Donald Trump’s New Media Deal in Question

On Monday, December 6th, the US Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into a claim about a company that has had business with Donald Trump’s new social media deal. For month’s now it has seemed like the former president has always been teasing this new social media platform that him and all of his supporters would be able to post freely what they think without the “fake news” taking down their content. It is not much of a surprise when you find out that the reason big tech banned trump and is “silencing” his supports is due to the fact that they all support outrageous claims that have been debunked and they also spread misinformation about the election and about COVID-19. Trump’s social media platform was going to be acquired by DWAC, Digital World Acquisition Crop., however, the company has disclosed that there is a probe and they disclosed that they are publically filing with the SEC. A direct quote from the filing states,

“DWAC received a voluntary information and document request from the SEC which sought, inter alia, documents relating to meetings of DWAC’s Board of Directors, policies and procedures relating to trading, the identification of banking, telephone, and email addresses, the identities of certain investors, and certain documents and communications between DWAC and TMTG,” the filing said. It added that, “According to the SEC’s request, the investigation does not mean that the SEC has concluded that anyone violated the law or that the SEC has a negative opinion of DWAC or any person, event, or security.”

Trump is projecting his new platform to be a host to almost 81 million users by the year 2026. That is 7 million more than the amount of votes he received in the 2020 election. Trump is also trying to bring his company, Trump Media & Technology Group to the stock market and it has been stated that DWAC has lined up 1 billion dollars in promised investments. There is still no final say as to what is going to happen with his platform but as the information comes in, we will see if his “vision” comes true.


Natural Disasters and Reports Amid the Unknown

Mount Semeru was spewing volcanic ash on Saturday.Credit…Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Among the COVID-19 crisis, one major volcano just erupted in Indonesia killing 14 so far and injuring dozens. Mount Semeru, one of Indonesia’s Volcanoes in East Java, violently erupted sending lava, ash, and pyroclastic flows across the region. Located along a subduction zone, Semeru is the highest mountain on the island of Java. Semeru being apart of the famous, ‘Ring of Fire’ also means that the seismic activity is increased also which means the region could face earthquakes as a side effect of the eruption. The region was hit with increased thunderstorm activity and increased rain activity that happened for a series of days. This surplus of water caused the lava dome atop the mountain to erode and collapse causing the eruption.

In terms of rescue operations, local Indonesian rescue crews have been doing everything they can to save as much people as possible, however, thick cold lava floods have halted rescuers from evacuating and searching for everyone in the affected area. Not only is the cooling lava an issue, but thick clouds of ash and smoke have plagued the nearby land and even sending some villages into darkness because the ash is too thick. The tents that rescuers have been setting up have also been halted by thick smoke and ash. The eruption also displaced nearly 3,000 families and also destroyed 38 schools. 27 individuals are also still missing since the eruption happened and the ash has affected the larger populace of around 60,000 people.

“At first, I thought it was a bomb explosion … suddenly it was all dark, like it was going to destroy the earth,” she said.

Local resident, Hosniya.

Omicron and the Latest Update

Recently, in the media, it has become apparent that there are going to be more and more variations of COVID-19 and it is unknown how mutated they shall be. Just last week, reports from news stations across the country showed how quickly this new mutation spreads and it also shows how urgent it is that we get this under control. It first started with President Biden restricting travel from five countries in Africa but even that precaution did not help as much as we thought. The one issue that some scientists recognize is that by the time we take precautions, the virus is already here. That is exactly what happened. Not even a week after the travel ban, we had our first confirmed case in California. Not even a week later, we had another report come in that someone in Minnesota tested positive as well. However, that one person in Minnesota recently attended the famous Anime Convention in New York and the people he traveled with just recently tested positive for Omicron as well.

Over the weekend we saw the Omicron variant come to Philadelphia as well. Especially in the northwest part of the city. There was also a woman who tested positive in New Jersey as well. So far almost 1/5 of our states have at least one confirmed case of the new variant. Cities and hospitals across the country are also dealing with the effects from Thanksgiving. If the mayors and governors do not take precautions we might see an increase in omicron on top of those who are already seeking medical help.

“It’ll be another week or so before we see the full effects of the Thanksgiving holiday on these numbers, but with the colder weather and the recent spikes with a new variant on the horizon, this is a time to be very careful.”

Philadelphia Health Commissioner, Dr. Cheryl Bettigole.

Election Workers Fighting Back Against Misinformation

The media world was rumbled by the events that have happened over the past year. From COVID-19 misinformation all the way to election misinformation, there seemed to be an age where citizens couldn’t trust the information out on the internet. The 2020 election brought on the harshest onslaught of misinformation as certain states were in the sights. States like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Michigan were all in the sights of the weapon that was misinformation. This past Thursday however, two election workers from Georgia were tired of the misinformation from particular media outlets and they are now suing the company responsible.

