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Former area resident co-founds 'game-changer' social-media platform – BarrieToday

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A former Orillian is hoping a new social media platform he co-founded will pay off — for the users.

Dan Swinimer, who grew up in Orillia and now lives in Surrey, B.C., is among the founders of Trybe, a new app that allows users to receive money for the attention their posts get.

The idea came about after Swinimer’s friend, Felipe Freig, realized how much attention his son’s videos of scooter tricks were receiving online.

“He had an issue watching his son getting close to semi-pro status as a scooter rider,” Swinimer said, noting the boy practised for hours, spent plenty of time editing the videos and invested money on equipment. “He’d get a lot of ‘likes,’ but that was it. Felipe said, ‘There’s got to be a way to monetize this.’”

Swinimer and Freig sat down to discuss that idea further, and Trybe is the result.

Users will have the option to simply ‘like’ content on the app, but they can also reward other users by sending “gems,” Swinimer explained, in various amounts, starting as low as 10 cents. A post that goes viral on Trybe could mean big bucks.

Swinimer used the example of Orillia’s Brian Fernandez, whose Facebook post about made-in-Canada French’s ketchup went viral in 2016.

“It was the textbook definition of a viral post,” Swinimer said. “If Trybe was a thing back then, the money he would’ve made on a post like that would’ve changed his life, and it should’ve changed his life.”

He even used that example when pitching to investors. It worked. Enough people have come on board to make the Trybe idea a reality.

It wasn’t as simple as that, though. Founders Swinimer and Freig knew they needed someone with ample business experience as well as someone who had friends in high places.

So, they pitched the idea to Bill Swinimer, Dan’s father, an Orillia man who founded Uniplast Industries.

“That’s the single best thing we did,” Dan said of bringing his dad on board as a partner.

They then pitched Chad Kroeger, lead singer of Nickelback and co-founder of 604 Records.

Dan, who owns the production company Manicdown Music Inc. and used to perform with Freig in the band Jet Black Stare, met Kroeger as a result of them having the same manager.

When the idea of Trybe was explained to Kroeger, “Chad just went off,” Dan recalled.

“He said, ‘This is a game changer.’”

Kroeger is now a partner and has sung the app’s praises through posts on social media. Avril Lavigne also gave Trybe a shout-out in a post to her 21 million Twitter followers.

Kroeger’s confidence in Trybe and what it could mean for musicians was obvious. Before long, Freig, Dan and Bill were on Kroeger’s private jet, bound for California’s Silicon Valley.

Bill has a good friend there who has invested more than $2 billion in start-ups.

“I sent him the idea and he thought it was great,” Bill said.

Word began to spread among investors and the project took off, and that’s when Bill was officially brought on board to help set up the company.

“It’s really been fun, and we’re now at that stage where it’s really getting traction,” Bill said, noting about 25 per cent of Trybe’s shareholders are from Orillia.

Bill believes the app will be “the next big one” in social media. He foresees those who use other platforms, like Instagram, including social media influencers, making the jump to Trybe.

“Our platform will do all the things you need in one platform,” he said. “It has endless possibilities.”

Dan also thinks so, and that was thanks to the experience in Silicon Valley.

“I was a little skeptical that someone had not come up with this already. It’s such a simple idea,” he said.

When investors told him they, too, were surprised a similar app hadn’t been developed yet, “that was our green light,” Dan said.

He described Trybe as a “win-win” for users. Whenever they reward another user, they have the ability to have their own posts boosted.

“The more people who see your post, the better chance you have to make money,” he said.

That user incentive could also pay off for charities that might use Trybe, he added.

Trybe is still in the beta-testing stage and is expected to officially launch to the public in a month or two.

For more information about Trybe, check out its website. To get on the wait list to join, download the app.

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China retaliates against news media in latest feud with US – OrilliaMatters

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BEIJING — China has ordered six U.S.-based news media to file detailed information about their operations in China the latest volley in a monthslong battle with the Trump administration.

A foreign ministry statement issued late Monday demanded that the bureaus of ABC, The Los Angeles Times, Minnesota Public Radio, the Bureau of National Affairs, Newsweek and Feature Story News declare information about their staff, finances, operations and real estate in China within seven days.

The announcement came five days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said six Chinese media would have to register as foreign missions, which requires them to file similar information with the U.S. government.

The six were the third group of Chinese media required to do so this year. Each time, China has responded by forcing a similar number of U.S. media to file about their operations.

The ministry statement said China was compelled to take the step “in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the United States.”

Pompeo, in making his announcement, said the targeted Chinese media are state-owned or controlled, and that the U.S. wants to ensure that “consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The media is one of several areas of growing tension between the two countries as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China over trade, technology, defence and human rights.

The U.S. ordered the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston earlier this year, and China responded by shuttering the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

The Associated Press

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Canada and Botswana to co-host 2nd media freedom global conference – Radio Canada International – English Section

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Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney attend a news conference on media freedom as part of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Dinard, France, Apr. 5, 2019. (Stephane Mahe/REUTERS)

Canada and Botswana are joining forces to co-host the second edition of Global Conference for Media Freedom, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne announced Monday.

The online conference is expected to take place on Nov. 16 and will bring together representatives of traditional and digital media, civil society and various governments, Champagne said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will deliver the keynote address at the conference.

Former president of the United Kingdom Supreme Court Lord David Neuberger and noted human rights lawyer Amal Clooney will co-chair a high-level panel of legal experts on media freedom, officials at Global Affairs Canada said.

“A vibrant and free media is essential to democracy and human rights,” Champagne said in a statement. “During this critical time, we must stand together to protect the freedom of media workers who pursue necessary truths, within and beyond our own borders.”

Canada and the U.K. co-hosted the first Global Conference for Media Freedom in London in July 2019.

Since 2015, Canada has invested $18.2 million in programs supporting the media and the free flow of information, according to Global Affairs Canada.

Canada ranks 16th on the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), while Botswana is in the 39th place among the 180 countries represented in the index.

This 2020 edition of the Index suggests that the next ten years will be pivotal for press freedom because of converging crises affecting the future of journalism.

The index singles out five critical areas for the future of journalism in the next decade:

  • a geopolitical crisis (due to the aggressiveness of authoritarian regimes)
  • a technological crisis (due to a lack of democratic guarantees)
  • a democratic crisis (due to polarisation and repressive policies)
  • a crisis of trust (due to suspicion and even hatred of the media)
  • an economic crisis (impoverishing quality journalism)

“We are entering a decisive decade for journalism linked to crises that affect its future,” RSF secretary general Christophe Deloire said in a statement.

“The coronavirus pandemic illustrates the negative factors threatening the right to reliable information, and is itself an exacerbating factor. What will freedom of information, pluralism and reliability look like in 2030? The answer to that question is being determined today.”

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China retaliates against news media in latest feud with US – The Battlefords News-Optimist

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BEIJING — China has ordered six U.S.-based news media to file detailed information about their operations in China the latest volley in a monthslong battle with the Trump administration.

A foreign ministry statement issued late Monday demanded that the bureaus of ABC, The Los Angeles Times, Minnesota Public Radio, the Bureau of National Affairs, Newsweek and Feature Story News declare information about their staff, finances, operations and real estate in China within seven days.

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The announcement came five days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said six Chinese media would have to register as foreign missions, which requires them to file similar information with the U.S. government.

The six were the third group of Chinese media required to do so this year. Each time, China has responded by forcing a similar number of U.S. media to file about their operations.

The ministry statement said China was compelled to take the step “in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the United States.”

Pompeo, in making his announcement, said the targeted Chinese media are state-owned or controlled, and that the U.S. wants to ensure that “consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The media is one of several areas of growing tension between the two countries as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China over trade, technology, defence and human rights.

The U.S. ordered the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston earlier this year, and China responded by shuttering the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

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