Singapore has suspended the use of Zoom for online education after hackers hijacked a lesson and showed obscene images to students.
In what is known as "Zoombombing," two hackers interrupted a geography lesson a day after Singapore closed schools on Wednesday in partial lockdown measures to help curb local transmissions of the coronavirus.
Lessons have moved online, with some teachers using video conferencing tools like Zoom.
Singapore's Ministry of Education said it was investigating the "serious incidents" and may file police reports.
"We are already working with Zoom to enhance its security settings and make these security measures clear and easy to follow," said Aaron Loh, director of the ministry's Educational Technology Division.
"As a precautionary measure, our teachers will suspend their use of Zoom until these security issues are ironed out," Loh said.
Singapore is not the only country to be affected by the teleconferencing disruptions. The FBI issued a warning on March 30 advising users to avoid making Zoom meetings public after it received multiple reports of teleconferences and online classrooms being disrupted by hackers displaying hate messages or shouting profanities.
Part of the "Zoombombing" problem occurs because users tend to create public meetings out of convenience. That allows anyone to join a meeting as long as they have a link for it, according to Michael Gazeley, managing director and co-founder of cybersecurity firm Network Box.
"Details of conferences are often given out in a public manner, because organizers want as many attendees as possible," said Gazeley.
"With Zoom, it was possible to set up meetings without passwords, so of course many people did just that. Whenever humans are given a choice between convenience and security, convenience almost always wins," he said.
Zoom implemented stronger security measures last week, such as enabling passwords and virtual waiting rooms for users.
"We have been deeply upset by increasing reports of harassment on our platform and strongly condemn such behavior," a Zoom company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
"We are listening to our community of users to help us evolve our approach and help our users guard against these attacks."
Security researchers previously found software vulnerabilities in Zoom, particularly for Mac users, where hackers could take over a user's webcam feed. Zoom has since fixed the issue.
Major social media companies are taking aim at Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's dismissal of social distancing, joining others in the country who have lined up against his controversial stance regarding the new coronavirus.
Facebook and Instagram removed posts by the far-right leader Monday night that showed Bolsonaro walking around outside capital Brasilia on Sunday and mingling with groups. It was yet another affront to World Health Organization recommendations to self-isolate as a means to contain the pandemic. The companies' move came one day after Twitter also removed some Bolsonaro posts.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement that it removes content "that violates our community standards, which do not allow disinformation that might cause real damage to people."
Twitter justified its decision by saying in a statement that its rules prohibit content that runs "against public health information given by official sources and can put people at greater risk of transmitting COVID-19."
Bolsonaro is one of few world leaders who say the virus itself will cause less harm than shutting down the economy. In a national address Tuesday night, while repeating that same argument, he changed his rhetoric, calling the pandemic he once described as "a little flu" as "the biggest challenge of our generation." His speech was met with pot-banging protests for the 15th night in a row.
His defiance has received vocal backing from supporters — both on social media and in several cities where they staged demonstrations demanding life return to normal — but his attitude has also been rejected by mayors, state governors and judges. Even some members of Bolsonaro's own administration have insisted on broad lockdown measures that run contrary to his statements.
Last Thursday, Bolsonaro issued a decree that added religious activities to the list of "essential services," meaning churches could remain open even though governors had banned large gatherings. The decree was overruled by a federal court the following day.
Supreme Court Justice Marco Aurélio Mello authorized an opposition lawmaker's request for Bolsonaro's own prosecutor general to investigate an alleged crime committed by the president, the Supreme Court's website said Tuesday. The allegation of endangering the public is based on Bolsonaro encouraging people to disobey isolation measures, calling concern over the pandemic "hysteria" and characterizing the virus itself as "a little cold." The judge's action requires the prosecutor general to issue a legal opinion.
In an interview with the newspaper O Globo, Prosecutor General Augusto Aras said that Bolsonaro is free to express his opinion and go out in public so long as he doesn't issue any official decrees that counter broad lockdown guidelines, which could tread into territory that requires legal evaluation.
Despite the president's open skepticism, senior members of his own Cabinet have insisted on hewing closely to guidelines recommended by international health authorities. "Always technical, always scientific, always doing the maximum we can to preserve lives," Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta told reporters on Monday.
