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Reddit on track to launch new Australian HQ



Social network, Reddit is moving to Australia

Commonly referred to as “the front page of the internet” – Reddit will officially open a Sydney office on Monday.

The multibillion-dollar company’s first presence on the land down under and just its third outside the United States — is a bid to grow its Australian audience and challenge Facebook and Twitter.

The local arm of the world’s most famous bulletin board will be lead by a former executive of Woolworths, Twitter, and Amazon, David Ray.

Reddit chief operating officer Jen Wong says the company chose Australia as its latest target after the local audience grew by more than 40 percent over the past year to become the network’s fourth-largest worldwide.

“We’ve been fortunate to experience strong organic growth from our Australian user base in recent years ,”

Ms Wong said.

Reddit has been expanding its user presence in Australia

Currently, the social media platform currently has more than 52 million daily active users on its platform, including an Australian community of more than 700,000.

Reddit users share videos, photos, text, and web links that can be up or downvoted by fellow users on more than 100,000 channels known as subreddits.

The website’s popularity and content attract has attracted controversy in recent years, however; becoming a target for criticism earlier this year when a GameStop short squeeze was organised in one subreddit.

Reddit is the latest in a long line of US tech giants to establish a presence in Australia

Google and Facebook opened Australian offices in 2009, and Twitter established its Sydney headquarters in 2016.

Reddit now plans to compete with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat for Australian advertisers, but the company says they reach a different market entirely.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 


WhatsApp ramps up privacy features



WhatsApp ramps up privacy features to prevent subscriber loss

The world’s two billion plus WhatsApp users will soon have greater privacy controls with new platform changes on the way.

Meta boss, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the new WhatsApp updates in a Facebook post earlier this week.  

Users will be able to make a stealthy exit from group conversations without the rest of the participants being notified.

Other changes include allowing users the ability to check messages without others knowing and controlling who sees when they are online.

These functions have been flagged as being rolled out to WhatsApp users over the next month.  

Even more significant to user privacy is a function that is still under development.

Here, WhatsApp users can allow their messages to be viewed only once with an added screenshot blocking feature.

This will prevent other users saving their communication onto their phones for future reference.  

The changes have been announced after Meta was scrutinised last year for their data sharing practices after an update of its Terms of Service.

META CEO, Mark Zuckerberg as WhatsApp ramps up privacy features

Users were concerned over suggestions WhatsApp user data would be shared and utilised by parent company Meta.

WhatsApp has always boasted about the benefits of its end-to-end encryption preventing.

The news that WhatsApp planned to share user data more widely with Meta shook users’ faith in the platform.  

As the third most popular social media platform, it seems Meta is keen to retain this market share by increasing its privacy features.

Some would say this is both to allay security fears and to prevent them from moving to other popular messaging apps such as Signal.  

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Facebook hands teen’s data to police for abortion charge



New reports reveal that Facebook has handed over data to police to help criminally punish a teenager for seeking to get an abortion

The tech giant turned Celeste Burgess’ Facebook message’s into the authorities, where she is being charged for “removing and abandoning a dead human body.”

The 17-year-old lives in Nebraska where abortion isn’t illegal, but the abortion happened via medication at 23 weeks.

Nebraska has a 20 week pregnancy cut off date, and the medication also warns against medical abortion past this time.

The teen’s mother is also facing 5 charges.

This comes amid widespread controversy after the historic Roe v Wade ruling was overturned in the United States.

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Meta faces a probe into triggering poor mental health



Meta is facing a string of lawsuits that relate to the mental health of young people

The legal disputes blame Instagram for eating disorders, depression and even suicides among children and teens.

It comes after whistle-blower Frances Haugen exposed internal documents about how Instagram impacts body image and mental health.

The leaks allegedly show Meta is aware that its products hurt children but the company chose to put its growth and profits ahead of user’s safety.

Meta has not responded to these latest legal blows.

Of course, if you or someone you know needs help, please contact your local helpline.

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