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Tag Archives: messaging

WhatsApp now marks forwarded messages to curb the spread of deadly misinformation

WhatsApp just introduced a new feature designed to help its users identify the origin of information that they receive in the messaging app. For the first time, a forwarded WhatsApp message will include an indicator that marks it as forwarded. It’s a small shift for the messaging platform, but potentially one that could make a big difference in the way people transmit information, especially dubious viral content, over the app. The newest version of WhatsApp includes the feature, which marks forwarded messages in subtle but still hard to miss italicized text above the content of a message. The forwarded message designation is meant as a measure to control the spread of viral misinformation in countries like India, where the company has 200 million users. Misinformation spread through the app has been linked to the mob killing of multiple men who were targeted by false rumors accusing them of kidnapping children. Those rumors are believed to have spread through Facebook and WhatsApp. Last week, India’s Information Technology Ministry issued a warning to WhatsApp specifically: Instances of lynching of innocent people have been noticed recently because of large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp. The unfortunate killing in many states such as Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and west Bengals are deeply painful and regretable. While the Law and order machinery is taking steps to apprehend the culprits, the abuse of platform like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content are equally a matter of deep concern. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has taken serious note of these irresponsible messages and their circulation in such platforms. Deep disapproval of such developments has been conveyed to the senior management of the WhatsApp and they have been advised that necessary remedial measures should be taken to prevent  proliferation of  these  fake  and at times motivated/sensational messages. The Government has also directed that spread of such messages should be immediately contained through the application of appropriate technology

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Some Samsung users say their phones randomly sent photos to contacts

Some Samsung users are complaining that their smartphones randomly sent photos and scheduled texts to contacts. According to posts on Reddit and Samsung’s official support boards first spotted by Gizmodo , the devices affected include the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 8. Their owners say that Samsung Messages, the default texting app for Galaxy devices, pushed photos and scheduled texts to random contacts, but left no record of the messages being sent. One Reddit user says his Galaxy S9+ sent his entire photo library to a contact in the middle of the night while he was asleep (fortunately, that contact was his partner). The poster says that even though there was no evidence of the mass photo sharing in Samsung Messages, it showed up on his T-Mobile logs. He also added that he has never used the Shared tab in Samsung Gallery app, which lets users send photos through messaging apps, email or social media without leaving their photo gallery. The issue also appears to be affecting some text messages. On Samsung’s Galaxy S9 support board , a user said Samsung Messages became buggy after an T-Mobile RCS/advanced messaging update on his phone. Errors included scheduled text messages ending up in the wrong threads. Many complaints posted online are from people who said they are T-Mobile customers and recently updated Samsung Messages, leading to a theory that the issue may have been triggered by the carrier’s recent RCS (Rich Communication Services) updates. RCS is supposed to improve texting by adding features like group chat, video and GIF support and file and location sharing. Since several accounts said photos had been randomly sent to partners or family members, there is also speculation that the problem affects shared plans. In a statement, a Samsung spokesperson said “We are aware of the reports regarding this matter and our technical teams are looking into it

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WhatsApp copies Telegram to add one-way ‘broadcast’ mode to group chats

“Good artists borrow great artists steal” is a phrase that Facebook seems acutely aware of. It’s common to speak of Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo-app-now-social-network, borrowing from Snapchat, but now Facebook’s WhatsApp chat app is increasingly drawing its innovation from others such as Telegram. This week, WhatsApp outed a new feature for its groups that is essentially a replica of Telegram’s channels — that is, a one-way broadcast communication stream. Telegram channels are popular for setting up a broadcast news feed that allows people to sign up to get alerts from channel admins, who might be news agencies, companies, schools, public interest groups or more. Now WhatsApp is adding the feature to gives its message app new use cases. Actually, as is often the case for WhatsApp, users have unofficially adopted channel-like behavior for some time. Last year, for example, there were reports of a rural journalist using the messaging app to report and broadcast local news . Doing that is suddenly a whole lot easier through this new ‘broadcast-only’ feature. “One way people use groups is to receive important announcements and information, including parents and teachers at schools, community centers, and non-profit organizations. We’ve introduced this new setting so admins can have better tools for these use cases,” WhatsApp wrote in a short blog post.

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Doug Leone, the global managing partner of powerhouse Sequoia Capital, is coming to Disrupt

Sequoia Capital has been at the top of its game in the U.S. for decades, thanks to early investments in Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and PayPal, as well as, more recently, its stakes in the messaging startup WhatsApp, the payments company Stripe and the video conferencing unicorn company Zoom. Yet unlike a lot of top-tier firms in Silicon Valley, Sequoia is far from reliant on the Bay Area companies for huge returns. Instead, a dozen years ago, anticipating that the most impactful tech ideas could come from anywhere and be built around the world, the firm founded Sequoia China and Sequoia India, assembling local teams to invest in startups and help founders build their companies. That strategy is now paying off, big time. As we reported earlier this week, Sequoia currently makes more than 50 cents from every dollar returned to its investors from its overseas bets. Among the many companies  Sequoia Capital China  alone has funded: Meituan-Dianping, the group-discount service that sells locally found products and retail services and just  filed to go public  in Hong Kong; Ele.me, the food ordering company that sold a controlling stake in its business to Alibaba in April for  $9.5 billion ; DJI, the drone company, which was reported to be raising $1 billion in new funding this spring at a  $15 billion valuation ; VIP.com, the commerce platform that  went public  in 2012 and currently boasts a $7.2 billion market cap; and Didi, the mobile transportation giant that’s in a race against its U.S. rival Uber to conquer the global ride-hailing market. To learn more about the new reality facing Silicon Valley startups — that competition is no longer next door, it’s global — we’re thrilled to announce that Sequoia Managing Partner Doug Leone is coming to Disrupt for a fireside chat. Leone oversees the firm’s global operations with Neil Shen, the founder and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China, and he knows better than nearly anyone in Silicon Valley how the investing and technology landscapes are evolving — and what founders globally should be mindful of as they build the next legendary company. Leone also knows the value of grit. Leone immigrated to the U.S. from Italy and was reportedly called “Pasta” in high school  before rising to the top of one of the most admired venture firms in history. It’s no wonder Leone is particularly passionate about founders from humble backgrounds like his own. If you care about the global shifts that are majorly reshaping the tech industry right now, and the stuff that great founders are made of, you’re going to want to catch this conversation.

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