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  1. Today
  2. Police are investigating a mysterious death at a Dave Matthews Band concert in Missouri last week. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Jasen Smith, 44, was found unconscious and bleeding from his ear after a show at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Maryland Heights last Wednesday. He died at a hospital the … More »View the full article
  3. Amazon and Walmart’s problems in India look set to continue after Narendra Modi, the biggest force to embrace the country’s politics in decades, led his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a historic landslide re-election on Thursday, reaffirming his popularity in the eyes of world’s largest democracy. The re-election, which gives Modi’s government another five years in power, will in many ways chart the path of India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, and the local play of Silicon Valley companies that have grown increasingly wary of recent policy changes. At stake is also the future of India’s internet, the second largest in the world. With more than 550 million internet users in India, the nation has emerged as one of the last great growth markets for Silicon Valley companies. Google, Facebook, and Amazon count India as one of their largest and fastest growing markets. And until late 2016, they enjoyed great dynamics with the Indian government. But in recent years, New Delhi has ordered more internet shutdowns than ever before; and puzzled many over crackdowns on sometimes legitimate websites. To top that, the government recently proposed a law that would require any intermediary — telecom operators, messaging apps, and social media services among others — with more than 5 million users to introduce a number of changes to how they operate in the nation. More on this shortly. Growing tension View the full article
  4. Facebook's fake account problem keeps getting bigger. The company is removing more fake accounts than ever, taking down more than 2 billion accounts so far in 2019 alone, Facebook disclosed in a new transparency report. Company executives said there's been a sharp uptick in the number of fake accounts created this year. There were 2.19 billion accounts removed during the first quarter of 2019, nearly double the 1.2 billion removed during the fourth quarter of 2018. SEE ALSO: Every Facebook insider who has turned against the company That rise was largely due to spammers and other "bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time," Facebook's VP of Integrity Guy Rosen wrote in a blog post. Read more... More about Tech, Facebook, Social Media Companies, Tech, and Social Media CompaniesView the full article
  5. Drug traffickers get quite creative when moving drugs, but this one was a total bust… A whopping $645,000 worth of cocaine was reportedly found hidden inside children’s books imported from Sydney from Portugal. According to Australian Border Force officers, they found 1.72kg of cocaine of cocaine during a routine X-ray. The shipments were expected to arrive on May 1 and May 4. An undisclosed Vaucluse resident, age 31, was arrested in connection with the illegal activity. The massive drug bust prompted a search of a home. Potentially incriminating items including electronic sources, documents and a small amount of cannabis were seized in the process. The man is scheduled to appear in Central Local Court on Tuesday for importing “a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.” In addition, he’s been issued with two cannabis citations. Source: The Sydney Morning Herald This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: REPORT: $645,000 Worth Of Cocaine Found Hidden In Children’s Books View the full article
  6. UK singer Marika Hackman has been honing and perfecting her craft over the last few years. The arc from spindly folk songs to laidback rock songs was further realized last month with the release of the confident “I’m Not Where You Are.” In a press release, Hackman said the … More »View the full article
  7. Trae Young was one of the most exciting young players in the NBA this season as he had to carry a young Atlanta Hawks team that was among one of the league's worst. Regardless of the results out on the court, Young is in the conversation with Luka Doncic for rookie of the year. The young star is looking to make his Hawks team a contender next year and has already started his crusade to bring some big-name free agents to Atlanta. "If you're looking to have the ball in your hands, if you're looking to score a lot of points - I mean, a lot of players in the league know if you come play with me, I'm going to make sure I get you the ball," Young told Atlanta station 92.9 The Game. "I think that's something that attracts a lot of big players." Young also spoke about the rookie of the year trophy and how much it would mean to him if he won it. As he explains, many of the all-time greats have won the award so the honor is on his bucket list. "I would love to win it," Young said. "My idols growing up, a lot of them won it. Of course, it's on my list that I would like to win but that's not my main goal. But of course, I would love to win it." Do you think Young deserves rookie of the year or is Doncic more suited for it? View the full article
