said in April after sealing the deal. “I don’t care about the economics at all.”

He cared a little more when the subsequent plunge in the stock market meant that he was overpaying by a significant amount. Analysts estimated that Twitter was worth not $44 billion but $30 billion, or maybe even less. For a few months, Mr. Musk tried to get out of the deal.

This had the paradoxical effect of bringing the transaction down to earth for spectators. Who among us has not failed to do due diligence on a new venture — a job, a house, even a relationship — and then realized that it was going to cost so much more than we had thought? Mr. Musk’s buying Twitter, and then his refusal to buy Twitter, and then his being forced to buy Twitter after all — and everything playing out on Twitter — was weirdly relatable.

Inescapable, too. The apex, or perhaps the nadir, came this month when Mr. Musk introduced a perfume called Burnt Hair, described on its website as “the Essence of Repugnant Desire.”

“Please buy my perfume, so I can buy Twitter,” Mr. Musk tweeted on Oct. 12, garnering nearly 600,000 likes. This worked, apparently; the perfume is now marked “sold out” on its site. Did 30,000 people really pay $100 each for a bottle? Will this perfume actually be produced and sold? (It’s not supposed to be released until next year.) It’s hard to tell where the joke stops, which is perhaps the point.

Evan Spiegel.

“What was unique about Twitter was that no one actually controlled it,” said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at LightShed Partners. “And now one person will own it in its entirety.”

He is relatively hopeful, however, that Mr. Musk will improve the site, somehow. That, in turn, will have its own consequences.

“If it turns into a massive home run,” Mr. Greenfield said, “you’ll see other billionaires try to do the same thing.”

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Who Gets the Last Word on Steve Jobs? He Might.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis meticulously curated the memory of her husband after he was assassinated, reimagining President John F. Kennedy as a fallen King Arthur in a modern-day Camelot.

Now some historians wonder if Laurene Powell Jobs is also trying to frame the legacy of her late husband, Steve Jobs, a complicated and transformational figure who was shadowed by his flaws as a father and belligerence as a boss.

Last month, Ms. Powell Jobs introduced the Steve Jobs Archive. It aspires to reinvent the personal archive much as Mr. Jobs, in his years running Apple, remade music with the iPod and communication with the iPhone.

Rather than offering up a repository of personal correspondence, notes and items for public research and inquiry, as other influential figures have done, Ms. Powell Jobs, who did not respond to requests for comments, said at a conference last month that the Steve Jobs Archive would be devoted to “ideas.” Those ideas are primarily Mr. Jobs’s philosophies about life and work.

Harvard Business School’s 25 greatest business leaders of the 20th century left behind personal archives that are open to the public in libraries or museums, including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Asa Candler, who built Coca-Cola.

Other iconic business founders such as Walt Disney, Sam Walton and Ray Kroc entrusted their papers to the companies they built, allowing those collections to become the cornerstone of corporate archives.

Walt Disney Company, make personal correspondence, notes, speeches and other items available to authors for research.

“We don’t censor,” said Becky Cline, director of the Walt Disney archives. “We just vet.”

The new Jobs archive debuted with a minimalist website containing eight pieces of video, audio and writing that express what the archive calls Mr. Jobs’s “driving motivations in his own words.” The items, three-quarters of which were already public, can be accessed by clicking through maxims made famous by Mr. Jobs, including “make something wonderful and put it out there” and “pursue different paths.”

The next steps for the archive are shrouded in the kind of mystery associated with the way Mr. Jobs ran Apple. About all that’s been publicly disclosed is that Ms. Powell Jobs hired a documentary filmmaker to gather hundreds of oral histories about Mr. Jobs from former colleagues. Where that material will be stored and who will have access to it has not been revealed.

She married Mr. Jobs in 1991, two years after meeting him as a graduate student at Stanford. Since his death, she has used her estimated $16 billion fortune to fund the Emerson Collective, a philanthropic and commercial operation that owns The Atlantic magazine and funds an organization trying to reduce gun violence in Chicago.

During his life, Mr. Jobs admired and encouraged historians to preserve the history of his Silicon Valley predecessors such as Robert Noyce, who co-founded the chip maker Intel. But he put little value on his own history, and Apple has seldom commemorated product anniversaries, saying it focuses on the future, not the past.

