everything with a password

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Where do you keep your secret photos? Though there are several options for users, the usual storage suspects don’t have the most robust protection against prying eyes. Google, after a Pixel-exclusive phase, is rolling out a password-protected folder feature for all Android users of Google Photos.

The feature will separate selected photos from the main library. Users can then put them inside a password-protected folder. They can also protect against invaders using a fingerprint. When protected, the selected photos won’t show up when scrolling anymore.

Users can toggle the feature on by going into the Locked Folder option in Utilities. Currently, the Pixel’s camera app can take photos and directly send them to the protected folder. Unfortunately, the feature doesn’t work on other camera apps. At least for now, that is.

The feature does have its drawbacks. For one, protected photos are only locally saved. If you somehow lose your phone, those photos are lost forever or worse especially if a third party gets it for themselves.

Obviously, the Locked Folder has its more innocuous uses. But it’s definitely a way to hide NSFW photos.

Google initially launched the feature only for Pixel phones back in June. Of course, as most Android features go, the developers promised a more widespread rollout coming soon after. Well, that time is finally now. The feature is set to roll out sometime this fall.

SEE ALSO: Google starts rolling out Material You apps

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Next Android update is Android 12.1, not Android 13, rumor says

Just a minor update

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One of the highlights of the year is a new Android update. Like clockwork, Google updates the biggest mobile operating system in the world. It’s gotten so popular that the entire industry speculates on the codename each update is attached with even if the company stopped doing them years ago. The hype is there. However, Android users might have to taper their expectations next year. Instead of Android 13, Google might launch Android 12.1 next year.

Reported by XDA Developers, the rumor speculates that next year’s Android update will just be a minor one of the upcoming Android 12 this year. According to one of the publication’s recognized developers, Google attached an “sc-v2” tag for the next Android update, instead of “T” for “Tiramisu,” the internal codename for Android 13. For those who still follow the internal codenames for Android, “sc” refers to Snow Cone, the internal codename for Android 12. As such, it’s natural to assume that the next update is just Android 12.1, rather than Android 13.

It’s been a while since Google released minor updates in lieu of major updates. However, it’s no surprise. Android 12 is already a big update, relative to the past few updates. The update features a revamped design called Material You. Google can believably improve the new update more before launching a major one.

SEE ALSO: Android 12 is Snow Cone

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Google starts rolling out Material You apps

More coming this month

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There is no one more excited for Google’s upcoming products than Google itself. Though the company hasn’t officially launched its products yet, Google has persistently teased everything in the weeks and months leading to their debuts. Now, the company is slowly rolling out Material You apps ahead of the Android 12 launch.

Material You refers to Android’s design revamp for the upcoming Android 12 update. An evolution of Google’s smooth Material Design, the new design personalizes the user interface and the phone’s apps according to the user’s preferences. Android 12 is all about customization.

Of course, since the update also affects apps, Google is also rolling out apps that reflect the new design. Despite the lack of Android 12, the new apps are coming out ahead of time. Officially announced by Google’s Workspace blog, Google Drive will start the new push with its rollout starting today. After Drive, Google Meet will come out on September 19, and Google Calendar will launch on September 20. Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets have already rolled out a week ago.

The new apps will feature new navigation bars, floating action buttons, and a new font called Google Sans. The new font will make readability easier for smaller font sizes.

Android 12 is set to launch soon. Additionally, Google is already launching teasers for the upcoming Pixel 6 series featuring the new, in-house Tensor chipset.

SEE ALSO: Android 12 will make Chrome more colorful

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