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Biden team encourages early voting with new USPS Snapchat campaign

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On Wednesday, the Biden for President team will release a new Snapchat lens encouraging supporters to vote early in key swing states ahead of the US presidential election.

The Biden team will be the first campaign to employ Snapchat’s Marker technology. If users decide to use the lens in selfie mode, they will be covered in aviators and Biden-Harris merchandise, including a T-shirt, hat, and button. Once users flip the camera, they’re directed to aim it at a United States Postal Service logo. The logo could be on a mailer or a nearby mailbox. Once the USPS logo is scanned, fireworks go off with the message “Vote Early for Biden-Harris.”


As of last week, the Biden campaign is spending significantly more money on Snapchat compared to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, according to the progressive digital advertising firm Acronym. The Biden campaign spent nearly $740,000 on the platform whereas Trump’s team has spent only around $41,000. The new Snapchat lens is part of the Biden team’s ongoing paid media efforts and will be targeted to 18- to 34-year-olds in swing states, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, and Georgia. The lens will also be geo-targeted around mail drop box and post office locations around the country.

In May, the Biden campaign rolled out its first Snapchat lens that put users in Biden-style aviator sunglasses. In the following months, the campaign has launched several new online organizing efforts like partnering with the celebrity video-sharing platform Cameo for fundraising and offering in-game Biden-Harris yard signs and merch in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Earlier this month, Snapchat rolled out a set of new tools that allow users to register to vote directly in the app. As of last week, nearly 1 million people have been helped with voter registration, according to the company. Around 80 percent of Snapchat users are of voting age, and Snapchat reaches nearly 90 percent of all 13- to 24-year-olds and 75 percent of all 13- to 34-year-olds in the US.

The messaging ties in with Democrats’ ongoing emphasis on both mail-in ballots and the post office itself, which has faced intense service cuts under the Trump administration. President Trump has continually raised doubts about the integrity of mail-in voting, although he has produced little evidence to support those claims.

At last night’s debate, Biden defended the absentee voting process and encouraged people to vote however was easiest for them. “Five states have had mail-in ballots for the last decade or more, including two Republican states,” the former vice president said. “It’s honest. No one has established at all that there is fraud related to mail-in ballots.”

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Samsung heir absent from bribery retrial following father’s death

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Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong was not in attendance for a scheduled court hearing Monday after the death of his father, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, was announced yesterday. Yonhap reports that the conglomorate’s de facto leader and presumed heir had asked the Seoul High Court to permit him to attend the funeral.

Samsung has said that the wake will last four days with a family-only funeral taking place on Wednesday, according to The Korea Herald. Lee Kun-hee had been incapacitated by a 2014 heart attack, with his son Lee Jae-yong — known as Jay Y. Lee in the West — widely expected to take over.

The younger Lee, however, is facing the resumption of a bribery case that has dogged him over recent years. He was sentenced to five years in jail in 2017 for his role in the sweeping bribery scandal that brought down former South Korean president Park Geun-hye; he was then freed on appeal the next year with most of the charges dismissed. But the case was sent back to a lower court for retrial to take into account alleged bribes that hadn’t previously been ruled on.

The next hearing is planned to take place on November 9th, Yonhap reports.

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Norway forced to expand its studded bike tire subsidy as locals go mad for winter cycling

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When it comes to incentivizing individuals to make more environmentally conscious travel decisions, government subsidies have proven quite successful in the past.

In a number of European countries, there are subsidies for buying new and used electric cars, installing EV charging points in your home, and even discounted bus tickets for those in low income brackets. Earlier this year in the UK, the government handed out vouchers to help people get their old bikes back on the road in a bid to encourage cycle commuting. In most of these cases, the money set aside to fund the subsidies was used up entirely.

It begs the question, if subsidies prove so popular, how far should they go? As governments across Europe pursue carbon neutrality, should we leave no stone unturned when it comes to financial incentives that make us less reliant on fossil fuels?

[Read: What audience intelligence data tells us about the 2020 US presidential election]

Take Norway, for example.

Its EV subsidies have already proven wildly effective with nearly half of all new cars sold in the country being electric. But it hasn’t stopped there.

