Journalist and Media 2017

I have written on journalism and media trends eariler few years ago. So it is time for update. What is the state of journalism and news publishing in 2017? NiemanLab’s predictions for 2017 are a good place to start thinking about what lies ahead for journalism. There, Matt Waite puts us in our place straight away by telling us that the people running the media are the problem

There has been changes on tech publishing. In January 2017 International Data Group, the owner of PCWorld magazine and market researcher IDC, on Thursday said it was being acquired by China Oceanwide Holdings Group and IDG Capital, the investment management firm run by IDG China executive Hugo Shong. In 2016 Arrow bought EE Times, EDN, TechOnline and lots more from UBM.

 

Here are some article links and information bits on journalist and media in 2017:

Soothsayers’ guides to journalism in 2017 article take a look at journalism predictions and the value of this year’s predictions.

What Journalism Needs To Do Post-Election article tells that faced with the growing recognition that the electorate was uniformed or, at minimum, deeply in the thrall of fake news, far too many journalists are responding not with calls for change but by digging in deeper to exactly the kinds of practices that got us here in the first place.

Fake News Is About to Get Even Scarier than You Ever Dreamed article says that what we saw in the 2016 election is nothing compared to what we need to prepare for in 2020 as incipient technologies appear likely to soon obliterate the line between real and fake.

YouTube’s ex-CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley service sees a massive amount of information on the problem, which will lead to people’s backlash.

Headlines matter article tells that in 2017, headlines will matter more than ever and journalists will need to wrest control of headline writing from social-optimization teams. People get their news from headlines now in a way they never did in the past.

Why new journalism grads are optimistic about 2017 article tells that since today’s college journalism students have been in school, the forecasts for their futures has been filled with words like “layoffs,” “cutbacks,” “buyouts” and “freelance.” Still many people are optimistic about the future because the main motivation for being a journalist is often “to make a difference.”

Updating social media account can be a serious job. Zuckerberg has 12+ Facebook employees helping him with posts and comments on his Facebook page and professional photographers to snap personal moments.
Wikipedia Is Being Ripped Apart By a Witch Hunt For Secretly Paid Editors article tells that with undisclosed paid editing on the rise, Wikipedians and the Wikimedia Foundation are working together to stop the practice without discouraging user participation. Paid editing is permissible under Wikimedia Foundation’s terms of use as long as they disclose these conflicts of interest on their user pages, but not all paid editors make these disclosures.

Big Internet giants are working on how to make content better for mobile devices. Instant Articles is a new way for any publisher to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook. Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a project that it aims to accelerate content on mobile devices. Both of those systems have their advantages and problems.

Clearing Out the App Stores: Government Censorship Made Easier article tells that there’s a new form of digital censorship sweeping the globe, and it could be the start of something devastating. The centralization of the internet via app stores has made government censorship easier. If the app isn’t in a country’s app store, it effectively doesn’t exist. For more than a decade, we users of digital devices have actively championed an online infrastructure that now looks uniquely vulnerable to the sanctions of despots and others who seek to control information.

677 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mike Allen / Axios:
    Sean Parker says social media networks like Facebook exploit a vulnerability in human psychology and wonders about effects on productivity and children — Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, gave me a candid insider’s look at how social networks purposely hook and potentially hurt our brains.

    Sean Parker unloads on Facebook “exploiting” human psychology
    https://www.axios.com/sean-parker-unloads-on-facebook-2508036343.html

    Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, gave me a candid insider’s look at how social networks purposely hook and potentially hurt our brains.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Journalists Fought Back Against Crippling Email Bombs
    https://www.wired.com/story/how-journalists-fought-back-against-crippling-email-bombs/

    I was chagrined but not surprised. Lauren had been harassed all weekend, a result of an article we had coauthored about companies such as PayPal, Newsmax, and Amazon whose technologies enabled extremist websites to profit from their hateful views. Simply in the interest of journalistic fairness, Lauren had sought comment from about 70 websites designated as hateful by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

    In return, her voicemail and her email inbox were filled with threats and insults.

