Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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. 

U.S. Military Aims at Fake News As Bad Guys Stay Steps Ahead

Fake news against blue green background
Facebook, Google and a host of social networks are increasingly pressured to root out and stomp out fake news. Now, the U.S. military has joined the fight.   More specifically, DARPA, the Defense Department agency responsible for innovations from weather...

Deepfake Apps in Seconds — More Privacy Concerns From Video Rage

Digital Portrait:Side view
Not long ago, digitally replacing a face in a video was possible only in a movie studio. Now, thanks to a wildly spreading new app -- and much to the alarm of privacy experts -- it can be done in seconds in...

Pinterest Burnishes Clean Image With Tool to Curb Vaccine Misinformation

Hand holding syringe in plain pink background
It seems impossible to go a week without another social network handling fallout from another fake news scandal. Digital pinboard Pinterest, however, is taking more steps to polish its clean image, including the launch this week of a search function to combat...

EU Antitrust Chief Promises Renewed Assault on Big Tech’s Data Use

The European Union’s competition chief has a warning for Big Tech: the heat is staying on. Margrethe Vestager said in an interview that “We are definitely not done yet” when it comes to looking at whether companies are abusing...

China’s Facial ID Leader Megvii Files for IPO Amid Hong Kong Unrest

A big player in China’s plan to dominate artificial intelligence filed to go public in Hong Kong against the backdrop of violent protests in the city, where protests are decrying encroaching Chinese control and companies have pulled or delayed IPO plans.

Facebook News Push Takes New Turn, Highlighting Importance of News, Advertising

Social networks encroaching on news organizations’ turf took another turn this week when Facebook announced its latest effort -- hiring a squad of editors to select stories.  Whether this helps the largest social network redeem itself after past gaffes...

Immigrant Social Network Homeis Raises $12M to Expand to U.S.’s Latino Communities

Moving to a new country is scary, complicated, and fraught, and immersing oneself in a strange culture adds layers of dissonance and complexity.  Homeis, a social network for immigrants, is aiming to tame that beast. On Tuesday, Homeis announced...

Twitter Backs ShareChat, Looks to Compete with Facebook in India

Twitter led the latest $100 million round in an Indian social media app ShareChat, according to a TechCrunch report over the weekend, as the social media giant looks to compete with Facebook’s WhatsApp in the Indian market. Twitter faces...

Instagram, Snopes Roll Out New Fact-Checking Features to Address Memes, Satire

Two popular platforms are increasing their efforts to combat online misinformation. Social media giant Instagram and Snopes, a 25-year-old fact-checking site, are launching additional fact-checking features. Their initiatives come as the 2020 campaign election heats up...

Racial Flaws in Facial Recognition Tools Show Up Again in ACLU Study

Another study is saying facial recognition software is proving unreliable when dealing with people of color.The American Civil Liberties Union of California recently released their study of Amazon’s Rekognition software marketed to law enforcement authorities. The software mistakenly matched the faces of...

Verizon Unloads Once-Hot Tumblr For A Song as Media Transition Falters

Verizon dumped the blogging site Tumblr this week for a massive loss, an admission by the wireless company that its ambitious media expansion plans haven’t yet met expectations. The sale to WordPress.com’s parent Automattic was reported to be for...

Move Over Facebook — Twitter Also Fumbles in Safeguarding User Privacy

Facebook isn’t the only social network to have blundered with users’ privacy.  Twitter is the latest member of the club, acknowledging a pair of gaffs this week, a few months after Facebook's $5 billion FTC fine for failing to...

Pew Study: Tech Companies See Plummeting Public Allure

Power, politics and privacy concerns appear to be eroding American’s view of big tech. Half of Americans view technology companies positively, falling steeply from the 71% who gave them a thumbs up four years ago, a Pew Research survey...

Autistic Workers Sought by Tech Giants to Meet Surging A.I. Job Demand

Microsoft, SAP, and Dell are among tech giants hiring workers with autism, as demand for those jobs is forecast to surge over the coming years. Companies have found autistic workers perform Artificial Intelligence tasks well and the employment opportunities...

Big 4 Networks Sue AT&T-Backed Nonprofit Locast Over Free Web TV

A nonprofit backed by AT&T and Dish that claims to “Free Your TV” by offering free streams of broadcast networks’ local programs, was hit with a lawsuit this week in what may be a test of its ability to bypass networks’ traditional...

Blockchain Company Will Test Word-of-Mouth Marketing Channel For Gen Z

WOM Protocol, maker of a Blockchain-based marketing technology, is employing Gen Z shopping platform Yeay to test young consumers’ preference for viral, word-of-mouth marketing over watching ads. WOM Protocol, based in Berlin, enables content makers to earn tokens through...

60+ News Orgs Commit to New Effort to Boost Coverage of Climate Crisis

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released an unsettling report last year detailing a dystopic future of hunger, population displacements and extreme weather as soon as 2040, brought on by hotter planet.  Among the 50 biggest U.S. newspapers,...

Cheddar CEO, Founder Collective Invest in GDPR Compliance Startup Ethyca

Ethyca, a startup that helps companies manage customer information and comply with European privacy regulations, raised $4.2 million on Thursday, a day after the U.S. levied a historic fine on Facebook for violating consumers’ data security rights. The seed...

China Censorship Crushes Small Developers; Some Smell Opportunity

Chinese government meddling on the Web, including censorship on the mammoth WeChat social network, is boosting anxiety among game developers and smaller companies about their chances of survival. At the same time, companies in the West are sniffing opportunities to help China develop...

Expanding Voice Recognition Market Sees Influx of Apps on Alexa Growth

Startup ID R&D is unveiling the latest version of its voice biometric product, joining a host of rivals creating new apps and seeking funding as voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Voice increasingly show up in homes and offices worldwide. 

Local Papers Beware: Newspaper Giant Gannett in Merger Talks with GateHouse

Just months after Warren Buffett, once an avid investor in newspapers, dismissed the newspaper industry as “toast,” the two largest U.S. players are said to be negotiating to combine in an effort to survive. Gannett and GateHouse Media are in advanced...

Finimize App Seeks to Build Community Among Newsletter Readers

Finimize, a newsletter offering financial advice for millennials, has launched a new app on Thursday, making a shift from a financial content distributor and venturing deeper into the crowded financial literacy space. The mobile app will teach...

DeepNude Code Ban Spotlights the Dark Side of AI and Deepfakes

Things really do last forever on the Internet, especially the smut. The latest example is DeepNude. Code-sharing website Github recently removed the code, which used artificial intelligence to transform innocuous photos of women into porn, from its platform, according...

Investors Look to Niche Dating Apps as Singles Narrow Searches for Love

The online dating market is projected to be worth $12 billion by 2020, with 310 million active users worldwide. Despite those vast numbers, user growth at mainstream dating apps including Tinder and Bumble is expected to peak this year and then plateau...

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.
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