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. 

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

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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

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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.

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...

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

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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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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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...

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

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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...

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

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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...

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

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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...

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...

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

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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...

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...

McClatchy May Be Next Old Media Giant to Topple

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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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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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...

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...

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...

Pinterest Burnishes Clean Image With Tool to Curb Vaccine Misinformation

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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...

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...

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

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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...

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.

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

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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...

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...

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.  
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