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High Schoolers Support Teachers By Using TikTok to Organize Strike Over Pay

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  • Teachers in Clark County, Nevada threatened to walk off the job next month after the district refused to give raises to staff members who had furthered their education, despite previously promising to do so. 
  • One student explained the situation in a TikTok post and urged students to hold their own strike in support of their teachers. 
  • The post went viral and prompted other students to speak out on similar issues in their schools.
  • The strikes were suspended after the district and teachers union struck a deal Wednesday night, which included raises and more funding for health insurance. 

Teachers Organize Strike 

Teens used the popular short-form video app TikTok to support high school teachers in Nevada this week after a teachers strike was threatened by a local school district. 

Teachers in Clark County planned a walkout on Sept. 10 to protests against the school district for failing to honor a promise it had made regarding their salaries. Educators were previously told they would earn raises so long as they furthered their education by completing professional development courses. But the district later refused to follow through on that agreement, saying it lacked the funds to do so. 

The consequences of the strike would have been devastating for the school district, which is the fifth-largest in the nation. In response to the news of picketing, the district filed an emergency court motion to block the strike and have a judge issue an order against it. If the order was imposed, the union could have faced fines of up to $50,000 a day.

Still, Clark County teachers felt they had no choice but to take a stand.

TikTok Post Goes Viral 

Many local students were also outraged by the situation, including 16-year-old Gillian Sullivan who took her frustration over to TikTok.

Sullivan, whose mom has worked for the district for more than 20 years, uploaded a video on the app where she explained the situation, saying the district would not pay teachers who had “spent the past three years earning enough credits out of their own pockets, spending extra hours outside of school to earn credits to get a raise.” 

“Personally, I don’t think this is fair and I’m kind of sick of our district thinking its okay to walk all over students and teachers all of the time,” she added. “If you’re sick of this too, and you want respect for yourself as a student but also for your teachers, please strike Sept. 5 because I’m done, and you should be too. Teachers deserve more respect than that. And it’s disgusting.”

Within days Sullivan’s video spread throughout the app and was viewed by users from all over the globe. Many commented about similar issues in their own school districts and promised to help raise awareness in whatever ways they could.

“I’m not even in ccsd but [I] still shared trying to do something to help,” one user commented. ”Solidarity,” others wrote.

Comments on Sullivan’s TikTok post

Others shared the post in typical TikTok fashion, using the app’s duet function. 

In another post, Sullivan responded to users who said their school districts were just as bad if not worse. She argued that the entire school system in the U.S. is flawed and encouraged all students to skip school on Sept. 5. “Everyone is saying their school district is bad. Nationally, the school system is broken and we can fix it by not going to school and the government realizing that we all see a problem as teenagers.” 

Her posts also made their way onto Twitter, where they picked up more praise and support. They also inspired others to upload similar TikToks, including another student in her district, 17-year-old Leonardo Bueno. 

In a three-part TikTok post, he talked about a lack of funds for school programs and rules that stop clubs or sports teams from raising their own funds. He also encouraged the student strike saying, “We should also be speaking up about teachers being underpaid and not getting their salary.” 

“Teachers put their life and dedication in teaching us, because they are teaching the future of this country.”

While many seemed prepared to participate in the student and teacher strikes, those plans have since been called off.

Union and District Reach Deal 

Late Wednesday, the Clark County School District and the Clark County Education Association said they had reached a tentative agreement to resolve the issue. The agreement includes a salary increase for the educators who completed their professional development programs, as well as a 3% raise and more funding for health insurance.

The deal still needs to be ratified by union executives and district trustees, according to the Associated Press. However, it seems that both sides expect no issues with approving the move. 

It’s unclear how much of a role, if any, the TikToks played in the decision, but Sullivan and others felt the spread of the news surely had an impact. 

Sullivan took to TikTok once more to share the news saying, “Through social media and people actively speaking out, we got what we wanted.

“I’m really happy, I’m really grateful for everybody who liked, commented and shared my post because it allowed for a lot more people to be informed about the issue within the school district including students.” 

“Thank you to our teachers,” she added. “I’m so happy they’re getting their raise … we did it, guys. Give yourselves a pat on the back. Give yourselves a high five. We won.”

See what others are saying: (Buzzfeed News) (Huffington Post) (US News)

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Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos

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The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.


Bezos Prank

Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. 

According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws. 

For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform. 

The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.

It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end. 

The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions. 

First Twitch Hack 

Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.

That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019. 

It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.

Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already. 

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Forbes) (CNET)

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Twitch Blames Server Configuration Error for Hack, Says There’s No Indication That Login Info Leaked

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The platform also said full credit card numbers were not reaped by hackers, as that data is stored externally. 