  8. Amazon probably knows everything else about you at this point, so why not let it track your emotions, too? The company is said to be working on a wearable wellness device said to be able able to determine a user’s emotional state. Word arrives from a Bloomberg story based on “internal documents.” This comes on the heels of a patent issued for the company designed to let Alexa determine a speaker’s mood and respond accordingly based on how they’re feeling. That filing highlighted relevant emotions like “happiness, joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom [and] stress.” That’s a pretty wide range of reactions for a smart assistant. The smartphone-connected, wrist-worn device is said to be the product of the Alexa and Lab126 hardware team. It’s currently being tested, internally, under the codename “Dylan.” It’s worth noting that Amazon has recently been encouraging a lot of experimentation among its internal hardware team, especially when it comes to Alexa products. Among other things, that experimentation has led to the creation of Echo Buttons. Most, however, haven’t made it past the trial phase. Amazon’s tight lipped on the matter, and the anonymous folks who’ve been discussing the device haven’t offered any info on potential timeframe. All we do know for sure is that Amazon’s looking to get Alexa on as diverse and array of products as possible, and this certainly qualifies as that. View the full article
  9. America's love affair with electronic dance music appears to be waning, with EDM's share of the US recorded music market falling for a second successive year and a sharp drop in the popularity of Las Vegas clubs and pool parties hitting the once thriving scene, according to the latest IMS Business Report. More »View the full article
  10. Just a bit shy of a year ago, Patrick Stewart blew the minds of Star Trek fans everywhere by taking the stage at the Las Vegas Star Trek convention to announce he was returning to the role of Jean-Luc Picard. His return would come in the form of a series made for CBS’ streaming service, CBS All Access. He hinted that Jean-Luc may no longer be the captain we know from years ago — but beyond that, details were light. The first teaser trailer for the series just dropped… and sure enough, it sounds like he’s not a part of Starfleet at all anymore. “Tell us… why did you leave Starfleet, Admiral?”, says a voice in the trailer, the camera panning over a case of “Chateau Picard” wine. In Trek lore, the Picard family has a winery in France; the trailer implies that post-Starfleet, Jean-Luc has retired to the family vineyard. This series is said to take place roughly 18 years after Patrick Stewart’s last Star Trek film, Nemesis — or, as some fans have already worked out, the year 2397. The trailer speaks of an “unimaginable” event that happens in the years shortly after Nemesis, perhaps shaking Jean-Luc enough to retire once and for all. (Also worth noting that the voice refers to him as “Admiral” rather than “Captain”, suggesting that Picard finally took the promotion at some point post-Nemesis.) What happened? And why is Jean Luc seemingly returning now? We’ll find out in just a few months; the series is scheduled to arrive “at the end of the year” 2019 View the full article
  11. We've all seen what happens when anyone owes 50 Cent any sort of money. Fif's been publicly beefing with Teairra Mari after she refused the pay the rapper his judgment from their legal battle. He also nearly gave an executive producer of Power a heart attack after publicly calling him out over money he was owed. The point being, if you ever loan money from 50 Cent, make sure you pay it back immediately. Omari Hardwick recently sat down with Angie Martinez where he recounted the time when he loaned $20K from 50 Cent. He explained that Fif loaned him the money but his wife made it clear that Omari had to pay him back with interest. 50 Cent, with the heart of gold he has, loaned Omari money the following year knowing the actor was having some financial issues at the time. "50's like, 'I can't have my investment f'd up' and he looks at life like that. He was developing a friendship and a brotherhood with me but I was also his investment so he gave me another $20K and then I paid that back. Now, with more interest," he recounted. "I ain't trying to borrow a million dollars from him, ever. He doesn't play with his money but he also doesn't play with his investments so he was real big on throwing an arm around me, figuratively speaking." 50 Cent took to Instagram and praised Omari for telling that story while also reminding everyone else who's in debt with him that he's expecting his money after the weekend ends. "This guy @omarihardwickofficial is the truth He’s a man of his word. you other n***s best be coming up with my money by Monday," he wrote. View the full article
  12. The Rolling Stones have returned the songwriting credit for the Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" back to Richard Ashcroft. The song, the first single from the band's 1997 album Urban Hymns, is at the the center of an infamous dispute over its credits. The track samples an orchestral arrangement of the Stones' 1965 song … More »View the full article
