Author: CTV

Why short-video app TikTok is taking the world by storm

TikTok is big, like really big. But your kids likely knew this already.

The Chinese short-music video app has taken the world by storm, being downloaded more than 1.2 billion times across Android and iOS.

The massively popular app, particularly among people under 30, allows users to upload sketches and lip-syncing music videos with tunes and sound effects from TikTok’s mammoth library.

Also unique about the app is that people can perform split-screen “duet” videos with people they like. It works like this: People make a track of themselves lip-syncing to music and send it to a celeb or a friend to complete to other part of the song.

Celebrities including Cardi B, Jimmy Fallon, Rita Ora, Awkwafina and Tony Hawk regularly post on the app to connect with younger audiences. But TikTok also makes it incredibly easy for everyday users to make a name for themselves.

Randy Nelson, head of mobile insights at apps analytics site Sensor Tracker, said TikTok is “really a place that encou..

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Facebook: Fake account removal doubles in 6 months to 3B

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook removed more than 3 billion fake accounts from October to March, twice as many as the previous six months, the company said Thursday.

Nearly all of them were caught before they had a chance to become “active” users of the social network.

In a new report, Facebook said it saw a “steep increase” in the creation of abusive, fake accounts. While most of these fake accounts were blocked “within minutes” of their creation, the company said this increase of “automated attacks” by bad actors meant not only that it caught more of the fake accounts, but that more of them slipped through the cracks.

As a result, the company estimates that 5% of its 2.4 billion monthly active users are fake accounts, or about 119 million. This is up from an estimated 3% to 4% in the previous six-month report.

The increase shows the challenges Facebook faces in removing accounts created by computers to spread spam, fake news and other objectionable material. Even as Facebook's..

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Facebook removes 3 billion fake accounts in 6 months

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook removed more than 3 billion fake accounts from October to March, twice as many as the previous six months, the company said Thursday.

Nearly all of them were caught before they had a chance to become “active” users of the social network.

In a new report, Facebook said it saw a “steep increase” in the creation of abusive, fake accounts. While most of these fake accounts were blocked “within minutes” of their creation, the use of computers to generate millions of accounts at a time meant not only that Facebook caught more of the fake accounts, but that more of them slipped through.

As a result, the company estimates that 5% of its 2.4 billion monthly active users are fake accounts, or about 119 million. This is up from an estimated 3% to 4% in the previous six-month report.

The increase shows the challenges Facebook faces in removing accounts created by computers to spread spam, fake news and other objectionable material. Even as Facebook's detectio..

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Chimpanzees spotted cracking tortoises open for meat

BERLIN — Scientists have observed wild chimpanzees tucking into an unusual snack: tortoises, whose hard shells they crack against tree trunks before scooping out the meat.

In a paper published Thursday by the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from Germany say the behaviour they spotted dozens of times in a group of chimpanzees at Loango National Park in Gabon bolsters the notion that humankind's distant cousins develop their own distinct cultures.

Tobias Deschner, one of the authors of the paper, said that while chimpanzees and tortoises coexist elsewhere — and other primates such as baboons and mandrills are known to feed on young, soft tortoises — scientists have never before spotted any that crack open and eat the reptiles.

One explanation could be that the Loango park region also has abundant hard-shelled fruit, like that from the strychnos tree, that also needs to be whacked against trees to open, prompting some enterprising chimpanzees to try the same on passi..

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Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting

Botswana on Wednesday lifted its ban on elephant hunting, saying the population had increased and farmers' livelihoods were being impacted, in a move set to trigger outrage from conservationists.

A prohibition on elephant hunting was introduced in the southern African country in 2014 by then-president Ian Khama, a keen environmentalist.

But lawmakers from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) have been lobbying to overturn the ban, saying numbers have become unmanageably large in some areas.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi took over from Khama last year and a public review began five months later, with reports suggesting growing political friction between Masisi and his predecessor.

“Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension,” the environment ministry said in a statement.

It said a cabinet committee review that found that “the number and high levels of human-elephant conflict and the consequent impact on livelihoods was increasing”.

“The general con..

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