On Tuesday, Brazil's health ministry reported 5,717 cases of Covid-19 and 201 deaths, the largest figures in Latin America. That included more than 1,100 new cases since the prior day — by far Brazil's biggest single-day increase yet.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially the elderly and people with preexisting health conditions, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
Bolsonaro has 12 million followers on Facebook, almost 16 million on Instagram and more than 6 million on Twitter. Social media was key for his election victory in 2018.
Twitter recently deleted posts from Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro for sharing speculation about possible unusual cures for Covid-19.
Facebook says a bug in its anti-spam system is blocking the publication of links to news stories about the coronavirus. Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of integrity, said on Twitter Tuesday that the company is working on fixing the problem.
Users are complaining that links to news stories about school closings and other information related to the virus outbreak being blocked by the company's automated system.
Rosen said the problems are unrelated to any changes to its content moderator workforce. The company reportedly sent its human moderators home this week.
A representative for Facebook did not immediately respond to questions on the status of Facebook's content moderators, many of whom do not work directly for the company and are not always able to work from home.
Twitter shares rose Monday following reports an activist investor took a stake in the social media service and plans to push for changes.
Elliott Management Corp. has taken a $1 billion stake in the company and plans to nominate four directors to the board, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Wall Street Journal reported the plans on Saturday, also citing an unnamed person. Elliott could be seeking to replace founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, according to the Journal report.
In February the company reported fourth-quarter user numbers that exceeded expectations, but profit still fell as expenses rose. Twitter and other social media companies have been spending more to step up efforts to remove misinformation, abuse, hate speech and spam.
Twitter and Elliott Management declined to comment.
Shares jumped $2.78, or 8%, to $35.99 in midday trading Monday.
Founded in 1977 by Republican billionaire Paul Singer, Elliott has stakes in or owns a wide array of organizations including bookseller Barnes & Noble and soccer team AC Milan.
Elliott is known for pushing for changes at companies it invests in. In September it took a 1% stake in AT&T and advocated for selling assets and paying down debt. AT&T eventually agreed to look for more parts of its business to sell off and add two new board members. Elliott also advocated for changes at eBay, and the CEO of that company, Devin Wenig, stepped down in September.
Do you love posting photos or videos on Instagram frequently while wearing a new shirt, or cooking a new recipe, or visiting an awesome restaurant, or exploring nature? Posting contents on Instagram, you can easily get some likes and/comments from the people you know. These engagements may give you some temporary excitement adding no monetary value in your real life. What if, you can utilize Instagram to upgrade your lifestyle in addition to entertainment? Let’s talk about how to make money from Instagram.
Millions of people are posting contents on Instagram every hour. Can everybody make money from it? Before you think about earning money from Instagram, you have to build a potential Instagram account.
Starting the journey from October 2010, Instagram (also known as Insta) was initially downloadable only from iOS. But since 2012, the Instagram app is available in Android and Windows OS. So, you can easily download Instagram app from the internet and create a profile. All you need is a well functional Smartphone with a speedier internet connection. While opening an account choose a username that well represents your niche. Now how to choose your niche?
If you post photos/videos randomly on different issues, products and facts, your profile may get followers. But it won’t create a customer base. To get connected with like-minded people on Instagram, you need to pick a definite niche. You can pick a niche following your passion, like travelling, fashion, cooking, Yoga, etc. If you have any specific skill, like writing, programming, etc., then you can choose that field as your niche. Besides this, your local business can be your niche. When you know your niche, you can post related contents on Instagram and engage with people bearing similar interest on that niche.
However, without a professional outlook, your profile can hardly attract an audience beyond your circle. Now how to make your Instagram profile look unique and professional? While opening an account in Instagram, you will find several options including, Profile Picture, Username, Website Link, and Bio. Each of these options is valuable for creating an attractive Insta profile. For instance, choose a valid – not taken by other members – Username which will help people find your niche from the Insta search. Then, if you have any personal/business website, put that link in your Insta profile. In the bio section, you can write a short biography which will inform the audience about your persona, knowledge and experience.
Everyday millions of people are posting photos/videos on Instagram, but few of them can convert those contents into money. It doesn’t matter how many likes/comments/followers you get, it will all go in vain, if your followers don’t trust your words and/or actions. Now how to gain the trust? The key is to add value to the community. For example, you have chosen digital marketing as your niche. Now you can post helpful videos, and info-graphs regarding this niche. Your contents can help the Instagram users who are interested about Digital Marketing. Thus, you can create an authority for your niche.