According to Norway Today, there are calls to extend a recent subsidy on studded bicycle tires after more than 4,000 people applied in the first week.

The scheme, offered to Oslo residents, would pay for half of the costs of switching their bicycles to specialist winter tires to help them continue commuting on two wheels through the winter months. The subsidy also covers workshop fees to fit the tires.

Launched on Monday, October 19, more than 2,700 people applied in the first day. By Friday, the Norwegian Climate Agency had received 4,114 applications.

“Oslo is experiencing a bicycle boom,” director Heidi Sørensen at the country’s Climate Agency told Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen. “We want to give cyclists an opportunity to continue with the good trend into the winter.”

Indeed, Norway is keen to capitalize on its cycling boom and keep people on two wheels for as long as they can to maintain their habit. Compared to September 2019, there’s been a 54% increase in the number of trips taken on two wheels across the same period this year.

Dagsavisen also reports that the scheme is now being expanded to provide support for up to 5,000 cyclists.

“You do not need more than two good tires to ride safely in the winter,” Sørensen added. The country’s government hopes that people will see that cycling in winter isn’t just for the hardiest souls among us.

Other governments around the world should take note. It can be quite grim cycling in winter, but with the right equipment and clothing the experience can be dramatically improved.

As Norway has shown: support the specific needs of individuals to make better environmental choices, and chances are they’ll make those choices.


SHIFT is brought to you by Polestar. It’s time to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility. That is why Polestar combines electric driving with cutting-edge design and thrilling performance. Find out how.

Published October 26, 2020 — 09:17 UTC

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Norway forced to expand its studded bike tire subsidy as locals go mad for winter cycling

Published

on

When it comes to incentivizing individuals to make more environmentally conscious travel decisions, government subsidies have proven quite successful in the past.

In a number of European countries, there are subsidies for buying new and used electric cars, installing EV charging points in your home, and even discounted bus tickets for those in low income brackets. Earlier this year in the UK, the government handed out vouchers to help people get their old bikes back on the road in a bid to encourage cycle commuting. In most of these cases, the money set aside to fund the subsidies was used up entirely.

It begs the question, if subsidies prove so popular, how far should they go? As governments across Europe pursue carbon neutrality, should we leave no stone unturned when it comes to financial incentives that make us less reliant on fossil fuels?

[Read: What audience intelligence data tells us about the 2020 US presidential election]

Take Norway, for example.

Its EV subsidies have already proven wildly effective with nearly half of all new cars sold in the country being electric. But it hasn’t stopped there.

According to Norway Today, there are calls to extend a recent subsidy on studded bicycle tires after more than 4,000 people applied in the first week.

The scheme, offered to Oslo residents, would pay for half of the costs of switching their bicycles to specialist winter tires to help them continue commuting on two wheels through the winter months. The subsidy also covers workshop fees to fit the tires.

Launched on Monday, October 19, more than 2,700 people applied in the first day. By Friday, the Norwegian Climate Agency had received 4,114 applications.

“Oslo is experiencing a bicycle boom,” director Heidi Sørensen at the country’s Climate Agency told Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen. “We want to give cyclists an opportunity to continue with the good trend into the winter.”

Indeed, Norway is keen to capitalize on its cycling boom and keep people on two wheels for as long as they can to maintain their habit. Compared to September 2019, there’s been a 54% increase in the number of trips taken on two wheels across the same period this year.

Dagsavisen also reports that the scheme is now being expanded to provide support for up to 5,000 cyclists.

“You do not need more than two good tires to ride safely in the winter,” Sørensen added. The country’s government hopes that people will see that cycling in winter isn’t just for the hardiest souls among us.

Other governments around the world should take note. It can be quite grim cycling in winter, but with the right equipment and clothing the experience can be dramatically improved.

As Norway has shown: support the specific needs of individuals to make better environmental choices, and chances are they’ll make those choices.


SHIFT is brought to you by Polestar. It’s time to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility. That is why Polestar combines electric driving with cutting-edge design and thrilling performance. Find out how.

Published October 26, 2020 — 09:17 UTC

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