Browsing: Tech

Tech
Line looks to influencer commerce

Mr Nadhakriz, left, and Ms Suvita celebrate the influencer marketing tie-up that promotes a new platform called Line Idol.
Line Thailand is joining hands with Tellscore, a local influencer marketing startup, to embark on influencer commerce, hoping to help brands increase their sales during the economic downturn while attracting influencers to the platform.
“We see the growing trend of influencer marketing playing an important role in buyers’ decisions,” said Nadhakriz Kanchanamantana, head of commercial content and media of Line Thailand.
“We hope to attract influencers to Line, which has a large user base of 46 million and average time spent per day of 63 minutes.”
Line Thailand recently launched Line Idol as a place where artists and online influencers can connect and engage with their fans by becoming chat friends via official accounts (OAs).
Marketers on Line Idol range from macro influencers, with 100,000 followers, to micro influencers with 500 followers.
Influencers can use their personal Line accounts for Line Idol if they already have a certain number of followers on their Line Timeline.
“We will focus on influencer marketing capacity as a way to boost customer awareness,” said Mr Nadhakriz.
In the first phase, influencers can review products through photos or video clips. In the next phase, starting around the fourth quarter, after reviewing products influencers can provide shortlinks of the brands to lead users to purchase. Brands need to have Line OAs and use Line’s MyShop feature.
“With this model, influencers can earn not only review fees, but also commission fees,” he said. “This model also allows brands to measure sales success through influencers.”
Line expects the collaboration with Tellscore to bring more influencers to the platform, said Mr Nadhakriz.
Suvita Charanwong, co-founder and chief executive of Tellscore, said shifting consumer behaviour poses a big challenge for marketers, and platforms and technologies that can enhance performance-based influencer marketing are keys to brand success.
Companies must invest in marketing tools and channels that go beyond raising awareness to seek bigger sales potential, she said.
Under this collaboration, 40,000 influencers in Tellscore’s network will be selected to be part of Line Idol, with an initial target of at least 500, said Ms Suvita.
Influencer commerce grows in line with the online shopping sector, which is expected to reach 200 billion baht in sales this year, up 25% from last year.
She said influencers have become an important part of shoppers’ decision-making in buying products. In 2019, 87% of shoppers watched influencers review products before making a decision, up from 60% in 2018.
Brands that use influencers are food, fast-moving consumer goods and health and beauty.

Tech
Meet Buckwheat, the donkey who crashes Zoom meetings

Buckwheat the donkey is a Zoom superstar, making office workers giggle with her appearances to benefit the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, the Canadian animal sanctuary where she lives outside Toronto.
UXBRIDGE, Canada: The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to embrace meetings via Zoom but, admittedly, those can be as tedious as in-person conferences.
So one animal sanctuary in Canada, in dire need of cash after being forced to close to visitors, found a way to solve both problems.
Meet Buckwheat, a donkey at the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, who is ready to inject some fun into your humdrum work-from-home office day — for a price.
“Hello. We are crashing your meeting, we are crashing your meeting — this is Buckwheat,” says sanctuary volunteer Tim Fors, introducing the gray and white animal on a Zoom call.
In the video application’s signature window panes, the call attendees offer some oohs and aahs as they realize what’s happening — and then erupt in laughter.
“Buckwheat is crashing people’s meetings in order to make some money,” Fors tells AFP.
“They donate to the sanctuary when they want her to crash a meeting, so it’s mostly a fundraiser so we can feed the cows, especially during COVID.”
The Farmhouse Garden Animal home in Uxbridge, about an hour’s drive northeast of Toronto, used to rely on visitor donations and paid on-site activities to make ends meet.
But since the pandemic erupted in mid-March, the former cattle ranch can no longer welcome outsiders, putting a serious dent in its finances.
– Big money for 10 minutes –
“About four years ago, Mike Lanigan, who is the farmer here — he is a third-generation cattle farmer — he had a change of heart and decided not to send his cows to slaughter anymore,” Fors explains.
The animal sanctuary was born: it’s now home to about 20 cows, chickens, ducks, a horse and Buckwheat, the female donkey born 12 years ago.
With the pandemic threatening the sanctuary’s survival, its leaders quickly realized they needed to identify other ways to bring in money.
They themselves were using Zoom calls for work — and thus was born the idea of having animals sit in on people’s work calls to lighten the mood.
On the sanctuary’s website, interested parties can fill out a form to hire Buckwheat, Melody the horse or Victoria, whom Fors calls the “matriarch of the herd.”
A 10-minute Zoom appearance costs C$75 (US$55). For double the time, the price shoots up to $125, and $175 for 30 minutes, sanctuary co-founder Edith Barabash told Toronto Life magazine.
“We are always happy when the people on the meeting are surprised,” says Fors.
“We started about the end of April, and I think we done about 100 meetings and sometimes we are crashing meetings three or four times a day.”
On one call, Fors tells attendees that he hopes they will visit the sanctuary once lockdown measures are lifted.
“Definitely,” one of them says.

