Archive for Francis Agustin

Facebook chose to keep Breitbart on News Tab and gave it special treatment – even after employees warned of its embellished and hyper-partisan coverage of events like the George Floyd protests

Mark Zuckerberg's headshot placed over a green background with Hawaiian leaves flowing through the top and bottom of the frame
  • Facebook decided to keep Breitbart news about the George Floyd protests on its News Tab feature, the WSJ reports.
  • Facebook did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment about why it kept the hyper-partisan, Right-wing outlet in its News Tab.
  • 17 news organizations are prepped to drop new coverage about the company on Monday, which will be called the "Facebook Papers."

"Get Breitbart out of News Tab."

Facebook didn't heed this message, which an employee posted on the company's racial-justice chat board in June 2020 following video of a Black man, George Floyd, being killed by a police officer, according to internal documents from a whistleblower provided to the Wall Street Journal.

After Floyd's murder, massive Black Lives Matter protests swept the country with millions of people calling for attention to issues of racial justice and excessive force by police. But, the social media giant chose to keep problematic content about the protests from Right-wing outlet Breitbart - popular with former President Donald Trump's supporters - on its News Tab, despite objections for its employees, the Journal reports. The News Tab aggregates and promotes articles on its platform from various outlets, and is curated specifically by Facebook.

The anonymous Facebook employee posted screenshots of the Breitbart headlines, like "Minneapolis Mayhem: Riots in Masks," and "Massive Looting, Building in Flames, Bonfires!" in the message board reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The employee went on to write these were examples of a "concerted effort at Breitbart and similarly hyper-partisan sources (none of which belong in News Tab) to paint Black Americans and Black-led movements in a very negative way," according to documents seen by the Wall Street Journal.

The allegations against Facebook are the latest in the Wall Street Journal's "Facebook Files."

Earlier this month, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen said that though CEO Mark Zuckerberg "never set out to make a hateful platform," the company has not adequately addressed hate on the platform and makes decisions in its own interests rather than that of the public.

Facebook has repeatedly pushed back against the accusations leveled in the Facebook Files that it turns a blind eye to hate and misinformation and has allowed illegal conduct, including drug deals, human trafficking and cartel activity, to go unchecked.

"To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true," Director of of Policy Communications Lena Pietsch previously told Insider.

The George Floyd message seen by the Wall Street Journal also revealed that a Facebook researcher said any steps to remove Breitbart content from the platform could face obstacles internally due to potential political blowback. A Facebook spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that the company makes judgment calls based on the content published on Facebook, not Breitbart as a whole, and that this specific content met Facebook's requirements for rules against misinformation and hate speech.

A representative from Facebook has not yet responded to Insider's request for comment.

Another whistleblower also came forward earlier this week saying that Facebook's Public Policy team defended "whitelisting"Breitbart, to avoid a fight with Trump Republicans and Steve Bannon. Facebook has also repeatedly exempted the Trump's family and its allies from its misinformation rules to avoid being seen as biased against conservatives.

The company announced in March that it would stop promoting certain Facebook groups that peddle misinformation and hate to users' feeds - part of Facebook's decision in January to stop recommending civic and political groups to US users.

Besides this latest "Facebook Files" entry, the company is expected to face more knock back when on Monday, 17 news organizations, including the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, and Bloomberg are expected to drop their own Facebook-related coverage, the "Facebook Papers."

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McDonald’s workers are staging another one-day strike to protest the alleged sexual harassment of employees at the chain’s restaurants

Workers are on strike at a McDondald's location in Detroit, demanding a raise in pay.
Workers strike at a McDonald's location in Detroit in August.
  • McDonald's workers are planning another strike on Tuesday to protest alleged sexual harassment at multiple locations in the US.
  • The strike will build upon a pattern of McDonald's #MeToo movements that started in 2018.
  • The McDonald's effort is the latest in a line of worker strikes across multiple industries in the month of October alone.