Stanford spent years cataloging items such as photos of a barefoot Mr. Jobs at work, advertising campaigns and an Apple II computer. That material can be reviewed by students and researchers interested in learning more about the company.

Silicon Valley leaders have a tradition of leaving their material with Stanford, which has collections of letters, slides and notes from William Hewlett, who founded Hewlett-Packard, and Andy Grove, the former chief executive of Intel.

Mr. Lowood said that he uses the Silicon Valley archives to teach students about the value of discovery. “Unlike a book, which is the gospel and all true, a mix of materials in a box introduces uncertainty,” he said.

After Mr. Jobs’ death in 2011, Mr. Isaacson, the author, published a biography of Mr. Jobs. Some at Apple complained that the book, a best seller, misrepresented Mr. Jobs and commercialized his death.

Mr. Isaacson declined to comment about those complaints.

Four years later, the book became the basis for a film. The 2015 movie, written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Michael Fassbender, focused on Mr. Jobs being ousted from Apple and denying paternity of his eldest daughter.

according to emails made public after a hack of Sony Pictures, which held rights to the film. She and others who were close to Mr. Jobs thought any movie based on the book would be inaccurate.

“I was outraged, and he was my friend,” said Mike Slade, a marketing executive who worked as an adviser to Mr. Jobs from 1998 to 2004. “I can’t imagine how outraged Laurene was.”

In November 2015, a month after the movie’s release, Ms. Powell Jobs had representatives register the Steve Jobs Archive as a limited liability company in Delaware and California. She later hired the documentary filmmaker, Davis Guggenheim, to gather oral histories about Mr. Jobs from former colleagues and friends. She also hired Ms. Berlin, who was Stanford’s project historian for its Apple archives, to be the Jobs Archive’s executive director.

Mr. Guggenheim gathered material about Mr. Jobs while also working on a Netflix documentary about Bill Gates, “Inside Bill’s Brain.” Mr. Slade, who worked for both Mr. Jobs and Mr. Gates, said he sat for an interview about one executive, stopped to change shirts and returned to discuss the other one.

Ms. Berlin assisted Ms. Powell Jobs in gathering material. They collected items such as audio of interviews done by reporters and early company records, including a 1976 document that Mr. Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, called their declaration of independence. It outlined what the company would stand for, said Regis McKenna, who unearthed the document in his personal collection gathered during his decades as a pioneer of Silicon Valley marketing and adviser to Mr. Jobs.

Ms. Powell Jobs also assembled a group of advisers to inform what the archive would be, including Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive; Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief design officer; and Bob Iger, the former chief executive of Walt Disney and a former Apple board member.

Mr. Cook, Mr. Ive and Mr. Iger declined to comment.

Apple, which has its own corporate archive and archivist, is a contributor to the Jobs effort, said Ms. Berlin, who declined to say how she works with the company to gain access to material left by Mr. Jobs.

The archive’s resulting website opens with an email that Mr. Jobs sent himself at Apple. It reads like a journal entry, outlining all the things that he depends on others to provide, from the food he eats to the music he enjoys.

“I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am totally dependent on them for my life and well being,” he wrote.

The email is followed by a previously undisclosed audio clip from a 1984 interview that Mr. Jobs did with Michael Moritz, the journalist turned venture capitalist at Sequoia. During it, Mr. Jobs says that refinement comes from mistakes, a platitude that captures how Apple used trial and error to develop devices.

“It was just lying in the drawer gathering dust,” Mr. Moritz said of the recording.

It’s clear to those who have contributed material that the archive is about safeguarding Mr. Jobs’s legacy. It’s a goal that many of them support.

“There’s so much distortion about who Steve was,” Mr. McKenna said. “There needed to be something more factual.”

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How Disinformation Splintered and Became More Intractable

On the morning of July 8, former President Donald J. Trump took to Truth Social, a social media platform he founded with people close to him, to claim that he had in fact won the 2020 presidential vote in Wisconsin, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Barely 8,000 people shared that missive on Truth Social, a far cry from the hundreds of thousands of responses his posts on Facebook and Twitter had regularly generated before those services suspended his megaphones after the deadly riot on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021.

And yet Mr. Trump’s baseless claim pulsed through the public consciousness anyway. It jumped from his app to other social media platforms — not to mention podcasts, talk radio or television.

Within 48 hours of Mr. Trump’s post, more than one million people saw his claim on at least dozen other media. It appeared on Facebook and Twitter, from which he has been banished, but also YouTube, Gab, Parler and Telegram, according to an analysis by The New York Times.

gone mainstream among Republican Party members, driving state and county officials to impose new restrictions on casting ballots, often based on mere conspiracy theories percolating in right-wing media.

Voters must now sift through not only an ever-growing torrent of lies and falsehoods about candidates and their policies, but also information on when and where to vote. Officials appointed or elected in the name of fighting voter fraud have put themselves in the position to refuse to certify outcomes that are not to their liking.

a primary battleground in today’s fight against disinformation. A report last month by NewsGuard, an organization that tracks the problem online, showed that nearly 20 percent of videos presented as search results on TikTok contained false or misleading information on topics such as school shootings and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

continued to amplify “election denialism” in ways that undermined trust in the democratic system.

Another challenge is the proliferation of alternative platforms for those falsehoods and even more extreme views.

new survey by the Pew Research Center found that 15 percent of prominent accounts on those seven platforms had previously been banished from others like Twitter and Facebook.

F.B.I. raid on Mar-a-Lago thrust his latest pronouncements into the eye of the political storm once again.

study of Truth Social by Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media monitoring group, examined how the platform had become a home for some of the most fringe conspiracy theories. Mr. Trump, who began posting on the platform in April, has increasingly amplified content from QAnon, the online conspiracy theory.

He has shared posts from QAnon accounts more than 130 times. QAnon believers promote a vast and complex conspiracy that centers on Mr. Trump as a leader battling a cabal of Democratic Party pedophiles. Echoes of such views reverberated through Republican election campaigns across the country during this year’s primaries.

Ms. Jankowicz, the disinformation expert, said the nation’s social and political divisions had churned the waves of disinformation.

The controversies over how best to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic deepened distrust of government and medical experts, especially among conservatives. Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the 2020 election led to, but did not end with, the Capitol Hill violence.

“They should have brought us together,” Ms. Jankowicz said, referring to the pandemic and the riots. “I thought perhaps they could be kind of this convening power, but they were not.”

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Kanye West’s Antisemitic Posts Land Him in Trouble on Instagram and Twitter

Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has set off one controversy after another in the last week, first at his fashion show and then on social media, prompting accusations of racism and antisemitism.

On Monday, at Paris Fashion Week, he debuted a T-shirt for his fashion line bearing the phrase “White Lives Matter.” On Friday, he suggested on Instagram that Sean Combs, the rapper known as Diddy, was being controlled by Jewish people. Ye’s account was restricted by Instagram that day.

Early on Sunday morning, he went on Twitter and lashed out against Jewish people in a series of tweets.

Ye tweeted that he would soon go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” an apparent reference to the United States’ defense readiness condition, known as Def. Con.

separate tweet, Ye accused Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, which owns Instagram, of removing him from Instagram.

“Who you think created cancel culture?” he added in another tweet.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Twitter said Ye’s account was locked for violating Twitter’s policies. A spokeswoman for Meta said it places restrictions on accounts that repeatedly break its rules.

Representatives for Ye could not immediately be reached.

The restrictions on Twitter and Instagram mean that Ye’s account is still active, but that the rapper cannot post for an undisclosed period.

Ye had returned to Twitter on Saturday after not posting for nearly two years.

The posts were yet another test of social media companies’ willingness to monitor content that is perceived as hateful.

called “White Lives Matter” a hateful phrase used by white supremacists.

At first, Ye appeared to relish in the T-shirt controversy, writing on Instagram that “my one t-shirt took allllll the attention.”

But outrage continued to build online from several artists, including Mr. Combs, who criticized the design in a video on Instagram.

“Don’t wear the shirt. Don’t buy the shirt. Don’t play with the shirt,” Mr. Combs said. “It’s not a joke.”

On Thursday, Adidas said it would put its partnership with Yeezy “under review.” (Ye ended his partnership with Gap last month.)

On Friday, Ye posted screenshots from a text message exchange with Mr. Combs to his Instagram account, where he suggested that Mr. Combs was being controlled by Jewish people. The comments were called antisemitic by several Jewish groups.

buy the social media company for $44 billion and could loosen its content moderation policies, replied to the tweet.