Login and Credit Card Info Secure

Twitch released a security update late Wednesday claiming it had seen “no indication” that users’ login credentials were stolen by hackers who leaked the entire platform’s source code earlier in the day.

“Full credit card numbers are not stored by Twitch, so full credit card numbers were not exposed,” the company added in its announcement.

The leaked data, uploaded to 4chan, includes code related to the platform’s security tools, as well as exact totals of how much it has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019. 

Early Thursday, Twitch also announced that it has now reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Streamers looking for their new keys can visit a dashboard set up by the platform, though users may need to manually update their software with the new key before being able to stream again depending on what kind of software they use.

As far as what led to the hackers being able to steal the data, Twitch blamed an error in a “server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party,” confirming that the leak was not the work of a current employee who used internal tools. 

Will Users Go to Other Streaming Platforms?

While no major creators have said they are leaving Twitch for a different streaming platform because of the hack, many small users have either announced their intention to leave Twitch or have said they are considering such a move. 

It’s unclear if the leak, coupled with other ongoing Twitch controversies, will ultimately lead to a significant user exodus, but there’s little doubt that other platforms are ready and willing to leverage this hack in the hopes of attracting new users. 

At least one big-name streamer has already done as much, even if largely only presenting the idea as a playful jab rather than with serious intention. 

“Pretty crazy day today,” YouTube’s Valkyrae said on a stream Wednesday while referencing a tweet she wrote earlier the day.

“YouTube is looking to sign more streamers,” that tweet reads. 

I mean, they are! … No shade to Twitch… Ah! Well…” Valkyrae said on stream before interrupting herself to note that she was not being paid by YouTube to make her comments. 

See what others are saying: (Engadget) (BBC) (Gamerant)

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The Entirety of Twitch Has Been Leaked Online, Including How Much Top Creators Earn

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The data dump, which could be useful for some of Twitch’s biggest competitors, could signify one of the most encompassing platform leaks ever.


Massive Collection of Data Leaked 

Twitch’s full source code was uploaded to 4chan Wednesday morning after it was obtained by hackers.

Among the 125 GB of stolen data is information revealing that Amazon, which owns Twitch, has at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library. That library, codenamed Vapor, would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.

With Amazon being the all-encompassing giant that it is, it’s not too surprising that it would try to develop a Steam rival, but it’s eyecatching news nonetheless considering how much the release of Vapor could shake up the market.

The leaked data also showcased exactly how much Twitch has paid its creators, including the platform’s top accounts, such as the group CriticalRole, as well as steamers xQcOW, Tfue, Ludwig, Moistcr1tikal, Shroud, HasanAbi, Sykkuno, Pokimane, Ninja, and Amouranth.

These figures only represent payouts directly from Twitch. Each creator mentioned has made additional money through donations, sponsorships, and other off-platform ventures. Sill, the information could be massively useful for competitors like YouTube Gaming, which is shelling out big bucks to ink deals with creators. 

Data related to Twitch’s internal security tools, as well as code related to software development kits and its use of Amazon Web Services, was also released with the hack. In fact, so much data was made public that it could constitute one of the most encompassing platform dumps ever.

Creators Respond

Streamer CDawgVA, who has just under 500,000 subscribers on Twitch, tweeted about the severity of the data breach on Wednesday.

“I feel like calling what Twitch just experienced as “leak” is similar to me shitting myself in public and trying to call it a minor inconvenience,” he wrote. “It really doesn’t do the situation justice.”

Despite that, many of the platform’s top streamers have been quite casual about the situation.

“Hey, @twitch EXPLAIN?”xQc tweeted. Amouranth replied with a laughing emoji and the text, “This is our version of the Pandora papers.” 

Meanwhile, Pokimane tweeted, “at least people can’t over-exaggerate me ‘making millions a month off my viewers’ anymore.”

Others, such as Moistcr1tikal and HasanAbi argued that their Twitch earning are already public information given that they can be easily determined with simple calculations. 

Could More Data Come Out?

This may not be the end of the leak, which was labeled as “part one.” If true, there’s no reason to think that the leakers wouldn’t publish a part two. 

For example, they don’t seem to be too fond of Twitch and said they hope this data dump “foster[s] more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”

They added that the platform is a “disgusting toxic cesspool” and included the hashtag #DoBetterTwitch, which has been used in recent weeks to drive boycotts against the platform as smaller creators protest the ease at which trolls can use bots to spam their chats with racist, sexist, and homophobic messages.

Still, this leak does appear to lack one notable set of data: password and address information of Twitch users.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the leakers don’t have it. It could just mean they are only currently interested in sharing Twitch’s big secrets. 

Regardless, Twitch users and creators are being strongly urged to change their passwords as soon as possible and enable two-factor authentication.

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Video Games Chronicle) (Kotaku)

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