Tech
With social media in tumult, startup Parler draws conservatives

Social media startup Parler, which touts itself as free from fact-checking and censorship, has gained a number of prominent conservative politicians
SAN FRANCISCO – Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants.
Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to “ideological suppression” at other social networks.
Parler has grown — now claiming more than two million users — as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Google fight demonstrably false information and content that could trigger violence.
The list of accounts recommended to follow at Parler is packed with conservative Republican politicians and commentators, along with the campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said he was a proud new user of Parler because the social network “gets what free speech is all about.”
“Parler was founded on the principle that every individual has the right to speak and be heard,” said an open statement from chief executive John Matze, who co-founded Parler with fellow University of Denver graduate Jared Thomson.
“We reject censors and censorship.”
Parler is not the first social platform created over concerns of political bias. It follows the limited success of networks including Gab and Voat which aimed at conservatives feeling out of place on the mainstream platforms.
But the path to financial success is likely to be challenging for Parler, which is dwarfed by the far larger networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Silicon Valley firms take in billions in ad revenue each year, despite a growing boycott which mainly targets Facebook over toxic content and “hate” speech.
Matze, who started Parler with funds from friends, told Forbes of a plan to make money by matching advertisers with influential conservatives popular at Parler.
– ‘Venue for bigotry’? –
The platform has become home to Republican lawmakers including Senator Rand Paul, and right-wing activists kicked off other social media. Trump’s son Eric is also a member.
But Matze told CNBC he wants to broaden the platform to all political voices and offered a $20,000 “bounty” for an openly liberal pundit with 50,000 followers on Twitter or Facebook.
“Any platform that tries to bill itself as only for conservatives or only for liberals is not going to be successful because conservatives want to talk to liberals, if not antagonize them, and vice versa,” said Shannon McGregor, a professor and social media researcher at the University of North Carolina.
Parler at the moment is “just a blip” on the social media radar, according to McGregor and University of Hartford professor Adam Chiara.
Chiara suggested that Parler is a product of a free market system providing a venue for bigotry, hate and misinformation not welcomed on mainstream social networking platforms.
“If Parler decides that’s what they want on their platform, questionable things like bigoted views, that is the decision the company makes,” Chiara said.
Searches on an array of racist or anti-semitic terms at Parler turned up troves of accounts and comments.
A “lynchmob561” profile described the user as “proud white female Trump supporter.”
An array of accounts played off “Boogaloo,” a movement promoting a civil war, which was recently banned by Facebook.
Parler’s policies appear to be “daring someone to post something so offensive they will have to pull it down, and they will be in the unenviable position Facebook has been in since 2016,” McGregor said.
.
– No sex, no feces –
Parler did not respond to a request for an interview but Matze has outlined the platform’s mission.
“We reject technofascism and those who think they are the sole arbiters of truth,” Matze said in a post aimed at Parler rivals.
“We reject their biased editorial panels, we reject their ‘fact checkers’ and we reject censorship.”
Parler’s terms of service, however, state the startup can remove content for “any reason or no reason.” The platform bars pictures of fecal matter, profanity, pornography, obscene user names, male genitalia and female nipples.
“You cannot threaten to kill anyone in the comment section,” Matze said.
Parler also said it bans spam, “terrorist organizations” and “any direct and very personal insult with the intention to stir and upset the recipient” including comments “that would lead to violence.”
“Parler doesn’t seem to necessarily be quite as free as they make themselves out to be,” McGregor said.
“They do have guidelines that are as vague as those at Facebook and Twitter in terms of allowing the platform maximum interpretive flexibility.”

Tech
Robots to the rescue

A robot is used to check a customer’s temperature at the entrance of a cinema.
Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, service robots are gathering steam among medical, retail and eatery sectors as a way to address social distancing measures.
The adoption is also being supported by the availability of 5G network and lower costs of the involved technology.
“We can turn the Covid-19 crisis into opportunity as the pandemic will fast forward the digital economy and Industry 4.0 in Thailand to take shape by next year, instead of 5-6 years in the earlier projection,” said Djitt Laowattana, executive advisor for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office of Thailand.
The robotic and automation market is valued at 600-700 billion baht, he said, adding foreign firms are interested in investing in Thailand, particularly the EEC, partly because the country is willing to leverage robots in business operations.
Before the pandemic, robots were mostly used in the manufacturing sector but the crisis has now pushed up the use of robots in service and medical sectors. Thailand also has engineers, academics and system integrators for robot creation.
Robots have now been deployed in hospitals to facilitate delivery of medical supplies and meals to patients and to assist physicians in remotely communicating with them for diagnosis to ward off risk of infection.
In other industries, robots have been more used in warehouses for logistics operations, restaurants for food serving as well as retail spaces for temperature checks and navigation.
To equip robots with medical devices, there is a need to take into account healthcare standard compliance, Mr Djitt said.
The 5G network coverage will also be a boon for the communication between robots and control rooms as the set-up of WiFi networks to cover large areas would be more costly.
Mr Djitt said robotics researchers can benefit from their robot projects through the profit-sharing agreement they make with private companies which use them.
A MuM II-fitted UV disinfection robot is deployed to get rid of germs.

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE ROBOTS
Universities are playing a crucial part in developing robots for healthcare purposes.
Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Engineering rolled out “CU-RoboCovid” project with a range of robots that can assist medical personnel in treating patients at hospital.
“Pinto” robots can be used to deliver meals to patients. Ninja robots can be used to serve as a communication tool between physicians and patients and fitted with medical devices that can help doctors examine patients’ health conditions remotely.
Krajok (mirror) robots, integrated with a tablet, can be used by patients to seek assistance from healthcare workers.
“We got requirements from medical staff in the field and designed them by using simple materials for robot components,” said Witaya Wannasuphoprasit, an engineering lecturer who is behind the project.
“Robots are equipped with an automated navigation system and they are easy to use by medical staff.”
Ninja robots were developed even before the pandemic, he said. It was designed to care for patients suffering from stroke or the elderly, including monitoring blood pressure, temperature and heart pulse.
“This was designed to serve the ageing society,” Mr Witaya said.
Through donation, some 200 robotic devices are planned to be produced to support medical work.
The Institute of Field roBOtics (FIBO) of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi also came up with “FIBO Against Covid-19” project that provides a series of robots that can serve as communication tools and facilitate food and medicine delivery in public hospitals with the ability to navigate by themselves.
The robots are fitted with a multi-functional mobility (MuM II) system, where they can perform various tasks, such as disinfecting by UV-C sterilizer light as well as delivering food, medicine and hazardous substances.
Wuttichai Visarnkuna of the institute said 5G-enabled robots are being developed with more capability, including opening doors and using elevators. They will be integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and controlled via the cloud.
Mr Djitt, also the founder of FIBO, said platforms for robotics development is crucial, adding an open platform would open the doors for more innovation and support knowledge exchange for use cases.
A cloud-based platform with an open application program interface (API) will make it easier for developers to increase new features and enable the remote control of robots.
In medical robotics, such as telemedicine, specialists can perform diagnosis from images from endoscopes or symptoms of patients who may live far away.
A customer engages with a robot in front of a snack counter.

ROBOT BRANDING
Chalermpon Punnotok, chief executive of CT Asia Robotics, a local robot maker under “Dinsow” brand, said Dinsow robots have been developed into the fourth generation and efforts have been made to highlight the character of the robots to boost brand awareness.
The company’s robots are now used for serving food at MK restaurants as well as a companions for the elderly with multiple functions, including notifying them about medicine intake, serving as a communication tool and sending an alert when a senior citizen falls.
Its elderly care robots are also sold in Japan.
Mr Chalermpon said it was previously difficult to sell locally made robots to Thai customers due to the lack of trust so it reached out to customers for elderly care robots in Japan, particularly in rural areas.
As robots can be sold in Japan, it makes it easier to market them in Thailand, he said. “We think out of the box in this regard,” he said.
In the early days when Dinsow was hardly sold, the company earned money from adverts placed on the robots’ body.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, the company’s robots were deployed at Suvarnabhumi airport to conduct temperature checks of passengers.
The firm is developing an electronic nose for breast cancer detection and microneedles for blood sugar tests. “Robots are nothing without applications,” said Mr Chalermpon. “The right application needs to be created for users’ requirements.”
LOCAL STARTUPS
Mahisorn Wongphati, managing director of HG Robotics Co, a 4-year-old local startup, said his company has a fighting spirit to grow in the world of robots.
“We believe in free trade but need some regulations that might favour local businesses to grow and expand overseas,” said Mr Mahisorn.
He said hospitals in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines are interested in the company’s medical service robots.
The firm’s core business lies in drones for agriculture, AI-driven security tools and submarine pipeline inspection autonomous underwater vehicles.
Pasan Kulvanit, a research scientist at the Department of Science Service, said to build trust for locally made robots among Thai users, robot qualification standards must be ensured to boost confidence.
In the case where no specific standard is required, common specs that all parties can accept must be taken into account.
“Product brands that gain accreditation would make users decide to get them faster,” said Mr Pasan.
MOBILE PARTICIPATION
As robotics adoption is on the rise, mobile operators are jumping into the market with academic and strategic partners.
Somchai Lertsutiwong, chief executive of Advanced Info Service (AIS), the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, said the company applies 5G and AI tech to public health telemedicine and robot-assisted healthcare, such as AI-assisted CT scan and mobile stroke unit.
Ekaraj Panjavinin, managing director of IoT and digital solutions of True Digital Group, indicated the pandemic is likely to boost robotics adoption for commercial use within two years instead of 4-5 years in the previous projection, particularly for service robotics.
The group has recently rolled out 5G-connected “True Digital RoboCore”, which is Thailand’s first unified intelligent robotics solutions through Robot as a Service (RaaS) subscription model.
Subscribers can have pay-per-use flexibility which allows adjustment according to demand.
True leverages its digital convergence integrating advanced technologies including IoT, analytics, AI, blockchain, cybersecurity and 5G infrastructure — bringing the integrated solutions for robot use in retail, hospitality, property, exhibition, airport, office building, hospitals.
The group also came up with a variety of robots, including greeting and service robots which can serve as receptionists with deep-learning and multi-tasking capability, cleaning robots, delivery robots, patrol robots as well as those providing environmental monitoring.
It also offers virtual robots for remote learning and AI rescue helmets for rescue mission.
A nurse-like robot facilitates online communication between a patient and a physician as part of efforts to ward off infection in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Tech
Buyers brave Thailand Mobile Expo

