Thursday, December 12, 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. 

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

Sizmek, Once an Ad Tech High Flier, Bellyflops into Chapter 11

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. In a twist of that old saying, “You can’t fight City Hall,” ad tech pioneer Sizmek announced that its efforts to compete with Google’s DoubleClick platform have drained it of cash...

Bob Sullivan on Data Breaches: “Not every incident has to be so existentially threatening”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Marriott International – which revealed last year, just after it acquired the Starwood hotel chain, that some 500 million guests accounts created in its SPG membership database...

Sarah Brandt: NewsGuard “had the idea that the best way to solve a journalistic problem was by using journalism”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. The manipulation of personal data and proliferation of ‘fake news’ during the 2016 U.S. election cycle have led to serious damage to the reputations of some of technology’s biggest names, particularly...

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...

Sale of AMI’s Tabloids Will Test National Enquirer’s Political Relevance

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. American Media Inc. (AMI), owner of the scandal-ridden National Enquirer, Globe, and the National Examiner, has put the controversial tabloids up for sale. A handful of potential buyers have been mentioned,...

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...
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