NewsBytes Briefing: Facebook, Twitter remove Trump's misleading post, and more
In the updates since last night, both Facebook and Twitter launched a crackdown on a misleading post from US President Donald Trump. Trump had shared a video of himself claiming that children are 'almost immune' to COVID-19, but as this is not true, the platforms removed the video citing a violation of their policies on COVID-19 misinformation. Here are other major tech developments.
Twitter flaw risked direct messages
Twitter also acknowledged a bug that could have allowed a hacker to access private Twitter data on your device, including direct messages. The glitch tied to a security issue in Android 8 and 9 and has been fixed. Twitter says 96% of its users have already installed the patch and there is no evidence that the flaw has been exploited by anyone.
Instagram launched Reels, acknowledged bug favoring Trump's posts
Facebook's subsidiary Instagram launched its own TikTok competitor called 'Reels' in over 50 markets, including the United States. The photo-sharing giant also acknowledged that its service was affected by a bug that "caused a number of hashtags to not show related hashtags." As a result, searches for #JoeBiden just showed 390,000 posts, with many anti-Biden photos/videos, while #DonaldTrump returned a significant 7 million hits.
India bans Xiaomi, Baidu's apps
When India banned 47 more Chinese apps on July 27, it was widely suggested that most of these services were clones of the already-banned applications. However, just recently, it was revealed that the non-public list also had several new names, including Xiaomi's Mi Browser, Baidu's apps for search, maps, translation as well as Weibo, CapCut, AirBrush, Meipai, BoXxCAM, NetEase, Heroes War, and SlidePlus.
Other important developments to note
Among other things, Samsung held its Unpacked event and unveiled the new Note 20 flagships, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Watch 3, new earbuds, and Galaxy Tab S7, S7+. Google added smart compose auto-completion and other essential features to Docs, Sheets, and Slides mobile apps for G Suite users. Separately, TikTok officially banned deepfakes to curb misinformation on its app.
Finally, some important COVID-19-related updates
On Wednesday, India reported roughly 56,000 new coronavirus infections, taking the nationwide tally to 19.63 lakh. The death toll surged past 40,700. Meanwhile, for COVID-19 vaccines, Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila both moved into Phase-2 of human trials, Serum Institute signed a supply deal with America's Novavax, while the US agreed to pay Johnson & Johnson $1bn to secure 100 million doses of its shot.