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. 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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.  

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...

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...

Apple News+ Dilemma Stalking Big Media: Matt Lindsay

It’s been nearly two months since Apple launched its $9.99 a month Apple News+, but the debate over its offering to media companies and the public at large is far from over. In exchange for allowing Apple News+ to...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...
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