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. 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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.

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.

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...

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...

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.  

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...
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