Former TikTok Executive Sues The Company, Alleging Gender And Age Discrimination

Katie Puris, who was the Global Head of Brand & Creative at TikTok, alleged in a lawsuit filed this week in a Manhattan federal court that she was fired in 2022 after making internal complaints about gender and age discrimination linked to what she called a preference among company executives for hiring young people.

Tucker Carlson Drops His 2-Hour Vladimir Putin Interview

Tucker Carlson released his two-hour interview with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president whose military is deep into its second year of the Ukraine invasion, marking an unprecedented sitdown between an American journalist and adversarial head of state during wartime. The Putin interview in its entirety was offered for free and unedited, Carlson said.

WWE Inks Deal With X To Stream ‘Speed’ Matches

The Elon Musk-owned social platform, previously known as Twitter, has signed a two-year deal with the WWE for a new exclusive weekly video series. Called WWE Speed, the concept will feature timed matches meant to be completed in five minutes or less.

Tucker Carlson Says He’s Interviewing Putin

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a video posted to X on Tuesday that he is in Moscow to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin rarely gives interviews, particularly to Western journalists. Carlson, however, is cited frequently on Russian state TV because of his opposition to U.S. support for Ukraine’s war effort, embrace of other Russian-friendly narratives and criticism of President Biden. Carlson said the interview would air “unedited” on his website and on X. He also accused the mainstream media of a pro-Ukraine bias and unwillingness to cover Putin’s point of view.

Meta Urged To Reconsider Media Manipulation Policy Ahead Of Elections

The Meta Oversight Board urged the social media company on Monday to reconsider its current policy on manipulated media ahead of the various elections set to be held in 2024. The board, which is run independently of Meta and funded through a grant by the company, described the policy as “incoherent, lacking in persuasive justification and inappropriately focused on how content has been created, rather than on which specific harms it aims to prevent.”

Snap To Lay Off 10% Of Workforce Amid Industry Job Cuts

The cuts at Snapchat’s parent company come after layoffs across Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

AI & THE MEDIA

AI Fuels A New Era Of Product Placement

Realistic-looking shampoo bottles and seltzer cans are popping up on videos from digital creators on TikTok and YouTube in a new form of old advertising. Pictured: A screenshot of a recent TikTok from the dancer Melissa Becraft that used AI to digitally superimpose a poster for Bubly, the sparkling water brand owned by PepsiCo, onto the wall of her apartment.

Universal Music Group Warns It Will Pull Songs From TikTok After Deal Expiration

Universal Music Group, one of the largest music companies in the world, said it failed to reach new deal terms with TikTok over issues including artist compensation and AI — and that TikTok tried to “bully” UMG into a deal worth less than its previous pact. As such, Universal Music said it will no longer license content to the app.

Musk’s X Pledges 100-Person Office In Texas To Police Content

Elon Musk’s X, the company formerly known as Twitter, is planning to build a new “Trust and Safety center of excellence” in Austin, Texas, to help enforce its content and safety rules. The company aims to hire 100 full-time content moderators at the new location, according to Joe Benarroch, head of business operations at X. The group will focus on fighting material related to child sexual exploitation, but will help enforce the social media platform’s other rules, which include restrictions on hate speech and violent posts, he added. The company did not specify when this new center will be operational.

Elon Musk Is Spreading Election Misinformation, But X’s Fact Checkers Are Long Gone

Civil rights lawyers and Democrats are sounding alarms about Mr. Musk’s claims about voting. The Biden campaign called his posts “profoundly irresponsible.”

The Attorney Challenging Social Media Firms

Matthew P Bergman’s firm has filed cases against Snap, TikTok and others, with a novel argument – that the products are harmful by design.

TikTok Tests 30-Minute Video Uploads

TikTok, the social media platform turned short-form video into a global sensation, is further encroaching on YouTube’s long-form video territory. On Tuesday, social-media consultant Matt Navarra shared a screenshot from TikTok that shows TikTok testing the option for users to upload 30-minute long videos to the app. “TikTok is coming for your long form YouTube videos,” Navarra posted on Threads after spotting the new uploading time in the beta version of the video-sharing app.