    But then I looked at my inbox and realized that something troubling was happening to me too: 360 emails had poured in while I was pretzeling myself. Every single one was a confirmation of a newsletter subscription or account signup from a website I’d never heard of.

    “Thanks for signing up, here is your coupon!” an email from the Nature Hills Nursery said. “Please Confirm Subscription” Fintirement said. “Account details for xvwgnagycdm 1992 at ami-forum.org are pending admin approval,” a Montessori organization in Australia said.

    “I am under some kind of email attack as well. Jesus,”

    As a reporter who has covered technology for more than two decades, I am familiar with the usual forms of internet harassment—gangs that bring down a website, haters who post your home address online, troll armies that hurl insults on a social network. But I’d never encountered this type of email onslaught before. I wasn’t sure what to do. “Hey Twitter—any advice on what to do when somebody malevolent signs you up for a thousand email subscriptions, making your email unusable?” I tweeted.

    At first it seemed like a funny prank, like ordering pizza delivered to an ex-boyfriend’s house. “TBH [to be honest] it’s kind of a clever attack,” I tweeted again.

    But as the emails continued to roll in, my sense of humor faded. By noon, the entire email system at our employer, ProPublica, was overwhelmed. Most of my colleagues could not send or receive messages because of the backlog of emails to me, Jeff, and Lauren that were clogging the spam filters.

    The tech team advised that it would likely have to block all incoming emails to our inboxes—bouncing them back to senders—to save the rest of the organization. A few hours later, when ProPublica pulled the plug on our email accounts, I realized that what our attackers did was no joking matter; they had cut off our most important avenue of communication with the world. “Preparing to say goodbye forever to my inbox,” I tweeted. “It does seem like killing a reporter’s email account is the definition of a chilling effect, no?”

    Later I learned that the type of attack aimed at me and my colleagues is often called “email bombing” or “subscription bombing.” It’s clever jujitsu that turns one of the hallmarks of spam prevention—the confirmation email—into a spam generator. It works like this: The attacker uses an automated program to scan the web for any signup form that asks for an email address, from a newsletter subscription to an account registration. It then inserts the target’s email address into each of the forms, flooding the victim with confirmation emails.

    It’s laughably easy to launch an email bomb. Anyone with decent technical skills can set up an automated program to enter email addresses across the web. Or they can buy a service that will automate the attack for $5 per 1,000 emails sent to an address, according to ads on online hacker forums.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘When you spend $100 million on social media,’ it comes with help, says Trump strategist
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/08/when-you-spend-100-million-on-social-media-it-comes-with-help-says-trump-strategist/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=FaceBook&sr_share=facebook

    In conversation with renowned investigative journalist Michael Isikoff, Parscale also suggested that if anyone was seeking support from the Russian government during the campaign — or ignoring nefarious signs about Russian actors — it was the social media platforms, all of which were chasing the money.

    AdChoices
    MenuTechCrunch
    ‘When you spend $100 million on social media,’ it comes with help, says Trump strategist
    Posted yesterday by Connie Loizos (@cookie)

    Earlier today, at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Brad Parscale, the digital director of Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign, revealed much more about Trump’s election campaign and the role that Facebook played in it.

    In conversation with renowned investigative journalist Michael Isikoff, Parscale also suggested that if anyone was seeking support from the Russian government during the campaign — or ignoring nefarious signs about Russian actors — it was the social media platforms, all of which were chasing the money.

    Isikoff started the interview by remarking on the Democratic wins in Virginia yesterday, but he quickly pivoted, asking Parscale what he understood about social media during the campaign season that the “Clinton campaign did not.”

    Parscale said that two things worked to his benefit: the recognition that “eyeballs were moving to social media and mobile phones and devices in huge numbers” and that he “had a great piece of product that would resonate with Americans.” Trump, in other words.

    “It was the right mix,” Parscale added. “Whenever anybody is in marketing or advertising, it’s a lot easier to sell an iPod than [its short-lived competitor] Zune.

