Twitter Is Developing a New, Transparent Verification System

Tech blogger and app researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered that Twitter is developing a new verification service. The original 2016 service placed a blue-and-white checkmark next to a verified personal account, brand or company. The service was halted in 2017 after it verified an account of Jason Kessler, an organizer of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. According to Twitter co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey, the company planned to expand the service in 2018 but didn’t have the bandwidth to do so. Continue reading Twitter Is Developing a New, Transparent Verification System

Twitter Guidelines Narrow Scope of Dehumanizing Speech

Almost a year ago, two of Twitter’s top executives decided that banning all speech considered “dehumanizing” would be a solution to making its site safer. This week Twitter unveiled its official guidelines of what constitutes dehumanizing speech — and they now solely focus on religious groups, representing a retreat from some of Twitter’s first unofficial rules. The company said the narrowing of its scope is due to unexpected obstacles in defining speech for its 350 million users who speak 43-plus languages. Continue reading Twitter Guidelines Narrow Scope of Dehumanizing Speech

Apple Bans Developers From Sharing Data Without Consent

For years, developers for Apple’s App Store have been able to ask users for access to their phone contacts and then share or sell the data of everyone listed in those digital address books, without their consent. That practice has recently been getting a lot of negative attention, and now Apple plans to ban developers from using that information. The updated Guidelines nixes the creation of databases of address book information collected from iPhone users as well as selling or sharing it with third parties. Continue reading Apple Bans Developers From Sharing Data Without Consent

YouTube Reserves Advertising to Channels with 10,000 Views

As YouTube weathers criticism from advertisers about placing their messages with objectionable videos, the company has made a major policy shift. Now, video channels must have more than 10,000 total views before YouTube will place ads there. Though the move may placate some marketers, it is also likely to ruffle the feathers of many creators, given that Internet data firm Pex estimates that 88 percent of all YouTube channels fall into the category of under-10,000 views. YouTube has been working on the policy since November. Continue reading YouTube Reserves Advertising to Channels with 10,000 Views

Tech Behemoths Establish Partnership on Artificial Intelligence

Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft established the Partnership on AI to create ground rules for protecting people and their jobs in the face of rapidly expanding artificial intelligence. The organization is also intended to address the public’s concern about increasingly capable machines, and corporations’ worries about potential government regulation. One of the organization’s first efforts was to agree upon and then issue basic ethical standards for development and research in artificial intelligence. Continue reading Tech Behemoths Establish Partnership on Artificial Intelligence

Some Question Stealth Marketing Approach for the Xbox One

While the distinction between paid advertising and editorial content online can sometimes seem blurred, it was recently suggested that Microsoft was paying Machinima partners to post videos featuring the Xbox One. Machinima’s UK community manager revealed in a tweet (that is now deleted) that video partners were receiving an additional $3 per thousand views for videos featuring the Xbox One. In a related story, Electronic Arts is said to be taking a similar approach with its Ronku program. Continue reading Some Question Stealth Marketing Approach for the Xbox One

MPAA Updates its Anti-Piracy Guidelines for Movie Theaters

The Motion Picture Association of America offers theater employees a $500 reward for catching moviegoers illegally recording films on the big screen. The Association recently updated its anti-piracy guidelines, which outline tips for spotting illegal recording activity. The new guidelines urge theaters to enforce a strict zero-tolerance policy regarding any video, audio, or photographic documentation that may lead to piracy. Continue reading MPAA Updates its Anti-Piracy Guidelines for Movie Theaters

New FTC Chair Warns Companies About Consumer Data Privacy

The new chair of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Edith Ramirez, says that the agency will pursue a more active role in policing companies that gather large amounts of data, and that the FTC will not hesitate to sue for privacy and security violations. Ramirez wants more transparency from companies that collect consumer data, as well as to keep this data anonymous. Ramirez did not provide specifics regarding how the FTC will enforce data protection guidelines. Continue reading New FTC Chair Warns Companies About Consumer Data Privacy

VES Publishes Analysis: The State of the Global VFX Industry

The Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry’s professional honorary society, released The State of the Global VFX Industry 2013,” a comprehensive strategic analysis of the business drivers impacting all sectors of the VFX industry working in film production and presentation of solutions to mitigate instability. Initial recommendations focus on improving business and financial management acumen among artists and facilities management through training programs and new standards and practices. Continue reading VES Publishes Analysis: The State of the Global VFX Industry

Theater Owners Pursue Guidelines to Shorten Movie Trailers

The National Association of Theater Owners is proposing a new approach to marketing that will include limiting the running time of movie trailers. The controversial move, which is reportedly part of an effort to provide exhibitors with more control over how movies are marketed inside their cinemas, would reduce trailers to two minutes (30 seconds shorter than the norm). Theater owners have argued that trailers can be too long and often reveal too much of a movie’s plot. Continue reading Theater Owners Pursue Guidelines to Shorten Movie Trailers

Google Transparency Report: Increase in Global Requests

In its seventh Transparency Report, Google notes that the number of government requests to censor online content continues to grow. Additionally, it has received court orders to remove blog posts criticizing government officials. “From July to December 2012, we received 2,285 government requests to remove 24,179 pieces of content — an increase from the 1,811 requests to remove 18,070 pieces of content that we received during the first half of 2012,” explains Google. Continue reading Google Transparency Report: Increase in Global Requests