Visitors peruse booths at Thailand Mobile Expo 2020. The event began on Thursday at Bitec. 
After a month of delays caused by the pandemic, Thailand Mobile Expo kicked off on Thursday with crowds lured by clearance sales and promotions to coax users to replace their old gadgets.
“This is the largest exhibition since the outbreak, in a 30% smaller space,” said Opas Cherdpunt, managing director of M Vision, the organiser of Thailand Mobile Expo.
He estimated that the number of visitors could drop to 300,000 during the four-day trade show from 600,000-700,000 before the outbreak, due to social distancing measures.
The show is presenting numerous products on clearance that went unsold during the four months of lockdown.
During the lockdown, smartphones sales at dealers fell almost 90% as retail shops were closed. Sales are expected to rebound in the second half of this year, Mr Opas said.
The worst-case scenario is a 30% drop in sales at the show, from 2.7 billion baht usually, he said.
Thailand Mobile Expo is held three times a year. This year, the first event ran from Jan 30 to Feb 2. The second was earlier scheduled to take place June 4-7 but was deferred to this month due to the outbreak.
Given the prevailing economic sentiment, buyers are likely to continue to use their smartphones 18-24 months longer, Mr Opas said.
For the first time, the show is working with e-marketplace giants Lazada and Shopee to organise online events on those platforms with discounts. Customers can order products online and pick them up at the expo.
Offline events will continue to exist because customers still need physical experiences with mobile phones before purchasing them, Mr Opas said. They cannot totally be replaced by online channels, he said.
At this expo, phone makers and mobile operators cut costs to create brand awareness, including booth decorations, so they will spend more on promotions to court customers.
Narathip Wirunechatapant, chief executive of Jaymart Mobile, a mobile phone and IT gadget retailer, said the closure of the company’s retail stores caused revenue to plunge by 80% in April.
But Jaymart gained revenue from direct sales through its subsidiary Singer with promotions, including a 15- to 18-month instalment plan for a smartphone worth 10,000 baht. The company’s online sales surged seven times in May.
Singer and online channels are expected to generate 20% of the company’s total revenue this year, compared with only a single-digit proportion last year, Mr Narathip said.
He said the company needs to reach out to customers beyond retail shops by leveraging other channels.
According to Mr Narathip, the crisis is taking a heavy toll on small phone vendors because they have limited liquidity. Up to 20% of them could be pushed out in the wake of the pandemic.
He said the local smartphone market is expected to see a single-digit drop, but not as drastic as the country’s GDP, as smartphones are a top spending segment among Thais.
Pratthana Leelapanang, chief consumer business officer of mobile operator Advanced Info Service, said Thailand will see the shipment of 100,000-200,000 units of 5G-enabled smartphones this year.
There are 10 million smartphones in the country. At present, 5G-enabled smartphones sell for more than 28,000 baht per unit, but prices are expected to become mid-range by year-end.

Tech
Govt to lure US tech firms

Govt to lure US tech firms
Silicon Valley-like centre ‘ideal for EEC’

