I feel like I’m back in 2016
, because Quartz on Thursday announced the launch of its Facebook Messenger chat bot, which delivers news stories and introduces users to select Quartz Obsessions
, but will also include a more participatory element (mindfulness challenges, for instance). The bot will learn and “will shape the experience to you and your habits,” Quartz says in its announcement
of the new bot experience.
(Quartz emphasizes that this is not a replica of its main, chat-focused news app, which has been fiddling with augmented reality capabilities and which Quartz claims has been seen “over one million downloads.”)
After tapping through a series of funny introductory chat options, the bot begins to offer a lot of options to explore, from art exhibits to news (at least for me this morning, the news experience on Messenger and on the news app are exactly the same, with Continue reading "Quartz launches a Facebook Messenger bot (because why not, because experimentation, because people like messaging)"
: Craig Silverman
— the indefatigable BuzzFeed journalist who specializes in misinformation, disinformation, and all things fake news — recently gave testimony at the Miami meeting
of the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy
, which is charged with examining “the causes and consequences of a collapse in trust in democratic institutions, with a focus on trust in the media, journalism and the information ecosystem.” Here are his remarks, republished with his permission.
I have read some of the other testimony before the commission and was pleased to see people speak about media literacy, the alarming ease with which technology will enable us to create compelling audio and video fakes, so-called “information disorder” brought on by massive changes in communications technology, and the shift in trust from institutions to “people like me.” These are important topics.
I’m here Continue reading "Living in a sea of false signals: Are we being pushed from “trust, but verify” to “verify, then trust”?"
A sweeping new profile
from the New York Times
on billionaire Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel
gauges his thoughts on President Donald Trump’s
administration, Facebook’s mistakes in the 2016 election, and the fate of Gawker.
Thiel, who threw his vehement support behind Trump during the 2016 campaign, spoke at the Republican National Convention and even served on the president’s transition team, told the Times
the two hadn’t spoken in months..
“We don’t talk that often,” Thiel said, before adding, “I can get access anytime I want.”
Thiel, who hilariously said in his RNC speech that Trump would end “fake culture wars,” noted that the administration has had some shortcomings.
“There are all these ways that things have fallen short,” he said, though he does not regret backing Trump. “It’s still better than Hillary Clinton or the Republican zombies.”
Thiel also discussed Gawker, the media company that was gutted Continue reading "Peter Thiel Claims He’s Not Trying to Destroy Gawker Archives: ‘Preserve Them, Study Them’"
With Facebook and other networking sites under fire due to the online foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, the world’s leading social media platform is launching another layer to their fact-checking initiatives by working with the Associated Press
to “identify and debunk false and misleading stories.”
According to a press release
from the AP
, these efforts will focus on the upcoming 2018 midterm elections — a move that makes sense as Facebook and Twitter have been grilled by lawmakers
and the media alike for not properly cutting off the spread of misinformation on their sites.
“The expanded collaboration leverages the presence of AP reporters in all 50 U.S. states to bring a local focus to Facebook’s fact-checking initiative,” read the statement. “AP has worked with Facebook since 2016 to reduce the circulation of false news articles on the platform.”
‘s Senior Vice President Continue reading "Facebook and the AP Team Up to ‘Debunk Election Misinformation’ for the Midterms"
Sometimes, things need to get bad before they can get good. Such is the case, I fear, with content, conversation, and advertising on the net. But I see signs of progress.
First let’s be clear: No one — not platforms, not ad agencies and networks, not brands, not media companies, not government, not users — can stand back and say that disinformation, hate, and incivility are someone else’s problem to solve. We all bear responsibility. We all must help by bringing pressure and demanding quality; by collaborating to define what quality is; by fixing systems that enable manipulation and exploitation; and by contributing whatever resources we have (ad dollars to links to reporting bad actors).
Last May, I wrote about fueling a flight to quality. Coming up on a year later, here’s what I see happening:
- Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently posted a thread acknowledging his company’s responsiblity to the health and Continue reading "The Flight to Quality is on the Runway"
Publishers may be getting dinged — and in some cases destroyed
— by Facebook’s move to decrease the amount of publisher content in the News Feed, but the declines in social sharing have long been in motion.
This week, analytics company BuzzSumo released a new report
analyzing trends in social sharing over the past few years. The top line takeaway from its analysis of 100 million articles is that social sharing is down by 50 percent across the board compared to just a few years ago. In 2015, articles saw an average of 8 shares; today that number has dropped to 4. Only 5 percent of content gets more than 343 shares.
Here are some other key findings from the report:
— Multiple factors are at hand here
, according to BuzzSumo. One is that there’s just more competition among publisher content overall, particularly in popular topics like bitcoin, which
Continue reading "New data shows just how much social sharing has decreased since 2015 (and News Feed tweaks are just one factor)"
In the news this week, many publishers are pivoting to subscriptions as online advertising dries up. And Facebook is starting a Local News Subscription Accelerator to help metro daily newspapers. But can everyone succeed with subscriptions? Independent publisher LittleThings is closing, citing the Facebook algorithm change as the culprit. And publishers are kicking the tires on yet another slate of micropayment startups. Will the audience buy in this time? And the Washington Post’s media columnist Margaret Sullivan to discuss the spread of bots and misinformation on social media, and the problem with online discourse.
Don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to get a roundup of the week’s top news? Then check out our Digital Media Brief below!
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Continue reading "MediaShift Podcast #260: ‘Pivot to Subscriptions’ for Everyone?; LittleThings Blames Facebook for Shutdown; Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan"