The Weekly Download – February 11, 2022

Happy Friday! We’re back with another installment of The Weekly Download. On today’s docket: Facebook and Instagram’s potential shutdown in the EU, Twitter launches a new “Super Followers” notification option, Instagram reveals new tools for Safer Internet Day, and TikTok’s updated Community Guidelines. Plus some Friday Fun!

Facebook and Instagram’s Potential Shutdown in the EU

According to a recent article from Axios, Meta — the parent company of Facebook and Instagram — may shut those services down in Europe if the U.S. and the European Union are unable to establish an agreement outlining new data-sharing rules that allow the legal transfer of personal information across the Atlantic. 

As explained by Axios: “Tech companies like Meta rely on individual contracts to ensure they’re following the law as they send data back and forth, and those contracts can be deemed illegal by European data protection authorities.”

EU officials have been concerned about possible surveillance the apps may be imposing on their citizens since 2020. If the two parties can’t reach an agreement, there is a possibility that Meta could remove the services from Europe. However, Facebook has a possible workaround by not providing metrics for the EU.

Twitter Launches New “Super Followers” Notification Option 

Twitter has added a new “Super Followers” notification for creators to see when paid accounts have interacted with their content.

The new notification system works in two ways: First, creators can continue to monetize their platform by routinely interacting with paid subscribers and increasing community engagement. Second, subscribers can get the most out of their user experience by receiving direct interactions with their favourite creators. 

Instagram Reveals New Tools for Safer Internet Day

On Tuesday, Instagram revealed new features for Safer Internet Day.

“Your Activity” is a newly established feature that allows users to manage and review all of their recent app interactions in one place. From time spent to interactions and other account history, users can more easily monitor their consumption.

As explained by Instagram, it has also added new security tools: Security Checkup guides people through the steps needed to secure their account including: checking login activity, reviewing profile information, confirming the accounts that share login information and updating account recovery contact information such as a phone number or email address.”

Another new feature has yet to be released, but it will help users regain access to their hacked accounts by allowing friends to confirm their identity – finally! This addition is a necessity with the rising rates of compromised accounts. We’ll keep you updated on its rollout. 

TikTok Updates Community Guidelines

In an effort to increase user safety, TikTok has updated its Community Guidelines to reduce the spread of dangerous clips and trends.

As explained by TikTok: Content that encourages or promotes suicide or self-harm hoaxes is not allowed. This includes alarming warnings that could cause panic and widespread harm. We will remove such warnings, while allowing content that seeks to dispel panic and promote accurate information about such hoaxes.”

The new guidelines also crack down on eating disorder–related content: “While we already remove content that promotes eating disorders, we’ll start to also remove the promotion of disordered eating. We’re making this change, in consultation with eating disorders experts, researchers, and physicians, as we understand that people can struggle with unhealthy eating patterns and behavior without having an eating disorder diagnosis.”

Finally, TikTok is also working to reduce other unapproved uses of the app, such as spamming, collection of user information, and more.

Friday Fun

Enjoy this series of mini-harvests!


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