“Welcome back to Twitter, my friend!” Mr. Musk wrote.

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British Ruling Pins Blame on Social Media for Teenager’s Suicide

In January 2019, Mr. Russell went public with Molly’s story. Outraged that his young daughter could view such bleak content so easily and convinced that it had played a role in her death, he sat for a TV interview with the BBC that resulted in front-page stories across British newsstands.

Mr. Russell, a television director, urged the coroner reviewing Molly’s case to go beyond what is often a formulaic process, and to explore the role of social media. Mr. Walker agreed after seeing a sample of Molly’s social media history.

That resulted in a yearslong effort to get access to Molly’s social media data. The family did not know her iPhone passcode, but the London police were able to bypass it to extract 30,000 pages of material. After a lengthy battle, Meta agreed to provide more than 16,000 pages from her Instagram, such a volume that it delayed the start of the inquest. Merry Varney, a lawyer with the Leigh Day law firm who worked on the case through a legal aid program, said it had taken more than 1,000 hours to review the content.

What they found was that Molly had lived something of a double life. While she was a regular teenager to family, friends and teachers, her existence online was much bleaker.

In the six months before Molly died, she shared, liked or saved 16,300 pieces of content on Instagram. About 2,100 of those posts, or about 12 per day, were related to suicide, self-harm and depression, according to data that Meta disclosed to her family. Many accounts she interacted with were dedicated to sharing only depressive and suicidal material, often using hashtags that linked to other explicit content.

Many posts glorified inner struggle, hiding emotional duress and telling others “I’m fine.” Molly went on binges of liking and saving graphic depictions of suicide and self-harm, once after 3 a.m., according to a timeline of her Instagram usage.

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Shredding Convention: Propy Unveils “MetaAgent X Shredders” NFTs

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Propy, the Web3 real estate pioneer, is launching the first NFT (Non-fungible token) Avatars designed specifically for Real Estate and Metaverse fans. The limited-edition “MetaAgents X Shredders” NFTs were created by noted artist Dan Weinstein. The project’s advisors include real estate influencers and industry forward-thinkers Tom Ferry, Tony Giordano, Alvaro Nunes, Tony Edward, ThinkingCrypto, Zach Aaron, MetaProp, among others.

“It’s an endless open sea of creative NFT ideas out there and as usual, this is where Propy continues to stand out. If you love crypto and real estate then these NFT Avatars are right for you. With Real Estate becoming more crypto-friendly, adding one of these ‘MetaAgents X Shredders’ to your collection or used as your social media profile, will signal to the world and your tech-savvy peers that you are a visionary in a new digital world of real estate,” said Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy.

Over 6,000 joined the waiting list in anticipation of the “MetaAgents X Shredders” drop on September 27, 2022 at 10:00am pacific time on seen.haus and can only be minted with PRO – Propy tokens. First come first serve and sold by lottery auction. Starting price 500PRO.

“These characters are THE RESISTANCE – shredding through the Metaverse, re-inventing the new future. The meta world created by the agents of change – fair, honest and empowering,” said artist and designer, Dan Weinstein.

The Propy NFT Avatars come with unique utilities like access to the Meta Agent educational course, owners become members of DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) and receive a ticket to the Web3 & Real Estate Summit coming up on October 27th in Miami. The Meta Agent certification and the Summit will help real estate fans navigate metaverses and Web3 proptech and apply the learnings to their daily business.

“Many agents and real estate investors are interested in crypto and NFTs. As more home buyers utilize crypto earnings to purchase property, displaying an avatar immediately identifies these agents as someone who understands how cryptocurrency and NFTs work,” said Tom Ferry, #1 US Real Estate coach.

More about the NFT Avatars can be found here: https://propy.com/browse/meta-agent-nft-avatars/

About Propy

Propy, founded in Silicon Valley, is on a mission to revolutionize real estate. The company’s smart contract innovation removes inefficiencies, streamlines everything from offer to closing to recording title, records everything securely on blockchain, and enables buyers and sellers to use traditional financing, dollar or cryptocurrency payments, or NFT-ed property sales. The company has processed $4bn in transactions and recorded them on blockchain. Learn more at Propy.com

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‘Glass Onion’ Review: A Middling Satire With Appealing Performances

By Daniel Feingold
September 15, 2022

The highly anticipated sequel to “Knives Out” is never dull but not as sharp-witted as its predecessor.