Michael George DeSombre, the US ambassador to Thailand, pays a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak at Government House on Thursday.  Government House photo
US investors are being urged to develop a Silicon Valley-like centre for innovative tech firms in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), with the government pledging to devise special promotion packages for them.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak conveyed the message to Michael George DeSombre, the US ambassador, when the two met on Thursday.
“We talked about the framework for working together to strengthen the economy and promote US investment in Thailand,” Mr Somkid said.
“I also told the US ambassador the countries should develop a Silicon Valley-like centre that is home to many startups and global technology companies within the EEC, including establishing universities, startups and high-tech companies, and a research and development centre.”
Mr Somkid said Thailand continues to have ample attractions for foreign investment. The country offers the most appropriate location for the US’s investment and supply chain development in Southeast Asia, he said.
“Thailand, given its geographical location, can create a perfect linkage to various markets such as Hong Kong and China, while the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership [RCEP], which is expected to be settled this year, will make this region more attractive,” Mr Somkid said.
The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement among the 10 member states of Asean and six dialogue partners: China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Somkid said the US also asked the government to speed up promoting investment in promising industries like electronics, digital and medical devices.
“I’ve also told them that once the Covid-19 crisis ends, Thailand is the most ready in the region and the ECC’s key infrastructure projects will materialise next year,” he said. “We also aim to highlight additional S-curve industries, particularly financial services, education and research, agriculture and food.”
According to Mr Somkid, US investors remain keen to invest in Thailand and use it as a production base for Southeast Asia.
“I’ve told the US ambassador that the US should focus on Thailand because we have high confidence that Thailand is at the centre of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, while the Thai capital market is strong,” he said.
Mr Somkid said the government also urged the US to ramp up investment in the EEC, where key infrastructure projects are under construction.
He said Thailand and the US can beef up economic cooperation or devise special investment packages for US firms that agree to establish their production bases in the EEC. The US is Thailand’s third-largest trading partner (after China and Japan), with two-way trade in 2019 totalling US$48.6 billion.
Thailand recorded a trade surplus of $14 billion with the US last year.
According to the Board of Investment, US investment applications totalled 12.25 billion baht for 34 projects in 2019, with the value in the first three months of the year amounting to 138 million baht for six projects.

Tech
Govt wants to attract US tech firms

Govt wants to attract US tech firms
Silicon Valley-like centre ‘ideal for EEC’

Michael George DeSombre, the US ambassador to Thailand, pays a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak at Government House on Thursday.  Government House photo
US investors are being urged to develop a Silicon Valley-like centre for innovative tech firms in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), with the government pledging to devise special promotion packages for them.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak conveyed the message to Michael George DeSombre, the US ambassador, when the two met on Thursday.
“We talked about the framework for working together to strengthen the economy and promote US investment in Thailand,” Mr Somkid said.
“I also told the US ambassador the countries should develop a Silicon Valley-like centre that is home to many startups and global technology companies within the EEC, including establishing universities, startups and high-tech companies, and a research and development centre.”
Mr Somkid said Thailand continues to have ample attractions for foreign investment. The country offers the most appropriate location for the US’s investment and supply chain development in Southeast Asia, he said.
“Thailand, given its geographical location, can create a perfect linkage to various markets such as Hong Kong and China, while the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership [RCEP], which is expected to be settled this year, will make this region more attractive,” Mr Somkid said.
The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement among the 10 member states of Asean and six dialogue partners: China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Somkid said the US also asked the government to speed up promoting investment in promising industries like electronics, digital and medical devices.
“I’ve also told them that once the Covid-19 crisis ends, Thailand is the most ready in the region and the ECC’s key infrastructure projects will materialise next year,” he said. “We also aim to highlight additional S-curve industries, particularly financial services, education and research, agriculture and food.”
According to Mr Somkid, US investors remain keen to invest in Thailand and use it as a production base for Southeast Asia.
“I’ve told the US ambassador that the US should focus on Thailand because we have high confidence that Thailand is at the centre of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, while the Thai capital market is strong,” he said.
Mr Somkid said the government also urged the US to ramp up investment in the EEC, where key infrastructure projects are under construction.
He said Thailand and the US can beef up economic cooperation or devise special investment packages for US firms that agree to establish their production bases in the EEC. The US is Thailand’s third-largest trading partner (after China and Japan), with two-way trade in 2019 totalling US$48.6 billion.
Thailand recorded a trade surplus of $14 billion with the US last year.
According to the Board of Investment, US investment applications totalled 12.25 billion baht for 34 projects in 2019, with the value in the first three months of the year amounting to 138 million baht for six projects.

