Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

Minder dan drie weken voor de presidentsverkiezingen heeft Twitter in een verhit debat een ommezwaai gemaakt in de omgang met gehackte gegevens.

Het bedrijf besloot eerder een link naar een artikel in de New York Post over Hunter Biden, zoon van presidentskandidaat Joe Biden, te blokkeren. Na kritiek past het bedrijf dit beleid omtrent het omgaan met gehackt materiaal aan.

In het artikel claimt het tabloid dat er overtuigend bewijs is dat zoon Hunter zijn vader in contact heeft gebracht met een topman van een Oekraïens energiebedrijf waar Hunter Biden voor werkte. Joe Biden heef altijd ontkend dat hij zich mengde in het werk van zijn zoon. De beschuldiging is dat de voormalige vicepresident zijn macht destijds misbruikte om een onderzoek naar fraude bij het energiebedrijf te stoppen, om zijn zoon te beschermen. Bewijs hiervoor is er echter niet.

De authenticiteit en herkomst van de mails uit New York Post werden onmiddellijk betwist, onder meer door desinformatie-onderzoeker Thomas Rid op Twitter.

‘Veel feedback’

Twitter kwam eerder vandaag terug van zijn handelwijze. “De afgelopen 24 uur hebben we veel feedback gehad. We hebben ons beraden en besloten om ons beleid aan te passen”, zegt Twitters hoofd beleid Vijya Gadde.

Op het moment dat iemand op Twitter een bericht deelt waarvan de inhoud afkomstig is uit een hack, dan zal deze door het platform niet langer worden verwijderd. In plaats daarvan wordt er door het platform een opmerking bij geplaatst om context te bieden.

Uitgezonderd zijn berichten die direct wordt gedeeld door de hackers of mensen die met hen samenwerken. Hoe Twitter dit gaat vaststellen is vooralsnog onduidelijk.

De “feedback” kwam onder meer in de vorm van een storm van kritiek uit Republikeinse hoek. Diverse politici hadden kritiek op het besluit om de link te blokkeren en de justitiecommissie in de Senaat wil Twitter-topman Jack Dorsey volgende week vrijdag horen.

Dorsey erkende eerder al dat de communicatie over het blokkeren van de link tekort is geschoten. Volgens een bron van The New York Times klaagde Dorsey hier ook intern over.

Privé-informatie

Er zijn wel uitzonderingen op de koerswending. Zo worden links die leiden naar privé-informatie nog steeds geweerd. Twitters hoofd communicatie heeft bevestigd dat dit betekent dat link naar het New York Post-artikel dan ook geblokkeerd blijft, omdat op afbeeldingen bij de artikelen e-mailadressen staan.

Uit een test van de NOS blijkt echter dat een verhaal dat op 14 oktober is geplaatst, wel te delen is en een verhaal van een dag later niet. De NOS heeft Twitter om verduidelijking gevraagd.

NOS Tech

“The Lovebirds” was originally slated for a theatrical release, but with movie theaters closed, Paramount decided to release the film through Netflix instead.

But even without a global pandemic, a Netflix release was probably the right call. As we discuss latest episode of the Original Content podcast, this doesn’t feel like a movie that would have done well in theaters.

It is, to be clear, a funny and watchable, thanks in large part to the charming performances of Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae as a couple who have hit a rough patch in their relationship — right as they’re also embroiled in a murder mystery. (There seems to be a whole subgenre of movies about couples who are inadvertantly caught up in crime stuff.)

The plot, on the other hand, is pretty thin, and it becomes even more perfunctory as the movie tries to wrap everything up at the end. That’s particularly disappointing since “The Lovebirds” reunites Nanjiani with his “Big Sick” director Michael Showalter — do not expect it to be as good as “The Big Sick,” or even close.

Before our review, we also discuss the launch of WarnerMedia’s HBO-and-more streaming service HBO Max.

You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

If you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:25 HBO Max discussion
10:51 “The Lovebirds” review
23:41 “The Lovebirds” spoiler discussion


TechCrunch

“Upload” feels like a slight, funny show — until you realize that without the jokes, the story would be unwatchably bleak.

The Amazon Prime Video series (created by Greg Daniels of “The Office,” “Parks & Recreation” and the upcoming “Space Force”) takes place in a near future where people can upload digital copies of themselves before they die.

The experience is marketed as a virtual retirement community, but it quickly becomes clear that being trapped in an afterlife run by a for-profit tech company has plenty of pitfalls. That’s doubly true for the show’s protagonist Nathan (played by Robbie Amell), who finds his entire existence controlled by his still-living girlfriend.

As we explain on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we enjoyed the show’s humor and the richness of its worldbuilding. If we had a complaint, it was that the murder mystery plot was fairly perfunctory.

You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

If you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down.
0:00 Intro
0:20 “Upload” review (mild spoilers)
30:11 “Upload” spoiler discussion


TechCrunch

Facebook has agreed to block access to certain anti-government content to users in Vietnam, following months of having its services throttled there, reportedly by state-owned telecoms.

Reuters, citing sources within the company, reported that Vietnam requested earlier in the year that Facebook restrict a variety of content it deemed illegal, such as posts critical of the government. When the social network balked, the country used its control over local internet providers to slow Facebook traffic to unusable levels.

An explanation at the time that the slowdown was owing to maintenance of undersea cables likely did not convince many, since it was specific to Facebook (and related properties Messenger and Instagram).

All things being equal, Facebook has shown in the past that it would prefer to keep discourse open. But all things are not equal and in this case millions of users were unable to access its services — and consequently, it must be said, unable to be advertised to.

The slowdown lasted some 7 weeks, from mid-February to early April, when Facebook conceded to the government’s demands.

One Reuters source said that “once we committed to restricting more content… the servers were turned back online by the telecommunications operators.”

