China’s ban on kids playing online games for only three hours per week

This is a huge blow to the gaming industry in China that rely on loyal players and subscribers. But is this an attempt to regulate children’s exposure to “specific types of video games?”. On the other hand, is this an attempt to regulate children’s media exposure as a whole in China? In 2021 there over 110 million minors playing video games in China. It’s expected that this number will decline due to the reduction in time they’re allowed to play, which will also influence money spent by these players under 18.

In 2019, there were limits restricting play to 90 minutes a week for children. Authorities state that these new restrictions were created to attempt to prevent young people from becoming addicted to video/online games. They also stated that placing these specific restrictions will protect the healthy growth of minors in China. In reaction to this, investors such as NetEase (NTES) declined 3.4% during trading hours in New York Monday the 27th.

This may also impact the industry of eSports in China. Its the international gaming competition (Olympics) for online video gamers. If minors are limited to the amount of hours they are allowed to play, the momentum for this event could die down, impacting China’s economy. On the other hand, they are paying close attention to the potential behavior changes for children/adolescents after exposure to these games. Attempting to get ahead of the “problem” they see for their citizens. Will Chinese kids find a way around this restriction? And play video games as normal? What does the enforcement of these new restrictions look like?

” There are over 110 million minors that play video games in China today, and we expect the new limits to lead to a decline in the number of players…”

– Danial Ahmad

Unprecedented Popular YouTube Video Topics

YouTube has been a hub for prank and cat videos, but now since the pandemic even more odd videos have come up to surface. A couple months ago, the popularity of these videos would have made no sense, but because of the pandemic these videos are being watched worldwide.

Tutorials on making fabric face masks and “pandemic makeup” have been buzzing on YouTube recently. On a more serious note, videos that touch upon the dangers of online education have also became popular.

YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki mentions how the YouTube company would have never seen these videos coming. Tutorials such as hand-washing have become popular. Information on really basic information has become popular on YouTube.

YouTube users are also seeking other people’s lives under quarantine as a form of entertainment. People are interested in what exercising, doing dishes, fixing appliances, and giving haircuts are like in quarantine. These are all unprecedented popular videos people are viewing.

YouTube views has skyrocketed since the stay at home order. In the first week of April, there were 32 billion minutes being watched within a week. Compared to last years, 15 billion minutes, that is a lot.

With more viewers comes more concerns. YouTube has been working on giving out the right information about the Coronavirus. YouTube has been working with the World Health Organization to keep the information as accurate as possible. New claims can now be flagged on YouTube videos such as “medically unsubstantiated” claims. Videos that would get flagged as such are videos that claim there is a miracle cure to the Coronavirus. Videos that contradict WHO’s recommendations are also being flagged as misinformation.

YouTube now offers a section of their homepage dedicated towards Coronavirus news. In this section one can be updated on current status as well as extra tips into keeping safe away from the virus.

The Department of Defense is Warning People Not To Use Tiktok And Here’s Why:

The App Tiktok has taken over social media it seems, with tens of millions of Americans downloading the app just this year, but with these increased downloads came a great deal of controversy surrounding the app.

For those who are unfamiliar with the app, TikTok is a popular social media app that allows users to express themselves by uploading and share short-form videos. However, because the app is developed by a Chinese company, there has been a lingering concern that information of U.S. citizens could be compromised or revealed. For this reason, the Defense Department is particularly worried–especially as it relates to military personnel.

Specifically, The Department of Defense created an advisory memo in regards to the app which stated that:

TikTok (formerly application 12.2.0 for Android and iOS performs unencrypted transmission of images, videos, and likes. This allows an attacker to extract private sensitive information by sniffing network traffic.

Now, although changes have been made to the app since then that claim that user information is safe, there have still been national concerns surrounding the app and security.

If you are an avid Tiktok user, how does this make you feel?

Why Food Giant ‘Unilever’ Has Vowed To Stop Marketing Its Ice Cream Products To Children

Food giant, Unilever announced recently that they were going to change the way they market their products to children due to the rising childhood obesity rates in America.  According to their company,

“By the end of 2020, we will stop marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children under the age of 12 in traditional media, and below 13 via social media channels…We’re implementing strict controls concerning the placement and content of our ads, and we won’t use any influencers, celebrities or social media stars who primarily appeal to children under the age of 12.”

The company plans to implement a “Responsibly Made For Kids Promise” specifically for their ice cream business that ensures all ice creams will be responsibly communicated, responsibly sold, and responsibly developed. What this means is that they are shifting their advertising to speak to parents and caregivers – the people they feel should be the decision-makers when it comes to their children having a treat. In addition to that, they are going to sell their products with a “Responsibly Made For Kids” logo to further communicate their promise, and by the end of 2020 they are going to make sure that every ice cream in the kids’ range will have no more than 110 calories and a maximum of 12g of sugar per portion.

By making these positive changes, Unilever strives to promote a company that is not only transparent with their consumers but who also puts children at the forefront.



