WhatsApp users get more control over group chats

NEW DELHI: WhatsApp is introducing new privacy settings that will force people to seek consent from users before adding them to chat groups. The move addresses concerns around privacy that the government had been raising for over six months, and assumes importance in the election season.

As people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience. Today, we’re introducing a new privacy setting and invite system to help you decide who can add you to groups,” the Facebook-owned chat app said in a statement on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for WhatsApp termed the move a “significant change”. “We are updating the feature to a subset of users and expanding the feature from there. We’re starting in India today with beta users and will expand from there. We encourage users to update their app to the latest version,” said the spokesperson.

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Google knows about you even if you don’t use its products

Google’s sheer ubiquity means the tech giant has ample opportunity to collect data on you, whether you like it or not. Here’s a look at how much Google knows about you and what it does with that data.

Active collection: When consumers consciously interact with a Google product and provide it with personal information, like signing up for Gmail or using Search.

Passive collection: The less obvious method that sometimes collects data without user’s knowledge, including apps running in the background, Google’s advertising tools and its operating system Android.

With the above two methods across its many products, Google is able to learn about our behaviour, both online and in the real word, and build a comprehensive profile on us.

And combined with its expansive reach, with billions using at least one of their products every day, Google not only personalises your user experience but it’s also able to mint money from targeted ads based on data it has collected on your activities and interests.

More than 80% of Google’s total revenue comes just from its ad business. In the last quarter, the company earned $32.6 billion from ads and just $6.6 billion from other sources.

Google collects enough location data to tell if you’re walking, running or in a moving vehicle. On your commute to work if you take a Metro, Google Maps tracks your location with GPS coordinates of your IP address. It can also use nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi access points to track you.

Your search history is recorded by Google and is used to identify your interests and recomment similar content or specifically target you with ads.

The music app records the type of music you’re interested in to build its profile on you to send targeted ads.
Google Pay not only has your debit and credit card details, it also collects specifics of your transactions like the products you bought, how many times you purchased, and names and locations of the merchants. This is used to send you targeted ads.

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Madras High Court directs Centre to prohibit Tik Tok download

CHENNAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Central Government to prohibit the download of Chinese video share mobile application Tik Tok on grounds that it serves as a platform for the distribution of explicit and inappropriate content likely to harm children.

A division bench comprising justice N and justice SS Sundar have also directed media organizations in the interim order to not “telecast the videos made using the Tik Tok mobile app.,” besides directing the Centre to respond on whether a legislation similar to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, as in the US, can be brought in India.

“It is said that Tik Tok App., is mostly played by the teenagers and young people and it has proved to be an addictive one. “It is said that Tik Tok App., is mostly played by the teenagers and young people and it has proved to be an addictive one. By becoming addicted to Tik Tok App., and similar Apps., or cyber games, the future of the youngsters and mind set of the children are spoiled,” the court observed in its interim order delivered on Wednesday. The petition, which has sought the banning of Tik Tok, has been posted for further hearing on April 16.

Tik Tok is owned by Chinese internet firm Bytedance. In February, Tamil Nadu Information Technology minister M Manigandan had told the Assembly that a recommendation will be made to the Centre to consider banning Tik Tok in the state.

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Facebook’s crackdown on inauthentic behaviour: 5 facts to know

Facebook recently announced that it had removed or unpublished over 1,000 Facebook pages and Facebook and Instagram accounts from India and Pakistan for ‘inauthentic behaviour’.

Of those removed, 103 accounts were linked to employees working for the Pakistani military establishment’s publicity division (ISPR), 687 pages and accounts were linked to members of an IT Cell of Congress, and 15 pages and accounts linked to an Ahmedabad-based IT firm Silver Touch.

FB has unpublished these accounts and pages for what it calls “coordinated and inauthentic behaviour”. Also, 321 pages and accounts, a majority of which were unofficially posting pro-BJP’s content, were removed for violating Facebook’s policies around spam and misrepresentation.

In its blog post announcing the move, Facebook said, “We are taking down these pages and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted.”

Facebook identifies a network of fake accounts that conceal identities and appear to be independent when they are not. Facebook’s official definition on this is: “When groups of pages or people work together to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing.”

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity, said: “When we work to take down these networks, it is because of their deceptive behaviour. It’s not because of the content they’re sharing.

The post themselves may not be false and may not go against our community standards.” He added, “We might take a network down when it looks like it’s being run from one part of the world, when in fact it’s being run from another.” Gleicher said: “This could be done for ideological purposes, or could be financially motivated.”

The company uses a mix of humans and technology.