    Parscale also shared more detail about the campaign’s need to raise money, saying that when “Donald Trump became the candidate, we didn’t have any money other than Mr. Trump’s money and I don’t think he wanted to write all that check himself.” Parscale said he subsequently saw the need to “create a grass-roots campaign and find millions of people to be our grassroots supporters.” He said that Facebook “allowed us to do that in alarming numbers, very fast.” In fact, he credited the Trump campaign’s Facebook initiative with producing $280 million dollars, $100 million of which was then poured into targeted ads, on Facebook, with the help of Facebook employees.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human ‘vulnerability’
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/09/facebook-sean-parker-vulnerability-brain-psychology?utm_content=buffer1da3d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Site’s founding president, who became a billionaire thanks to the company, says: ‘God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains’

    Facebook’s founders knew they were creating something addictive that exploited “a vulnerability in human psychology” from the outset, according to the company’s founding president Sean Parker.

    Parker, whose stake in Facebook made him a billionaire, criticized the social networking giant at an Axios event in Philadelphia this week.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Christina Larson / Foreign Policy:
    Facebook, blamed for unintended consequences of the service in nations like Myanmar, says “product and integrity research team” is headed to SE Asia this month

    Facebook Can’t Cope With the World It’s Created
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/11/07/facebook-cant-cope-with-the-world-its-created/

    Zuckerberg needs to stop courting Beijing and start paying attention to the countries where Facebook matters.

    BANGKOK — As Mark Zuckerberg returns from his latest pilgrimage to Beijing, it’s time for him to pay more attention to the countries in Asia where Facebook actually matters.

    The Facebook CEO has spent years courting Chinese officials in the hopes of winning admittance to the world’s largest internet market. But while he’s been beating his head against the Great Firewall, Facebook has swept like wildfire through the rest of Asia, with complicated and sometimes dangerous results.

    Asia is now Facebook’s biggest user base. That has given the company unprecedented political sway across the continent, where it inadvertently shapes the media consumption of hundreds of millions of people. The impacts are amplified in the region because vast swathes of relatively new internet users turn to Facebook first as their primary gateway to the rest of the web. Meanwhile, it’s become clear that the attitudes and policies the Menlo Park-based company adopted when it was primarily a U.S. social network are inadequate, or even perilous, when applied in authoritarian states, fragile democracies, or nations with deep ethnic divisions.

    After months of public outcry in the U.S., Facebook has finally agreed to take seriously charges that the social network played a substantive role in shaping the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Way too little, way too late’: Facebook’s factcheckers say effort is failing
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/13/way-too-little-way-too-late-facebooks-fact-checkers-say-effort-is-failing

    Journalists fighting spread of fake news raise concerns over possible conflicts of interest and say site has refused to disclose needed data

    Journalists working for Facebook say the social media site’s fact-checking tools have largely failed and that the company has exploited their labor for a PR campaign.

    Several fact checkers who work for independent news organizations and partner with Facebook told the Guardian that they feared their relationships with the technology corporation, some of which are paid, have created a conflict of interest, making it harder for the news outlets to scrutinize and criticize Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation.

    The reporters also lamented that Facebook had refused to disclose data on its efforts to stop the dissemination of fake news. The journalists are speaking out one year after the company launched the collaboration in response to outrage over revelations that social media platforms had widely promoted fake news and propaganda during the US presidential election.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    In ‘Watershed Moment,’ YouTube Blocks Extremist Cleric’s Message
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/12/us/politics/youtube-terrorism-anwar-al-awlaki.html?_r=0

    WASHINGTON — For eight years, the jihadist propaganda of Anwar al-Awlaki has helped shape a generation of American terrorists, including the Fort Hood gunman, the Boston Marathon bombers and the perpetrators of massacres in San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla.

    And YouTube, the world’s most popular video site, has allowed hundreds of hours of Mr. Awlaki’s talks to be within easy reach of anyone with a phone or computer.

    Now, under growing pressure from governments and counterterrorism advocates, YouTube has drastically reduced its video archive of Mr. Awlaki, an American cleric who remains the leading English-language jihadist recruiter on the internet six years after he was killed by a United States drone strike. Using video fingerprinting technology, YouTube now flags his videos automatically and human reviewers block most of them before anyone sees them, company officials say.