Facebook offered the following statement confirming general, though not specific, aspects of the story reported by Reuters:

The Vietnamese government has instructed us to restrict access to content which it has deemed to be illegal in Vietnam. We believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, and work hard to protect and defend this important civil liberty around the world. However, we have taken this action to ensure our services remain available and usable for millions of people in Vietnam, who rely on them every day.

Facebook is no stranger to government requests both to restrict and to hand over data. Although the company inspects these requests and sometimes challenges them, it’s Facebook’s stated policy to comply with local law — even if that means (as it often does) complicity with government censorship practices.

The justification usually offered (as here) is that people in a country with such restrictions are better served with an incomplete set of Facebook’s communications tools rather than none at all.


TechCrunch

“The Platform” is not a subtle movie.

That’s true of its approach to horror, with intense, bloody scenes that prompted plenty of screaming and pausing from your hosts at the Original Content podcast. It’s also true of its thematic material — right around the time one of the characters accuses another of being communist, you’ll slap yourself on the forehead and say, “Oh, it’s about capitalism.”

The new Netflix film takes place in a mysterious prison, with two prisoners on each level (they’re randomly rotated each month). Once each day, a platform laden with delicious food is lowered through the prison. If you’re on one of the top levels, you feast. If you’re further down, things are considerably more grim, and can become downright gruesome as the month wears on.

“The Platform” is a hard movie to sit through, and it has other faults, like an irritatingly mystical ending. But it’s certainly memorable, and even admirable in its dedication to fully exploring both the logistical and moral dimensions of its premise.

You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:27 “The Platform” review
17:29 “The Platform” spoilers


TechCrunch

“The Family” is a new documentary series on Netflix, based on the work of journalist Jeff Sharlet — whose books promise to expose “the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American power” and “the fundamentalist threat to American democracy.”

Sarah Perez joins us on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast to discuss the series series, which offer a fascinating glimpse at a secretive group of evangelical Christians known only as The Family. Their most high-profile activity involves organizing The National Prayer Breakfast, an even that attracts major political figures, including every U.S. president since Eisenhower.

While the series opens with extensive, sinister and often cheesy reenactments showing Sharlet’s introduction to The Family, later episodes offer a broader perspective, interviewing figures who are part of or remain sympathetic to the organization, and pressing Sharlet on whether his view on The Family is correct.

Ultimately, “The Family” seems more interested in raising questions — about a specific organization and about the broader role of Christianity in American politics — than it is in answering them. It’s an admirable stance, but one might leave viewers a bit unsatisfied when they reach the end of the five-episode series.

In addition to our review, we also discuss Apple’s announcement of pricing and a November 1 launch date for its TV+ streaming service.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you want to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:53 Reader feedback
3:30 Apple TV+ pricing and launch date
16:59 “The Family” review


TechCrunch

Creators of child-directed content will be financially impacted by the changes required by the FTC settlement, YouTube admitted today. The settlement will end the use of children’s personal data for ad-targeting purposes, the FTC said. To address creators’ concerns over their businesses, YouTube also announced a $ 100 million fund to invest in original children’s content.

The fund, distributed over three years, will be dedicated to the creation of “thoughtful” original content for YouTube, the company says.

“We know these changes will have a significant business impact on family and kids creators who have been building both wonderful content and thriving businesses, so we’ve worked to give impacted creators four months to adjust before changes take effect on YouTube,” wrote YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in a blog post. “We recognize this won’t be easy for some creators and are committed to working with them through this transition and providing resources to help them better understand these changes.”

YouTube plans to share more information about the fund and its plans in the weeks ahead.

In addition, YouTube said today it’s “rethinking” its overall approach the YouTube kids and family experience.

This could go towards fixing some of the other problems raised by the consumer advocacy groups who prompted the FTC investigation. The groups weren’t entirely pleased by the settlement, as they believed it was only scratching the surface of YouTube’s issue.

“It’s extremely disappointing that the FTC isn’t requiring more substantive changes or doing more to hold Google accountable for harming children through years of illegal data collection,” said Josh Golin, the Executive Director for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), a group that spearheaded the push for an investigation. “A plethora of parental concerns about YouTube – from inappropriate content and recommendations to excessive screen time – can all be traced to Google’s business model of using data to maximize watch time and ad revenue,” he added.

Google already began to crack down on some of these concerns, independent of an FTC requirement, however.

To tackle the scourage of inappropriate content targeting minors, YouTube in August expanded its child safety policies to remove — instead of only restrict, as it did before — any “misleading family content, including videos that target younger minors and their families, those that contain sexual themes, violence, obscene, or other mature themes not suitable for younger audiences.”

Separately, YouTube aims to address the issues raised around promotional content in videos.

For example, a video with kids playing with toys could be an innocent home movie or it could involve a business agreement between the video creator and a brand to showcase the products in exchange for free merchandise or direct payment.

The latter should be labeled as advertising, as required by YouTube, but that’s often not the case. And even when ads are disclosed, it’s impossible for young children to know the difference between when they’re being entertained and when they’re being marketed to.

There are also increasing concerns over the lack of child labor laws when it comes to children performing in YouTube videos, which has prompted some parents to exploit their kids for views or even commit child abuse.

YouTube’s “rethinking” of its kids’ experience should also include whether or not it should continue to incentivize the creation of these “kid influencer” and YouTube family videos, where little girls and boys’ childhoods have become the source of parents’ incomes.

YouTube’s re-evaluation of the kids’ experience comes at a time when the FTC is also thinking of how to better police general audience platforms on the web, where some content is viewed by kids. The regulator is hosting an October workshop to discuss this issue, where it hopes to come up with ways to encourage others to develop kid-safe zones, too.


TechCrunch

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