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. 

Clearview AI Sets Off Alarms By Scraping Facebook, Venmo Photos for Facial Recognition Database

Karma_News Summary_Clearview AI
A startup is making a profit off the photos you post on Facebook by using them for a facial recognition app. Clearview AI has collected over three billion images from the Internet to develop the facial recognition software that’s...

EU May Ban Facial-Recognition Software for Five Years Amid AI Privacy Concerns, Report Says

Karma_News Summary_Facial recongition
The European Union is considering banning facial-recognition software in public areas for up to five years so privacy issues surrounding artificial intelligence can be sorted out, a report from Reuters says. The move is in sharp contrast with the...

Investors Poured Record $18.5B Into AI Firms as Tech Transforms Society

Artificial intelligence’s potential to revolutionize our lives is attracting record amounts of cash.Last year, 1,356 AI-related startups in the U.S. raised a record $18.5 billion, according to the National Venture Capital Association. That was more than the $16.8 billion raised by 1,281...

Facebook’s New Policy on Political Ads Sparks Criticism, Fails to Ease Blowback

Karma_News Summary_Facebook political ads
Facebook sparked fresh criticism over how much influence it may have on elections with a new policy that enables users to better control what ads they see but doesn’t limit how political ads are targeted.New features will enable people to see fewer...

TypingDNA, Cybersecurity Firm Analyzing Typing Patterns, Raises Millions from Venture Funds

During World War II, Morse code operators would tell who sent a message based on the sender’s unique typing style, similar to identifying a person’s handwriting. TypingDNA has updated that idea by developing a cybersecurity system that helps “recognize...

California Privacy Act Spawns Startups Chasing $55 Billion Pot of Work

Another gold rush was unleashed in California this week with the passage of the state’s consumer privacy law, which has sent startups scurrying for a piece of the estimated $55 billion expected to be spent by companies to bring themselves into compliance...

Baidu Beats Google and Microsoft in Language Test, Grabbing Lead Spot in Next-Gen AI

Chinese internet giant Baidu is now the world’s leader in a critical AI segment for understanding human language, dethroning Microsoft and Google. Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, got the “highest ever score” in a test aimed at measuring AI...

Bloomberg’s Secretive Digital Ad Firm May Fuel Concerns About Tech’s Influence on Elections

Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is using a previously unknown company he started for his campaign’s digital ads, adding another angle to concerns about the many ways tech and social media companies may be secretly influencing elections.The existence of the company, known as...

The 2020s Will Be the Decade of Tech Reckoning

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There’s no shortage of media pundits this time of year gazing at their crystal balls to divine what the next decade will bring, but the reality is that nobody can predict what technology and innovation will look like at the end of...

Fake News Threat on the Rise as Sites Aim to Confuse Voters, Columbia Study Shows

Karma_News Summary_misinformation crisis
Less than two months before the Iowa caucuses, U.S. news is under increasing threat from people looking to disrupt the upcoming presidential election cycle with misinformation and confuse voters, an investigation by Columbia University researchers shows. The safety and...

Bloomberg Media Acquires CityLab As Frenzied Year of Media M&A Draws to a Close

Karma_News Summary_Bloomberg acquires CityLab
Bloomberg LP agreed to acquire digital publication CityLab from The Atlantic, the latest deal in the media industry’s parade of mergers and acquisitions this year. The financial data and news company owned by presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is paying...

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube Fail NATO Test on Fake News

Karma_News Summary_NATO fake news test
Take it from a NATO group reporting from near the Russian border: U.S. social media remains a breeding ground for fraud, fake news and manipulation.  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram are failing to make good on efforts to eliminate...

Anti-Facebook: New Social Media Platforms Lure Disenchanted Users With Quality Content, Data Privacy

Karma_News Analysis_Anti Facebook
Key Takeaway: Facebook’s public scrutiny creates a window of opportunity for the new wave of digital companies that are seeking to lure the disenchanted users, promising to move away from the data-driven...

“One-Way Mirror” Used by Data Miners to Snoop While You Shop and Surf Online, Study Says

Karma_News Summary_Data mining
Click through Facebook, ask Google for directions, shop on Amazon -- you know you’re leaving an electronic trail. What you may not know is that hiding in the dark corners of the Internet countless data brokers and advertisers are hoovering up that...

China Steps Up Deepfake Policing, Banning Fake News As Problem Spreads

Karma_News Summary_China bans deepfakes
China is moving to regulate deepfake video and audio content, applying a strong-armed approach to an increasingly pervasive issue that other countries have struggled to control. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced new rules on Friday, which includes...

