Media Beat: September 13, 2021
Rowan Atkinson: Free speech and the new intolerance
New PPM ratings
Covid continues to impact radio across Canada, although things seem to be improving. Let’s look for some good news in the latest PPM radio ratings released today. The new PPM release from Numeris completes the thirteen-week period covering May 31 to August 29, 2021. Once again, all listening for this period occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes yielding unusual results.
Let’s look at the five PPM markets. – David Bray, Bray & Partners
Social media giants continue to harm democracy and it’s evident during this election
Facebook’s Canadian minion, Kevin Chan, recently claimed, without verification, that Facebook will reduce the prevalence of political content in Canadians’ newsfeeds to enhance “election integrity” (Republicans use the same term to impugn the legitimacy of elections). I have my doubts. The last time Facebook promised to secure an election, the result was a mob assault on the U.S. Capitol, largely organized on Facebook.
Multiple whistleblowers within Facebook call Chan’s statements into question. When engineers found a way to reduce the prevalence of posts deemed “bad for the world,” Facebook’s policy team, of which Chan is Global Director, “vetoed” their implementation. When a data scientist identified widespread abuse of the platform in multiple elections worldwide and asked for help to combat it, Facebook told her that “human resources are limited.” – Daniel Bernhard, Toronto Star
Amazon will bring TikTok to Fire TV in U.S. and Canada
Amazon is officially in the TV set business.
After years of selling Fire TV devices that plug into third-party HDTVs and teaming with TV makers for Fire TV-based products, the ecommerce giant is rolling out the first-ever Amazon-built TVs: the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series (US$410 and up), which provides hands-free Alexa voice navigation, and the value-priced 4-Series smart TV line ($370 and up). They’re set to ship in October.
In addition, Amazon is baking in new features to the overall Fire TV platform, including bringing TikTok content to the platform in the U.S. and Canada; letting users access Netflix’s shuffle-mode feature via Alexa; and being able to ask Alexa for movie or TV show recommendations. – Todd Spangler, Variety
More Facebook outrages
A comprehensive study by NYU and the Université Grenoble Alpes in France has found that "Misinformation on Facebook got six times more clicks than factual news during the 2020 election," according to The Washington Post.
The researchers found that between August 2020 and January 2021, posts from publishers known to traffic in misinformation got six times as many likes, shares, and interactions as posts from reliable organizations. According to the WaPo, this study "is likely to bolster critics' long-standing arguments that the company's algorithms fuel the spread of misinformation..." Damn right it will.
A Facebook spokesquid said, "This report looks mostly at how people engage with content, which should not be confused with how many people actually see it on Facebook..." – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian