I’m a week into joining the Apple family, and I have mixed feelings about it. 💀
As an Android user who recently switched to iOS, here’s everything I’ve loved and disliked about moving from my Xiaomi Note 9 Pro to an iPhone 12 Pro Max.
What I love:
It’s a seamless screen experience, and I love the interface, ngl. 🤩
The 12 Pro Max comes with a 3,687 mAh battery, but it lasts just as long as my Xiaomi which has a 5,000 mAh battery.
My games had better FPS compared to my Android.
The new Move to iOS feature that lets you transfer your WhatsApp data easily.
What I dislike:
I got the 12 Pro Max while on a trip, and I’ve had a terrible experience with Apple Maps which has a lot less to offer compared to Google Maps.
I’ve exhausted my allotted 5GB iCloud space already, and I have to subscribe for—not buy—more space. 🥲
This single SIM card phenomenon 💀. There is an eSIM option but very few network providers in Africa offer eSIMs.
It’s also harder working on Google Suite on iPhone than it is on Android.
I’m only a week in, so there’s still a lot to discover. If you have any questions about switching from Android to iOS, shoot me an email at email@example.com or reach out on Twitter. I’ll probably write more about my experience when I’m a month in.
Now, onto today’s newsletter!
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* Data as of 09:20 PM WAT, August 7, 2022.
#KENYADECIDES: TWITTER GEARS UP FOR KENYA’S GENERAL ELECTIONS
We’re 1 day away from Kenya’s general elections, and everyone is gearing up to ensure a smooth transition.
As Kenyans prepare to choose President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor tomorrow, social media platforms are also ensuring that everyone can keep up with the right information.
Disinformation spreads fast during election season and Twitter—and previously, Facebook—isn’t having it.
Twitter’s plans for tomorrow
We’ve highlighted Facebook’s plan for the general elections before, so today, let’s talk about what Twitter is doing to stop the spread of electoral disinformation.
Like Facebook, Twitter is partnering with African fact-checkers to help stop the spread of disinformation. In fact, Twitter has partnered with Africa Check, the continent’s first independent fact-checking organisation, to ensure Kenyans have access to the right facts.
Twitter has created a custom emoji for the elections. If you use #KenyaDecides, #KenyaDecides2022, #electionske or #electionske2022, a ballot box wrapped in the Kenyan flag pops up. With this, Kenyans can quickly search for news about the elections.
Similar to what it did during the pandemic, Twitter has also created election prompts that will direct users to Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC’s) website when they search for certain keywords.
It will also label any false tweets, and continue its policy of banning political ads.
Big question: Will it be enough, though? Twitter says its custom emoji will help “spread credible information”, but we all know how everyone from marketers to business owners misuse hashtags if they think it’ll sell their wares. What will matter, over the next few days, is how quickly Twitter is able to take down the droves of identifiable false news that spreads quickly on its platform.
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NIGERIA FINES MULTICHOICE
MultiChoice is having a hard month.
In South Africa, the broadcaster recently lost its case against eMedia when the South Africa’s Competition Appeal Court ordered it to reinstate 4 eMedia channels on its broadcasting platform.
And now, MultiChoice has been fined ₦5 million ($12,000) for broadcasting a BBC documentary on terrorism in Nigeria.
What’s going on?
Nigeria has seen a sporadic increase in kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism over the past 2 years. In 2021, over 2,600 people were killed by bandits, a 250% increase compared to 2021.
In the eighth episode of Season 5 of its investigative series on Africa, Africa Eye, the BBC released a documentary called The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara which examined banditry from the POV of the bandits. The documentary, which was released on YouTube, already has 1.2 million views. MultiChoice also broadcasted the documentary on 2 of its platforms, DStv and TStv. So did other broadcasters, including Startimes and TrustTV.
Unfortunately, the Nigerian government has not received the documentary well. A few days after the documentary aired, minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, threatened to sanction the BBC and other broadcasters for “promoting terror and banditry”.
On August 3, the threat came to fruition when the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fined MultiChoice, TrustTV, and Startimes ₦5 million ($12,000) each for contravening “the provisions of the Broadcasting Code”.