Online Ad Firm Calls for Breakup of Google in Antitrust Lawsuit

An Atlanta online ad company is the latest to call for Google’s breakup, claiming the search giant is a monopoly that uses its dominance in a number of areas that hurt rivals.  The antitrust lawsuit by Inform Inc. says...

Snapchat Takes Stand on Political Ads, as Social Media Rivals Jockey for Position

Karma_News Summary_Snap political ads
Snapchat fact-checks all political ads, CEO Evan Spiegel said this week, the latest tech company aiming to address the spread of misinformation and differentiate itself from other social media platforms. “What we try to do is create a place...

McClatchy May Be Next Old Media Giant to Topple

Karma_News Summary_McClatchy
McClatchy Co., publisher of 29 newspapers including the Miami Herald, may be the next print media giant to topple after seeing advertising revenues switch to the Internet.Founded in 1857 as The Daily Bee in Sacramento, the company has two classes of stock,...

Relax Everybody, TikTok’s Zhu Says He’ll Defy China’s Leader if the Country Tries to Meddle

Karma_News Summary_TikTok
TikTok isn’t the threat that U.S. legislators and security experts are making it out to be, the Chinese video app’s chief said, adding that he’d defy President Xi Jinping if he demanded information. “The data of TikTok is only...

Hearst Magazines Staff Vote to Unionize, As Workers Band Together Amid Industry Upheaval

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Hearst Magazines’ writers, editors, art, design and video professionals voted to unionize, the latest media staff to come together in an effort to protect their rights as employers slash pay and benefits. Hearst Magazines Media Union, about 500 strong,...

Algo-Shaming: Google, Facebook Expand Power With Crackdown on Creators Seeking Clicks

Karma_News Summary_Algo-shaming
As advertisers, influencers, and journalists feverishly maneuver for eyeballs and likes, employing an arsenal of tactics to boost their views, social media giants have taken to criticizing them for gaming the system. While it looks like moralizing on the...

Have, Have-Nots: News Group Examines Wealth Inequality Ahead of 2020 Elections

Karma_News Summary_Wealth inequality
The richest 1% have nearly doubled their share of U.S. wealth over the past five decades. Meanwhile, more than 43% of Americans are either poor or low income. In fact, the gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is...

Twitter, Facebook Clash over Political Ads, Cryptocurrency in Fight for Moral Supremacy

Karma_News Analysis_Twitter vs. Facebook
The Dorsey-Zuckerberg battle for the future of social media ramped up this week, and both sides sought to claim the moral high ground. Jack Dorsey banned paid political and issue advertising from Twitter, saying taking money out of the...

TikTok Parent Denies Plans for Hong Kong IPO as U.S. Expresses Security Concerns

Karma_News Summary_TikTok
ByteDance, the China-based parent of popular video music platform TikTok, has been in denial mode the past two days.  ByteDance last night denied a Financial Times story that it would launch its much-anticipated public offering on the Hong Kong...

Facebook Teams Up With Big News Organizations, Seeking to Blunt Fake News Criticism

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Key Takeaway: The Facebook News platform will give some media organizations a new revenue model and a way to grow audiences, but it also further establishes the social network as a content...

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Defends Company From Critics in Leaked Audio

Karma_News Analysis_Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has had a tough couple of months.  Not only was the largest social network fined a record $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission but Facebook critic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is gaining ground in...

Vox Joins Forces With New York Media to Challenge Google, Facebook

Karma_News Analysis_Vox Media merges with New York Media
Combining the upstart Vox Media and New York Magazine’s owner may have been seen as an odd coupling once, but the merger may represent a new model for media companies seeking to succeed in a fast-evolving landscape. Eight-year old...

Elect-Tech: VC Funds on Left & Right Eye Political Startups as 2020 Nears

Karma_News Analysis_Election technology startups
Julie Menter used to struggle to convince voters of the growing link between technology and politics. But with a president known to tweet as many as 52 times a weekend, Menter’s job is easier.  “I would talk with donors...

Why Gen Z Doesn’t Click with Mainstream News

Karma_News Analysis_Gen-Z news consumption
Key Takeaway: Traditional news companies are failing to connect with Gen Z consumers, a report on journalism found. These organizations should look to social media platforms for successful approaches to engaging young viewers.

Instagram, Whatsapp May Be Big Fake News Threats in 2020 Election, Report Says

Two liar politicians having a debate on background of a war battlefield
The spread of fake news on U.S.-based social networks like Instagram and WhatsApp will be a bigger threat to the U.S. electoral process next year than foreign sources, an NYU report released this week predicts.  The findings of “Disinformation...
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