Federal Court overturns Texas Law banning social media ‘viewpoint discrimination

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images via https://www.theverge.com/2021/12/1/22809654/texas-law-blocked-netchoice-ccia-injunction-viewpoint-discrimination

Recently, a federal judge voted to block a pending Texas law that was set to limit social platforms’ ability to monitor content on the basis of violating the First Amendment. The Texas Social Media Law looks to “web services with more than 50 million monthly active users from removing or otherwise limiting content based on the user’s “viewpoint,” along with other posts requiring a quicker takedown period of illegal posts and lower moderation of “controversial” posts.

The order to block this pending law came from Judge Pitman and the court in Austin, Texas. They found that the alleged “viewpoint discrimination” in the law can be understood as editorial discretion. Judge Pitman also notes other clauses in the law were “inordinately burdensome given the unfathomably large numbers of posts on these sites and apps,”. The order also notes noted that this law was intended to fight “liberal-leaning” moderation on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. It is obvious as the threshold of active monthly users is very high, at 50 million, and if it were lower it would have also covered conservative-friendly sides like Parlor and Gab.

“Private companies that use editorial judgment to choose whether to publish content — and, if they do publish content, use editorial judgment to choose what they want to publish — cannot be compelled by the government to publish other content.”

Federal Court Order against Texas Social Media Law

New and pending laws on social media usage are what are going to affect our futures as media professionals directly. Having an understanding of laws and what is or isn’t covered by the First Amendment is key to staying on top of our own possible media businesses.

Robertson, A. & Brandom, R. “Federal court blocks Texas law banning ‘viewpoint discrimination on social media” The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/12/1/22809654/texas-law-blocked-netchoice-ccia-injunction-viewpoint-discrimination


Facebook Launches VR Metaverse

Thursday afternoon marked the opening of their virtual MetaVerse “Horizon World”. The new Meta verse allows users to connect using the use of their speciality Oculus virtual reality headsets following the Facebook acquisition of Oculus back in 2014 for $2 billion. Facebook is looking to extend the Metaverse for $10 billion over the next year. This news comes after democratic push for a federal investigation into the claim that facebook is misleading advertisers as well as participating in illegal activities after the data breach of 2016. The Metaverse world “Horizon World” will allow users to interact with each other via virtual reality. This leaves many wondering the question of if this is the future of social media. Is every platform going to have their own way of interacting with each other via a digital version of themselves? We are all aware of the fact that VR is the new wave of entertainment. Guess we will have to see what is next from our favorite social media platforms.



How Using ROI’s Can Double Influencer Marketing Numbers

Influencer marketing is something creators from all over the world have been trying to nail down since the beginning of brand sponsorships. If done correctly, influencer marketing can drive views and purchases to a much wider audience  then just traditional advertising campaigns. Lately, companies have been striving to incorporate ROI’s into their influencer marketing campaign. When looking at the success of influencer marketing and the influx it has on the marketing community, a few big factors play a role in making the content relatable to those that are viewing it. A few of these factors are relatability to those you are trying to market to, as well as sharing personal experiences and the reason the influencer is try to work with the brand. Successful influencer marketing campaigns focus on the golden trifecta which is essentially creating a mix of highs and lows throughout the video to create engagement. Infleuner marketing is the new way to reach audiences, ROI can help it be effective.



Facebook Launches New Tool For Creators, Just Before Winter Break

Facebook launched a new tool yesterday for creators on their platform to take full control of maximizing the winter break. Some of the new features, feature in comment broadcast reactions that allows the creator to have more interactions amongst their fan base. One of the main new features of the update is a better design on both their  desktop as well as mobile app version. Facebook has gone as far to simplify the navigation tools making things such as insight and tools, all while still staying on live. The strategic planning of this timely role out of such design comes right before the winter break for many colleges across the country. Facebook is well aware of this peak time that allows many to spend more time browsing and creating content for social media apps. One of my personal favorite features of this new role out is the ability for creators to share multiple links on the screen without ever having to stop the live stream.

Source: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-launches-new-tools-for-live-stream-creators-including-links-in-st/611279/


Twitter rolls out controversial new privacy agreement

Twitter announced on Wednesday its plan to conduct an “internal review” after numerous attempts to try to enforce their new policy. The new privacy agreement would penalize users for sharing photos with the consent of those pictures. The platform plans on using this new feature as a way to combat the prevalence of harassment and bullying, two issues the world is all too familiar with in terms of social media. The issue with this new privacy agreement id that its something that is extremely hard to enforce for the fact that it leaves way for the enforcement team of this particular section to make mistakes and penalize the wrong people.There are some exceptions to the new privacy policy in that journalist or people who are reporting for “the common good” are considered to be exempt from the enforcement of this policies. Twitter has received a lot of push back from far right support groups such as “The Proud Boys”, who are using this new agreement to go after people who have criticized them in the past and posted pictures of them without their permission. I believe that this new agreement leaves room for a lot of misinformation to be published and create fake reports. Twitter needs to better job at combating bullying across their platforms, just by the pushback from this new agreement they need to think of a new one.