According to NBC director general Balarabe Shehu Illela, “No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead, or generally be disrespectful to human dignity.”
All the broadcasters have until August 30 to pay the fine.
Zoom out: It’s not MultiChoice’s first time in a money brawl with Nigeria. In 2021, it was engaged in a legal battle with the Nigerian tax watchdog, the FIRS, where the latter threw a $4.3 billion tax debt at MultiChoice.
INSTAGRAM EXPANDS NFT SUPPORT TO AFRICA
In May, Instagram joined the NFT hype.
The platform allowed select creators in the US to display NFTs they made or bought on their Instagram feed, Stories and DMs. All NFTs posted on Instagram have a shimmer effect which, if you ask us, is quite apt for a concept that’s quite glossy.
Last week—2 months after the initial test—Instagram announced it would be expanding NFT support to 100 more countries including in Africa and the Middle East.
ICYMI: If you’re still confused about what NFTs are and why they’re so valuable, check out our articles on NFTs. The basic thing you need to know? They’re digital/e-copies of items like photos, sounds, or even flavours people can keep in digital wallets.
Which African countries have NFT support now?
We don’t know yet.
We’ve scoured the internet and Instagram announcements for which African countries will have NFT functionality, but it appears Instagram is still keeping that info under wraps.
What we do know is that Kenyan influencer, Elsa Majimbo, is one of the first Africans to share NFT on Instagram with a collection that features some of her most iconic quotes.
Big question: Expanding NFT support to other countries is the latest in Instagram’s fight, but is it enough to stay relevant? Over the past year, Instagram has released several new changes to help keep up with heavy competition from Facebook. Most of these changes have been geared towards making sure creators have enough resources to create and earn well on the platform. Will all of it help Instagram keep its followers from flocking to TikTok?
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TC INSIGHTS: ELECTIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Technology has been on a disruption spree across Africa for the past 2 decades. The impact has been felt in various sectors. Unsurprisingly, elections haven’t been left out of this.
Between 2000 and 2021, internet users in Africa grew from 4.5 million to 590 million. Currently, a large percentage of them are active on social media, where public opinion can be manipulated. As the number of internet users grows, there is going to be an increased use of social media as a tool for political campaigns.
In 2019, elections in Tunisia, Nigeria, and South Africa saw political actors mounting digital information operations to skew opinion in their favour. These operations range from disinformation campaigns (the most common) to doxxing and coordinated smear campaigns. Electoral bodies or agencies are mostly unable to keep up with this level of sophistry used in manipulating information on the internet.
While some other countries have resorted to shutting down internet access during elections, it is grossly inefficient, as the internet extends beyond elections and is an integral part of daily life.
To combat these digital threats, electoral agencies across the continent must improve on their digital capabilities. One way to do that is by leveraging data analytics and internet scraping to discover keywords used for information warfare among political parties. Developing a framework/standard that political parties can adhere to while using the internet for campaigns is equally important. This entails collaborating with social media platforms to ensure these standards are maintained.
According to an article from The Conversation, “Policy makers should resist the siren call of tighter regulation and illiberal measures. Instead, efforts should be made to mitigate the more damaging effects of social media in ways that take into account local information environments.”
Finally, financial regulations on digital activities by political parties should be strengthened to ensure transparency among different political parties during electioneering campaigns. Elections have moved past polling booths and offline campaigns to the digital realm, and electoral bodies across the continent must be prepared for this shift and ensure digital information operations remain fair across board.
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THINK BIG WITH ENDEAVOR
Join Endeavor Nigeria on Thursday, 25 August at 12:00 pm WAT for a Thinking Big session with Karl Toriola (CEO of MTN Nigeria and Endeavor Nigeria mentor). Karl will be talking about and answering questions on “Technology and the future of telecoms in Nigeria”.
Register for the webinar and send in your questions here.
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IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL
Digital Nomads: The Dubai-based product designer seeking a home in Europe.
How Wave is navigating the economic downturn with its radical business model
Efe Ukala is using digital skills to help female entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
MTN and Airtel’s H1 2022 reports reveal the challenges of operating in Nigeria.