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4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis

You don’t need to dance sexily to help

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As the coronavirus pandemic hits a fever pitch, the amount of TikTok users has been ballooning. A lot of people are currently stuck at home due to a quarantine and forced self-isolation, leading people to download the short-form video app to ease their boredom.

TikTok may be known for goofy and humorous videos but just like any other social media platform, it has other sides catering to different niches and personalities. From cooking, photography, and journaling, to sexy dance challenges, thirst traps, viral memes, and cringe-worthy videos bordering between silly and insanity.

And just like any social media platform, TikTok is also contributing to the fight against coronavirus, in its own, unique, entertaining way. If you spend a lot of time watching and/or uploading on TikTok, maybe it’s high time you participate in TikTok’s efforts seeing how you have a lot of time to do so.

Arm yourself with information

When somebody asks you about your ‘contribution’ in your government and your country’s fight against the coronavirus, you can always slap the taxes you pay, and the criticism and flaws you point out so the system can improve. But if you find it difficult to answer, you can respond with how you’re armed with information — which came from verified and trusted sources.

If you’re unsure where to access accurate and timely information, TikTok created a special page within the app for all things coronavirus — advisories, preventive measures, and Mythbusters debunking fallacies to fight misinformation. Yes, even as a TikTok user, you should be able to discern what is news and what is misinformation.

Don’t forget to wash your hands properly

If Mimiyuuuh can remind us to ‘drink your water’, you can be your own influencer and remind others to wash their hands properly. TikTok creators are using the platform to promote handwashing while singing their favorite songs for 20 seconds.

 

@tjmusicmonterde##HandWashChallenge ##handwashtunes♬ original sound – TJ Monterde

In Vietnam, the Ghen Cô Vy (English Version) was released to inspire hand sanitation. Through its groovy choreography, people have become cautious of the coronavirus. If you want to be an influencer, you can join TikTok’s #HandwashTunes challenge so you can encourage people to wash their hands properly. Remember, an influencer influences.

Spread love and happiness

This challenging time encourages us to spread positive messages of love and hope, not toxic positivity. Our social media feeds are always bombarded with news and the reality we live in.

If you find yourself scrolling on TikTok more often, take part in the #LoveInTheTimeOfCorona challenge instead of just dancing sexily. If you’re musically-inclined, you can bring some hope and compassion in your videos by using a new collaborative song entitled “Forever Beautiful: All for One Version”. The song features Eric Chou, Ben&Ben, and 13 artists across Asia.

 

@kuyaching##loveinthetimeofcorona Good deeds should be done with intention, not for [email protected] Smith @Keanne Go ##chingsters ##teamramen ##laughingjackz♬ Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi

Keep your distance, but stay connected

If you’re reading this and you have a mobile phone, access to the internet, and you’re inside a house where you can sleep safe and sound, then congratulations! You’re blessed and you’re privileged enough compared to people who need to step outside for work so they can put food on their plates.

Use this privilege to stay at home because that will be your major contribution (if someone ever asks you again). Use this time at home to catch up with friends and family via social media, in case you’ve been ignoring them for weeks now. You can also try to improve yourself. Perhaps, you can learn a new language, a new recipe, develop new hobbies, and maybe do a home workout.

Whatever it is, don’t forget to share good vibes and entertain people, especially those who can’t handle self-isolation well. Maybe it’s also a good time for you to create more TikTok videos (which you can save as a draft for future purposes).

Let’s remember that we can maintain our distance to keep others safe while maintaining connections through social media platforms. Until then, stay safe!

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts | Here’s how Facebook is trying to fight coronavirus


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Apps

How to get NBA League Pass with your telco provider

There are two package options

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NBA action is in full swing. In fact, it has been since August when the season restarted following a shut down that was caused by the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic. As of writing, we’re in the thick of the Conference Finals series. If you want to catch all the action, here’s how you can get NBA League Pass through different telecomm providers in the Philippines.