Ofcom and Protecting UK Content

Ofcom, a British media regulator has been appointed by the government to legally regulate harmful content over media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration has targeted content such as child-abuse, terrorism, and self-harm as key areas to be regulated. Especially in a time when media usage has skyrocketed, media content needs to be scrutinized on all platforms.

Last year, the British government thought to create a branch of the government to directly enforce content regulations. Instead, the government has decided to fund Ofcom to protect the internet from harmful content. They even held a conference with over 2,400 companies to see which company would be the best fit for the job.

According to the British government, Ofcom will have the power to give out fines, warnings, and block off internet service providers. Ofcom can also make the senior management of social media companies responsible. The government also has to make sure that the enforcement powers are to be used fairly.

There have been critics of this new proposal, because content creators are concerned this could backfire. Ofcom could use their powers to censor too much content, restricting freedom of speech and free content creation. In response to this, the government ensured it would use this power only to censor malicious and harmful content. They ensured their will be a code of violation that will be strictly enforced, but not to overdue their own powers.

The idea of content restrictions are welcomed all over the World. Giant tech companies such as Facebook welcome the idea of the government intervening to provide safe web browsing. However, other companies such as IBM, Google, and Microsoft suggest using artificial intelligence to weed out harmful content.


Netflix acquires Nickelodeon deal to compete with Disney+

As the war for streams starts to become more crowded, Netflix decides to change the game with a production deal, valued at 200$ Million dollars, with Nickelodeon. According to the New York Times, Netflix announced its partnership with Nickelodeon a day after the release of Disney+; a very strategic move to stir conversation and try to shift focus. Children’s media has always been a huge market for media companies, and now that Disney has their own streaming service, the ante is raised to a new level.

Disney owns the rights to the content that millions of children, young and old, grew up loving and watching. Many consider Disneyworld to be the place where dreams come true and often referred to in moments of celebration. How can a streaming service compete with that? Netflix responded with a network that is just as important in the lives of young children; Nickelodeon. Its genius because they can now produce shows with characters like Spongebob Squarepants, Danny Phantom, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jimmy Neutron and Timmy Turner, etc. which is huge for many people because these some of these shows still air today and there is still the sentimental aspect of these shows that lives within multiple generations. Since these shows aired in the late ’90s to early 2000s, the ages that can connect to these shows will vary between children, teens, and young adults. According to the article, Brian Robbins, Nickelodeon’s president said, “Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal”.

It’s interesting that Viacom, the company that owns Nickelodeon, decided not to create their own streaming service. They certainly have enough shows given that they also own MTV and BET. However, this is a good choice because it allows Nickelodeon to test the waters, so to speak and Netflix is already an established streaming service, which is less work for them as opposed to starting a new streaming platform in the midst of a bunch of other streaming services releasing. Netflix will continue to create and produce original animated feature films and television series based on Nickelodeon’s mass library of characters, with the opportunity to create new characters. I am excited to see the adventures that Spongebob and Timmy Turner will go on now that they have a new company writing their stories.

Facebook to limit ads in 2020

Image result for facebook ads

Facebook has recently announced that in 2020 they will start to limit the amount of advertisements a page can release on their site. A crazy idea that Facebook would turn down potential ad revenue and limit advertisers may not seem like such a crazy idea. Coming with the announcement Facebook said that only a small percent of advertisers and companies will be affected by this change. But when asked about why they are starting to limit the amount of ads they are allowing on their site they responded with “quality”.

Facebook plans to increase the quality of the advertisements by limiting the amount of ads a company can run. When a company can run as many ads as they want they produce low quality, potentially dangerous ads that do not serve the public’s best interest. And more importantly running too many ads leads to overall worse “ad performance”. Flooding the market with low quality ads takes away from the high quality ads and tarnishes Facebook’s ads results. When Facebook’s ad results get tarnished it lowers the price per ads and hurts Facebook in the long run. 

One of the latest ways Facebook has joined the movement to rid the platform of fake news. More and more media companies like Facebook and Twitter are starting to take a look at how their platforms are starting to affect the world outside of their platforms. Twitter not running political ads and Facebook limiting ads are ways these companies can keep a check on outside influence and interference with the American People.


Account Sharing is Now Piracy




Netflix paved the way with their streaming platform and was synonymous with account and password sharing. Personally, I share an account with my sister and have been able to enjoy content that way. With the new development of Disney+, HBO Max, NBC, and Apple TV, Netflix is trying to cut down on password sharing. At first, Netflix tended to turn a blind eye at password sharing because their revenue came from views an they had more enough accounts to have a profitable income. Jason Aten at talks about how Netflix will now consider account sharing as piracy. Aten says that Netflix has hit a saturation point of subscribers so they really need users to stop freeloading accounts in order for them to make a profit. At this point, Netflix is probably losing money from the number of people sharing single accounts. With Disney+ taking to the market soon, Netflix has to figure a way to make a profit from their platform. The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment is the group behind this movement, they are made up of Warner Bros, Disney, Netflix, Sony and Paramount. Their plan to target the technology, not the users for “pirating”. Their goal is to create a solution that could track location of the device and device tracking itself. This is a huge concern of privacy, so it’s interesting to see where ACE will take this.
I found this article interesting because there are so many platforms to pay for now. People are cutting cable and now continuing to pay for services that add up to a monthly bill the size of a cable package. I’ve seen opinion pieces on how piracy will probably come back since it is becoming more and more difficult to stream things on a budget. This move could bring real privacy issues if major companies are able to track the location of devices we watch their content on. It’s a bit scary that ACE is advocating for Creativity and Entertainment is major studios actively making it hard for people to reach content. It is also scary that account sharing is considered piracy now because that can needlessly put people in prison for sharing their passwords. I know it’s frustrating when a company has such hard competition and needs to up the ante but eliminating the ability to share accounts seems like they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. Maybe DVDs and physical media will make a comeback from all the legal hoops streaming sites are making their customers jump through.

Netflix Allows Viewers To Skip Over Trump Jokes In Seth Meyer’s Comedy Special: “Lobby Baby”


Image Source: Netflix

We all know one of the tools Netflix has implicated within some of its programs is the ability for consumers to skip the introduction credits. While this ability is something we have seen the streaming platform use for a while, what if it is taken a step further?

Seth Meyer’s new Netflix comedy special “Lobby Baby” which will debut on the platform tonight has a new feature built in it which has raised a significant amount of attention. For the first time ever, similar to the skip button used at the beginning of introduction credits, users will now have the ability to skip over certain parts of Meyer’s special when viewing it.

This ability to skip content in the special will only be available when Meyer’s turns to content that Netflix deemed as jokes directed towards President Donald Trump. Meyer’s in specific is known for his rather dark and non-hold back kind of humor especially in his routines towards Trump.

Even more interestingly enough, this idea and proposal for Netflix to integrate the skip button when Trump jokes are taking place in the special was requested by Seth Meyers himself. Many analysts were surprised by this move from the comedian as the platforms are usually the lead drivers of user interactivity and the ability to alter content’s playback speed instead of the talent/creator requesting it.

In an interview with CNN, Meyer’s remarked that it simply “occurred to him that it would be fun to use Netflix’s technology for a novel effect.” In fact, he believes this bold move will only contribute to the comedy behind the special because viewers will understand that the actual idea of allowing people who are sick of political humor to opt out is something to laugh at within itself. It is almost as if he is requesting Netflix to put in the skip button during Trump content to make fun of the individuals who may actually use.

Thus, as the special becomes available tonight for the first time, many predict this feature will not be used by many, as most of Meyer’s audience who enjoy his content also find humor in his aggressive political jokes towards the president.

Although in this instance it seems like this kind of ability to skip over content that may offend political beliefs is being used as part of the act, I believe this is far from the last time we will see this kind of action taken by Netflix and other popular streaming services. With streaming video becoming the most popular form of media consumption and only expected to continue in growth, so is the backfire that will come with some of this material being released. Many individuals and groups now more then ever are calling for the restriction of certain offensive material that may have to do with factors such as religion, politics, race, gender, etc.

The idea of the skip button for credits may be used much more in the future release of content especially comedy specials that target these kinds of sensitive topics in modern society. I feel as though this will introduce a very back and forth debate within the media world about content creators and delivery companies having the right to go after these sensitive topics while some may view it as a line that must be drawn.


Will Facebook Ban Political Ads?




No, Facebook will not ban the ads. With the 2020 election is coming up very quickly and with local elections being on November 5th this year, people are starting to look into candidates. Twitter just said it will be banning political ads from their website because of the type of influence the ads can have on voters. This move got people talking and now people are asking if Facebook will ban political ads too. Brian Feldman from NY Mag quotes Zuckerberg, “it is not the role of Facebook, according to Mark Zuckerberg, to limit the speech of politicians or candidates for political office” (Feldman 2019). Zuckerberg believes that candidates who aren’t well known need his platform to reach people to ensure their voices are heard too. With millions of Americans being on Facebook, politicians have a very easy way to access these people online. They can share and influence and even attack other politicians. It is interesting that Twitter banned ads altogether while Facebook believes that banning the ads hinder free speech.

I found this article interesting because Facebook was a very heavy influence in the 2016 election. One would think to avoid something like that happening again, Zuckerberg would ban the ability for politicians to reach voters through his website. Personally, I would like to see less political ads online because millions and even billions of tax payers’ money are used for these ads. Along with the group that has the most money to pay for advertisements is the person who gets talked about more. Money drives our elections more than anything and politicians with the most money are the ones that run the nation. I find this to be a very bad way to approach voting because the rich politicians are not concerned about what the middle-class and lower-class want, they are concerned with what companies and rich people want. Twitter has been a massive platform for politicians, especially Donald Trump. To see that Twitter won’t allow him to advertise on their site is amazing because this allows people to form their own voting opinions and lessens the ability for fake news and slander to spread. I understand that Zuckerberg will not ban political ads, but I’m curious to see how the future of social media and voting turns out. Will Facebook be forced to ban political ads one day? If they ever do, they will lose a massive amount of earnings, but maybe the issue of fake news on Facebook would diminish for politicians.