Meta urged to pay reparations for Facebook’s role in Rohingya genocide

Meta is facing a fresh call to pay reparations to the Rohingya people for Facebook’s role in inciting ethnic violence in Myanmar. A new report by Amnesty International — providing what it calls a “first-of-its kind, in-depth human rights analysis” of the role played by Meta (aka Facebook) in the atrocities perpetrated against the Rohingya in 2017 — has found the tech giant’s contribution to the genocide was not merely that of “a passive and neutral platform” which responded inadequately to a major crisis, as the company has sought to claim, but rather that Facebook’s core business model — behavioral ads — was responsible for actively egging on the hatred for profit. “Meta’s content-shaping algorithms proactively amplified and promoted content on the Facebook platform which incited violence, hatred, and discrimination against the Rohingya,” Amnesty concludes, pointing the finger of blame at its tracking-based business model — aka “invasive profiling and targeted advertising” — which

GGV Capital latest to back Workstream’s goal of filling software gap for deskless workers

Recruitment and onboarding for deskless and hourly workers has always been a challenge, and one that startups have taken on in recent years. These employees are often always in demand due to traditionally high turnover rates, and yet, many still rely on paperwork and videos. Desmond Lim, Workstream co-founder and CEO. Image Credits: Workstream Workstream is one of the startups working on a solution for this problem, in its case, mobile-first hiring and onboarding tools. The company got a boost from investors to the tune of $60 million in Series B extension funding, led by GGV Capital. We’ve profiled Workstream twice in the past two years, when it raised $10 million in 2020 and then again in 2021 for its $48 million Series B . “The past two years have really shown that there’s a huge gap in software built for this deskless, hourly worker,” Desmond Lim, co-founder and CEO of Workstream, told TechCrunch.” My parents are both hourly workers, and I used to run my own restaurant, so

Meta says ad-free Instagram client The OG App breaks its rules

Last week, a startup called Un1feed launched an Instagram client called The OG App, which promised an ad-free and suggestion-free home feed along with features like creating custom feeds like Twitter lists. The app raked up almost 10,000 downloads in a few days, but Apple removed the app from the App Store for violating its rules earlier this week. Separately, Un1feed said that Meta disabled all team members’ personal Instagram and Facebook accounts. Meta didn’t specify if they asked Apple to remove the app from the App Store, but it said that the app breached its rules. “This app violates our policies and we’re taking all appropriate enforcement actions,”  a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch. The company also pointed to a blog post about clone sites . In response to The OG App’s removal from the App Store, Un1feed accused Apple of “colluding” with Facebook. “Everyone knows Instagram sucks. We made it better and got a lot of love from users. But Facebook hates its own users so m

Can companies issue stakes in their success without using shares or options? This startup thinks so

So-called ‘stakeholder capitalism’ has not had the most illustrious of histories. Yes, there have been ‘Walmart Associates’ who were able to own stock in the company, or ‘John Lewis Associates’ (in the UK), but it’s hardly made the average person well off. At least they got something? In tech startups, however, tech founders are helped by many people along the way, most of whom will never work for the company but who can have an enormous affect at the early stage. That one intro to an investor, for instance, can be a game-changer. But tech founders have what is known as “founders amnesia” which means that when eventually they get that $20 billion exit, they somehow forget all the people that helped them along the way. Koos (which, in Estonian, means ‘together’ and ‘alongside’) offers a standardized API allowing companies to offer a form of ‘stake’ in a company’s success, and – breaking news – it doesn’t use blockchain tokens to do it. Unlike a loyalty program, the Koos ‘equity-like’

Former Revolut employees launch Solvo, an app that simplifies crypto investing

Meet Solvo , a new mobile app that wants to make it easier to invest in cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related financial products. The two founders Ayelen Denovitzer and Shailendra Sason met while they were working for Revolut, in the crypto team more specifically. Earlier this year, Solvo raised a $3.5 million seed round from Index Ventures with CoinFund and FJ Labs also participating. Since then, the company has put together a small team of 10 people and started working on its iOS app. The main thesis behind Solvo is that cryptocurrencies are still too complex. If you want to buy crypto assets, chances are you don’t know where to start because there are thousands of different tokens. While you may have heard about DeFi (decentralized finance) and the ability to generate yield, accessing those products is even more complicated. When Solvo releases its app in October, users will be able to buy and sell tokens (obviously). But Solvo has picked 10 cryptocurrencies so that you don

Pigment raises another $65M to build the modern business planning platform

French startup Pigment has raised a new round of funding less than a year after raising a $73 million Series B round . If you’re not familiar with Pigment, the company develops a business planning and forecasting platform. For small companies that are growing up, it can replace Microsoft Excel as it’s more secure and more solid in general. For bigger companies that already use a business planning product from Oracle or SAP, Pigment can replace these legacy platforms with something a bit more modern. The company calls this new $65 million round a Series B+ because it’s more or less in the same ballpark as its Series B. While Pigment isn’t disclosing the valuation of the startup, it is going up following today’s deal. So why did Pigment raise again so quickly? Because there was an opportunity and because the current economic environment doesn’t look great. IVP and Meritech Capital are leading the round. Pigment’s co-founder and CEO Eléonore Crespo told me that she doesn’t need to ra

Apple reportedly readjusts iPhone 14 production targets after slow demand

Apple’s new iPhone 14 lineup isn’t proving to be as popular as the company would have hoped for. So it is readjusting its production targets by cutting down additional orders for the device. A report from Bloomberg notes that the Cupertino-based tech company produced around 90 million units in the second half of the last year. And while Apple initially asked its manufacturing partners to make 6 million more units for the second half of this year, it has now scaled back to produce devices in line with last year’s levels. Apple’s iPhone 14 was merely an iterative update over the iPhone 13 while the iPhone 14 Pro received more significant upgrades. So Bloomberg’s report says that the company is seeing high demands for the Pro models, and is making more production capacity available for those higher-end models. Notably, the company’s new device in the lineup, the iPhone 14 Plus will go on sale next month. And we’ll only get to know about sales response for that version a few weeks afte

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