Facebook uses its “own expert investigators to look for and take down sophisticated networks”, which is done manually.

It has also built technology (AI-based algorithms) to “automatically detect and remove the most common threats”.They can. Facebook has an appeal process.

Accounts taken down can ask for a review. They receive replies in a few hours usually.

If Facebook sticks to its original decision, the accounts/pages can’t appeal another time.

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WordPress: What is Gutenberg?

You might have felt some tremors in the WordPress world. There is something brewing. Something called Gutenberg. It’s the new editing environment in WordPress and the impact it’s going to have will be massive. Some welcome it with open arms, while others are critical. There is also a large group of WordPress users who don’t have a clue what’s going on. Here, we’ll introduce Gutenberg.

Gutenberg is the first step for a bright new future for WordPress

It’s something many people often gloss over, but Gutenberg is not just a new editor for WordPress. It’s the start of something much bigger. Gutenberg lays the groundwork for incredibly exciting developments. Gutenberg is stage one of a three-pronged roll-out strategy. First, WordPress will get a redeveloped editor, after that the project will focus on page templates and in the final stage WordPress will become a full site customizer. You can imagine, this gives us endless possibilities and it is a necessary step to keep WordPress the #1 CMS for years to come.

Today, we’re focusing on stage one. The new Gutenberg editor will land in WordPress 5.0 sometime this year. We’re getting closer to the launch and loads of people are working around the clock to turn this editor into a solid and stable product. We have a big team working on it as well, both on the editor itself and our integration with it. Very shortly, we’ll be able to show you the first results of their hard work! So keep an eye on our plugin

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Why Everyone Needs a Website, Including You

Back in the day, a business card was an indicator of being in business. It told the world what you were about and where you were heading.

Today, the same can be said for your website. If you run a business, do freelance work, or even work as an employee, a website has become indispensable.

With endless social media profiles and other forms of digital representation, the question arises, “Do I even need a website?”

The answer is a resounding yes.

Having your own website gives you a medium that you control 100%. Beyond that, we offer even more reasons below. Keep reading to learn why everyone needs a website.


. Set Yourself Up for Future Success

Your website gives you a vehicle to showcase your expertise, build a personal brand, and offer a way to showcase your creativity. Your site will continually evolve with you as you progress throughout your personal and working life.

By having a personal website you extend your opportunities for growth and success. For example, by creating a blog that’s filled with captivating and compelling content around your area of expertise you’ll not only be able to network with other’s in your niche but also establish your authority in time.


2. Stand Out From The Field

You can even think of your website as a digital resume. Instead of just listing places you’ve worked and skills you’ve acquired, you can actually show off those skills in real time.

If you’re looking to give yourself a leg up on your competition, then your website can be the perfect way to showcase your skills.

For example, a standard resume is a kind of boring. You can use your website to the same effect, but you can also make your past work experience more engaging by including photos, testimonials, additional text, and even video.


3. Control Over Your Image

Having complete control over how you present yourself is important. Today, whether you’re applying for a new job, pitching a potential project, or simply introducing yourself to someone, the chances are high that they’ll Google you first.

Even though your social media profiles may come up, this won’t give people a curated version of yourself, but instead, an aggregation of the pictures and words you thought were worth sharing with the world at that moment in time.

Your website gives you a chance to showcase yourself in digital form. It’s near impossible to have this same level of control by relying on other platforms, or not having a website at all.


How to Get Started Building Your Site

So, you’re convinced you to need to build your own site. That’s good, creating your very first website is a closer reality than you think.

With the new GATOR builder, you can have a site online in as little a couple of clicks.

Of course, you’ll want to spend time thinking about the overall goals of your website, what you want it to look like, and it’s purpose for existing.

But, by using a website builder you can create your site without having any existing development experience.

Just select your theme, drag and drop certain elements until you’re satisfied, then publish your site online.

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the importance of having your own website, even if you aren’t planning on monetizing it directly.

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7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Blog’s Drip Campaign

If you decide to set up a drip campaign for your blog, make sure you do it right. Here are some of the most important best practices to follow.


1. Make sure your email list is opt-in.

First things first, good email marketing requires that you only contact people who have actively made the choice to join your email list. Buying emails or adding people you found online that you think might be interested will not only result in people deleting or ignoring the drip campaign emails you send, it will get them marked spam – something that could get you booted from your email marketing platform.

Your drip campaign should only be triggered when a visitor to your blog knowingly signs up for your email list.


3. Use it to define your positioning and create camaraderie.

What sets your blog apart from similar blogs out there and makes it worth following? That’s your unique positioning.

