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B.C. girl spent $12K on social media likes, followers; parents to get money back from TikTok – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
Parents of a girl who spent thousands of dollars on a social media app will get their money back, a spokesperson for the app says.

The parents, located in Kelowna, B.C., shared their story with media last week as a warning for other families.

They told Castanet.net their daughter, who was 12 at the time, spent $12,000 on TikTok in the spring.

TikTok is a four-year-old video-based social network. Users create short videos, which are then posted on a loop.

The girl’s parents said they found out about the charges when their MasterCard bill arrived.

Her mother told Castanet she started making phone calls to figure out where the money had gone, then noticed her daughter was sobbing.

Their daughter said she’d spent the money on TikTok coins, which she’d purchased through the app. Transactions on iPhones are processed through Apple’s App Store, which was linked to the mother’s credit card, the family told Castanet.

The coins she’d purchased were essentially used to buy followers and likes from well-known users, boosting her popularity on the site.

TikTok told CTV News Vancouver that users are not eligible to purchase coins until the age of 18, though the app is intended for users aged 13 and up.

However, once purchased, these coins are typically final sale, and cannot be refunded, reimbursed or exchanged.

The family reached out to TikTok, but the company first directed them to contact Apple, as the purchases were made through the App Store, so the refund request should also be.

It appears they didn’t have any luck with Apple. A spokesperson said TikTok is trying to work with the family to ensure they get their money back, and has tried to get in touch multiple times “due to the extenuating circumstances.”

“We understand the financial burden that this family is experiencing and have reached out to them directly to resolve this issue,” the company said in a statement to CTV News.

TikTok provided the following advice to parents worried about a similar situation with their teenagers.

The app is set up in a way that parents can use device-based parental controls through Google and Apple to restrict what their child is able to do. If the user is underage, parents can use these controls to block in-app purchases, among other options, TikTok says.

Additionally, there’s a family pairing feature so parent can link their account to their teen’s to directly manage it.

Parents of teenagers and children with iPhones can read more on the App Store website about how to prevent unintentional or unauthorized purchases. 

Read more information on parental controls available on Android devices here

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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai denied bail on fraud charge – CBC.ca

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Outspoken Hong Kong pro-democracy advocate and media tycoon Jimmy Lai was refused bail on Thursday on a fraud charge amid a growing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city.

Jimmy Lai of Next Digital, which publishes the Apple Daily newspaper, was among 10 people arrested Aug. 10 on what police said was suspicion of violating a national security law and collusion with a foreign country.

Lai, 73, was later released on bail but police raided his company’s offices in October and took away documents.

On Wednesday, Lai and two Next Digital executives were charged with fraud over accusations that they violated lease terms for Next Digital office space.

Lai appeared in court Thursday and was denied bail. His case has been adjourned until April 16.

Hong Kong police said in a statement Wednesday that they had arrested three men on charges of fraud, without naming them. Police also said that one of them had been suspected of violating the national security law, and that it was still under investigation.

Beijing imposed the national security law in response to protests in Hong Kong that began in June 2019 over a proposed extradition law and expanded to include demands for greater democracy in the former British colony.

Law undermines freedom of speech, says Britain

The sweeping legislation prompted more public protests and led to complaints that Beijing is violating the autonomy promised to Hong Kong when it returned to China and damaging its status as a business centre.

Apple Daily criticized the law on its front page on July 1, calling it the “final nail in the coffin” of the region’s autonomy.

The British government had slammed Lai’s August arrest and said the security law was being used to crush dissent.

The law is “being implemented in a way that undermines freedom of speech,” the British government said in a report this month on the status of the 1984 agreement for Hong Kong’s return to China.

“It is imperative that this freedom is fully respected,” the report said.

Lai was earlier arrested in February and April on charges of taking part in unauthorized protests. He also faces charges of joining an unauthorized vigil marking the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai denied bail on fraud charge – OrilliaMatters

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HONG KONG — Outspoken Hong Kong pro-democracy advocate and media tycoon Jimmy Lai was refused bail on Thursday on a fraud charge amid a growing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city.

Jimmy Lai of Next Digital, which publishes the Apple Daily newspaper, was among 10 people arrested Aug. 10 on what police said was suspicion of violating a national security law and collusion with a foreign country.

Lai, 73, was later released on bail but police raided his company’s offices in October and took away documents.

On Wednesday, Lai and two Next Digital executives were charged with fraud over accusations that they violated lease terms for Next Digital office space.

Lai appeared in court Thursday and was denied bail. His case has been adjourned till April 16.

Hong Kong police said in a statement Wednesday that it had arrested three men on charges of fraud, without naming them. It also said that one of them had been suspected of violating the national security law, and that it was still under investigation.

Beijing imposed the national security law in response to protests in Hong Kong that began in June 2019 over a proposed extradition law and expanded to include demands for greater democracy in the former British colony.

The sweeping legislation prompted more public protests and led to complaints that Beijing is violating the autonomy promised to Hong Kong when it returned to China and damaging its status as a business centre.

Apple Daily criticized the law on its front page on July 1, calling it the “final nail in the coffin” of the territory’s autonomy.

The British government had slammed Lai’s August arrest and said the security law was being used to crush dissent.

The law is “being implemented in a way that undermines freedom of speech,” the British government said in a report this month on the status of the 1984 agreement for Hong Kong’s return to China.

“It is imperative that this freedom is fully respected,” the report said.

Lai was earlier arrested in February and April on charges of taking part in unauthorized protests. He also faces charges of joining an unauthorized vigil marking the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Zen Soo, The Associated Press


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Haligonians answer call on social media to show struggling eatery some love – CTV News Atlantic

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HALIFAX —
Dozens of people answered the dinner bell Tuesday in support of a struggling Mexican restaurant in Halifax’s north end.

A social media message about the difficulties facing Tako Loko prompted hungry Haligonians to line up down the street for a bite to eat.

On Wednesday, there was some extra prep work taking place in the kitchen at Tako Loko.

“Sold out, everything, so we’re going to do again … everything,” said owner Vicky Ruiz.

The spike in business was the result of one tweet that made the rounds on social media saying the owner is really struggling to keep the lights on and the doors open.

The result was a lineup of people down the street.

“I almost cried, I was happy, very happy because the people support us,” Ruiz said. “We had Uber Eats and we couldn’t take orders from Uber Eats and we couldn’t answer the phone because the line was two blocks here.”

Megan Smith and Nicole Carruthers live in the neighborhood and have been coming for months.

“It’s excellent,” they say.

It was so busy Smith and Carruthers couldn’t even place their usual order.

“I tried calling before five and they couldn’t take my order because they were that busy, it was awesome,” Smith said.

Some who couldn’t show up in person took up a neighbourhood collection and dropped the money off in a card.

The restaurant was scheduled to close at 9 p.m. but they actually ran out of food before that. Ruiz spent this morning at the grocery store, stocking up for tonight.

“It makes you proud of your local community, proud of Halifax and proud of people in the north end,” Carruthers said. “A lot of challenges have come out of this pandemic. It’s really nice to see people come out and supporting each other in a challenging time.”

Ruiz opened in March, just at the beginning of the pandemic. They stuck it out, but as COVID continued, the restaurant, like many others, started to struggle.

Ruiz has no plans to close her kitchen, and after the response yesterday, staying open will be much easier.

“I am a very hard worker and the people depend on this restaurant, they need a job,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz doesn’t know the person who put the post on social media but she has a message for him.

“Thank you, thank you, and free tacos for him,” she said.

He may however have to wait in line.

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