Apple works with White House to release ‘COVID-19’ app

The app will be available in the app store as “COVID-19.” (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 March 2020

Apple works with White House to release ‘COVID-19’ app

  • The app will ask users questions about symptoms, location and risk factors and then provide the appropriate up-to-date guidance from the CDC
  • The app will also answer frequently asked questions about the coronavirus disease with official information from the CDC

WASHINGTON: Apple Inc. and the White House said on Friday that the iPhone maker worked with the Trump administration and federal agencies to release an app that will direct users to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The app, which will be available in the app store as “COVID-19,” will ask users questions about symptoms, location and risk factors and then provide the appropriate up-to-date guidance from the CDC, White House officials said.
The app will also answer frequently asked questions about the coronavirus disease with official information from the CDC.
Based in northern California, Apple’s headquarters have been under lockdown orders for more than a week. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook earlier this week said that the company had donated 10 million protective masks to US health care groups after using Apple’s supply chain team to locate and buy the masks.


Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

Updated 03 June 2020

Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

  • “We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said
  • The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence

SAN FRANCISCO: Snapchat on Wednesday stopped promoting posts by US President Donald Trump, saying they incite “racial violence.”
“We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said in response to an AFP inquiry, referencing the youth-focused social network’s section for recommended content.
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover.”
The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence, thrusting rival Facebook into turmoil for refusing to sanction false or inflammatory posts by the US president.
The decision was made over the weekend, during which Snapchat parent Snap chief executive Evan Spiegel sent a lengthy memo to employees condemning what he saw as a legacy of racial injustice and violence in the US.
“Every minute we are silent in the face of evil and wrongdoing we are acting in support of evildoers,” Spiegel wrote as companies responded to the outrage over the police killing of a black man in Minnesota.
“I am heartbroken and enraged by the treatment of black people and people of color in America.”
Snapchat will not promote accounts in the US that are linked to people who incite racial violence on or off the messaging platform, according Spiegel.
The Discover feature at Snapchat is a curated platform on which the California-based company get to decide what it recommends to users.
Trump’s account remains on the platform, it will just no longer be recommended viewing, according to Snapchat.
“We may continue to allow divisive people to maintain an account on Snapchat, as long as the content that is published on Snapchat is consistent with our community guidelines, but we will not promote that account or content in any way,” Spiegel said in the memo.
“We will make it clear with our actions that there is no grey area when it comes to racism, violence, and injustice — and we will not promote it, nor those who support it, on our platform.”
Snapchat is particularly popular with young Internet users, claiming that about half of the US “generation Z” population tapping into news through its Discover feature.