Twitter's stock plummets after it reports slow user growth
- On the bright side, Twitter posted revenue of $936 million for the quarter, far exceeding analysts expectations of $777 million, and up 14% compared to the same period last year.
- Twitter's quarterly report comes a day after CEO Jack Dorsey appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee, alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
- Dorsey was confronted by Republicans about why Twitter has fact-checked tweets by President Trump and about other claims of bias against conservative content.
- In its earnings release, Twitter stressed that the health of conversations on the platform continues to be a top priority as it works to reduce abuse and misinformation on the platform, including labeling tweets that falsely claim a win for candidates or encourage interference with election results or polling places.
Netflix is increasing its most popular plan to $14 today, premium increasing to $18
- Netflix is introducing price hikes for its US subscribers today, increasing its standard plan to $14 a month and its premium tier to $18 a month.
- Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief operating officer and chief product officer, said that as the company invests more into both content and tech developments, they’ll “occasionally go back and ask [customers] to pay a little bit more to keep that virtuous cycle of investment and value creation going.” Although Netflix is not influenced by competitor pricing, according to a person familiar with the matter, its new standard price is just $1 less than HBO Max’s $15 a month charge — a fee that many analysts claimed was too high for consumers.
Senate hauls Zuckerberg, Dorsey in to hearing to yell at them about tweets
- The Senate Commerce Committee met for a hearing Wednesday meant to probe some of the most seemingly intractable tech questions of our time: is the liability shield granted to tech firms under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act helpful or harmful, and does it need amending?
- According to a New York Times analysis, 85 percent of Republicans' questions to the witnesses focused on the platforms' alleged anti-conservative bias.
- This supposed suppression of conservative viewpoints has been a particularly potent rallying call among US right-wing politicians and personalities for more than a year, and it is the driving force behind Republican calls to amend or abolish Section 230.
- Last year, Zuckerberg wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that he would like expanded US regulation relating to harmful content, election integrity, privacy, and data portability.
MDN Web Docs evolves: Lowdown on the upcoming new platform
- The writers manage the document content via a GitHub repository and pull request model, while the readers are served document pages more quickly and efficiently via pre-rendered document pages served from S3 via a CDN (which will have a much longer caching period).
- Instead, you’ll need to use git/GitHub tooling to make changes, submit pull requests, then wait for changes to be merged, the new build to be deployed, etc.
- For more complex changes, you’ll need to use the git CLI tool, or a GUI tool like GitHub Desktop, but then again git is such a ubiquitous tool in the web industry that it is safe to say that if you are interested in editing MDN, you will probably need to know git to some degree for your career or course.
Facebook is banning political ads ... after the election
- The temporary ban doesn’t solve Facebook’s organic content problem or the problematic political ads appearing on its platform before voting.
- Facebook is going to temporarily ban all political ads … but only after the 2020 election, a move that solves neither its organic content problem nor the problematic political ads appearing on its platform prior to voting.
- On Wednesday, the social media giant announced that it will temporarily stop running social, electoral, and political ads in the United States after the polls close on Election Day, November 3.
- Facebook’s role in presenting voters with political information, disinformation, and conspiracy theories stretches far beyond advertising, and focusing too much on advertising allows it and other tech platforms to avoid the bigger problem: organic content.
Trump hints at stopping "powerful" big tech in latest 'get out the vote' tweet
- If there was any doubt that yesterday’s flogging of big tech CEOs by Senate republicans was anything other than an electioneering stunt, president Trump has thumped the point home by tweeting a video message to voters in which he bashes “big tech” as (maybe) too powerful but certainly in need of being “spoken to” and (maybe) more.
- And CEO Jack Dorsey got plenty more grilling on that theme at yesterday’s Senate hearing as Republican senators used the hearing as an opportunity to try to mint gotcha soundbites on bogus claims of big tech’s ‘anti-conservative bias & censorship’.
- At the time of writing Twitter has also not placed any kind of contextual labelling on Trump’s tweet — despite the contents of the video arguably containing misinformation about big tech itself.
Amazon Argues Users Don't Own Purchased Prime Video Content
- She claims the company "secretly reserves the right" to end consumers' access to content purchased through its Prime Video service.
- She filed her putative class action on behalf of herself and any California residents who purchased video content from the service from April 25, 2016, to present.
- On Monday, Amazon filed a motion to dismiss her complaint arguing that she lacks standing to sue because she hasn't been injured — and noting that she's purchased 13 titles on Prime since filing her complaint.
- Further, Amazon argues, the site's required user agreements explain that some content may later become unavailable.
Opinion: Forget bias, the real danger is Big Tech's overwhelming control over speech
- Facebook announced it is blocking new political and issue ads the week before the election, while allowing existing ads to continue to run, and it will take measures to combat voter suppression, like partnering with state election authorities to remove false claims about voting.
- Advertising used to be done based on context (e.g. you see an ad for diapers because you're reading an article about newborns), not identity (e.g. you see an ad for diapers because a social media platform identified you as pregnant after collecting your ovulation data from an app).
- The House Antitrust Judiciary report provides Congress with a path forward that will enable it to deconcentrate the platforms' control over speech: Structurally break them up, reform the antitrust laws, pass non-discrimination rules that prohibit preferential treatment to certain types of content or themselves and pass interoperability rules that require platforms to make their infrastructure compatible with upstart competitors.
We need new business models to burst old media filter bubbles
- The pivot by major publishers to erect site-wide paywalls is a recent phenomenon, an answer to the “grand ad-supported content bargain.” These paywalls have grown in popularity, driving people to subscriptions as an alternative to ads revenue.
- The message is clear: If people want to continue consuming news, they and media companies need to work together to develop a business model that can support it.
- Free news and clickbait headlines on social media, much like fast food, are the easiest and most freely available options to a swathe of people who have neither the resources nor the energy to do the fact-checking for themselves.
- Search engines, social media platforms, and aggregators should come together to develop a public, transparent scoring mechanism for information quality in news and implement that to drive more viewers to more trustworthy sources.
'Who the hell elected you?' U.S. Senate tech hearing becomes political tussle
- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate hearing to reform an internet law and hold tech companies accountable for how they moderate content quickly turned into a political scuffle as lawmakers not only went after the companies but also attacked each other.
- Lawmakers are split on ways to hold Big Tech accountable under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act - which protects companies from liability over content posted by users but also lets the firms shape political discourse.
- Zuckerberg said he supports changing the law but also warned that tech platforms are likely to censor more to avoid legal risks if Section 230 is repealed.
- Republican Senator Roger Wicker, who chairs the committee, said it was important to shield companies from liability without giving them the ability to censor content they dislike.