Continue reading “Twitter rolls out controversial new privacy agreement”

ISP’s want more money now!!

During early fall a little streaming program caused a fuss.

Maybe you’ve heard of it, Squid Games.

Familiar? Sure, you are. It is the program that has captured the attention of 142 million homes worldwide. And internet service providers are feeling the pain. As the exclusive culprit for the strain, ISPs are looking for the dinero, Cash Money, Benjamin’s, or the coins as the kids say.  

What it boils down too is, streaming services like Netflix, Amazon etc. already pay for use of the broadband networks. And most have anticipatory safeguards in place for peak demand.

Image: Netflix

So why they mad?

Because of the unpresented usage Squid Games has caused it’s putting a greater stain on resources. Which is cutting into the ISP’s profit margins.

And who would less more money for more work?

A fool.

And this is why the ISPs are suing to try and recoup those funds.

To get more details see Vice News article below.


A kid’s version of Instagram is in the works

Source: Buzzfeed

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri testified before Congress this morning, CNBC reports. Mosseri refused to cancel the plans to create a kid-friendly version of Instagram for users under the age of 13.

CNBC stated that “Mosseri told the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection that he is the ultimate decision-maker on the matter.” His plan is to create this version of Instagram to keep children under the age of 13 from downloading Instagram without their parent’s permission.

The day before this testimony, the company announced that it will be making new teen safety adjustments to the app, such as a “Take a Break” notifications, removing users’ ability to tag teens that do not follow them, and eventually options to allow parents to monitor teens’ Instagram usage.

The Congress hearing was about online child safety and protection, as too many underaged users have created Instagram accounts due to issues with age verification. Lawmakers have been unhappy with the speed of the plaform’s implementation of safety measures, feeling as if Instagram is not committed to the safety of children.

Instagram’s commitment to safety has been a hot topic since whistleblower Frances Haugen released documents from Facebook and Instagram, exposing Meta‘s tendency to ignore negative data. According to The Washington Post, data shows that Instagram negatively affects young users’ mental health and body image, with “17% of teen girls [saying] that their eating disorders got worse after Instagram use.”

The subcomittee now lacks trust in Instagram and Facebook, seeing how they ignored and hid negative data, rather than building solutions and implementing safety measures.

The day before this testimony, the company announced that it will be making new teen safety adjustments to the app, such as a “Take a Break” notifications, removing users’ ability to tag teens that do not follow them, and eventually options to allow parents to monitor teens’ Instagram usage.

With all of this new information about how Instagram plans to improve its safety measures, it leaves people wondering about the effectiveness and if something like a kid-friendly Instagram should even be created. Though it seems like a safer option at first, it could pose a new set of safety issues that could have been avoided.

Despite all of this, development of the app has been paused and there is no projected release date at this time.

Meta to Update Cryptocurrency policy

With cryptocurrency becoming a popular topic in the media environment, Meta has made an announcement to modify its crypto license regulation policy. This is an effort to increase advertisements about cryptocurrency on Meta’s platform thus encouraging promotions. In a public announcement made by the company, it is stated that the eligibility for running crypto ads on the platform will be updated by expanding the number of regulatory licenses accepted from three to 27. Regional licensing provisions, however, vary by nation, so it is very important for whichever currency being advertised to adhere to the state-determined regulations. This initiative will not only be of use to investors and the crypto movement in general, but will enable Meta to make financial profit from sponsoring them. In the beginning, the crypto market was not as stable, nor did it have as much momentum as it does today. However, with the coming of years it has matured and stabilized significantly, and this has called for much more government regulation. I chose this article because of the astonishing progress that cryptocurrency has had in recent years. Although it not recognized or supported by most financial regulators just yet, it has a promising future and may be accepted as a form of payment later on. CEO-s of major companies, like Elon Musk have advocated for it, and an example of this is DOGECOIN, a penny stock that saw a significant rise last April after Musk invested in it.

It is important to note that with the adoption of cryptocurrency within our society, more of its risks will become apparent, with the main one being volatility. The driving force behind cryptocurrency most of the time is simply good faith, and there is no knowing how long that can be adequate support for its success.

Source: Social Media Today. https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/meta-updates-policy-on-cryptocurrency-ads-opening-the-door-to-more-crypto/610809/

Petition Surpasses 60,000 Signatures for Ban of James Corden in ‘Wicked’ Movie

James Corden is known for many things, but what’s most memorable is his outgoing television personality. The Late Late Show with James Corden airs weeknights from 12:37am/11:37 pm c. According to CBS, the Late Late Show is the “ultimate late night party”. With a mix of celebrity guests, performances, comedy segments and games, Corden’s sure to keep you entertained. He’s also known for his popular carpool segment that features him driving in downtown LA with celebrities. He sings a variety of songs with his guests as they talk about their career accomplishments and upcoming business their fans should look out for.

Corden is also seen in Disney’s ‘Into The Woods’ (2014) alongside actors like Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, and Johnny Depp. The film got a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes and generated $212.90 million in gross revenue. Corden played the Baker in this film who wishes to break a spell given to his family by a witch. Corden is also featured in ‘Cats’ directed by Tom Hooper. ‘Cats’ was a star studded with actors like Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, etc. Although the star filled cast grew the films anticipation for its debut, the film received horrible reviews. It earned a 20% on rotten tomatoes and 2.7 on IMDb, making people scratch their heads at how this could be. Critics believed the film to be a disaster because of its overuse of CGI and wandering script. Many fans believed it to be straight up “bizarre” and “creepy”, despite its musical/fantasy approach. James Corden can also be found in Amazon Prime Video’s Cinderella and The Prom on Netflix. But James Corden has not been a fan favorite as it pertains to Broadway musicals.

 On November 16th, 2020 Ariana Grande was chosen to sing ‘The Wizard And I’ for the 15th Anniversary of Wicked. Grande is best known for her singing, songwriting, and acting abilities. Her recent albums like Positions, Dangerous Woman, and Sweetener can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, and iHeart radio. Cynthia Erivo best known for her acting, singing, and songwriting abilities were nominated for various awards: Golden Globes, Daytime Emmy Award, Primetime Emmy Award, Grammy, etc. She can be seen in ‘Harriet’ (2019), ‘Widows’ (2018), Boss Baby: Back In Business (2018), etc. With Corden having close ties with the Broadway community, this appeared to be surprising to some of his fans. This stems from his bad history with musical adaptations and a decrease in his popularity. Musical critics believe Corden isn’t talented enough to handle any role in Wicked. And fans began this petition to encourage directors and producers to not include Corden in this timeless musical. But enough negativity. James Corden still hosts The Late Late Show on CBS at 12:35 am and still receives good reviews from loyal watchers. His YouTube channel for The Late Late Show has maintained a whopping 27.1 million subscribers since the last episode/segment featured on the channel.

In Defense of Social Media

Image courtesy of jakartapost.com

It would seem like public opinion regarding social media has certainly been on the decline in the last few years. With no shortage of platform controversies and new data about its negative impact on mental health, more and more people have been preaching the idea that the best way to set yourself free, is to just quit. Say goodbye. Log off. Go outside. But is going “cold turkey” really the solution? In a recent Forbes article, John Brandon explained why cutting all ties from social media could actually have a negative impact if not properly thought out. This article was in response to a TED Talk by Professor Cal Newport, where the professor highlighted a variety of negative effects from platform usage. Since the TED Talk was from 2016, not all the issues we’ve come to know now were covered. In the past few years, social media has been associated with causing depression and negative self-image, addiction and lessening attention spans, spreading misinformation and disinformation, selling private data, and causing further divisiveness among a society in the midst of social/political turmoil… to name just a few issues.

That list alone could be enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel on social media for good, but Brandon explained how that could be a recipe for disaster. “Quitting is not the same as controlling” he wrote. Brandon’s take on social media usage is similar to how we would talk about drinking or eating junk food in moderation. Most things that are done in excess tend to have negative side effect regardless of their original intention, and social media is no exception. As much as some of us would like to believe it, a platform is not just some wicked entity; it’s a tool (as Brandon put it), and as autonomous individuals, we have the power to decide how we utilize this tool. And similar to vices like drinking or junk food, if we feel we’ve abused it, quitting cold turkey tends to backfire.

More than anything, I worry about the “cold turkey” approach because people eventually get sucked back into using the apps. “I’m deleting my account” says the person who is not able to control usage, and hasn’t dealt with a tendency to overuse the apps. A few weeks or months later, that person is back using the app again, maybe even more than ever before.

John Brandon, Forbes Magazine 2021

This is not to say that you shouldn’t leave social media if you truly want to. Heck, I was offline for most of 2019 and have no regrets about it. It’s just important to remember all the benefits that having these accounts comes with if used responsibly and in moderation. Being connected to world means an endless stream of discovery and inspiration. It means having a direct way of communicating with friends and family that may live across the world. It means more opportunity to promote your passions. I’m not ashamed to say that I won’t leave social media out of fear of general FOMO. I understand how rapidly networking technology is accelerating, and I don’t want to miss out. Though, it does need to change for the better. It will be interesting to see what type of regulations are put in place on the web in the coming years, if any. Though until then, our best course of action to avoid the negative implications of living online is to get a better sense of ourselves, look within, and be honest about if we’re using these tools responsibly.