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Messenger adds Venmo-like QR codes for person-to-person payments in the U.S.

This spring, Facebook confirmed it was testing Venmo-like QR codes for person-to-person payments inside its app in the U.S. Today, the company announced those codes are now launching publicly to all U.S. users, allowing anyone to send or request money through Facebook Pay — even if they’re not Facebook friends.
The QR codes work similarly to those found in other payment apps, like Venmo.
The feature can be found under the “Facebook Pay” section in Messenger’s settings, accessed by tapping on your profile icon at the top left of the screen. Here, you’ll be presented with …

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Biden Revokes and Replaces Trump Order That Banned TikTok

TikTok’s woes subsided with Mr. Trump’s election defeat. Though the company is still under scrutiny with the Biden administration’s new executive order, analysts say the dramatic ups and downs for the company will significantly dwindle.Updated June 9, 2021, 7:03 p.m. ETJames Lewis, a senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Biden administration had shown no easing of the government’s strong stance against China. But the new order lays out much more precise criteria for weighing risks posed by TikTok and other companies owned by foreign adversaries like China.“They are taking …

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Anthony Weiner’s Not Coming Back. But He Has Nowhere to Go.

But the sort of media and social media storm he was in the middle of felt new then. “We didn’t know what we were working with at the time, and I was lying to everyone around me,” he said.And after he left public life in 2013, he slipped from compulsion into crime, and the saga broadened from damage to his own life to the nation’s. In January 2016, he began exchanging explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl. After the texts were reported in September 2016, prosecutors seized his laptop computer. And then, 11 days before the presidential election, the F.B. …

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Thousands Descend on Miami to Glorify Bitcoin

MIAMI — There was money in the air. Buzzwords floated around, like NFT, BTD, blockchain, token. There was a frenzied energy.And there was heat — a humid, sticky South Florida heat; the kind all the Californians and New Yorkers who moved to Miami during the pandemic’s winter doldrums were warned about. The kind generated by thousands upon thousands of people gathering to worship at the altar of cryptocurrencies.Such was the vibe at Bitcoin 2021, an occasional gathering of digital currency enthusiasts run by a magazine named after the cryptocurrency. Last year’s event had been postponed. But on Friday and …

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Facebook’s Trump Ban Will Last at Least 2 Years

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said on Friday that Donald J. Trump’s suspension from the service would last at least two years, keeping the former president off mainstream social media for the 2022 midterm elections, as the company also said it would end a policy of treating posts from politicians differently from those of other users.The social network said Mr. Trump would be eligible for reinstatement in January 2023, before the next presidential election. It will then look to experts to decide “whether the risk to public safety has receded,” Facebook said. The company barred Mr. Trump from the service after he …

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Facebook Faces Two Antitrust Inquiries in Europe

LONDON — European Union and British regulators said Friday that they were beginning separate antitrust inquiries into Facebook, broadening their efforts to rein in the world’s largest technology companies.The investigations by the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-nation bloc, and Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority, take aim at a key business strategy used by Facebook and other large tech companies: to use their size and power in one area to enter others. Amazon took its position as the largest online retailer to become a major player in video streaming. Apple leveraged the iPhone to be one …

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India and Israel Inflame Facebook’s Fights With Its Own Employees

SAN FRANCISCO — When India’s government ordered Facebook and other tech companies to take down posts critical of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic in April, the social network complied on some posts.But once it did, its employees flocked to online chat rooms to ask why Facebook had helped Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India stifle dissent. In one internal post, which was reviewed by The New York Times, an employee with family in India accused Facebook of “being afraid” that Mr. Modi would ban the company from doing business in the country. “We can’t act or make …

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How China’s Tencent Avoided an Antitrust Push, For Now.

That’s glossing over the huge power imbalance between Tencent and the many satellite companies in its orbit. Colin Huang, founder of Pinduoduo, hinted at that in a 2018 interview, in which he groused that WeChat declined to help censor accusations about fake merchandise on his shopping platform.“Tencent won’t die when Pinduoduo dies,” he said, “because it has tens of thousands of sons.”No matter how decent or humble Tencent may act, it’s a giant conglomerate with $24 billion in profit last year and spends much of it on investment. It picks winners and losers, but the winners won’ …

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Twitter to begin pilot testing Fleet ads starting today

Ads are coming to Twitter’s version of Stories, known as Fleets. The company announced today it will began pilot testing Fleet ads in the U.S., which will bring full-screen, vertical format ads to Twitter for the first time, allowing it to better compete with the vertical ads offered across social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, among others.
The new Fleet ads will appear in between Fleets from people you follow and will support both images and video in 9:16 format. The video ads support up to 30-seconds of content, and brands can also include a “swipe …

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Indivisible is training an army of volunteers to neutralize political misinformation

The grassroots Democratic organization Indivisible is launching its own team of stealth fact-checkers to push back against misinformation — an experiment in what it might look like to train up a political messaging infantry and send them out into the information trenches.
Called the “Truth Brigade,” the corps of volunteers will learn best practices for countering popular misleading narratives on the right. They’ll coordinate with the organization on a biweekly basis to unleash a wave of progressive messaging that aims to drown out political misinformation and boost Biden’s legislative agenda in the process.
Considering the scope of the misinformation …

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