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Digital Insights - 14 April 2023

Need to know

  • TikTok fined £12.7m for children’s data misuse

  • Post, a publisher-focused Twitter alternative, launches

  • Samsung employees accidentally leak confidential information via ChatGPT

Executive Leadership on Social Media

Ex-Waze CEO launches Twitter rival

  • Noam Bardin, the 12-year CEO of Google-owned Waze, has launched Post, a publisher-focused rival to Twitter that’s seeking to change the way users consume news and create an open-forum for discussing news and issues.

  • With Post, users can make ‘micropayments’ to publishers to read single articles and can read other news content – free articles that would normally have ads, newsletters, etc – directly in-feed for a small charge.

  • “Seventy-five percent of Twitter users have never tweeted. People use it to consume information, but it’s built for the people creating the information,” Bardin said.

  • Whilst the user data isn’t public, Post launched in beta with 650,000 people on a waitlist, and the platform currently has 25 largely-US focused publishers including Boston Globe, LA Times and NBC News.

  • Post also includes Content Rules aimed at curbing the bad behaviour seen on other platforms, including regulations against harassment, hate speech, fake news, trolling, etc.


M&S launches initiative to give all shareholders a voice, led by Chairman Archie Norman

  • In an open letter on M&S’ corporate website addressing UK business secretary Kemi Badenoch, M&S chairman Archie Norman calls for reforms to the Companies Act 2006.

  • The campaign, dubbed ‘Share Your Voice, seeks to create ‘shareholder democracy’ – namely urging for digital transformation to democratize public equity markets and improve shareholder communication.

  • Key proposed reforms include recognising digital AGMs, removing the requirement for hard copies, and making digital communication the default method.

  • The landing page for the campaign urges people to sign a linked petition on the UK government’s petitions website. The campaign has gained further support from Interactive Investor and Hargreaves Lansdown.

Dove partners with Lizzo to tackle toxic ‘body transformation’ social posts

  • Dove has launched a campaign highlighting the negative effects of social media on young people as part of its ‘Self Esteem Project’

  • The campaign features a video asset developed by parent company Unilever with Ogilvy and WPP, entitled ‘The Cost of Beauty’ which has been shared across social media platforms highlighting “social media is harming the mental health of 3 in 5 kids”.

  • The campaign was launched as a response to a survey conducted by the beauty brand that half of kids surveyed said social media made them feel anxious as well as citing exposure to ‘body transformation’ posts.

  • As part of its broader objectives for the project, Dove has partnered with singer Lizzo, Common Sense Media, and Parents Together Action to push for the advancement of the 2023 Kids Online Safety Act.

TikTok fined £12.7m for children’s data misuse

  • TikTok has been fined £12.7 million by the UK's data watchdog for failing to protect children's privacy. An investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) found that up to 1.4 million British children under the age of 13 were allowed to use the platform in 2020, and that the video-sharing site was using their data without parental consent.

  • Although the minimum age to create an account was set at 13, many children were able to access the site, and their data could be used to track and profile them, potentially presenting them with harmful or inappropriate content. The fine imposed by the ICO reflects the serious consequences of TikTok's failings.

  • TikTok has 28 days to make representations and appeal the amount of the fine imposed by the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). If successful, the final amount could be reduced, but the ICO has up to 16 weeks to issue its final verdict.

  • The U.K.'s Online Safety Bill, which is expected to be passed soon, requires social networks to implement strict age verification procedures and provides for fines for violations.

Twitter replaces logo with Doge meme in latest Musk antic

  • Twitter briefly replaced its iconic bluebird logo with a popular meme depicting the head of a Shiba Inu, a breed of dog which is well known for being the face of the crypto-currency Dogecoin.

  • The logo change came just three days after Twitter’s billionaire owner, Elon Musk, asked a U.S. federal court to drop $258 billion in racketeering lawsuits filed against him by Dogecoin investors.

  • According to the plaintiffs, Elon Musk established a pyramid scheme to support Dogecoin, driving up the price of the token by more than 36,000 percent in two years, before letting it crash, resulting in billions of dollars in losses. Musk and his team dispute these allegations and say there is nothing illegal about tweeting in support of a “legitimate crypto currency” with a market cap of nearly $10 billion.

  • Twitter's logo change sent the price of Dogecoin up by more than 26 percent.

  • Some Twitter users thought the logo change was an April Fool's joke, while others suspected that it was an attempt to bury the spread of stories about the lawsuit against Musk.

Twitter isn’t a company anymore?

  • Twitter Inc. no longer exists due to a recent merger with X Corp, which is now the defendant in a lawsuit brought by right-wing provocateur Laura Loomer, who accuses the company of violating federal racketeering laws by banning her account in 2019.

  • Elon Musk, owner of Twitter and X Holdings Corp, registered X Holdings I, II and III in Delaware in 2022, and the recent merger with X Corp seems to have been on his mind since his purchase of Twitter.

  • Elon Musk has long been attached to the letter "X," which appears in several of his companies. Twitter's recent transformation could be part of his vision for a "universal app" named after the letter X, which would combine messaging, social networking, and payment functions.

  • Both X Holdings Corp. and X Corp. now fall under Nevada jurisdiction, not Delaware, and this change has not been mentioned in any legal documents or announced to the public.

Twitter falls out with the BBC and NPR

  • Last week Twitter labelled both the BBC and NPR as government affiliated and funded- a move which both news organisations objected to.

  • In a statement about the decision the BBC said: "The BBC is, and always has been, independent…We are funded by the British public through the licence fee." While NPR stated that the label is “inaccurate” and “misleading”, given that NPR is a private, non-profit company with “editorial independence”.

  • Following the decision Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk, conducted a surprise interview with the BBC in San Francisco.

  • In the wide-ranging interview Musk also denied a rise in disinformation and hate speech on Twitter, claiming to have removed over 400,000 accounts in March alone to “make Twitter safer”. Musk also described his turbulent takeover of the company as "quite painful" and "a rollercoaster”.

  • In the interview Musk agreed to change the BBC’s label to “publicly funded”, a move that the BBC supported.

  • However, NPR’s label on Twitter remains as “state-affiliated media”, a term Twitter uses for propaganda outlets from autocratic countries. In protest of this label NPR will no longer post fresh content to its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform.

Samsung employees leak confidential information to OpenAI

  • Samsung employees – using ChatGPT for help at work – have inadvertently leaked confidential company information to OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT.

  • In one instance, an employee typed in a bit of confidential source code to get the AI chatbot to check its accuracy and in another instance, an employee shared a video of a meeting and asked the bot to convert the video into notes.

  • ChatGPT’s user guide does warn against sharing confidential information with the bot, noting ‘…we are not able to delete specific prompts from your history’. ChatGPT uses data inputs to train its AI over time.

  • At the beginning of April, Italy became the first western country to block ChatGPT over concerns about GDPR compliance. This week, the Italian data protection watchdog gave OpenAI a laundry list of actions to take before ChatGPT could be allowed to operate in the country again.

April 14, 2023
By Content Digital Data team
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