TikTok announces additional steps to fight misinformation, Myanmar’s military cracks down on Facebook and Google’s subsea cable goes online. This is your Daily Crunch for February 3, 2021.
The big story: TikTok will downrank ‘unsubstantiated’ claims
TikTok had already said it would try to reduce misinformation by removing videos flagged by fact checkers for including false information. Today it announced that it will go a step further by flagging videos where the fact checkers’ findings are inconclusive.
For example, the company said that there are cases where fact checkers cannot verify information in a video because events are still unfolding. Those “unsubstantiated” videos will then include a large banner, as well as an additional reminder prompt before users will be able to share them.
This feature is launching in the United States and Canada but will become available globally in “coming weeks.”
The tech giants
Myanmar military government orders telecom networks to temporarily block Facebook — The move comes after days of unrest in Myanmar, where earlier this week military took control of the country and declared a state of emergency for a year after detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Google’s new subsea cable between the US and Europe is now online — The almost 4,000-mile cable has a total capacity of 250 terabits per second.
Instagram confirms it’s working on a ‘Vertical Stories’ feed — This could give the app a more TikTok-like feel.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Vivino raises $155M for wine recommendation and marketplace app — The app and the company behind it have been helping people enjoy better wine since 2010.
Good Eggs raises $100M and plans to launch in Southern California — Good Eggs says that in the past year, it has grown revenue to the nine figures (more than $100 million), hired more than 400 employees and nearly doubled its customer base.
Rocket.Chat raises $19M for its open-source approach to integrated enterprise messaging — The service is used by banks, the U.S. Navy, NGOs and other organizations to set up and run any variety of secure virtual communications services from one place.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Spotify Group Session UX teardown: The fails and their fixes — Essentially a “party mode,” the feature offers a way for participants to contribute to a collaborative playlist in real time and control what’s playing across everyone’s devices.
Edtech valuations aren’t skyrocketing, but investors see more exit opportunities — Thirteen VCs discuss how their deal-making has changed in the last year.
Deep Science: AIs with high class and higher altitudes — This roundup kicks off with a study looking at the relative positions of the U.S., EU and China in the AI “race.”
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Global smartphone shipments expected to rebound 11% this year — New numbers from Gartner point to a rebound to pre-2020 levels.
Todd Rundgren is about to launch a geofenced virtual tour — Rundgren is staging the tour with support from NoCap, the livestreaming concert startup founded by musicians Cisco Adler and Donavon Frankenreiter.
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