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SOCIAL

Indian folk singer Maithili Thakur speaks during an interview at her residence in New Delhi on April 2. Thakur thought she was successfull with millions following her Hindu devotional tunes on social media — but then Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent her popularity stratospheric.
WORLD / Politics
Apr 10, 2024
Modi taps India's influencers to rally millions ahead of key elections
Many social media stars given government-organized awards have a striking similarity in their promotion of India's Hindu-majority culture.
Simon Harris, Ireland's prime minister-in-waiting, is among a vanguard of European politicians embracing the Chinese-owned social media platform, calculating that the need to reach younger voters outweighs security concerns.
WORLD / Politics
Apr 9, 2024
European politicians embrace TikTok despite security fears
Ahead of elections, mainstream politicians are wary of ceding ground to fringe parties who have successfully exploited its short video format.
James Manyika, who heads Google’s technology and society team, delivers the keynote address at Google I/O in Mountain View, California, in 2023. OpenAI, Google and Meta ignored corporate policies, altered their own rules and discussed skirting copyright law as they sought online information to train their newest artificial intelligence systems.
BUSINESS / Tech
Apr 8, 2024
How tech giants cut corners to harvest data for AI
The companies’ actions illustrate how online information has increasingly become the lifeblood of the booming AI industry.
Elon Musk, chief executive officer of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of Twitter, at the Viva Technology conference in Paris on June 16, 2023.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 8, 2024
Brazil judge opens inquiry into Musk over blocked accounts on X
Musk has challenged a decision by a Supreme Court judge ordering the blocking of certain accounts.
A fake website claiming to be that of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (left) and the actual site
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Apr 5, 2024
Tokyo police issue warning on phishing scam involving false claims of arrest warrants
Tokyo police issue warning against scam involving fake websites aimed at getting victims to disclose their personal information and bank account details.
Kiichi Okaguchi (right) walks to the parliament's Judge Impeachment Court in Tokyo in December.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Apr 3, 2024
Impeachment court dismisses Japanese judge over social media posts
Kiichi Okaguchi has become the eighth judge dismissed in an impeachment trial in postwar Japan.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako speak with evacuees at a junior high school serving as an evacuation shelter in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on March 22.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 1, 2024
Japan's imperial family makes Instagram debut
More than 180,000 people have followed the Imperial Household Agency account.
CrowdTangle, bought by the firm now known as Meta in 2016, offers crucial real-time transparency into the spread of conspiracy theories and hate speech on influential Meta-owned platforms including Facebook and Instagram.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 1, 2024
Meta to switch off tool that tracks misinformation months before U.S. vote
CrowdTangle offers crucial real-time transparency into the spread of conspiracy theories and hate speech.
Japan will charge members of medical insurance programs with fees starting in fiscal 2026 to tackle the country's sluggish birthrate.
JAPAN
Mar 29, 2024
Fight against low birthrate to cost ¥450 monthly per head
The government plans to boost annual spending on measures to fight the sluggish birthrate to ¥3.6 trillion by fiscal 2028.
Elon Musk, X's owner, has been open about his belief that X should carry almost all content that isn’t illegal.
BUSINESS / Companies
Mar 29, 2024
Elon Musk’s X is testing ‘adult content’ groups for users
Openly offering "NSFW” groups may be another way for X to try to differentiate itself from other mainstream social networking services.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi shakes hands at the parliamentary building following the enactment of the fiscal 2024 budget on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 29, 2024
Japan enacts ¥112.6 trillion budget for fiscal 2024
The budget includes a record ¥7.95 trillion in defense spending.
Beijing-based Chinese influencer Chang Feifei has taken on many jobs to promote travel destinations in Japan, including from Universal Studios Japan and the Hankyu and Hanshin department stores.
BUSINESS / FOCUS
Mar 28, 2024
Influencers — Japan’s secret weapon to promote niche tourism spots
Followers' trust in — and reliance on — social media for travel info, even when the content is sponsored, is a key factor.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman rings a ceremonial bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to celebrate the company's initial public offering on March 21.
BUSINESS / Tech
Mar 28, 2024
Reddit’s IPO is a content moderation success story
Deciding what users are and aren’t allowed to post is something every social media company has to embrace eventually, if it wants to succeed.
Myanmar's military high ranking officials attend a ceremony to mark the country's 78th Armed Forces Day in Naypyidaw on Wednesday.
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics
Mar 28, 2024
Myanmar army behind Facebook pages spewing hate speech: U.N. probe
In 2021, Rohingya refugees sued Facebook for $150 billion (¥22.6 trillion), claiming it had failed to stem the hate speech directed against them.
Last year the EU designated six companies — including Apple and Google — as "gatekeepers" under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
BUSINESS / Tech
Mar 26, 2024
Why is the EU probing Big Tech under the Digital Markets Act?
Violations could result in fines of as much as 10% of a company's global annual turnover.
The Imperial Household Agency's official account on Instagram will be operated from April 1 and feature photos related to the activities of the imperial couple.
JAPAN
Mar 25, 2024
Imperial Household Agency to launch Instagram account in April
The agency will post photos related to the activities of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.
Demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on March 18 as justices hear arguments on whether the 
government has the right to encourage social media companies to remove content it deems misinformation. 
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 19, 2024
It's just fine if public officials block you on social media
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision should reduce the frequency of litigation over social-media blocking. But it won’t eliminate it altogether.
A group of high schoolers promoting self-liberation from social media and technology meets in New York in December 2022. Young people around the world are switching their smartphones for “dumbphones.”
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 18, 2024
How switching from a smart to a flip phone saved me
To stop the endless doomscrolling, some people are turning the clock back and switching to "dumbphones."
Mamiko Tanaka (right), wife of Los Angeles Dodgers Shohei Ohtani, arrives at Incheon International Airport on Friday ahead of the 2024 MLB Seoul Series baseball games.
JAPAN / Society
Mar 18, 2024
A mystery no more: What we know about Ohtani’s wife
No one in the sports world is receiving as much attention right now as baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani — that is, besides his wife, Mamiko Tanaka.
U.S. lawmakers last week overwhelmingly backed a bill to ban TikTok unless Chinese parent company ByteDance divested itself within six months.
BUSINESS / Tech
Mar 18, 2024
Monsters, asteroids, vampires: AI conspiracies flood TikTok
YouTube tutorials show users how to create "viral conspiracy theory videos" and profit off TikTok's Creativity Program.

Longform

Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” once the victim of high waves that dragged it into the sea, sits at the end of a pier on the south side of Naoshima.
Why is the most exciting art in Japan so hard to get to?