“It’s so dumb!” – Daniel Craig in one of the more entertaining scenes of “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”, but also an accurate description of how I felt for stretches of the sequel to 2019’s widely beloved “Knives Out.” That’s OK, though. While “Onion” lacks the same charisma, charm and wit as its predecessor, it’s still undoubtedly a crowd pleaser that buzzes along despite a 139-minute runtime.  

Craig’s shtick as renowned detective Benoit Blanc is perhaps even more fun this time around. Rian Johnson is also back as writer/director, with a new murder mystery that, to his credit, has an entirely distinct setup from the last film.  

A group of friends (Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick, Dave Bautista, Madelyn Cline), all successful in their very different careers, receive an invitation in the mail. Their ultra-rich tech buddy, Miles Bron (Edward Norton), is inviting them to stay at his remote Greek island to solve his own murder — as in a dinner party murder mystery. (Blanc also gets an invite, though Bron swears he never sent him one. Blanc would like a prize… perhaps an iPad… for whoever solves the mystery). But when this much wealth, privilege and ignorance among friends considered “disrupters” in their respective fields gathers under one roof, something bad is bound to happen. It does, of course – just not in the way, or when, we expect. And so, we’re off.  

Johnson ratchets up the comedy in “Glass Onion” to mixed results. The first third of the film is an unwelcome (and unnecessary) reminder of pandemic lockdowns and mandates, along with an over-reliance on spoofing the ultra-wealthy. Of course, lampooning the ignorance of privilege is part of the fun of both “Knives Out” movies, but some of the satire in this case is so on the nose that it feels patronizing. You can almost feel Johnson elbowing the audience saying, “Rich people, am I right or what?!” There must be a more creative, thoughtful way to riff on toxic greed and influencer culture than, for instance, Hudson’s character casually tweeting an antisemitic remark because she’s a self-proclaimed “truth teller.” These types of punchlines are neither nuanced nor outrageous enough to be particularly funny.  

The hit-and-miss nature of the laughs isn’t helped by a cast of characters I just never wanted to spend time with. Johnson mostly gives his actors caricatures to work with, and the dialogue does a little too much winking to the audience for its own good. Again, both “Knives Out” movies featured mostly unlikeable characters. I found the first bunch deplorably fun, while I wouldn’t want to RSVP to a party with this crew — even on a Greek island with a literal onion-shaped glass room.  

Along with Craig, Monáe is excellent as Andi Brand, the lone member of the friend group with a soul. Monáe is asked to carry large parts of the movie. She succeeds, giving us some of the most intriguing moments of the film as the puzzle pieces come together. Norton also completely works playing the insufferably snobbish genius who feels compelled to rent the actual Mona Lisa from The Louvre (the museum needed some money during the pandemic) just to remind his friends — and himself — how impressive he is. The entire ensemble, really, understands the assignment here. This is a big, ridiculous, meta whodunnit. The talent of the main cast (plus fun cameos!) is not in question.  

The good news is “Onion” begins to click once we get all the unpleasantries of meeting these unsavory characters out of the way and the mystery plot kicks in. The more screen time for Craig and Monáe, the better. Johnson clearly recognizes what he has with the pairing, not unlike Craig and Ana de Armas in 2019. Their chemistry is delightful, and their comedic moments feel organic and earned.  

What starts as Johnson’s forced attempt to show he can still subvert the murder mystery genre with biting social commentary turns into another fun trip through the peculiar mind of one Benoit Blanc. “Glass Onion” is consistently entertaining; and just as Johnson said after the TIFF premiere that he’ll keep making these movies until Craig blocks his number, I’ll keep watching Craig have fun in this role. I can’t help but feel, though, that this second entry into the franchise suffers a bit from the Netflixification of cinema, with a baseline level of competence from everyone involved in a big-budget production that’s just serviceable; you stream it and move on. At least that iPad will come in handy. 

Source: newsy.com

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Report: TikTok Search Results Riddled With Misinformation

By Associated Press
September 14, 2022

The amount of misinformation — and the ease with which it can be found — is especially troubling given TikTok’s popularity with young people.

TikTok may be the platform of choice for catchy videos, but anyone using it to learn about COVID-19, climate change or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to encounter misleading information, according to a research report published Wednesday.

