Starbucks’ big investment in digital tech, Facebook’s historic FTC settlement, Pinterest’s new prompts for user wellbeing, the #ColorMeMermaid movement and more: get ready to dive into another edition of The Weekly Download!
Starbucks Invests in Brightloom to Speed Up Mobile Orders & Payments
Good news: getting your morning coffee is about to get even more convenient!
This week Starbucks announced it’s taking a stake in digital technology company Brightloom in order to speed up mobile ordering and payment options at stores globally.
Brightloom will allow the company to improve customer convenience, making the technology available for mobile ordering, payment, loyalty perks and delivery-order management.
Brightloom and Starbucks will also sell access to the platform to other restaurants trying to adopt digital programs, as digital ordering and delivery programs become increasingly vital for restaurants trying to draw more customers amid intensifying competition.
While both companies claim the stake was “significant,” no firm figures have been disclosed.
Pinterest Adds Well-Being Activities for Users
Wednesday marked International Self-Care Day, and Pinterest celebrated by adding a new feature for users to help them focus on their wellbeing.
Now users who search for terms that indicate they may be struggling, like “stress quotes” and “work anxiety”, will see well-being activities they can partake in directly via the Pinterest application.
Pinner interaction with recommended activities will not be connected to the app in any way, ensuring user anonymity. Users who search for self-harm-related terms will be directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which they can reach in two taps.
Each of the guided activities are aimed at helping people improve their moods, and were created with the help of emotional health experts. The update will be rolled out to iOS and Android users over the coming weeks.
Facebook Reaches a Formal Settlement with the FTC
Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday that Facebook has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission about privacy, agreeing to pay a historic $5-billion fine following the Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal. Even more important, says Zuckerberg, following the investigation the company will be making changes to how it builds products and operates.
As part of the FTC’s settlement with Facebook, Zuckerberg will also have to personally certify his company’s compliance with its privacy programs. False certifications could lead to civil or criminal penalties for Zuckerberg. The FTC says the settlement terms are meant to “change Facebook’s entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations.”
Zuckerberg says Facebook is committed to adopting change that will “go beyond anything required under US law today” with respect to user privacy. While it seems to be a step in the right direction, many expressed outrage at the “lenient” settlement handed down by the FTC, hoping Zuckerberg would face personal consequences and the company would be mandated to adopt meaningful changes to the company’s structure or business model.
Graphic Murder Images Call Attention to how Social Media Companies Police Extreme Content
After graphic images of Bianca’s body were shared on channels like Instagram and Twitter, many users attempted to report the content on the respective platforms to no avail. It was alleged that reporting attempts were being rejected on Instagram because the extreme content did not violate the platform’s terms.
Instagram didn’t comment on how long the original graphic posts on the suspect’s story had been allowed to stay up, but screenshots suggest they were publicly available for over 20 hours.
While sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have human moderators to police such content, they also rely heavily on artificial technology and user reports to flag and remove disturbing content. With active Instagram users at one billion per month, it can be challenging to stay on top of such posts. Critics call for harsher penalties against social giants around failures to adequately police graphic content — many argue that until monetary repercussions are involved, content will only be monitored and removed haphazardly.
Bianca’s followers have launched an “online spamming war” called #PinkForBianca against those trying to further exploit the teen’s death for likes and shares. They’ve committed to uploading tens of thousands of pastel-coloured images and tagging Bianca in hopes of drowning out any graphic tagged images that have been reshared.
#ColorMeMermaid Campaign Celebrates Girls of Colour
There was some seriously disappointing racist backlash online when actress and singer Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.” Supporters like Donald Glover and Jodi Benson (cartoon Ariel’s voice actor) spoke out in support of the uber-talented Bailey, and digital initiatives to celebrate the casting choice have already gone viral.
Along with the already existing #MyAriel movement, blogger Courtney Quinn hopes that the #ColorMeMermaid project will help people see how important the story of The Little Mermaid has been for children of all backgrounds, regardless of skin colour. The uploads so far are seriously inspiring.
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🎶 Flippin your fins you don’t get too far 🎶 . . This is my lil mama last Halloween. She was so excited to be Ariel 🧜🏽♀️and honestly I was too! Ariel was my favorite princess growing up and I was ecstatic that Lexi started to love her too! . . With all the negative news about the newly casted Ariel, it breaks my heart and makes me realize that even today she will grow up facing adversity that I never had to even think about. All I can do is teach her positivity, bravery and love. ❤️ She can be anything she wants in life, and I will make sure she knows that every day. ⭐️ . . We are so excited to see the new Little Mermaid! And we are so thankful for strong and courageous women like @chloexhalle that show us you can be whatever you want to be! 🐠 . . . #toddlertwins #funnymoms #twinmoms #momtwins #twinstars #toddlermomlife #boygirltwins #twinmommy #boygirltwins👫 #littleones #itstwins #singlemomlife #momlife #twinmom #cutekids #moments #mom #mommysmotivation #funnymoms #momoftwins #love #adorable #twins #colormemermaid #myariel #ourariel #thelittlemermaid #hallebaileylittlemermaid #hallebailey #halle #huffpostcanada
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I like my Mermaids with baby hair and Afros 🧜🏾♀️ @colormemagic So since #HalleBailey is officially the new Little Mermaid, this Little toddler Mermaid with her red Afro is so legit! So seen! So believable!! This Little toddler Mermaid with her red crown of curls has her own Mermaid to look up to in a big way! How could that be anything BUT incredible?! I’m not here to change small minds, that’s not my job. I’m here to scream from the bottom of the sea that this is so exciting and so deserved and so perfect!! #MyLittleMermaid is right here in this picture. I’m an 80s baby that LIVED for the original Little Mermaid (hello, have you seen my hair!?) And now I’m the Mom of a Little Mermaid who has representation and a Role-Mer-Model she can truly grow up and Be! We are so ready to be a part of this world! I totally agree, your role models don’t have to look like you, but there’s something very powerful about having representation of all kinds of women for little girls to look up to and right now we need more women of color with the spotlight on them! 🌟 Now, when @disney starts their hunt for a 30something #MomBodMermaid, you know where to find me. 🧜🏿♀️ “Flippin your fins you don’t get too far…” Ya wanna know what also doesn’t get you far? Being a hater. For all the people pissed about the Little Mermaid not being played by a white girl, I fully expect you to also be pissed when Ursala isn’t played by a purple girl 🙄 🧜🏽♀️ Also, hoping and praying King Triton is a Black Dad because I’m crossing my fingers and toes for #RobSquadHalloween 2020!! I know we did Little Mermaid once, but I was 38 weeks pregnant and had big plans for all of us to do it but I was just too pregnant and only got ish done for Raya and myself. Can hardly contain my excitement for a possible redo with everyone. And in the most fitting way! 😍🙌🏼 🍴Finally, I saw a comment about a fork not working on the new Little Mermaid’s hair. Ummmm, are you kidding me?! A fork is basically a wide tooth comb and that ish makes curls pop like no other and is always in my stash for detangling.The fork was MADE for this New Mermaid Hair! #colormemermaid *video of her living her parade dreams. Guys are LMFAO 💜