China Bans “Vulgar and Pornographic” ASMR Content


China is cracking down on ASMR (or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos online, which it describes as “vulgar and pornographic,” The Verge has revealed. China’s anti-pornography office announced earlier this month that websites must “clean up” online streaming services and law enforcement agencies need to punish offenders.

“A large part of ASMR audiences is young people,” its statement reads. “All internet companies must genuinely fulfill their duties, and increase efforts to clean up websites, implement content review processes, and protect minors from harmful content.”

Interest in the ASMR community has grown in recent years. ASMR videos include heightened sounds of whispering, tapping, or eating with the intention of calming and relaxing the listener, and can include sexual references or content. In April this year, Highsnobiety reported that some listeners actively sought online companionship through the ASMR community.

However, a 2015 research paper and study suggests that sexual ASMR content is desired by relatively few users. Among study participants, 82 percent agreed with the statement that they used ASMR as a sleep aid while only 5 percent said they used ASMR for sexual stimulation. Seventy percent of participants used ASMR for stress relief.

Streaming services such as Youku, Bilibili, and Douyu have removed ASMR all content from their platforms since the anti-pornography office issued its new guidelines.

Get the full story over at The Verge.

In other news, Instagram will no longer give screenshot notifications on its stories feature. Read here.

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Instagram No Longer Notifies People When You Screenshot Their Stories


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Apple Taps Grimes for New “Behind the Mac” Ads About Creatives


Apple has dropped four new ads highlighting the creatives who use its laptops. Labeled “Behind the Mac,” the ads showcase the ways people use their MacBooks, from making music to editing images and coding. In one of the clips, Grimes explains how she creates her music, edits her videos, and produces her artwork on her laptop.

The second shows how the legally blind photographer Bruce Hall edits his work using his Mac’s accessibility features, and the third explains how entrepreneur Peter Kariuki coded an app to make taxi journeys safer in Rwanda.

Finally, the last in the series is a feel-good montage of creatives working behind their laptops to the soundtrack of Daniel Johnson’s “The Story of an Artist.”

Watch Grimes’ ad above and check out the rest of the “Behind the Mac” campaign below.