Researchers at NewsGuard searched for content about prominent news topics on TikTok and say they found that nearly 1 in 5 of the videos automatically suggested by the platform contained misinformation.

Searches for information about “mRNA vaccine,” for instance, yielded five videos (out of the first 10) that contained misinformation, including baseless claims that the COVID-19 vaccine causes “permanent damage in children’s critical organs.”

Researchers looking for information about abortion, the 2020 election, the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, climate change or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on TikTok found similarly misleading videos scattered among more accurate clips.

The amount of misinformation — and the ease with which it can be found — is especially troubling given TikTok’s popularity with young people, according to Steven Brill, founder of NewsGuard, a firm that monitors misinformation.

TikTok is the second most popular domain in the world, according to online performance and security company Cloudflare, exceeded only by Google.

Brill questioned whether ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, is doing enough to stop misinformation or whether it deliberately allows misinformation to proliferate as a way to sow confusion in the U.S. and other Western democracies.

“It’s either incompetence or it’s something worse,” Brill told The Associated Press.

TikTok released a statement in response to NewsGuard’s report noting that its community guidelines prohibit harmful misinformation and that it works to promote authoritative content about important topics like COVID-19.

“We do not allow harmful misinformation, including medical misinformation, and we will remove it from the platform,” the company said.

TikTok has taken other steps that it says are intended to direct users to trustworthy sources. This year, for example, the company created an election center to help U.S. voters find voting places or information about candidates.

The platform removed more than 102 million videos that violated its rules in the first quarter of 2022. Yet only a tiny percentage of those ran afoul of TikTok’s rules against misinformation.

Researchers found that TikTok’s own search tool seems designed to steer users to false claims in some cases. When researchers typed the words “COVID vaccine” into the search tool, for instance, the tool suggested searches on key words including “COVID vaccine exposed” and “COVID vaccine injury.”

When the same search was run on Google, however, that search engine suggested searches relating to more accurate information about vaccine clinics, the different types of vaccines and booster shots.

TikTok’s rise in popularity has caught the attention of state officials and federal lawmakers, some of whom have expressed concerns about its data privacy and security.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on social media’s impact on the nation’s security. TikTok’s chief operating officer, Vanessa Pappas, is set to testify alongside representatives from YouTube, Twitter and Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Why Is Tiktok Under Scrutiny Again?

TikTok has been under scrutiny since a social media company claimed the app was collection data from Americans and giving China access to U.S. info.

As far back as 2020, former President Donald Trump attempted to force the sale of the social media company TikTok to Oracle, claiming that the app was storing data collected on its American user base in China, and thus enabling the possible surveillance of U.S. citizens. That sale was eventually blocked, but it opened the door to a cycle in which, every few months, U.S. government entities attempt new investigations into TikTok’s data collection. 

It begs the question — what exactly is novel about these data misuse accusations in 2022? 

The newest cycle started in June, when Buzzfeed published leaked audio from 80 internal TikTok meetings which showed that U.S. data was “repeatedly” accessed from China. Around the same time, Republican FCC Chair Brendan Carr published a letter in which he claimed to have new evidence that TikTok “harvests swaths of sensitive data” that “are being accessed in Beijing.”  

The conversation shifted from data storage or giving data away to the Chinese government, to data access. 

“You can think about this as a Google drive, right? So you or most of us will have something on our Google Drives. And when we want to share photos with our loved ones, for example, we don’t actually send a USB drive to them. We just provide them with a link to our Google Drive folder and thereby they can access the photos from there,” said Ausma Bernotaite, a candidate at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University. 

John Wihbey is an associate professor of Media Innovation at Northeastern University. 

“I think there are some — there are some legitimate concerns that with some combination of otherwise private data, that the Chinese government could be building profiles about U.S. persons, and could be potentially tuning algorithms at various key points in the electoral cycles in the United States to try to influence voter behavior,” said Wihbey. “And we don’t yet know exactly how that data could be exploited.” 

The other important question at hand here is whether TikTok collects more intrusive data than other social media companies. Any American platform with bottom line based on using personal data to serve ads could be collecting similar data.  

“U.S. social media platforms like Snapchat, then Facebook, now Meta, Instagram, Pinterest have been taking advantage of that surveillance capitalism, as we call it. Just really monetizing our attention,” said Bernotaite. “And now we have a different actor. So, it’s kind of like the devil we don’t know in a way, because we’ve not really had to deal with Tiktok’s corporate representatives for that long.” 