The "Striketober" streak continues as McDonald's employees become the latest group of workers to demand corporate change.

Employees at the fast-food giant in at least ten cities across the US, including Chicago and St. Louis, are planning a one-day strike on Tuesday to protest allegations of sexual harassment against employees. During the strike, employees will "demand that McDonald's stop wasting time and listen to workers when it comes to fixing rampant sexual harassment in their stores," the workers' rights group Fight for $15 wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.

The McDonald's strike follows a rise of protests in recent months over what some workers say are poor working conditions, toxic cultures, and insufficient wages at a range of companies including John Deere, Netflix, Kellogg's, and American Airlines. The fight for workers' rights has been further magnified by ongoing pandemic pressures, labor shortages, and supply chain issues, which have made it harder to retain employees.

Fight for $15 helped organize the strike, which serves as a direct response to the alleged rape of a 14-year-old McDonald's worker in Pittsburgh by a manager at the restaurant, according to USA Today.

The effort also comes amid claims of harassment across other McDonald's restaurants, including a lawsuit filed in September after a McDonald's franchisee did not adequately respond to harassment complaints from multiple teenagers in 22 locations in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

"I'm going on strike because despite years of protests, McDonald's still refuses to take responsibility for the countless women and teenagers who face harassment on the job at its stores across the globe," Jamelia Fairley, a McDonald's employee in Sanford, Florida, told The Hill.

"It's not safe to work at McDonald's," former Milwaukee McDonald's worker Jennifer Berry said in a Facebook post shared by Fight for $15. "It's our right to feel safe at our job. We deserve to work for a company that cares about their employees."

McDonald's also experienced a wave of employee unrest on the heels of the #MeToo movement. Workers at the fast-food company organized a similar one-day strike in September 2018, which became the first multistate strike in the US specifically aimed at sexual harassment.

Workers have staged multiple strikes against sexual harassment in the company, with at least 50 workers filing charges against the company since 2016 as of April 2021, according to The Associated Press. Workers cited physical and verbal harassment, as well as retaliation when they made complaints.

In April, McDonald's announced new mandatory training starting next year for over 2 million workers in 39,000 stores around the world, focused on combatting harassment, discrimination, and violence in its restaurants.

"Every single person working at a McDonald's restaurant deserves to feel safe and respected when they come to work, and sexual harassment and assault have no place in any McDonald's restaurant,'' McDonald's US said in a statement to USA Today on Friday. "We know more work is needed to further our workplace ambitions, which is why all 40,000 McDonald's restaurants will be assessed and accountable to global brand standards."

McDonald's did not immediately respond to request for comment about the impending strike and how the company is addressing these latest concerns.

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After a near-record run at the top of Netflix’s US Top 10 list, a new show has bumped the pop culture smash ‘Squid Game’

Squid Game lead screaming after losing a prize in a claw-machine game
A still from "Squid Game."
  • "Squid Game" fell to second place on Netflix on Saturday as the third season of Netflix's "You" took the top spot.
  • The Korean drama about strangers competing in deadly children's games became Netflix's most-watched show globally.
  • The show fell five days short of the record for longest show to stay at number one on Netflix in the US.

Much like the infamous Korean death match itself, only one show can come out on top of Netflix's US Top 10 list.

While "Squid Game" remained number one on the list for weeks, the hit Netflix television series fell to number two on Saturday after it was dethroned by the streaming platform's popular thriller series "You," fresh off its season 3 release.

The South Korean drama, which centers on a group of strangers competing in twisted and deadly children's games for a large cash prize, spent 24 days in the top spot for the streamer in the US. It fell short of the longest-reigning program on the streaming service, "Ginny & Georgia," which stayed at the top spot for 29 days in the US earlier this year. "Squid Game" does, however, set the record for a non-English program in the coveted spot.

Netflix's "You" - which is now in its third season and centers on a murderous couple raising a newborn son in the suburbs - clinched the top spot after premiering on Friday.

