That the sizzle reel of violent video game sequences put together by the White House has become such a big hit on YouTube isn’t at all surprising given that violent sequences are a big reason vast swaths of people play the games. I’m not sure anyone understands either the First Amendment issues in play here or that banning some video games because they encourage gun violence while not addressing *actual* gun violence seems makes it clear you have no interest in an actual solution to anything.

Now that Reddit is trying to make money it’s reaching out to publishers to help them find ways to engage more with the community on the site, something that has been strictly frowned upon by everyone for, roughly, ever. There’s still a ways to go to get past the reputation reddit and its polarizing community – which includes hefty doses of blatant racism, sexism, xenophobia and more – have, but it’s working on it.

All that recent bad press is apparently catching up with Newsweek, which sounds like it’s circling the the drain after the defection of a number of advertisers.

This list of the “top reporters” on Facebook based on engagement is being widely – and rightly mocked for how it includes a mix of blatant satire and wingnuttery and is Example 9,437 why Facebook doesn’t actually care about journalism…or accuracy. Getting less attention is all the other data on that list, which shows the kinds of news and information that gets shared and therefore attention.

I continue to be fascinated by how skeezy so many of the executives, publishers and owners who were involved with The Tribune Company in the early 2000s and who are now continuing their skeezy ways at tronc actually are.

While I continue to be a big Farhad Manjoo fan, this analysis from CJR showing his “I unplugged from Twitter for two months” claim doesn’t really hold water is fascinating. Yes, it’s a bit of inside-baseball, but still there’s nothing inaccurate and it’s right to call BS on something if it doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny.

ABC spikes scheduled episode of “black-ish” over creative issues apparently with how a discussion of the rights of athletes to protest during games is handled. [chin-scratching emoji]

The true-crime genre that has run like a virus through other media in the last couple years comes to Snapchat in an original series produced in partnership with Conde Nast.

As Peter Kafka pointed out on Twitter last night, Apple’s purchase of magazine subscription service Texture is kind of funny because it was created by a group of publishing companies to achieve a scale meant to counter the dominance of…wait for it…Apple.

Marketing / Advertising

This is just the latest piece to examine how the rise of Instagram fashion has changed how lifestyle brands market themselves and their goods but is informative nonetheless.

These are the reasons why your site visitor abandoned their shopping carts without converting on the purchase.

Snapchat is hoping to wring just a little more revenue from the days it has left on this earth by introducing the ability for publishers to post branded content to the Discover news section.

Sponsored GIFs are now officially a thing on Tenor and here’s how they work.

Social Media

I’m torn on the news that Twitter wants to open up the verification process to anyone. On the one hand it’s a smart way to get out of the business of appearing to validate the opinions of terrible people and just lets the company enforce its policies. On the other hand, it cheapens the label and if Twitter can’t enforce the policies now why would it be more likely to do so in the future? Remains to be seen if this becomes official or is just speculation.

A deal with Warner Music means Facebook has now licensed music from all the big labels, allowing creators to use those clips in the videos they create with Facebook paying the fee to the labels. It’s hard to believe this won’t become a premium feature or in some way change to alter the economics since I think Facebook is about to get a harsh lesson in how much royalties cost. Also, literally no one wants more sound as part of their social network experience.

Speaking of rights management sports is the hot topic with social networks as Twitter signs a deal with Major League Soccer to stream select games and Facebook signs a deal to stream 25 Major League Baseball games. I think Twitter made the better call.

Just a couple weeks after a major reporting on “tweetdecking” – the coordinated theft of someone’s Tweet and then its republishing on scores of connected accounts – Twitter has shut down a number of known perpetrators.

The availability of a racist GIF has lead to both Snapchat and Instagram to remove, at least temporarily, their integrations with Giphy and all I can think of in response is to look at both companies and say, “Oh, sweetie…”

WhatsApp messages can now be deleted after up to an hour, but you then have to hope whoever you sent the embarrassing message to actually hasn’t checked their phone for a whole hour, which seems…unlikely.

It does seem super weird that would allow people to search for terms related to self-harm and it’s good that they’ve now been blocked, but this seems like another example of programmers ignorant of teen culture and concerns just blithely going on about their business with zero regard to the consequences.


I’m intrigued by the “audio augmented platform” Bose is reportedly working on both because it opens up some much more interesting avenues than visual AR has to date and because audio is notoriously more portable and easy to consume on the go than video content. I still don’t think glasses – or any other additional hardware – is the answer here, but if this technology were to become part of existing mobile devices it could be very cool.

It’s going to be incredibly hard for Google to apply its AMP technology to the broader web. The danger is that it’s going to do what people have feared telecom companies want to do with the repeal of net neutrality, which is create fast lanes on the internet that give preferential treatment to some while excluding others. If it can actually offer it as a standard and work with the parties that creates and applies those standards, great.

I thought we were past the “gamify everything” stage, but Netflix testing collectible badges on select kids shows makes me wonder. Also, while the increased viewing it’s likely to spur as kids compete with their friends will certainly help the company’s retention I’m not sure it puts Netflix on the right side of the culture when it’s inevitably sued by someone for contributing to childhood obesity or some such.

There are at least four industries – mostly owned by or employing immigrants, women or other similar groups – named in this story about the potential disruption caused by autonomous vehicles.

Want even more recommendations? Check out my Pocket Shared Items.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

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