If TikTok were to be banned for two months, as many as half of its users in the United States might never come back. If the ban continued for six months, around 90% of its US users would be gone forever. That’s according to Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s interim global head. She shared these glum predictions as part of an emergency injunction filed by TikTok in the hopes of blocking the Trump administration’s executive order calling for a ban of the app as of Sept. 27, NPR reports. Pappas also laid bare what all the recent Sturm und Drang swirling around TikTok has meant for the app’s ad revenue. A dozen brands have canceled or delayed advertising on the app, costing TikTok $10 million in revenue in August alone. Hiring has also become more difficult with a target on its back in DC. More than 50 candidates have declined offers to work at TikTok due to Trump’s ongoing attacks.
A gang of Apple’s most vocal critics, including Epic Games, Spotify and Basecamp, have joined forces to create an advocacy group that’ll work to “create a level playing field for app businesses and give people freedom of choice on their devices,” The Verge reports. The group, called the Coalition for App Fairness, will help developers with gripes against Apple to better coordinate their efforts in protest of App Store rules and policies. The coalition is particularly peeved about three main issues: Apple’s 30% cut of any payments through its store, the lack of any other competitive option for app distribution on iOS and the allegation that Apple uses its control over iOS to favor its own services. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple acknowledges the group. Apple isn’t known for caving to outside pressure … although it did extend the deadline for its IDFA changes in iOS 14, so who knows.
PAC It In
It’s six weeks until Election Day, and Facebook is still struggling to control misinformation on its platform. CNN, citing research from activist group Avaaz, reports that Facebook has allowed hundreds of misleading super PAC ads to flood its system in recent weeks. The ads, which contain examples of untruths (or truthiness) about Joe Biden, the USPS and swing state voters, are primarily associated with a pro-Republican super PAC named America First Action and led by former Trump administration officials, although the report also called out a pro-Democratic group called Stop Republicans for spreading false information in ads. Collectively, the ads have been viewed more than 10 million times and some are still up. One America First Action ad, for example, misleadingly asserts that Biden “wants free health care and free tuition for all illegal immigrants.” According to Facebook’s own fact-checking partner, Factcheck.org, that claim is a distortion of Biden’s official position. The election is gonna be fun, folks.
But Wait, There’s More!