Many Instagramers think that huge investment is needed to get followers on Instagram. However, fake/paid followers have nothing/little to do with your earning on Insta. Managing organic followers are the best way to develop a brand and gain the potentiality of earning. Now how to Get Followers Organically? The key strategy is building community engagement.
In simple words, you have to do some research on your niche to get some ideas about what people are looking for. Try to find problems that people are talking about. And try to offer some solutions as tips, tricks, guidelines, etc. Learn how to create more engaging posts regarding those topics. Make sure your content adds value to your Insta followers in their real life.
There is another misconception that you need about ten thousands of followers to make a handsome amount from Instagram. Surprisingly, the reality is different! If you can reach the target people, you get high chance to convert your contents into money. To engage with the community, you can interact with your viewers/followers through the comment section. You can also visit other Instagram profiles regarding your niche, follow their posts, and leave value adding comments in those contents. Following those comments, some audience can visit your Instagram profile.
When you post a photo and/or video content in your Instagram profile, find some relevant keywords. You can do keyword research through free/paid tools, like Keyword Revealer, Long Tail Pro, etc. Then input those keywords below your content. Don’t forget to put Hashtag “#” with each keyword. You might know Hashtags work like magic in connecting your content organically with the wide audience of Insta. For instance, when you post any content in Instagram regarding digital marketing with hash tags like “#DigitalMarketingTips”, Instagram’s search algorithm is supposed to show your content to viewers who inputs any query about “#DigitalMarketing”.
When you have successfully built a professional Instagarm profile enriched with value-adding contents as well as organic followers, your profile is ready to step towards monetization.
Nowadays, diverse reputed e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Wal-Mart, etc. are offering Affiliate Programs. Besides these, many local Brands offer affiliate commission for selling products. Now how does it work? If you post a photo wearing a T Shirt of “X” company, then put the product link in the description. A single click on this link will take the viewer to the website/product page of “X” company. When any viewer buys that product, you will earn a definite amount of affiliate commission offered by the “X” company. Usually, the rate of affiliate commission varies from 4 to 10 percent depending on the respective company rules and product category.
When your Instagram profile earns a considerable number of followers, you can apply for Paid Partnership with different reputed brands. Then you can post sponsored contents and earn money. It is a common trend that celebrities take lump sum for posting sponsored reviews. To attract the sponsor, you have to grow a trustworthy Instagram account so that people want to listen to what you say and/or display.
If you own a local business, Instagram can be a great platform for promoting your products/services to a wide community. Like Facebook, Instagram is a powerful social media platform to aware people about your online business. However, don’t try to sell products right after building your profile.
Before you dive into monetization, take some time to build a brand value and create community engagement. Post some how-to contents regarding your business-niche to help your audience. For instance, if you own a pet store, work on ‘Pet’ niche in Instagram. First, invest several months for continuously posting photos and/or video regarding various pet issues. Then, try to introduce your pet products to your viewers and tell them where they can buy those products. Thus you can promote your physical stores and/or online sales page.
What if you don’t have any physical store and/or online business, and your follower number is not big enough to attract the brands for publishing sponsored content, but you still want to make money from Instagram. Yes, it is highly possible! Instead of products, you can sell your skill.
Suppose, you have proficiency in Digital Marketing, now you can post several helpful videos on Instagram to teach people Digital Marketing free of cost. Later, you can launch a paid video series to teach advanced level strategies of “Digital Marketing”. You can sell diverse kinds of digital products like eBook, Digital Marketing Package Service, etc.
The American Photo/Video sharing Platform Instagram has gained worldwide popularity among people of different age, race, and religion. Beyond social networking, Insta can be a potential source to make a stable income. First, pick a definite niche following your passion, skill or business. Then, share helpful contents to enlighten the audience. Make your Insta Profile look professional. Work continuously, until your profile creates community engagement and gains trust of your followers. If you can create brand value, you would be able to make money through affiliation, sponsored posts, selling digital products, and promoting local business to your audience. On the whole, take Instagram as a platform for both helping people and feeding your wallet.