Bernotaite noted that until we find ways to ensure data transparency from all social media companies, regardless of where they’re based, we’re never going to find out exactly if and whether data misuse is occurring. But that may be easier said than done. Wihbey told Newsy that much of this issue is driven by competition concerns, so we may not get to that point if the U.S. wants to ensure that its social media companies can stand alongside TikTok.  

“The United States has almost entirely dominated this space of media, entertainment, social platforms. China has done very well to grow its own domestic market and has impressive companies there, but they really haven’t reached the rest of the world. So, this is their big winner in this early phase of an ongoing battle between the two countries over media and communications technologies,” said Wihbey. 

Source: newsy.com

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Why Are Layoffs On The Rise?

Companies are beginning to lay off employees, and are in a hiring freeze amid inflation and an upcoming recession.

Two words have dominated the news cycle in 2022.  

Both have major impacts on your wallet; inflation and recession. 

“Fed chair Jay Powell has made it clear that he wants to substantially curb the rate of inflation. But there are some concerns that the fed could overreact and end up tipping the economy into a recession,” said PBS. 

Recessions are significant because they can limit pay raises, start hiring freezes and increase the possibility of layoffs. 

Companies are already reacting to the uncertainty of the economy.   

“There’s been an uptick in tech company layoffs in recent months. And hiring has slowed amid economic downturn predictions,” said CBS.  

Several major companies are downsizing by laying off hundreds – even thousands of employees.  

Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, laid off about 200 corporate workers. 

Netflix has already cut 450 jobs.  

JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., has let go of 1,000 employees, and online car dealer Carvana has let go of 2,500 employees.   

Career Karma, Go-Puff, 7-Eleven, Victoria’s Secret, Re-Max, Tesla, and Rivian are some of the other companies that have already submitted pink slips to many of their workers. 

“In a rising interest rate environment, a lot of these businesses are going to make less money and therefore there’s going to be less of a bonus pool to spread around,” said CNBC. 

Some company executives are saying the layoffs are in preparation for an impending recession. 

In June, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sent a memo to his staff announcing the reduction of the team by 18% to “stay healthy during this economic downturn.”  

Some economists blame the layoffs on the slowing of business growth while labor costs increase.  

For the auto industry, shortages of semiconductor chips and skyrocketing car prices have left automakers like Ford rethinking their approach. 

Bloomberg reports Ford is preparing to cut as many as 8,000 jobs as it shifts investments toward electric vehicles.  

For other companies, the layoffs stemmed from the opportunity to boom during the pandemic.  

Peloton, which started its layoffs in February, has had to backpedal after its quick success, when gyms were closed in 2020. 

The company has eliminated about 3,000 jobs since, according to NPR. 

In Silicon Valley, some tech companies hired intensely during the pandemic and are now unable to meet venture capitalists’ financial expectations.  

According to an analysis by Crunchbase, as of July nearly 420 startups have gone through layoffs, with thousands of U.S. tech workers impacted.  

“Software development job postings have been in decline, but that being said, they remain much higher than their pre-pandemic base line,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist with Indeed Hiring Lab.

Some economists are more pessimistic and warn these layoffs are just the beginning.  

Steve Sarracino is the founder and partner at Activant Capital.

“They’re going to be shocking, and we’ve seen Meta and Facebook freeze hiring, the same with Uber and this will be in the millions of people in the next 12 to 24 months. This is just beginning,” Sarracino said.  

Others say employers may not go as far as layoffs with a job market that remains strong, and unemployment at historic lows.  

528,000 jobs were added in July, according to the Labor Department, while the unemployment rate stayed at 3.5%.  

“We are going from a very strong labor market, to a strong one. A good analogy is just kind of turning the temperature down. Where it’s 100 degrees and you’re maybe shifting to 93 degrees. It’s still hot. It’s still a strong labor market,” Koncal said. 

While economic uncertainty grows, so do employees’ concerns over job security. 

A survey from staffing firm Insight Global showed almost 80% of U.S. workers are scared about their job security if a recession hits.  

It’s a conundrum with complicated indicators that have economists, employees and employers wondering what will happen next. 

Source: newsy.com

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