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What We’re Reading
We keep an eye out for the most interesting stories about Labby subjects: digital media, startups, the web, journalism, strategy, and more. Here’s some of what we’ve seen lately.
February 23, 2024
“The site has claimed it took down the pages after the Indian government sent them ‘executive orders.'”
BBC / Nikhila Henry / Feb 23
“The band of worthless but extravagantly overcompensated executives who seized the Vice ship from its previous regime of worthless but extravagantly overcompensated executives have decided that the business’s new direction will be in content licensing and re-emphasized social media channels, and that’s that.” SS
Defector / Chris Thompson / Feb 23
“Station general manager Erika Pulley-Hayes made the announcement to staffers during a roughly 10-minute meeting — during which no questions were taken — that the shift was necessary as part of a new content strategy that was developed over the last year, to focus more on audio.” LO
Washington Post / Elahe Izadi and Will Sommer / Feb 23
“Two teams inside Meta raised alarms in internal reports, after finding that hundreds of what the company calls “parent-managed minor accounts” were using the subscription feature to sell exclusive content not available to nonpaying followers. The content, often featuring young girls in bikinis and leotards, was sold to an audience that was overwhelmingly male and often overt about sexual interest in the children in comments on posts or when they communicated with the parents.” (See also: The New York Times published a piece on these parent-managed accounts.)
WSJ / Jeff Horwitz and Katherine Blunt / Feb 23
February 22, 2024
“My friends who are millennial moms are busy — they have jobs, they have kids, they have to put food on the table,” said Emily Amick, a lawyer and Instagram influencer who considers herself an “at-large opinion editor” on the platform. “They don’t have tons of extra time to consume news, and they were already on Instagram. So this is the way for them to be able to consume news through a modality they’re already using.” SC
The New York Times / Sapna Maheshwari and Mike Isaac / Feb 22
“The cynical genius of calling something a ‘psyop’ is that such accusations ‘don’t really need to have any evidence, because there’s not going to be any evidence: It’s a secret operation,'” said Mike Rothschild, an expert in conspiracy theories who wrote a book on QAnon. SC
The Washington Post / Jeremy Barr / Feb 22
“Google says it’s pausing the ability for its Gemini AI to generate images of people, after the tool was found to be generating inaccurate historical images. Gemini has been creating diverse images of the US Founding Fathers and Nazi-era German soldiers, in what looked like an attempt to subvert the gender and racial stereotypes found in generative AI.” SC
The Verge / Tom Warren / Feb 22
“The plan includes investments that will support both the newsroom and LocaliQ, Gannett’s Indianapolis sales and advertising team…This is the only site in the USA TODAY Network, which includes more than 200 local publications across the country, where such an investment is being made.” SC
The Indianapolis Star / Holly Hays / Feb 22
“Bildplus, which launched in June 2013, hit 700,000 digital subscribers in late 2023 and is now up to 707,208. This makes it the biggest subscriber base in the German-speaking news market and one of the most popular paywalled news websites in the world.” SC
Press Gazette / Charlotte Tobitt / Feb 22
“Social media platform Reddit has struck a deal with Google to make its content available for training the search engine giant’s artificial intelligence models, three people familiar with the matter said. The contract with Alphabet-owned Google is worth about $60 million per year, according to one of the sources.”
Reuters / Anna Tong, Echo Wang and Martin Coulter / Feb 22