"Squid Game," became Netflix's most watched showafter it premiered in September, drawing 111 million views. It snowballed into a global phenomenon, spawning viral memes, thousands of prank calls, a candy craze, pop-up stores, and even talks of developing of a real-life game.

Though the show lost its number one spot in the US, it remains at the top of Netflix's Top 10 in almost 50 countries, including the UK, France, Russia, and Hong Kong, according to the most recently released numbers shared on Friday. However, the show also lost its number one spot in its home country of South Korea, falling to fellow Korean show "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha."

"Squid Game" still remains number one for the streaming service globally at 24 days, behind the record set by Netflix's pandemic hit "Queen's Gambit," which earned the longest streak for number one worldwide earlier this year with a whopping 46 days.

The show's high performance indicates promise for the streamer's investment strategy, which has involved leaning into international productions following the successes of shows like the Spanish series "Money Heist (La Casa de Papel)" and the French drama "Lupin."

Meanwhile, a second season for "Squid Game" remains unconfirmed, though fans are speculating about a follow-up to the series' first season.

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‘SNL’ sketch on Facebook whistleblower hearing pokes fun at US senators’ disconnect with social media

snl facebook whistleblower
SNL's Heidi Gardner portrayed Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen on Oct. 9 show
  • "Saturday Night Live" opened its show mocking the Facebook whistleblower hearing in DC this week.
  • Cast members portrayed former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and various US senators.
  • Haugen testified at a hearing this week criticizing Facebook's negative impacts on society.

"Saturday Night Live" proves once again that Silicon Valley drama isn't off-limits to the show's satirical bite.

The late night variety show began its October 9 episode, hosted by Kim Kardashian West, with its a C-SPAN cold open covering this week's Senate hearings from a Facebook whistleblower.

Former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen, played by SNL's Heidi Gardner, responded to questions from a panel of senators, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Mikey Day), Sen. Diane Feinstein (Cecily Strong), Sen. John Kennedy (Kyle Mooney), and Sen. Ted Cruz (Aidy Bryant).

Cecily's Feinstein kicked-off the proceedings, praising Gardner's Haugen for her decision to come forward with Facebook allegations, before undermining it and citing"higher-priority" issues, like passing an infrastructure bill, raising the debt ceiling, and prosecuting the January 6 rioters.

"As a former Facebook engineer, I'm here today because I have seen firsthand how Facebook products harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy," Gardner's Haugen said in a serious tone.

The various senators followed with a slew of random social media questions, alluding to the senators' generational disconnect when it comes to technology. Cecily's Feinstein asked if "2,000 Facebook friends" was "a lot," while Mooney's Kennedy mistook an algorithm for a tangible object, asking "how big is this 'algorithm?"

Bryant's Cruz also chimed-in to parallel bullying toward teens widespread criticism of the senator online, claiming that hypothetical Facebook groups like "Ted Cruz Sucks" should be flagged misinformation.

"Ted Cruz sucks' isn't really misinformation," Gardner's Haugen replied. "It's just one person's opinion."

The real Frances Haugen testified at a Senate hearing this week after revealing herself publicly as the Facebook whistleblower who leaked a trove of internal documents and research to the Wall Street Journal. The documents highlighted the tech company's controversial practices, including its prioritization of profits over managing misinformation, extremism, and division.

The skit also made references to the highly popular Netflix show, "Squid Game", and various online memes, further emphasizing the joke about the senators' pop culture and social media ignorance.

The cold open ended with a short-lived appearance by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, played by SNL's Alex Moffat, before cutting to MySpace cofounder, Tom Anderson, who Mikey Day's Blumenthal called the "OG social media king." In real-life, Mark Zuckerberg responded to Haugen's claims in a 1,300-word statement, saying they "don't make any sense."

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Here are all the Walt Disney World rides included in Disney’s new premium line-skipping feature

disney world face masks
  • Disney said in August it was introducing a new paid option to skip lines at its theme parks.
  • The company said its California and Orlando parks would retire the FastPass option, which allowed people to skip lines for free.
  • Disney's Genie service and the optional Genie+ add-on will launch October 19 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney-goers will soon be reaching further into their pockets if they want to skip the lines at their favorite rides.

Disney announced Friday it would launch its new Genie and Genie+ systems in Orlando on October 19 as part of Walt Disney World Resort's 50th anniversary celebration, including its Lightning Lane entrances.

The Genie service, which is built into Disney's apps, allows customers to personalize their theme park itineraries, like scheduling ride waits and organizing dining plans. Its optional Genie+ add-on includes Disney's Lightning Lanes, the new line-skipping feature that will cost an extra $15 for park goers.

Lightning Lanes replaces the popular (and free) FastPass system, which Disney retired earlier this year. Disney's amusement parks closed for months amidst the pandemic, reopening earlier this year at reduced capacity. The company's theme parks are still recovering to full profitability, per their latest earnings results.

The $15 cost covers line-skips for 40 rides across the Disney Orlando parks - part of their general "Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections" category. Line-skipping for more popular rides like Space Mountain and Expedition Everest fall under "Individual Lightning Lane Selections," which customers will have to add "a la carte" one-at-a-time. These rides come with their own separate pricing, but it will be available for all guests, even if they do not purchase the Genie+ service.

Combining the basic Genie+ plan with the a la carte options, park goers could be paying up to $40 on top of their general one-day one-park ticket price, which ranges between $109 and $159 for a single person depending on the day, the New York Times calculated.

Check out which rides and attractions will be covered under the different line-skipping plans:

Disney's Magic Kingdom
Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom in August 2021.

Individual Lightning Lane Selections
Attractions include:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain

Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections
Attractions include:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • "It's a small world"
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey's PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan's Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid

Individual Lightning Lane Selections
Attractions include:

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections
Attractions include:

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE – Green
  • Mission: SPACE – Orange
  • Soarin'
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Tower of Terror ride Hollywood Studios Disney World.JPG

Individual Lightning Lane Selections
Attractions include:

  • Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections
Attractions include:

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage
  • Disney Jr. Dance Party
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular - Returning December 19, 2021
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania!
Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
walt disney world animal kingdom october 2017

Individual Lightning Lane Selections
Attractions include:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections
Attractions include:

  • Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King
  • Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • It's Tough to Be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • NaŹ»vi River Journey
  • The Animation Experience
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A journalist who just won the Nobel Peace Prize called Facebook ‘biased against facts’ and a threat to democracy

maria ressa journalist
  • Maria Ressa, who won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize this week, criticized Facebook's practices.
  • Facebook has struggled with misinformation rapidly spreading on its platforms.
  • The company continues to face criticism over its handling of misinformation.

Journalist and activist Maria Ressa, who received the coveted Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, criticized Facebook for spreading misinformation and lies "laced with anger and hate," the Guardian reported.

Facebook, which Ressa called the world's largest distributor of news, is "biased against facts" and "biased against journalism," posing a threat against democracy as the platform continues to allow bad actors to sow disinformation.

"If you have no facts, you can't have truths, you can't have trust. If you don't have any of these, you don't have a democracy," Ressa told the Guardian in an interview.

The Nobel Committee awarded Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize this week for their "efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace."

Ressa, CEO of independent online newspaper Rappler, was lauded by the international community after being charged and arrested by the Philippine government, supposedly in retaliation for her paper's critical coverage of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's policies and human rights violations surrounding his "war on drugs."

Though Rappler began on Facebook's platform, the Filipino journalist has been critical of Facebook on its policies toward leaders like Duterte and its role in developing countries and non-democratic regimes.

Facebook has struggled to make an impact on battling misinformation on its various platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp. The company has spent upwards of 2.8 million hours trying to identify of false or misleading information on its platforms, and even tried to designate "expert moderators" in a bid to crackdown on misinformation.