Apple Plans New Fees And Restrictions For Downloads Outside App Store

Meta, Spotify and other companies are weighing new options for customers as Apple makes changes to comply with a new European law.

AI & THE MEDIA

Meta Doubles Down On AI, Fuses Efforts

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the company’s next steps toward investing in artificial intelligence — highlighting plans to open-source the emerging technology; build an infrastructure; fuse the company’s two leading AI research groups; and connect Meta’s efforts to its ongoing metaverse development vision. “Our long term vision is to build general intelligence, open source it responsibly, and make it widely available so everyone can benefit,” Zuckerberg posted on Threads.

Worcester’s Social-Media Based News Platform ‘The 016’ Turns 5

Judge Blocks ‘Troublingly Vague’ Ohio Social Media Law

A federal judge in Ohio has issued an emergency restraining order blocking enforcement of a new state law that would have required some large tech platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube, to ban minors under 16, without parental consent.

Don Lemon To Launch New Show On X

Tech Industry Sues To Block Ohio Social Media Law

The tech industry group NetChoice is suing to block an Ohio law that requires a wide swath of platforms — including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Threads, X and YouTube — to obtain parental consent before allowing access to minors under 16. In a federal complaint filed late last week in the Southern District of Ohio, NetChoice says the law violates the First Amendment for several reasons, including that it wrongly restricts minors’ rights to express themselves and access others’ speech, and only applies to certain social platforms.

Supreme Court Tees Up Big Tech ‘Must-Carry’ Challenges

The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments on what tech companies are billing as their version of a challenge to “must-carry” laws, statutes that they say are unconstitutional threats to their First Amendment freedom. The high court’s decision could determine the future of social media and other edge providers to moderate their content.

X Stock Value Down 71% Since Musk’s Takeover

X, formerly known as Twitter, has lost over 71% of its value since April 2022, when Elon Musk bought the microblogging app, according to mutual fund Fidelity, a shareholder in X Holdings. Fidelity — which contributed over $300 million to Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover — originally marked down the company’s valuation in October, which decreased the value of its investment by nearly 65% over the first 11 months of Musk’s ownership.

Snap Inc. Selects Samba TV As Measurement Partner

Entertainment marketers promoting new shows and movies can now use Samba TV measurement to understand viewership conversions generated by Snapchat campaigns.

News Headlines Return To X Months After Musk Removed Them For ‘Esthetics’

News headlines are back on X, formerly known as Twitter, nearly three months after the platform cut them, forcing users and news outlets alike to manually write them on articles shared to X — although the return of the feature comes with smaller, slimmed down headlines for reposted articles.

Elon Musk’s X Loses Bid To Block California Law Over Content Moderation Transparency

X argued that the law improperly compels speech in violation of the First Amendment and is meant to pressure social media companies to remove content the government deems objectionable.

The Year Of Social Media Soul-Searching: Twitter Dies, X And Threads Are Born, AI Gets Personal

Here’s a look back at some of the biggest stories in social media in 2023 — and what to watch for next year. Pictured: Characters removed from a sign on the Twitter headquarters building are piled on a street in San Francisco on July 24, 2023. (Godofredo A. Vásque/AP)

Social Media Made $11B In U.S. Ad Sales From Minors

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers say their study’s findings show a need for government regulation of social media since the companies that stand to make money from children who use their platforms have failed to meaningfully self-regulate. They note such regulations, as well as greater transparency from tech companies, could help alleviate harms to youth mental health and curtail potentially harmful advertising practices that target children and adolescents.

