Vitriolic US campaign inspires viral videos

Updated 08 November 2016
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Vitriolic US campaign inspires viral videos

This US election has been noted for its especially bitter tone as fierce rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in the polls.
But for some this vitriolic campaign has been the inspiration for something else: Viral videos.
In one memorable YouTube clip, the two US election rivals are seen debating — except the audio has been switched to "I've Had The Time of My Life". The viral clip has already been viewed more than four million times. And one former Dubai expat has made his own US election-inspired video in a bid to promote a book published earlier this year.
Author Charlie Raymond — who wrote Hired, Fired, Fled, a humorous tale of his succession of 14 jobs in 15 years, including journalist roles in Dubai — made the hilarious video in London.
It shows a "parallel universe" in which Clinton and Trump, far from being bitter election rivals, are very much in love.
“There's been so much hate and vitriol in the US election campaign that I wanted to bring some levity,” Raymond tells Arab News.
“These two people are doing all they can to fight for their dream job, which is what my book Hired, Fired, Fled is all about, so there was an obvious tie-in. Fighting for your dream job is great and admirable, but sadly Trump and Clinton are going about it in a terrible way!”
The funny video, titled Love & Rage in the Race to the White House, shows Trump and Clinton sharing a plate of spaghetti, riding a tandem bike and taking selfies.
Raymond, a pen name, plays Trump — with an anonymous friend playing Clinton. Both wear masks portraying caricatures of the election rivals.
“People in London loved seeing these characters have some fun on their streets. We did get some comments shouted at us, such as, "I hate you both!" but in the most part people just wanted to take selfies with us,” Raymond said.
Raymond’s book, published in June, tells the story of his string of jobs across eight countries including the UAE. “It was an ideal place for me, as Dubai is full of opportunity. I didn't realize it until I'd left, but the best jobs I've ever had were working for media companies in Dubai, as the people, access, and variety were second to none. Maybe I'll return once more,” the author said.
The video to promote the book shows Clinton and Trump getting along — but in the final scenes the two are seen chasing each other around with baseball bats. Much more like, as the film suggests, the “reality” of the divisive election campaign.


India court reverses TikTok app restrictions

Updated 25 April 2019
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India court reverses TikTok app restrictions

  • It is already banned in neighboring Bangladesh and was hit with an enormous fine in the US
  • The case against TikTok was launched by an activist group that said the app encouraged paedophiles and pornography

NEW DELHI: An Indian court has reversed a decision that ordered Google and Apple to take down Chinese-owned video app TikTok over the spread of pornographic material, local media said.
The controversial but wildly popular app allows users to upload and share short 15 second clips from their phones and claims to have 500 million users worldwide — more than 120 million of them in India.
It is already banned in neighboring Bangladesh and was hit with an enormous fine in the United States for illegally collecting information from children.
The Wednesday ruling by the Madras High Court in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state requires the popular platform to prevent “obscene videos” from being posted.
“(The court) warned if any controversial video violating its conditions were found uploaded using the app, it would be considered a contempt of court,” a report by the Press Trust of India agency said.
On April 16, India’s government demanded Google and Apple remove the service from its app stores, though the order did not stop those who had already downloaded the app from using it.
The case against TikTok was launched by an activist group that said the app encouraged paedophiles and pornography.
India’s government told the court on Wednesday that they had formed a committee to suggest ways to regulate apps like TikTok, PTI said.
TikTok told the court that they had removed around six million controversial videos from the platform since the order was announced banning new downloads last week.
The app hit the headlines in India earlier in April after a 19-year-old man was accidentally shot dead by a friend in Delhi as they posed with a pistol to make a video on the platform.
TikTok has become a major rival to Facebook, Instagram and other social network sites among teenaged smartphone users in the past year.
Bangladesh banned TikTok in February as part of a clampdown on Internet pornography.
The same month, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said a $5.7 million fine ordered against the company was the largest imposed in a child privacy investigation.
The social network failed to obtain parental consent from underage users as required by the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, FTC officials said.