News Mash-up: Social Media

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. incursion / ɪnˈkɜr ʒən / (n.) – the act of entering into an activity, hobby, etc.

    Taking a painting class was my first incursion into the arts.

  2. wane / weɪn / (v.) – to decrease in strength, popularity, influence, etc.

    The new song played on the radio multiple times a day for a few weeks, but its popularity soon began to wane.

  3. cripple / ˈkrɪp əl / (v.) – to weaken or damage someone or something

    The pandemic crippled a lot of small businesses.

  4. executive order / ɪgˈzɛk yə tɪv ˈɔr dər / (n.) – a rule or order from a president or other leader of a country that must be followed like a law

    The president issued an executive order that bans people from smoking in public places.

  5. effectively / ɪˈfɛk tɪv li / (adv.) – as an effect or result of something

    The new high tax on tobacco will effectively stop some people from smoking.


Read the text below.

Facebook to launch Clubhouse-style rooms

Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on April 19 the company planned to launch several audio services, including Clubhouse-style live audio rooms and a way for users to find and play podcasts.

Facebook’s incursion into the audio market comes as the sudden explosion of interest in Clubhouse could be waning. Downloads of the Clubhouse app, which is only available on Apple’s iOS devices, suffered an estimated 70% decline in downloads in March from February, when it hit a high.

As part of the announcements, Zuckerberg also said Facebook is working with Spotify on “Project Boombox” to share and listen to music on its platform. (Reuters)

Biden drops Trump attempt to ban TikTok, WeChat, but orders new security review

U.S. President Joe Biden has dropped an effort by the previous president to cripple the TikTok and WeChat apps.

As president, Donald Trump had signed a series of executive orders to block new users from downloading the apps and also ban some other functions of the apps. The Chinese-owned apps said the orders would effectively block the apps in the United States.

The Trump administration said that sensitive personal data of WeChat and TikTok users could be collected by China’s government. That made the apps a national security concern.

However, U.S. courts blocked Trump’s executive orders, and Biden withdrew the orders on June 9. However, he told his Commerce Department to study the security of the apps.

The White House remains very concerned about the data risks of TikTok users, a White House official told reporters. (Reuters)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The sudden explosion of interest in Clubhouse seems to be waning. What do you think about the idea of audio-based social media (ex. interesting, stupid)? Do you think it’ll continue to exist one year from now? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • When Clubhouse first started, only people who were invited to join could use the app. Sometimes people even paid a lot of money to join and hear their favorite celebrities talk live. What do you think about that (ex. reasonable, a waste of money)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The White House remains very concerned about the data risks of TikTok users. Do you think the government should have control over the apps that people use on their phones? Do you think that banning certain apps might make them even more popular? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • If someone you know installed a popular app that may have security issues, would you advise him/her to delete it? Why or why not? Discuss.