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The TikTok algorithm that surfaces one ridiculous and entertaining video after another keeps users glued to their screens and addicted to the wildly popular Facebook rival.
However, that same algorithm can also pose a danger to the app’s youngest users. It can do so by surfacing content that could put their lives at risk.
That’s the claim at the center of multiple lawsuits filed against TikTok. The suits were brought by families of young children who died after attempting the blackout challenge, one of many trends that have gone viral on the app. Sadly, all of the children at the center of these suits are younger than 15. And one of the suits points to seven children who died last year as a result of the blackout challenge.
TikTok Blackout Challenge
We should add that this news comes two years after the Trump administration tried to engineer a ban of TikTok from the US on national security grounds. Trump officials thought the app’s China-based parent company represented a threat. In response, the company insisted that its US arm was sufficiently walled off from the corporate mothership. The Trump administration’s fight ultimately got waylaid because of the Covid pandemic.
It turns out, though, that the claims from TikTok weren’t true. Some portion of US TikTok user data has in fact been accessible in China. And an FCC commissioner, as a result, is now calling on Google and Apple to take action here. Specifically, to follow their respective App Store policies and give TikTok the boot from those app marketplaces.
Meanwhile, TikTok’s bad press keeps multiplying. Against that backdrop comes news that the app may have motivated several young people to partake in a viral challenge that led to their deaths. The blackout challenge, according to one complaint, “encourages users to choke themselves with belts, purse strings, or anything similar until passing out.”
The company’s response
In response to the blackout challenge videos proliferating on the app, TikTok has said it now blocks users from searching for them. A safety message/warning screen appears, instead.
Importantly, though, at least some of the lawsuits against TikTok over this issue say the children who died never search for the videos proactively. That, actually, Twitter’s algorithm put it in front of their eyes on its own, via the app’s For You page.
Source: Andy Mee
These Are Awesome Baking Soda Hacks You Didn’t Know About
You have a miracle ingredient in your kitchen cupboards right now. Yes, that’s right. That box of baking soda that you just have lying around actually has the remarkable ability to help you in a number of really useful ways. Knowing the uses of baking soda is unlocking hundreds of years of kitchen wisdom and application.
Baking soda is one of the best all-natural compounds found in nature, and it can be used when it comes to personal grooming, cooking, baking, cleaning, just to name a few. Read on to see how these simple applications can simplify life and even improve your health and well-being.
Prevent Acid Reflux
When Alka-Seltzer is not an option for treating acid reflux, many people wishing for a more natural alternative reach for baking soda.
Half a teaspoon in four ounces of water acts as a natural neutralizer for stomach acid, thereby reducing painful and uncomfortable symptoms of acid reflux.
Remove Pet Stains
If pets have been leaving unsightly stains on carpets and upholstery after romping outdoors, a simple soda hack will restore your indoor happy place.
Sprinkle affected areas with baking soda, then spritz with white vinegar to get bubbling action going. Blot with warm water for finished freshness.
Avoid Nasty Gym Bag Odors
If you’re like most people, you’ve been guilty of leaving damp, dirty clothes and shoes in your gym bag for a little too long after your last workout.
Remove that odor, bacteria, and dirt on your clothes with a homemade sachet made from 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in the bottom of your bag.
Polish Your Silverware
Removing dull residue from your fine silver is a snap with this simple baking soda hack. Line a baking tray with foil, shiny side up.
Place silverware in the tray and add enough hot water to cover all. Add 2 Tbsp baking soda and watch the bubbling action work its magic.
Joe Jonas is giving a look back at how his 2020 went!
The 31-year-old singer shared photos from every month in the year, and one of them in particular really stood out.
For the month of July, one of the pics Joe shared was of a Mickey Mouse watch, with what looks to be a hospital bed in the background.
Sophie also shared a series of photos from the year, including another pic of her baby bump
Oscar Isaac & Pedro Pascal Celebrate New Year's Eve Together!
One of our favorite pair of best friends rang in 2021 together!
In the photo captured by Elvira, the 45-year-old Wonder Woman 1984 actor wears a party hat and sips on a beer while his arm is wrapped around the 41-year-old Ex Machina actor’s neck.
“BEEEEYYYYY 2020👋🏼 – we’re done with ya,” Elvira captioned the photo, which Pedro shared on his Instagram Story.
If you didn’t know, Pedro and Oscar have been friends for years now. Back in early 2019, the two starred together in the Netflix movie Triple Frontier alongside Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, and Garrett Hedlund.
Get the scoop on Oscar‘s upcoming Disney+ show!
The Black Tux is here to save your wedding pictures. The tuxedo rental company has no ill-fitting penguin suits; its sleek, customizable styles.
The suits retail
for $1,200, but they offer them starting at $95.start at just $95.
The compnay has partnered with Nordstrom to make trying on tuxes, finding the perfect fit, and getting expert styling advice
easier than ever before.
Ivanka Trump Is Closing Down Her Fashion Brand
Ivanka Trump is shutting down her namesake retail business, 17 months after starting her work at the White House as a senior adviser to her father, the president of the United States. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company’s 18 employees have been informed that it will be closing and that Ivanka will address them later today.
“Ms. Trump had contemplated the move in recent months,” the article says, “as she grew frustrated by the restrictions she placed on the company, IT Collection LLC, to avoid possible conflicts of interest while serving in the White House.”
Berlin-based French designer Lou de Bètoly will crochet just about anything. Her jeans are embedded with different yarns that stretch from the knees to the ankle, a sassy asymmetrical miniskirt boasts dainty needlepoint, and knit knee-high black boots recall Victorian mourning garb.
In her collections, nothing is short of fantastical and the fabrics and textures are beautifully random, with an almost trippy, stream-of-consciousness quality, as in a sweater with frothy clouds of white yarn mixed with constellations of pinhead-size beads and a slinky evening dress that is reminiscent of a spiderweb dotted with 3-D floral appliqué. De Bètoly, who launched her label a year ago, likens her method to “painting with a needle,” describing it as “wild and free.
"I don’t follow a pattern. I’m creating while I am doing.”
Shinzo Abe Shooting Suspect Blamed Former Japanese PM for Mom's Money Woes: Reports
The shooting suspect in the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly citing personal reasons for the attack.
Japan's longest-serving prime minister, who sustained gunshot wounds during a campaign speech in Nara, Japan, died on Friday morning local time.
Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, is suspected of being the man who approached Abe from behind and calmly fired a gun. Multiple videos showed him being tackled by police.
Japan's Kyodo news agency reported that Yamagami was convinced that Abe had promoted an unidentified religious group that his mother made donations to before running into financial trouble.
"My mother got wrapped up in a religious group and I resented it," local outlet Kyodo quoted Yamagami as saying following the attack.