    YouTube finally blocks a known terrorist propagandist from its site
    http://mashable.com/2017/11/12/youtube-anwar-al-awlaki-deleted-videos/?utm_campaign=Mash-BD-Synd-Flipboard-All-Full&utm_cid=Mash-BD-Synd-Flipboard-All-Full#R_v7LwGr4iqo

    The extremist jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike six years ago. But until this month, he was the leading English-speaking jihadist recruiter through more than 70,000 videos posted on YouTube.

    Three-quarters of those videos are now gone from YouTube’s archives, the New York Times reported Sunday. The Times called the move by YouTube a “watershed moment” for platforms that have facilitated terrorist recruitment online.

    Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even Airbnb have long claimed that they’re just platforms that bear no responsibility for the material that appears on them. In the post-Russian election interference era, however, some of these platforms have been forced to start accepting slightly more responsibility.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Think the US is alone? 18 countries had their elections hacked last year
    Less than a quarter of world has freeish internet communication
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/14/think_the_us_is_alone_18_countries_had_their_elections_hacked_last_year/

    While America explores quite how much its election was interfered with by outsiders, the news isn’t good for the rest of us, according to independent watchdog Freedom House.

    In its annual Freedom of the Net [PDF] report on the state of the internet and democracy, the group surveyed 65 nation states comprising 87 per cent of internet users and found 18 where either governments or outside bodies had tried to influence an election by restricting or interfering with internet use.

    “The use of paid commentators and political bots to spread government propaganda was pioneered by China and Russia but has now gone global,” said Michael Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “The effects of these rapidly spreading techniques on democracy and civic activism are potentially devastating.”

    https://regmedia.co.uk/2017/11/14/fotn.pdf

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    If You Steal From One Author, It’s Plagiarism; If You Steal From Many, It’s Research
    https://www.google.fi/amp/s/quoteinvestigator.com/2010/09/20/plagiarism/amp/

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Freedom House:
    Report: governments in 30 countries manipulated social media to counter critics, drive specific agendas, more; elections in 18 countries may have been affected — Key Findings Online manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role in elections in at least 18 countries over the past year, including the United States.

    Freedom of the Net 2017
    Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy
    https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/freedom-net-2017

    Governments around the world have dramatically increased their efforts to manipulate information on social media over the past year. The Chinese and Russian regimes pioneered the use of surreptitious methods to distort online discussions and suppress dissent more than a decade ago, but the practice has since gone global. Such state-led interventions present a major threat to the notion of the internet as a liberating technology.

    Online content manipulation contributed to a seventh consecutive year of overall decline in internet freedom, along with a rise in disruptions to mobile internet service and increases in physical and technical attacks on human rights defenders and independent media.

    Nearly half of the 65 countries assessed in Freedom on the Net 2017 experienced declines during the coverage period, while just 13 made gains, most of them minor. Less than one-quarter of users reside in countries where the internet is designated Free, meaning there are no major obstacles to access, onerous restrictions on content, or serious violations of user rights in the form of unchecked surveillance or unjust repercussions for legitimate speech.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sam Levin / The Guardian:
    Journalists at news orgs partnering with Facebook say its fact-checking tools have failed, and it hasn’t disclosed enough data on efforts to stop misinfo spread — Journalists fighting spread of fake news raise concerns over possible conflicts of interest and say site has refused to disclose needed data

    ‘Way too little, way too late’: Facebook’s factcheckers say effort is failing
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/13/way-too-little-way-too-late-facebooks-fact-checkers-say-effort-is-failing

    Journalists fighting spread of fake news raise concerns over possible conflicts of interest and say site has refused to disclose needed data

    Journalists working for Facebook say the social media site’s fact-checking tools have largely failed and that the company has exploited their labor for a PR campaign.

