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TikTok becomes a political battleground in Russia – TechCrunch

We take an in-depth look at TikTok usage in Russia, Facebook’s Oversight Board looks beyond Facebook and Sesame Workshop backs an edtech fund. This is your Daily Crunch for February 11, 2021.

The big story: TikTok becomes a political battleground in Russia

Russia has a small but fast-growing and vocal group of TikTok users. And while activity has been largely apolitical in the past, a battle appears to be brewing between the government and young activists who support the anti-corruption, anti-Putin politician Alexei Navalny.

“Before Navalny’s return, Russian TikTok was all about dancing, pranks and post-Soviet trash aesthetics,” said food blogger Egor Khodasevich. “All of a sudden, political videos have started to appear across all categories — humor, beauty, sport.”

The tech giants

Facebook Oversight Board says other social networks ‘welcome to join’ if project succeeds — The Facebook Oversight Board has only been operational for a short time, but the nascent project is already looking ahead.

Apple launches a new AR experience tied to ‘For All Mankind’ — Even for those of you who aren’t fans of the Apple TV+ show, the app is still noteworthy as another sign of Apple’s interest in AR.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Robinhood’s pain is Public’s gain as VCs rush to give it more money — The San Francisco-based fintech aims to give people the ability to invest in companies using any amount of money, with a focus on community activity over active trading.

Goldman Sachs and Sesame Workshop pour money into this edtech firm’s newest fund — Reach Capital III is a $165 million investment vehicle.

Reduct.Video raises $4M to simplify video editing — The startup’s technology is already used by customers including Intuit, Autodesk, Facebook, Dell, Spotify, Indeed, Superhuman and IDEO.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

As more insurtech offerings loom, CEO Dan Preston discusses Metromile’s SPAC-led debut — Metromile began trading as a public company yesterday.

Commercializing deep tech startups: A practical guide for founders and investors — Deep tech startups go through a different evolution cycle than a typical B2B or B2C company.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Racial disparity in Chicago cops’ use of force laid bare in new data — This rare apples-to-apples comparison supports the idea that improving diversity in law enforcement may also improve the quality of policing.

A webcam app left thousands of user accounts exposed online — The database in question belonged to Adorcam, an app for viewing and controlling several webcam models.

Top 100 subscription apps grew 34% to $13B in 2020, share of total spend remained the same — A growing part of app spend took the form of subscription payments last year, according to a new report from Sensor Tower.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.


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