Suit Against Twitter Over Unpaid Bonuses Can Proceed, Judge Rules

A federal judge on Friday gave the go-ahead to a lawsuit against the social media company X, formerly known as Twitter, in which workers claim that the company promised but never paid millions of dollars in bonuses. (Noah Berger/AP)

New Jersey Mulls Restrictions On Teens’ Social Media Use

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit social media companies from allowing minors under 18 to have social media accounts without parental permission. The measure, which advanced Monday in New Jersey’s Assembly Health Committee, also would require social platforms to verify all users’ ages. Lawmakers in Utah and Arkansas recently passed similar laws, but those measures are currently facing court challenges.

Tech Industry Sues To Block Utah Social Media Restrictions

The tech industry organization NetChoice on Monday sued to block a Utah law that requires social media companies to verify users’ ages, prohibits those companies from allowing minors under 18 to have accounts without parental permission, and bans the companies from serving ads to minors. (Henry Wang/Pixabay)

Oversight Board Reverses Meta’s Initial Decisions To Remove 2 Videos Of Israel-Hamas War

In both cases, Meta ended up reinstating the posts — one showing Palestinian casualties and the other, an Israeli hostage — on its own, although it added warning screens to both due to violent content. This means the company isn’t obligated to do anything about the board’s decision.

Broadcasters Must Adapt Quickly To Keep Gen Z Engaged In News: Study

New research from Vizrt finds that 64% of Gen Z (64%) consume news on social media, showing the necessity for broadcasters to consider how to harness viewers’ attention on these platforms with live production solutions.

Illicit Content On Elon Musk’s X Draws E.U. Investigation

The inquiry is perhaps the most substantial regulatory consequence to date of X, which has seen a rise in incendiary content on the platform, according to researchers.

AI & THE MEDIA

Bigots Use AI To Make Nazi Memes On 4chan. Verified Users Post Them On X

Report: Disney, Comcast Increase Ad Spend On Instagram After Dropping X

Big U.S. companies including Walt Disney and Comcast increased advertising spending on Instagram after pausing commercials on X last month, according to Sensor Tower, as marketers flee the Elon Musk-owned social media platform over antisemitic content. Disney (DIS.N) and Comcast (CMCSA.O) lifted their U.S. spending on the app owned by Meta (META.O) by 40% and about 6% respectively in the two weeks from Nov. 20, Sensor Tower data showed. Paramount (PARA.O), meanwhile, tripled its spending on Snapchat.

Social Platforms Want Appeals Court To Intervene In Battle Over Teen Addiction

Inside The Troll Army Waging Trump’s Online Campaign

A team of meme-makers has been flooding social media with pro-Trump posts riddled with sexist and racist tropes. Donald Trump is cheering them on.

Meta To Fact-Check Threads Content

The program will roll out next year, according to executives.

As Advertisers Flee Musk’s X, Democrats Splurge On Political Ads

Democratic candidates, including Elon Musk’s most vocal critics, have spent over a million dollars to run thousands of political ads on X.

Elon Musk Twitter Takeover Lawsuit Gains Steam As Judge Advances Investors’ Claims

On Monday, a federal judge advanced a lawsuit from investors who say they suffered losses when they sold their shares in Twitter, now known as X, because of posts from Musk claiming the platform has a major issue with fake accounts and that he could wiggle out of the deal because of it. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer found that several of Musk’s statements were false or misleading, in part, because he waived due diligence.

Elon Musk Restores X Account Of Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones

Elon Musk has restored the X account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, pointing to a poll on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter that came out in favor of the Infowars host who repeatedly called the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting a hoax.

Musk Wants Supreme Court To Lift Restrictions On Tesla Tweets

X Corp. owner Elon Musk on Thursday told the Supreme Court that a restriction on his ability to tweet about Tesla violates the First Amendment. The restriction, which he agreed to as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, prohibits Musk from tweeting about his car company without first obtaining approval from its lawyers. Such a restriction “is a quintessential prior restraint that the law forbids,” his lawyers say in a petition urging the Supreme Court to review the restriction.