    Several fact checkers who work for independent news organizations and partner with Facebook told the Guardian that they feared their relationships with the technology corporation, some of which are paid, have created a conflict of interest, making it harder for the news outlets to scrutinize and criticize Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Paresh Dave / Reuters:
    YouTube confirms it has updated its policy on extremist content, broadening it to include videos that do not depict violence or preach hate

    Google broadens takedown of extremist YouTube videos
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tech-hatespeech/google-broadens-takedown-of-extremist-youtube-videos-idUSKBN1DE05X

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google in the last few months has begun removing from YouTube extremist videos that do not depict violence or preach hate, YouTube said on Monday, a major policy shift as social media companies face increasing pressure from governments.

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Crunch Report | Facebook admits Russian meddling in Brexit
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/14/crunch-report-facebook-admits-russian-meddling-in-brexit/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook

    Here’s the first evidence Russia used Twitter to influence Brexit
    http://www.wired.co.uk/article/brexit-russia-influence-twitter-bots-internet-research-agency

    Russia-based Twitter accounts that targeted the US presidential election also used divisive and racist rhetoric in an attempt to disrupt politics in the UK and Europe

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    WikiLeaks is wiki-leaked. And it’s still not even a proper wiki anyway
    Assange .org tried to help coordinate Trump’s election campaign
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/14/wikileaks_leaked/

    Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks – that bastion of fiercely independent journalism – privately urged the Trump campaign to not concede the 2016 presidential election, to contest the result as rigged, and asked for one of Donald’s tax returns so as to appear impartial and nothing whatsoever to do with Russia’s meddling in the White House race.

    Private Twitter messages obtained by The Atlantic detail how WikiLeaks interacted with the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, between September 2016 and July of this year. The messages include requests for comment from the campaign, which is normal for journalists, and endorsements from Donald Trump of WikiLeaks publications, which is a bit odd, as well as “advice” from WikiLeaks staff to Trump Jr, which is flatout weird.

    “If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality,” WikiLeaks told Trump Jr.

    “That means that the vast amount of stuff that we are publishing on Clinton will have much higher impact, because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source.”

    The WikiLeaks account has not issued a formal statement in response to the leaking of the private messages this week, although founder Assange did take to Twitter…

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is American English Going To Take Over British English Completely?
    https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/11/15/1456201/is-american-english-going-to-take-over-british-english-completely

    Brits can get rather sniffy about the English language — after all, they originated it. But a Google search of the word “Americanisms” turns up claims that they are swamping, killing and absorbing British English. If the British are not careful, so the argument goes, the homeland will soon be the 51st State as workers tell customers to “have a nice day” while “colour” will be spelt without a “u” and “pavements” will become “sidewalks.”

    Is American English going to take over British English completely?
    Or are the two versions simply converging?
    https://scroll.in/article/857213/is-american-english-going-to-take-over-british-english-completely

    My research examined how both varieties of the language have been changing between the 1930s and the 2000s and the extent to which they are growing closer together or further apart. So do Brits have cause for concern?

    Well, yes and no. On the one hand, most of the easily noticeable features of British language are holding up. Take spelling, for example

    There is also no need to worry too much about American words, such as “vacation”, “liquor” and “law-maker” creeping into British English. There are a few cases of this kind of vocabulary change but they mostly tend to be relatively rare words and they are not likely to alter British English too much.

    The British are still using “mum” rather than “mom”, “folk” rather than “folks”, “transport” rather than “transportation”, “petrol” rather than “gas”, “railway” rather than “railroad” and “motorway” rather than “highway”. Words to keep an eye on, however, are lawyer, jail, cop, guy and movie – all of which are creeping into the lexicon more and more.

    But when we start thinking of language more in terms of style than vocabulary or spelling, a different picture emerges. Some of the bigger trends in American English are moving towards a more compact and informal use of language. American sentences are on average one word shorter in 2006 than they were in 1931.

    And some words are starting to be drastically eroded from English – especially a grammatical class called gradable adverbs which consists of boosters like “frightfully” and “awfully” and downtoners (words or phrases which reduce the force of another word or phrase) like “quite” and “rather”.

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: ‘The system is failing’
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/15/tim-berners-lee-world-wide-web-net-neutrality

    The inventor of the world wide web remains an optimist but sees a ‘nasty wind’ blowing amid concerns over advertising, net neutrality and fake news

    “I’m still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence,” said the British computer scientist.

    “We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the web will lead us to wonderful things,” he said.

    The spread of misinformation and propaganda online has exploded partly because of the way the advertising systems of large digital platforms such as Google or Facebook have been designed to hold people’s attention.

    “People are being distorted by very finely trained AIs that figure out how to distract them,” said Berners-Lee.

    In some cases, these platforms offer users who create content a cut of advertising revenue. The financial incentive drove Macedonian teenagers with “no political skin in the game” to generate political clickbait fake news that was distributed on Facebook and funded by revenue from Google’s automated advertising engine AdSense.

    “The system is failing. The way ad revenue works with clickbait is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity promote truth and democracy. So I am concerned,” said Berners-Lee, who in March called for the regulation of online political advertising to prevent it from being used in “unethical ways”.

    Since then, it has been revealed that Russian operatives bought micro-targeted political ads aimed at US voters on Facebook, Google and Twitter. Data analytics firms such as Cambridge Analytica, which builds personality profiles of millions of individuals so they can be manipulated through “behavioural micro-targeting”, have also been criticised for creating “weaponised AI propaganda”.

    “We have these dark ads that target and manipulate me and then vanish because I can’t bookmark them. This is not democracy – this is putting who gets selected into the hands of the most manipulative companies out there,” said Berners-Lee.

    “We are so used to these systems being manipulated that people just think that’s how the internet works. We need to think about what it should be like,”

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Russian Ministry of Defence Publishes Screenshots of Computer Games as Evidence of US Collusion with ISIS
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/11/14/russian-ministry-defence-publishes-screenshots-computer-games-evidence-us-collusion-isis/

    On the morning of November 14th 2017 the Russian Ministry of Defence published multiple posts in Russian, Arabic, and English on their Twitter and Facebook accounts, claiming to show “irrefutable evidence” of collusion between the US and ISIS combat units

    Unfortunately for the Russian MoD, eagle-eyed Twitter users immediately spotted some problems with the images.

    What this in fact showed was a cropped screenshot from the mobile phone game AC-130 Gunship Simulator, specifically a screenshot from a promo video for the game

    The other images are also not from the dates and locations claimed by the Russian MoD, but from videos filmed in Iraq in 2016.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The rallying cry of “fake news” has eroded trust in the media

    Facebook, Google and others join The Trust Project, an effort to increase transparency around online news
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/facebook-google-and-others-join-the-trust-project-an-effort-to-increase-transparency-around-online-news/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

    “Fake news” and other misinformation, online propaganda, and satirical content people believe is true have filled the web via search engines and social media, and have caused a rift in how people perceive today’s news organizations and the quality of their coverage. A nonpartisan effort called The Trust Project is working to address this situation by helping online users distinguish between reliable journalism and promotional content or misinformation.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    One of the things AMP sucks at is letting readers explore the site further after reading an article

    Google announces AMP update that will discourage ‘teaser pages’
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/google-announces-amp-update-that-will-discourage-teaser-pages/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

    Google announces AMP update that will discourage ‘teaser pages’
    Posted 11 hours ago by Lucas Matney (@lucasmtny)

    Publishers have a lot of mixed feeling about AMP (accelerated mobile pages), but it’s pretty safe to say that consumers enjoy web pages that load faster and are less cluttered. What’s less safe to say is that the experience on AMP-optimized pages is always better content-wise. One of the thing AMP sucks at is grabbing readers and letting them explore the site further after reading an article and this has been really frustrating to a lot of sites. Some publications have tried to get around this by publishing two versions of web pages and linking them together with some kind of “read more here” call-to-action on the AMP-optimized page.