It’s now easier than ever to get access to the games legally. All of Smart, PLDT, and Globe are offering the same price packages.

PhP 85 — Watch any three games of your choice
PhP 485 — 30-day pass for all games including live and on-demand

Here’s how to get the subscription for each provider.

Smart Postpaid and Prepaid
(Also works with TNT and SUN Postpaid)

  • Download the NBA app (iOS / Android /APKPure)
  • On the app, click on the icon at the top-right corner
  • Click sign-in
  • A banner on top of the page will appear for Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers
  • Click ‘Get Started’
  • Enter mobile number for verification and a one-time PIN which will be sent to your mobile number
  • Choose your provider: Smart, TNT or Sun.
  • Choose your NBA League Pass Package (3-game or 30-days) and enter mobile number
  • Confirm your payment by entering the one-time PIN sent to your mobile number
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

PLDT Home

  • Go to pldthome.com/nbaleaguepass
  • Select your preferred package
  • The amount will be added to your next bill
  • PLDT will give a voucher
  • Download and sign-in to the NBA app
  • Enter the voucher in the promotion code field
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

Globe

  • Open the GCash app
  • Go to Buy Load
  • Look for the PayTV tab
  • Choose your preferred package. (Note: The chosen package is valid for 90 days).
  • Confirm payment
  • Open the NBA app and enjoy!

As mentioned earlier, we’re no in the Conference Finals with four teams remaining. Dueling in the West are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile in the East, it’s a battle between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

A new NBA champion will likely be crowned in the next 30 days so now is the best time to subscribe!

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Twitter is probing its AI’s racial bias in picture previews

They’re working on improving it

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Twitter uses a neural network to show you relevant previews of all the pictures that are posted on the microblogging platform. If the image contains text, the area is prioritized for a preview. Similarly, human faces are also given preference.

The preview makes it easier for the viewer to get a gist of the tweet without the compulsion of opening the entire picture. Although, the feature isn’t up-to mark since a lot of users have complained about the AI’s racial bias.

Several users posted a picture that has both, a white man and a black man’s face. But the preview often shows the white man’s face only. Users noticed the difference after a similar anomaly was observed on Zoom, where the facial recognition technology failed to identify a black man’s face, but had no trouble when the skin tone was changed.

 

Liz Kelley from Twitter’s communication team said they had tested the neural system for bias, but didn’t come across gender or racial bias during testing. She also confirmed that they’ve got more analysis to do and shall be open-sourcing all the work for others to review and replicate.

Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal were quick to acknowledge the shortcoming and said they’re “investigating” the neural network.

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TikTok and WeChat will be banned from app stores in the US

So, did the Oracle deal go through?

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After months of escalating, the US Commerce Department has announced it’ll ban business transactions with TikTok and WeChat. The two apps are owned by Chinese giants ByteDance and Tencent, respectively.

Practically, you won’t be able to directly download the app via stores like Play Store and App Store. Furthermore, companies are also barred from hosting these apps in the US. Essentially, the user won’t be able to download the app from third-party websites that are hosted in the US.

It also blocks US companies from providing services through WeChat “for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.”

However, it remains unclear whether the announcement means the Oracle-TikTok deal won’t be going through. The Trump administration wanted ByteDance to sell its local TikTok operations to an American company.

In the last few months, multiple American giants like Walmart, Twitter, and Microsoft were interested in getting their piece of TikTok. But things haven’t moved smoothly and the Chinese government isn’t keen on handing over TikTok’s algorithm to an American company.

While Oracle has been chosen for a deal with ByteDance, the latter continues to maintain that the ongoing process isn’t an acquisition and Oracle shall be a technology partner. This is in stark contrast to what President Trump envisions as a business takeover.

The app ban could be a tactic to pressure the Chinese, but we can’t be certain of that right now. Going by the latest statements, it’s clear that the administration wants to completely block user’s access to these apps and is willing to go the extra mile.

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