A study found misinformation sources get six times the engagement on Facebook compared to reputable news sites, and the company previously said that misinformation and racism will "inevitably" always exist on its platforms.

This comes as a Facebook whistleblower leveled accusations against the social media giant for its negative effects on society and its ineffectiveness in tackling those issues.

The whistleblower and former Facebook employee, France Haugen, published thousands of pages of Facebook research, which touched on how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg allows hateful content on the platform to reach more people and how the company pushes harmful attitudes around mental health and body image on teenagers.

The US government has also come down hard on the platform for not acting quicker to take down bad information, especially around COVID-19 and its vaccines.

Insider reached out to Facebook for a response toward Ressa's comments, but the company has not yet responded.

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TikTok’s algorithm shows anti-vaccine videos to children as young as 9, researchers say

FILE PHOTO: A 3-D printed figures are seen in front of displayed Tik Tok logo in this picture illustration taken November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
  • Kids are vulnerable to COVID misinformation on TikTok within minutes of signing up, a study shows.

  • Though TikTok prohibits users under 13, younger children can easily lie about their age to sign up.
  • Social media companies continue to face public criticism about their effects on young users.

At this point, it's no secret that social media algorithms unintentionally help peddle COVID misinformation to millions of users. The more pressing problem is who that content is directed toward.

The popular social media app TikTok is feeding misinformation content to young children - even within minutes of signing up. False information was targeted toward children as young as nine, even if the young users did not follow nor search for that content.

According to a report from media rating firm NewsGuard, researchers found that COVID-related misinformation reached eight of the study's nine child participants within the first 35 minutes on the platform, with two-thirds of the participants saw incorrect information specific to the COVID vaccines. This included content relating to unsubstantiated claims about COVID and the vaccine and homeopathic remedies for COVID.

"TikTok's failure to stop the spread of dangerous health misinformation on their app is unsustainable bordering on dangerous," Alex Cadier, the UK managing editor for NewsGuard who co-authored the report, told the Guardian. "Despite claims of taking action against misinformation, the app still allows anti-vaccine content and health hoaxes to spread relatively unimpeded."

NewsGuard conducted the study in August and September, asking children ages nine to 17 from different cultural backgrounds to create accounts on TikTok. Though the platform restricts full access to the app for users younger than 13, the three youngest users were able to create accounts with no outside help. As of March 2021, a quarter of TikTok's 130 million active monthly users in the US are between 10 and 19, according to Statista.

"TikTok is very bad at removing videos with misinformation, and these videos with vaccine misinformation stay for months and months on the platform," University of Illinois School of Public Health Epidemiologist Katrine Wallace, who battles misinformation on Tik Tok, told Insider. "The more viral these videos get, the more eyes will see them, and unfortunately some will be children, due to the nature of the algorithms."

TikTok's community guidelines prohibits "false or misleading" content relating to COVID-19 and its vaccines, and the company employs teams that work to identify and remove misinformation, evaluating all COVID-related content on a case-by-case basis.

The app also said that it pushes for an "age-appropriate experience," discouraging and removing accounts created by underage users and restricting LIVE and Direct messaging features for younger teens. Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, announced in September it was capping the amount of time users under 14 could use the app to 40 minutes per day.

TikTok didn't respond to a request for comment on the NewsGuard report.

Besides TikTok, other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have come under fire in recent months as increased transparency from the companies revealed more about social media's effects on society, particularly on younger generations. This week, a Facebook whistleblower helped shed light on the ways its platforms psychologically harm teenage users. Meanwhile, high-profile influencers on social media continue to spread COVID misinformation, ramping up the amount of harmful content directed at younger viewers.

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Apple plans to expand its footprint by more than 550,000 square feet in Los Angeles for TV shows and movies, as big streamers gobble up more production space

apple hq culver city
Once the expansion is completed, Apple's 550,000+ square foot facility will serve as a headquarters for Apple teams across the region.
  • Apple's proposed expansion of 550,000 square feet is larger than expected by real estate observers.
  • It will help grow its Culver City workforce, especially in operations with streamer Apple TV+.
  • It marks a significant move in the streaming wars, though development is in the early stages.

Apple is doubling its office size in Culver City, California, announcing a 550,000 square-foot expansion to build two new offices, as companies in the expanding streaming rivalry vie for a greater share of production space in Los Angeles.

Apple plans two new mid-rise buildings connected by a shared wall on multiple parcels in Culver City border by Venice, National, and Washington Boulevards, the Los Angeles Times first reported. Currently, the parcels of land are mostly occupied by small retail and light industrial buildings.

"It's a bold expansion," said Petra Durnin, head of market analytics at Raise Commercial Real Estate. "These streaming giants are betting on the strength of demand for content even after the pandemic is over."

Raise Commercial tracked 500,000 square feet of space Apple has currently leased, Durnin said.

The expansion will largely contribute to the company's streaming arm, Apple TV+ - experiencing increasing growth among hits like its popular, Emmy-award winning series, Ted Lasso - as it ramps up its production capabilities to churn out more television and film projects.

The Culver City operation also includes employees from Apple Music and teams working on AI and machine earning technologies, currently accounting for 1,500 employees total.

Earlier this year, Apple committed to a $430 billion investment to help add 20,000 jobs across the country over the next five years. As part of the investment, the company said it intends to grow its Culver City workforce by more than 3,000 employees by 2026. Apple said at the time that it would expand its offices in the area to accommodate the employee growth; once completed, the facility will serve as a headquarters for Apple's teams across the region.

Major media streaming companies, including Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Disney, and HBO, have been locked in an ongoing streaming war, looking to corner key entertainment markets, which exploded during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Streaming giants currently occupy approximately 4 million square feet in the Culver City area, Durnin told Insider. Though some in the industry believed they would see the tension ramp down in 2021 due to stagnating subscription numbers, streamers' continuing property leases and production space expansions seem to signal the opposite.

"Culver City is the epicenter of the LA West market where entertainment and media reigns," Durnin added. "The area's industrial product conversions to creative space attract entertainment giants."

The new expansion will incorporate environmentally sustainable building features and be powered by 100% renewable energy, Apple spokeswoman Rachel Tulley told Insider. A development schedule is still in the works, but the project is in its planning stages.

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Google and YouTube say they will cut off climate-change deniers from being able to monetize their content and display ads

Sundar Pichai wears a grey jacket over a white t-shirt and smiles on stage.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
  • Google plans to intervene in content that promotes lies about climate change.
  • YouTube previously banned all anti-vaccine content, despite historically avoiding content moderation.
  • The policy will affect advertisers, publishers, and YouTube creators.

Google is pulling the plug on climate deniers on its platform, banning content that contradicts well-established research from the scientific community, the company announced on Thursday.

The tech giant is taking a two-pronged approach, applying to advertisers and publishing partners in Google-served ads that try to promote climate change misinformation on pages and videos, as well YouTube Partner Program creators who try to monetize their climate change misinformation videos, according to a company blog post.

The new rule specifically targets claims that climate change is a "hoax or a scam", claims that deny long-term environmental trends, and claims ignoring significant factors to climate change, like greenhouse gas emissions or humanity's contributions to climate change. Google will continue to allow ads and monetization on climate-related topics, such as informed debates on climate change and verifiable research.

"We'll look carefully at the context in which claims are made, differentiating between content that states a false claim as fact, versus content that reports on or discusses that claim," the company said in the statement.

This follows a similar major move last week from the Google-owned YouTube, which announced it would ban all anti-vaccination content on its site beyond that which dealt with COVID-19. YouTube previously banned misinformation about COVID vaccines last October. Social media companies have generally tried to take a hands-off approach when it comes to content moderation, but have since taken steps to rein in misinformation across platforms.