    This allows sites to have their cake and eat it too by enabling web pages to pop up in AMP-only sections of Google while also inclining visitors to visit their full site to get the total experience.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sean Illing / Vox:
    New study finds China uses “cheerleading”, or flooding the internet with positive news in order to eclipse bad news, as a method to manipulate its population

    China is perfecting a new method for suppressing dissent on the internet
    Now Russia is following China’s blueprint.
    https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/2/16019562/china-russia-internet-propaganda-media

    The art of suppressing dissent has been perfected over the years by authoritarian governments. For most of human history, the solution was simple: force. Punish people severely enough when they step out of line and you deter potential protesters.

    But in the age of the internet and “fake news,” there are easier ways to tame dissent.

    A new study by Gary King of Harvard University, Jennifer Pan of Stanford University, and Margaret Roberts of the University of California San Diego suggests that China is the leading innovator on this front. Their paper, titled “How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, Not Engaged Argument,” shows how Beijing, with the help of a massive army of government-backed internet commentators, floods the web in China with pro-regime propaganda.

    What’s different about China’s approach is the content of the propaganda. The government doesn’t refute critics or defend policies; instead, it overwhelms the population with positive news (what the researchers call “cheerleading” content) in order to eclipse bad news and divert attention away from actual problems.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    YouTube takes down Toy Freaks, a kid-focused channel that had over 8.5M subscribers, as it tightens enforcement of child endangerment policies — Following consumer outrage over YouTube’s handling of disturbing videos aimed at children on its network, the company has now banned …

    YouTube terminates exploitive ‘kids’ channel ToyFreaks, says it’s tightening its child endangerment policies
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/17/youtube-terminates-exploitive-kids-channel-toyfreaks-among-broader-tightening-of-its-endangerment-policies/

    Following consumer outrage over YouTube’s handling of disturbing videos aimed at children on its network, the company has now banned one of the more controversial kid channels it hosted, Toy Freaks. The channel, the 68th largest on YouTube with over 8.5 million subscribers, was often criticized for its vile and seemingly exploitive videos featuring a dad and his daughters, which many said bordered on abuse.

    YouTube tells TechCrunch the ban is part of a new tightening around the enforcement of its child endangerment policies. It says it will now remove videos to protect “viewers, uploaders and children” when the company receives signals that cause concern.

    The removal is part of a broader review of similar content on YouTube, the company also said.

    If you’re not familiar with ToyFreaks, consider yourself lucky.

    The videos are presumably scripted, and focus on gross-out humor, but they’ve still disturbed a number of viewers as it’s not clear to what extent a child can knowingly consent to participate in videos like this.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Charlie Warzel / BuzzFeed:
    Big tech’s recent gaffes, on top of concerns over election interference, misinformation, and its unprecedented influence, further erode trust in the sector — Mark Zuckerberg’s virtual reality tour of Puerto Rico in October. — Facebook Live — Since summer’s end …

    Big Tech Cannot Stop Shooting Itself In The Foot
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/big-tech-cannot-stop-shooting-itself-in-the-foot?utm_term=.wukQVXkRZr#.yhvkYjARD2

    Trust, arguably more than ever, is Silicon Valley’s most coveted feature now. And blunders coming from tech’s biggest companies now feel more unsettling.

    Since summer’s end, Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies have been embroiled in an endless series of missteps and mini scandals.

    In early October, after the Las Vegas shooting, Facebook’s crisis response page was flooded with spammy and hyperpartisan news, and Google search queries served up links to 4chan, which was spreading hoaxes to politicize the tragedy. Then, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg toured storm-ravaged Puerto Rico in a VR hangout, his cartoon avatar high-fiving a fellow Facebook employee while the two waded in floodwaters. Google unveiled a new Maps feature that showed users how many calories they would burn by walking — and tracked that calorie estimates in mini cupcakes, “for perspective.”. Twitter briefly suspended actor Rose McGowan in the middle of a series of tweets about sexual harassment, then two weeks later an employee briefly deactivated the account of the president of the United States on their last day at work, then a bug caused the platform to restrict search terms for hashtags like #bisexual, making it look as if they were being censored. Apple rolled out an update that included a glitch that caused every iPhone in the world to replace the word “i” with a capital A and a question mark in a square symbol. And after the Texas mass shooting, Google spread misinformation by listing conspiratorial tweets about the shooter as “Popular on Twitter,” and YouTube’s algorithm surfaced videos propagating a conspiracy theory that the Texas shooter was linked to antifa. Earlier this month, Twitter verified Jason Kessler, a white supremacist — and then apologized and paused all verification of accounts indefinitely after a backlash.

