Smart News

We examine the emergence of fake news and its disruptive impact on traditional press, digital media outlets, and social media giants, as well as innovative solutions tackling misinformation and dissemination of data and news content. 

Preaching to the Choir: Fake News Fact-Checkers Have Limited Impact, Study Says

Efforts to combat fake news rarely reach the people most exposed to the falsehoods, resulting in a “preaching to the choir” effect that has limited impact.That’s the conclusion of a new study from big data firm Alto Data Analytics that focused on...

Medium Still Searching To Fix the Internet — and Itself

When Billionaire Ev Williams founded Medium.com in 2012, he thought it would help him fulfill his self-appointed mission to “fix” the Internet that, as a founder of Twitter, he helped break.  That goal appears as elusive as ever.  

Instagram, Twitter Take Small Steps to Fight Cyberbullying

Amid rising concern over the flood of hateful content on social media, Instagram and Twitter are taking small steps to cut the bullying. Not everyone is cheering. Facebook-owned Instagram this week announced two features flagging offensive content and restricting...

Cailu Raises $10M to Attack Fake News Problem, Shape Future Media

Singapore’s GBCI Ventures led a $10 million investment in Cailu, a Chinese news platform that seeks to use Blockchain and token payments to promote accurate news and ferret out fake stories. GBCI, which bills itself as a smart-city venture fund, led the...

YouTube’s Kid Issue Isn’t Just a YouTube Problem — It’s the Internet’s

YouTube is in the hot seat again for child safety shortcomings. Last week, The Washington Post revealed that YouTube was in the late stages of a Federal Trade Commission investigation launched following complaints from consumer groups that the site...

Consumers Wary Internet Companies Are Spying On Them

Like most consumers, “CBS Morning News” Host Gayle King finds it creepy when ads appear in her social media feed for products and services she discussed in private online conversations or which she might have looked at while casually surfing the web.

Comcast Champions Media Accessibility with New Eye Control TV Feature

Comcast launched an eye control feature for its Xfinity X1 cable service that it says makes television more accessible for people with disabilities. According to Quartz, Comcast is the first American entertainment company to offer full eye control capabilities to customers.

YouTube Removes Kardashian Deepfake For Copyright Violations, Not Fake News

As A.I. enables the creation of more fake content, social media platforms risk a loss of credibility with their users who will find other websites to visit, or disconnect entirely, if they can’t trust what they are viewing. Days...

Socially Responsible No More: S&P Drops Facebook From Its ESG List

After a series of privacy concerns and data scandals, it’s official: Facebook has been removed from the S&P 500’s socially responsible companies list. S&P 500 Environmental & Socially Responsible Index, launched at the end of April, tracks companies on...

From Automating Arabic News to U.S. Financial Industry: How Narrativa Is Disrupting Natural Language Generation

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. David Llorente wasn’t happy. Day in and out his writers were grinding out repetitive online gaming news in their Tallinn, Estonia, office and no time...

Zuck Getting Schooled by Deepfake Video Shows New Social Media Concerns

Facebook’s response to fake videos has been tested again, this time with a 20-second AI-generated video of Mark Zuckerberg published on Instagram over the weekend. The social network has again decided to leave it up for the public while flagging as doctored.

Trevor Butterworth: “People have become increasingly aware that the entire technology world is problematic.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. The tech industry has long maintained that the protection of personal data should be self-regulated and that a macro regulatory approach like the European Union’s General Data...

Streamroot’s Tech Aims to Improve “Viewing Experience”, Reach Wider Audiences

Delays and interruptions in the delivery of content  mean the loss of viewers, which can deeply hurt the financial performance of media companies. But Streamroot believes that its video-delivery systems can eliminate these problems and improve streaming quality...

Frank Barbieri: “Ad buyers in general are dying to buy something other than Google and Facebook.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. When Sizmek filed Chapter 11 in late March, concerns expressed privately for years by many investors in the ad tech space broke into the open: Sizmek was...

Sizmek, Once an Ad Tech High Flier, Bellyflops into Chapter 11

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. In a twist of that old saying, “You can’t fight City Hall,” ad tech pioneer Sizmek announced that its efforts to compete with Google’s DoubleClick platform have drained it of cash...

Bob Sullivan on Data Breaches: “Not every incident has to be so existentially threatening”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Marriott International – which revealed last year, just after it acquired the Starwood hotel chain, that some 500 million guests accounts created in its SPG membership database...

Sarah Brandt: NewsGuard “had the idea that the best way to solve a journalistic problem was by using journalism”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. The manipulation of personal data and proliferation of ‘fake news’ during the 2016 U.S. election cycle have led to serious damage to the reputations of some of technology’s biggest names, particularly...

Great Hill Swallows The Onion and Gizmodo as Univision Returns to Roots

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Univision Communications Inc., America’s largest provider of Spanish-language content, has abandoned its plans to expand into English-language markets. On Monday, the New York-based firm sold the Gizmodo Media Group and satirical website The...

Sale of AMI’s Tabloids Will Test National Enquirer’s Political Relevance

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. American Media Inc. (AMI), owner of the scandal-ridden National Enquirer, Globe, and the National Examiner, has put the controversial tabloids up for sale. A handful of potential buyers have been mentioned,...

Intel Backs AI Startup SambaNova in $150M Funding Round

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Intel Capital led a $150 million Series B funding round for SambaNova Systems, adding its name to the list of big-league backers of the startup building a systems platform for the...

Onfido Raises $50 Million in Latest Funding Round

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Identity verification provider Onfido raised $50 million in late-stage funding from several high-profile venture capital firms, underscoring the strong demand for cybersecurity products and services, including new ways to conduct background...

CyberRisk Alliance Invests in Cybersecurity Collaboration Forum

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Cybersecurity risks multiply by the day. Then it’s no surprise that companies combating those risks are racing to keep up. Enter CyberRisk Alliance. In its second acquisition in five weeks, CyberRisk Alliance, a B2B...

Qutoutiao Lands $117M Loan From Alibaba

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Qutoutiao Inc., a Chinese mobile content aggregator, landed a $117 million loan, fully convertible, from the international conglomerate Alibaba on March 29. The loan will net Alibaba some 4% ownership in Qutoutiao. Details...

Philip Balboni: “There will never be advertising on DailyChatter. People hate it.”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. As business models for news continue to evolve, the pursuit of a lasting and profitable model for digital content publishers continues to quicken. Philip Balboni has long been an innovator in quality...

Frank Barbieri: “The future of customer service is one AI negotiating with another AI…”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Frank Barbieri, an investor and co-founder of the San Francisco startup consultancy Ecolese, has worked in senior positions at Microsoft, InfoSpace and other technology firms and guided...

Don’t Be Fooled: The Pseudo-Decentralization of Media

KEY TAKEAWAYS User-created content has revolutionized how we create and view content, but control and monetization of that content remains centralized in the hands of a very few platforms. Total global media deal volumes were slightly down to $19.6B compared to to the $20.23B...

Stifling Fake News with Modern ID Management

KEY TAKEAWAYS User-created content has revolutionized how we create and view content, but control and monetization of that content remains centralized in the hands of a very few platforms. Total global media deal volumes were slightly down to $19.6B compared to to the $20.23B...

Nokia: An Unexpected Pioneer of 5G Technology

KEY TAKEAWAYS User-created content has revolutionized how we create and view content, but control and monetization of that content remains centralized in the hands of a very few platforms. Total global media deal volumes were slightly down to $19.6B compared to to the $20.23B...
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