Google, which is the largest digital-ad seller, has been criticized by Congress and climate change activists for allowing companies and climate-denying interest groups to buy search ads. Inaccurate, monetized climate change videos on YouTube received over 21 million views according to research from nonprofit organization Avaaz in 2020, Bloomberg first reported.

Google consulted with experts from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the new monetization policy. The IPCC published its sixth assessment on the state of climate change earlier in August, warning of "irreversible" climate-related changes.

The company will begin enforcing the new changes in November.

The new policy change also comes amid several features Google released this week around sustainability, including Google Maps' eco routes, aimed at reaching a "billion sustainable actions," Google's Chief Sustainability Officer Kate Brandt said.

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A Hollywood workers’ union is preparing to strike, and some of your favorite TV shows and movies could be delayed

crew workers on set
  • An IATSE strike could force projects across TV and film to stop production, resulting in scheduling delays and a lack of content.
  • Productions can try to work around strike limitations, hiring non-union labor or outsourcing productions abroad.
  • IATSE demanded studios and production companies address an ongoing an unhealthy working environment.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Members of a Hollywood crew workers' union is preparing to go on a strike to demand better wages and working conditions. If they do, it could thin out your Netflix queue a few months from now.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees' (IATSE) contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers hit a standstill last week. The union is voting on whether to authorize a strike from October 1-3. If the strike commences, 60,000 primarily middle and low income earning crew members - from set designing, to costuming, camera operating, and post-production editing - could walk off the job and bring work your favorite TV shows and movies to a grinding halt.

"[A strike] could affect the general public in that they may not have as much content to view in the future," said entertainment union lawyer Alan Brunswick. "It could slow down production of motion pictures and television shows, and that includes shows that will be on digital services like Amazon or Netflix."

The strike would have a rolling effect on productions coast-to-coast, impacting smaller-scale projects in the short term, like live shows and daytime soaps, an industry expert told Insider. As more time goes on, the effects can cascade into bigger budget projects, like streaming and feature films, especially those in the middle of shooting or post-production.

This would hit shows from Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show, to Stranger Things 4 and The Crown, and even the upcoming slate of Marvel Studios projects.

Cable programming on HBO, Showtime, and Starz, which operate under a separate "paid television" contract that hasn't expired yet, as well as reality shows and promotional work, will not be affected, Brunswick added.

"I have clients that have television series, digital series, and motion pictures that are either already in production or are scheduled to go into production and they're definitely going to be impacted," said entertainment labor attorney Ivy Kagan-Bierman.

Production companies and studios have started drafting plants to work around the strike, but their efforts may also change the fabric of the entertainment industry.

"Productions could leave the United States and go to Canada and other places around the world, which again, really affects our economy," according to Bierman, which might bolster foreign production markets and content. "That being said, there definitely will be many productions that are not able to relocate outside the United States that either will get shut down or will delay their start dates."

Some productions could try to hire the smaller pool of non-union crew members, Bierman said. But networks like NBC, ABC, and CBS might need to reach into their vast libraries of syndicated or licensed content to show reruns or air reality programming that can fill gaps in the television schedule left by union-worked shows.

IATSE entered negotiations with studios after the prior contract expired at the end of July. Discussions reached an impasse in late September over two contracts that did not meet IATSE's demands, including improved workplace conditions, such as adequate sleep, meal breaks, and improved wages.

The standstill marks the biggest tension in Hollywood since the 2007-2008 writers' strike, which ceased production for 100 days.

"These issues are real for the workers in our industry, and change is long overdue," IATSE said in a statement calling for the strike. "However, the explosion of streaming combined with the pandemic has elevated and aggravated working conditions, bringing 60,000 behind-the-scenes workers covered by these contracts to a breaking point."

If the strike authorization passes on Sunday, it will be up to IATSE leadership to officially call for a strike.

If you're a crew member in the television or movie industry with a story to share about unsafe working conditions on set, you can get in touch with this reporter at .

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