    Viewed separately, each of these missteps could be seen as reasonably small but unfortunate errors.

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Harry McCracken / Fast Company:
    How The Washington Post built Arc, its suite of digital publishing tools, and started offering the software to other newsrooms as a paid service — The newspaper created a platform to tackle its own challenges. Then, with Amazon-like spirit, it realized there was a business in helping other publishers do the same.

    The Washington Post Is A Software Company Now
    https://mediagazer.com/#a171119p3

    The newspaper created a platform to tackle its own challenges. Then, with Amazon-like spirit, it realized there was a business in helping other publishers do the same.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    April Glaser / Slate:
    Communications Decency Act, section 230 protects websites from liability for users’ posts and has enabled both website growth and hate speech, disinformation — But also made the internet what we have today. — The internet didn’t have to turn out this way.

    The Law That Let Silicon Valley Stay Clueless
    But also made the internet what we have today.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/11/the_law_that_let_silicon_valley_stay_clueless_made_the_internet_we_have.html

    The internet didn’t have to turn out this way. There is an alternative future, one where walled gardens like Facebook and Google didn’t morph into overgrown safe havens for Nazis and Kremlin agents to hide and thrive. One where misinformation didn’t spread like wildfire. One where women and members of minority groups didn’t cringe to open their apps. But here we are.

    “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,”

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Keith J. Kelly / New York Post:
    Forbes says it is reducing print frequency from 14 issues/year to 10 and also cutting 20 people from payroll
    http://nypost.com/2017/11/16/forbes-scaling-back-to-10-issues-in-2018/

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sean Illing / Vox:
    New study finds China uses “cheerleading”, or flooding the internet with positive news in order to eclipse bad news, as a method to manipulate its population
    http://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/2/16019562/china-russia-internet-propaganda-media

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Net Neutrality is Essentially Unassailable, Argues Billionaire Barry Diller
    https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/11/20/0129259/net-neutrality-is-essentially-unassailable-argues-billionaire-barry-diller

    The billionaire media mogul behind such popular sites as Expedia, Match.com and HomeAdvisor has a one-word forecast for traditional media conglomerates concerned about being replaced by tech giants: serfdom. “They, like everyone else, are kind of going to be serfs on the land of the large tech companies,” IAC chairman Barry Diller said… That’s because Google and Facebook not only have such massive user bases but also dominate online advertising.

    Barry Diller says big media will be ‘serfs on the land’ of tech giants
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/barry-diller-says-big-media-will-serfs-land-tech-giants-182825095.html

    The billionaire media mogul behind such popular sites as Expedia, Match.com and HomeAdvisor has a one-word forecast for traditional media conglomerates concerned about being replaced by tech giants: serfdom.

    “They, like everyone else, are kind of going to be serfs on the land of the large tech companies,” IAC (IAC) chairman Barry Diller said.

    Diller offered that prediction regarding Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and other pillars of the digital industry at the Virtuous Circle conference put on by a Washington-based trade group, the Internet Association.

    The media mogul’s advice to established media firms wondering how to deal with ever-more-powerful tech titans — “You can be a serf on their land!” — may not have been what you’d expect from somebody in his line of work. But it also fits with growing concerns about the reach and influence of those online firms, and what that’s doing to our access to information and entertainment.

    He, for one, welcomes our new tech overlords

    “They’re not going away, but where they dominated the world of media they will essentially be supplicants… doing okay,” he said.

    That’s because Google and Facebook not only have such massive user bases but also dominate online advertising.

    “Google and Facebook are consolidating,” Diller said. “They are the only mass advertising mediums we have.”

    Reply

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