Gateway Pundit, classified by the New York Times as a, ‘right-wing conspiratorial website’, is on the receiving end of these two lawsuits. These latest suits follow right behind previous lawsuits against Fox News as well. Media outlets across the country seem to be divided on the previous election outcome and as a result, there are a lot of ‘media’ outlets, like Gateway Pundit, that claim that Donald J. Trump is still president of the United States.

“I want the defendants to know that my daughter and I are real people who deserve justice, and I never want them to do this to anyone else,”

Ms. Ruby Freeman, ballot worker from Atlanta who filed the suit, in a statement with the New York Times.

The examples of defamation provided were, ‘crooked Democrats’ and the outrageous claim that ‘election workers pulled out suitcases full of ballots and began counting them without election monitors in the room.’ These claims follow footage that Former President Trump and his lawyer showed to a Georgia Senate Committee that showed election officials handling suitcases with supposedly 18,000 ballots and feeding them into machines. These claims were later debunked by the county and state officials but the claims never stopped. The victim also claimed that since these lies were given a platform, she and her daughter suffered countless forms of death threats and harassment from Trump supporters. To read more on how Gateway Pundit had any form of credibility, check out this article here.

BuzzFeed Going Public Amid Worker Protest

Buzzfeed has always been one of the private media companies that has always had a large reach at any given time. Buzzfeed blew up for their popular quizzes and their compelling stories. While Buzzfeed has always been working in the private sector, the founders of the company decided to move it and operate it in the public sector. The company voted on Thursday to make the company public, and co-founder, Jonah Peretti, stated that the larger goal is to be obtained by a acquisition company. The company went public today, Monday December 6th 2021. While going public, Buzzfeed also acquired the company, Complex Networks which is a sports and entertainment publisher for $300 million.

While so many good things are happening to the company, a lot of employees did not agree with the higher-ups decisions. Union employees under the news division at Buzzfeed, subsequently named Buzzfeed News, staged a mini protest in the form of stopping all work for the day. The protest was staged to speed up negotiations regarding contracts. The union claims that Buzzfeed refuses to alter or budge any contracts yet to come and the union is not backing down. The Union claims that Buzzfeed was proposing that there will be a, “1% guaranteed annual wage increase and a minimum salary of $50,000.” (Robertson et Eavis, 2021). This issues shows a greater issue that other companies are facing left and right. We are in the middle of what companies like to call a ‘labor shortage’, however, employees and unions are finally refusing to work for less than they deserve and they are making the companies realize that.

“We deserve a strong contract that protects us and ensures a fair and equitable workplace for everyone in our unit,”

Katie Notopoulos, senior tech reporter, in an interview with the New York Times.

Negotiations hope to continue tomorrow, Tuesday December 7th. Without the proper workforce, Buzzfeed’s growth that they have been experiencing, since purchasing the Huffington Post from Verizon, will slowly come to a stop. If Buzzfeed wants to keep the same momentum that people are giving them and be dubbed the ‘future of news media’ then they will have to focus on keeping the union and their employees happy.

CNN Fires Chris Cuomo After New Insight in his Brother’s Investigation.

After new information regarding his brother, Andrew, Chris Cuomo has been fired from the media company CNN. After being put on an indefinite leave by the company, reports just came in that state he has been fired from his position. This all started when former governor of New York Andrew Cuomo came under fire due to victims claiming that he has harassed them in a sexual manner.

We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately. While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.

CNN, 2021.

The top rated anchor for the media channel had high respect among the journalism community however, that quickly eroded when new testimony and evidence came out, placing Chris as a more intimate and engaged character in his brother’s career. While some may be sympathetic towards Chris’ reasoning, colleagues like CNN anchor Jake Tapper, believe that the anchor placed the company in quote, “A bad spot.”

The company has stated that an internal affairs team is investigating the matter and conducting a review. While the company may not want to be held under any media pressure for holding onto Chris, nobody can dictate whether it affected his career or not. Chris, while being previously employed at ABC news, swooped into CNN and generated an increased amount of ratings that caused CNN to create a new morning show called “New Day” to compensate with his quote, “Bombastic, fast-talking on-air personality.” (Grynbaum et. Koblin, NYT, 2021.) While it is unknown what will happen to his career, this move will most likely affect the ratings of CNN’s prime time show and some drastic production changes are going to have to happen in order to reorganize and change the prime time show.

New Research shows that Social Media has a direct relation to Mental Health

A Chronological History of Social Media

Majority of studies regarding social media, have always been tied to teenagers and how the constant use of social media can be linked to mental health and it could be linked to depression. Social media has also been tied to rising anxiety among teenagers. On Tuesday, JAMA Network Open, published new findings in a study that showed a series of surveys from around 5,400 adults. The age of these adults also averaged around 55-56 years of age. The main purpose of the study was to see how adults were coping during the pandemic. It was a year long study from May of 2020 to May of 2021. The researchers of these studies slowly switched to see whether or not social media use is directly tied to changes in mental health.

“People who were using Facebook, people who were using TikTok, and people who were using Snapchat were substantially more likely to come back and tell us they felt depressed the next time they filled out the survey,”

Perlis, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard.

The purpose of the study was not to see whether social media directly causes these changes in mental health but it does show that people who have these changes are more likely to log in to these sites. This study shows the bigger issue however, and that there is a rising mental health crisis going on in the United States. Nearly 1/3 of Americans have reported that they are feeling depressed which is up 8.5 percent from October 2020. The study also showed that if individuals had minimum symptoms of depression they would worsen over time if they used social media regularly. Previous studies also show that social media activity is increasing as time goes on.

Travis Scott now Hit by Two Additional Lawsuits

Travis Scott: What Happens to Him After Astroworld? – Billboard

While the Astroworld event tragedy has been circulating in the media for quite some time over the past month, we are seeing the lawsuits finally come in against everyone who was involved or had some powering regarding the festival. Just yesterday, two security guards filed one lawsuit each against the artist. In the suit, they are suing not only Travis Scott but also his company, Cactus Jack Enterprises, his label, Cactus Jack Records, and his organization, Cactus Jack Foundation. They are also suing Live Nation, the concert promoter Scoremore, and the security firm that hire them for the event.

On November 22nd, the two security guards with advice from their lawyers, took the stage in front of a crowd and states how the event was terrible, they haven’t been paid what they were originally told, how there was no training for the event, and other issues that took place. Both security guards sustained some damage that they are seeking monetary damages that exceed 1 million dollars and they also want their attorney fees paid as well.

“For the most part, they told us where to stand, not to let people run in, and to be safe and not to put our hands on anybody,” he said. “There was no training.”

Jackson Bush

Swinging back to the event, at least dozens of lawsuits have been filed that total over 3 billion dollars. The people including are Travis, Live Nation, and others that have connection to the festival. Below is the live footage of both security guards and their outrage.

Disney+ Worrying Investors Amid Plateau.

Admits the age of the superpower that is known as Netflix, Disney+ started to grow rapidly since it was released in 2019. From 2019 to today, there is currently, 118.1 million subscribers to the streaming service. Already that is two million more than what they reported in August of 2021. Compared to last year however, during the pandemic, Disney reported that the company made 18.5 billion dollars which was up by 26% from the pandemic era. Disney+ is classified as one of the most successful streaming services and it is classified as a direct competitor to Netflix.

“We continue to manage our DTC business for the long-term, and are confident that our high-quality entertainment and expansion into additional markets worldwide will enable us to further grow our streaming platforms globally,”

Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek

Why would a plateau in subscriptions raise such an alarm? The streaming service has always been focusing on a quarter to quarter growth template rather than thinking about the future. While the CEO stated that they are making the shift now and focusing on the long term effect of their platform, there seems to be a lot of differences that change how the platform will maneuver through the market. For instance, the market is much more saturated since the release of new platforms like Paramount+. Not being able to adapt to the market and follow a content calendar like others will slowly show where the company’s priorities are. Fortunately, the company saw an increase in sale for it’s park revenue so it did not create too much of a scare, but investors are worried about the platforms future going forward.

Ozy Media is Being Investigated by the Justice Department

During the height of the pandemic we saw companies and individuals struggling for their next check. The government decided that it would be a good idea to give out PPP loans. PPP loans are a specific type of loan that allows businesses to continue to keep their workers on payroll. Ozy media took out several of these loans in order to keep their employees on payroll. Ozy media covers a wide range of topic from news around the world to politics here in the US.

They recently came under fire when several reports surfaced stating that Ozy has had some questionable business practices. A total of two loans were taken out for a grand total of 5.7 million dollars and that was to be allocated to employees. During the pandemic, after the company got approved for the loan, it was stated that the company made a total of 50 million dollars. However, early this year, the company had to lay off several staffers and cut salaries. These staffers that were laid off came to the news and stated that they have not seen one ounce of the PPP money was the company was approved for.

“It was disheartening. You work so hard and give your life to this company, to be dismissed and disrespected,” a former employee said.

Just yesterday, it was reported that the Justice department is now stepping in and investigating the company due to the surge of media reports. According to the New York Times, “Ozy’s operating chief, Samir Rao, impersonated a YouTube executive on a conference call with Goldman Sachs, which was considering investing $40 million in Ozy. The report also said Ozy had also allegedly inflated its monthly unique visitors, a metric used by media firms to lure advertisers.”