Tech
Facebook boots far-right network and boosts original news

The moves come as Facebook faces an advertiser boycott that has morphed into a global digital activist campaign aimed at curbing hateful and toxic content on the social media platform.
SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook disrupted a “violent US-based anti-government network” and vowed to give original news priority as it remained under fire for what it takes down and lets stay.
The moves come as Facebook faces an advertiser boycott that has morphed into a global digital activist campaign aimed at curbing hateful and toxic content on the social media platform.
The disrupted network was loosely affiliated with the “Boogaloo” movement, whose followers have appeared at recent protests while heavily armed, the Silicon Valley-based company said Tuesday.
The group is distinct from the broader “Boogaloo” movement in that it actively seeks to commit violence, Facebook said in a blog post.
“This is the latest step in our commitment to ban people who proclaim a violent mission from using our platform,” Facebook said.
The social network reported that it removed 220 Facebook accounts and another 95 Instagram accounts, along with 28 pages and 106 groups “that currently comprise the network.”
Facebook added that it also took down more than 400 other groups and more than 100 other pages where similar content was posted.
“Officials have identified violent adherents to the movement as those responsible for several attacks over the past few months,” Facebook said.
The Boogaloo movement is not organized, and the ideology shares followers with some neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, as well as with libertarians and anarchists.
Facebook said it first spotted “initial elements” of the movement in 2012 but has only been closely following it since 2019.
“We expect to see adversarial behavior from this network including people trying to return to using our platform and adopting new terminology,” Facebook said.
Few had heard of the Boogaloo movement before this year. But recently, the Justice Department charged one of its followers, California Air Force Sergeant Steven Carrillo, with the drive-by killing of an Oakland police officer during May 29 Black Lives Matter protests.
Carillo is accused of killing another policeman eight days later in an ambush after his van was discovered — laden with weapons and bomb-making materials — near Santa Cruz.
The killings came after the May 30 arrest in Las Vegas of three self-styled “Boogaloo bois” who had assembled weapons and Molotov cocktails with the aim of sparking violence during a Black Lives Matter protest.
The “Boogaloo” movement, which has adopted Hawaiian shirts as a uniform, promotes “a coming civil war and/or collapse of society,” according to a Nevada federal prosecutor involved in a criminal case against alleged members.
Facebook also vowed to give priority to original news reporting as part of an effort to divert attention from spam, clickbait and specious articles.
Additionally, the social media giant said it will downplay news stories that lack bylines that can be verified or from publishers that don’t clearly share information about their staff.
“We’ve found that publishers who do not include this information often lack credibility to readers and produce content with clickbait or ad farms, all content people tell us they don’t want to see on Facebook,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president for global news partnerships, and product manager Jon Levin said in a blog post.
An unprecedented ad boycott has been joined by major brands like Unilever, Starbucks, Levis and Coca-Cola, with nearly 200 firms pausing advertising on the social network, wiping out billions in Facebook’s market value.
The boycott gained momentum amid the latest civil unrest as activists pressed Facebook to be more aggressive about curbing racist and inflammatory content, including from President Donald Trump.
Facebook appeared to respond late last week by announcing it would ban a “wider category of hateful content” in ads.
Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook also would add tags to posts that are “newsworthy” but violate platform rules — following the lead of Twitter, which has used such labels on tweets from Trump.
The changes announced Tuesday are aimed at stories displayed in the Facebook users’ News Feed.
Brown and Levin reasoned that original reporting by new outlets is “important journalism” that “takes time and expertise, and we want to ensure that it’s prioritized on Facebook.”
Facebook will start with English language news and subsequently expand to include other languages.
The platform will also check articles for bylines or staff pages at publisher websites to help determine who is behind stories.

Tech
TikTok denies sharing Indian user data with Chinese govt

TikTok is owned by China’s ByteDance and was one of 59 Chinese mobile apps banned late Monday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
NEW DELHI: TikTok denied Tuesday sharing Indian users’ data with the Chinese government, after New Delhi banned the wildly popular app in a sharp deterioration of relations with Beijing two weeks after a deadly border clash.
“TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and have not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government,” TikTok India chief Nikhil Gandhi said in a statement.
“Further if we are requested to in the future we would not do so. We place the highest importance on user privacy and integrity,” he said, adding that it had been invited to a meeting with the Indian government “for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications”.
TikTok is owned by China’s ByteDance and was one of 59 Chinese mobile apps banned late Monday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
There are estimated to be about 120 million TikTok users in India, making the South Asian nation of 1.3 billion people the app’s biggest international market.
The Indian ministry of information technology said that the apps “are engaged in activities… prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
The announcement came after 20 Indian soldiers were killed on June 15 in hand-to-hand clashes with Chinese troops in the first deadly violence on their disputed Himalayan border in 45 years. Chinese casualties are unknown.
Amid mutual recriminations, the nuclear-armed Asian giants have reinforced the border between the Ladakh region and Tibet with thousands of extra troops, aircraft and hardware.
The deaths have triggered outrage on social media with calls to boycott Chinese goods, with Chinese flags set on fire at scattered street protests.
Last week, one of Delhi’s main hotel associations said that its members were barring Chinese guests and would stop using Chinese-made products.
Chinese electronic firms also have a major presence in India, with cellphone brands like Xiaomi and Oppo enjoying an almost 65-percent market share.
E-commerce giants including US giant Amazon — which sell huge volumes of Chinese gadgets — have agreed to display the country of origin of goods on their platforms, according to media reports.
Modi’s government has also ordered all sellers to do the same on its GeM portal, which is used for tens of billions of dollars’ worth of state purchases.
Goods made in China, including some raw materials vital to Indian pharmaceutical firms, are also starting to pile up at Indian ports and airports because of more stringent customs checks, media reports said.
Despite long-prickly relations, India and China have steadily built up strong economic ties in recent years.
Annual bilateral trade is worth some $90 billion, with a deficit of around $50 billion in China’s favour.

Tech
5G a boon for tourism, healthcare

Woragarn Likhitdechasakdi, deputy chief technology officer of the carrier network of Huawei Technologies Thailand unveils 5G trends in Thailand at ‘5G Ecosystem and the Future of Thailand’ seminar. *No photo credit*
Tourism and healthcare are expected to benefit from 5G technology the most, with the country on a recovery path from the pandemic, says Chinese tech giant Huawei.
Abel Deng, chief executive of Huawei Technologies Thailand, said Thailand is a 5G tech leader in Asean because it was an early 5G adopter.
The country has advanced 5G tech with strong progress in implementation, he said.
Telemedicine has used 5G technology in the past month to deal with suspected Covid-19 infections, with artificial intelligence (AI) solutions adopted to speed up diagnosis. With this advanced analysis and efficient medical personnel, the country’s healthcare industry is outstanding, said Mr Deng.
He said in the future every industry will need to integrate cloud, AI and big data with 5G technology.
Mr. Abel Deng, chief executive officer, Huawei Technologies (Thailand). *No photo credit*

“The 5G platform will help create new business opportunities,” Mr Deng said.
“New models of services could be a key driving force in the economic recovery.”
Woragarn Likhitdechasakdi, deputy chief technology officer of the carrier network of Huawei Technologies Thailand, said 5G could be used to promote tourism here, such as organising tours to smart farms.
The use of 5G can also ensure farmers grow better quality produce, he said. Farmers could receive more visitors to their smart farms and get better earnings from the sales of their produce.
Tourism can be promoted through new multimedia that can provide audiences with immersive experiences through 5G support, said Mr Woragarn.
For example, promoters can work with Youtubers, content creators and related agencies to create virtual reality and augmented reality content with the support of 5G tech to promote tourist destinations, hotels and restaurants.

1 2 3 18