Use your first emails to lay out your positioning and humanize yourself to your subscribers. They’ll be more likely to connect with a blogger they feel they can relate to. Don’t be afraid to show some personality.


3. Highlight your best work to get your subscribers on board.

This is your chance to win subscribers over and hopefully turn them into followers for the long term. Break out your best work to show them what you’re capable of.

This helps you impress your new subscribers, as well as a way to drive new traffic to some of the blog posts you’re most proud of.


4. Make it one part of a larger email marketing strategy.

Your drip campaign shouldn’t be the last thing you send your subscribers. Develop an ongoing email marketing plan to keep communicating with your subscribers long after they first sign up. You can email them to alert them to new blog posts, start a monthly e-newsletter, or create unique content just for your email list.

Whatever route you choose; just make sure you stay in touch. That’s the whole point of an email list.


5. Pay attention to your email analytics.

While a drip campaign technically only has to be created once and will keep working for as long as you want it to, you’ll want to revisit it at least once or twice a year to look for ways to improve.

Check your analytics to see which emails people open, which they respond to, and which they click on the links in. You may want to tweak the wording, change subject lines, or update your drip campaign with new content and links based on what the analytics show you.


6. Ask your readers to take action.

Ideally, you don’t just want your subscribers to read, you want them to engage. One way to get them more actively involved is to directly ask for feedback. You can make a survey part of your drip campaign, or include a CTA in your emails asking for subscribers to reply with their input or add comments to your blog posts.

Subscribers that provide feedback are valuable because they clearly care about the direction your blog goes in. And their responses can help you improve your blog and make sure you provide what your audience is looking for moving forward.


7. Personalize your emails.

If your blog covers an array of topics, then you may have some subscribers more interested in one subject area than others. In that case, it could pay to set up different drip campaigns that each emphasize specific topic areas.

That way you can be sure that everyone who signs up is getting information relevant to their interests, which makes them more likely to stick around and stay a subscriber.

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What is a Drip Campaign?

What is a Drip Campaign?


A drip campaign is a series of automated emails you send to your blog subscribers. Drip campaigns are triggered by a specific event – most commonly when a new subscriber signs up, but it could also be something like signing up for a course or downloading an ebook.

Pretty much any email marketing software you use should have the option to set up a drip campaign. You can write and design the emails in advance and automate the process of getting them to subscribers at the right time to get and keep them engaged in your content.

1. You introduce subscribers to what your blog is all about.

A new subscriber has probably read a post or two from your blog, but they’re still learning the basics of who you are and what your blog covers. Your drip campaign gives you a chance to provide an introduction to what your blog is all about that makes a case for why they should get on board and pay attention.

It gives you the power to define your blog for them on your terms, which is valuable at this stage in the relationship.


2. You develop a relationship with your subscribers.

If you meet someone once at a party and then don’t see them again until a year later, you’re much less likely to remember them than if you saw them again three or four times in the first couple months after you met them.

In the same way, someone who signs up for your email list and doesn’t see anything from you for weeks is less likely to recognize you and remember their connection to you than someone who hears from you a few times in the weeks after signing up.

If you give people time to forget you, then your emails will look like confusing spam, rather than something valuable they’ve asked for. A drip campaign gives them several opportunities to interact with you soon after they sign up, so you become someone they know and recognize when they hear from you again.


3. You can set it and forget it.

Drip campaigns have the added benefit of being easy.  You put the work into creating some really solid introductory emails once, and you can automate the process of sending them to every new subscriber who signs up.

Your subscribers get helpful emails that solidify their connection to your blog, while you can focus more on creating the new blog posts that keep your blog current. Since drip campaigns are automated, you can set it up once and use it for new subscribers for months to come.


4. It helps your most popular posts stay popular.

Some of your blog posts are going to be higher quality and resonate more with your audience than others – that’s just the nature of blogging.

You don’t want those to get buried over time as you keep adding new posts. Your drip campaign gives you a way to get the best content you have in front of your new subscribers so they get a solid first (and second and third) impression of what you can do that makes them more likely to stick around.

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Facebook removes exposed user records stored on Amazon’s servers

Telecom operator Bharti AirtelNSE 1.67 % Wednesday announced the launch of its e-book services which will be offered to subscribers through mobile app Airtel Books.

“E-books is a fast growing segment along with music and video. We are delighted to roll out this initiative and take it to the smartphone users across India through our deep distribution reach,” Sameer Batra, CEO – Content & Apps, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

The company uses a mix of humans and technology.

Facebook uses its “own expert investigators to look for and take down sophisticated networks”, which is done manually.

It has also built technology (AI-based algorithms) to “automatically detect and remove the most common threats”.

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