  13. Ivanka Trump is now synonymous with internet freedom — at least according to a tech industry lobbying group boasting members like Uber, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. The advisor to and daughter of the president was crowned Wednesday with the 2019 Internet Freedom Award. Yes, you read that correctly. Handing out the award in Washington, D.C., was the Internet Association, a trade group which proudly proclaimed Trump is totally deserving of the honor for all of her specific internet-freedom related accomplishments. "Thanks to Ms. Trump’s leadership, we have seen bipartisan support for increased opportunities and we are excited to present her with an Internet Freedom Award at this year’s gala," IA President and CEO Michael Beckerman observed in a press release. "The Internet Freedom Award recognizes Ms. Trump’s extraordinary contributions to public policy and the internet economy." Read more... More about Internet, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Tech, and PoliticsView the full article
  14. Many of Nipsey Hussle's peers have spoken out about his social impact since his death. Some of the most vocal rappers have been YG and The Game, who have made it their personal mission to keep Nip's legacy alive. T.I. also appreciates all that the Los Angeles rapper did for his community, recognizing him as a fellow Black investor during his recent visit to Capitol Hill with Charlamagne Tha God. Paul Morigi/Getty Images We reported overnight that Charla and Tip were involved in a meeting of the minds at Capitol Hill, discussing the topic of black communities and investments. Nipsey Hussle was one of the leaders in that, keeping his Marathon store in his Crenshaw neighbourhood and planning to open a number of affordable living units in the same area. T.I. compared his death to one of the original Avengers, saying that his loss is just as powerful as Iron Man's was to the group of superheroes. "It was an incredible loss," said T.I. of his peer's murder. "We’re like the Avengers of investment." The comparison is strange but considering just how vital Iron Man is to the Avengers, it's seriously validating all that Nipsey did to invest in Black communities. Tip went on to offer the Nipsey/Iron Man analogy before stating the following: "Everybody knows that Nipsey was pretty much the founder of the idea to bring everyone together who, you know, may individually be able to do great things and make a significant impact on their own in their communities. But for us to come together, we can impact so, so many more communities and spread our efforts so much wider." Do you agree with T.I.'s assessment? Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty Images [via] View the full article
  15. Just yesterday we posted about Tom Hanks' visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show where he explained how his co-star in Toy Story 4 (Tim Allen) gave him warning texts about the emotional ending to the last film in the Disney franchise. "[He said] 'Wait till you see those last pages, tough one, tough one,'" Tom explained. "He said it like that, and it was. The last few sessions were, we were saying goodbye to Woody and Buzz and Bonnie's room and Andy and everybody and it was emotional." Kevin Winter/Getty Images Toy Story 4 hits theaters June 21st and before it's even arrived, it's clear that some people feel a certain type of way about movies and Tom managed to encounter one of them. In a new tweet posted by the actor, you can see him snapping a selfie with a guy who has Woody tattooed on his stomach and chest. "Well, howdy partner! Where’s Buzz? Hanx," Tom captioned the photo, clearly amused. "Finished my Buzz for Toy Story 4 today and it got emotional. Wonderful full body story. You are all going to love the work this incredible team at Pixar created. We are all going to love this story....man its got everything," Tom previously stated of the anticipated Disney film. View the full article
  16. Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Longreads, Simplenote and a bunch of other cool things, is acquiring a small startup called Prospress. Among other things, Prospress has developed WooCommerce Subscriptions, a recurring payment solution specifically designed for WooCommerce. Given that physical and digital subscriptions are taking over the e-commerce world, it makes sense that Automattic wants to own WooCommerce Subscriptions. Charging customers on a regular basis is one of the most painful challenges when it comes to payment. Prospress also works on a marketing automation tool to remind customers that they have abandoned their carts, follow up, cross sell and more. The company also has a tool to test your checkout functionality before going live. After the acquisition, the Prospress team will keep iterating on its own products and join the rest of the WooCommerce team. This is a strategic acquisition more than anything else. Prospress has around 20 employees, so it’s not going to change the face of Automattic and its team of 900 people. But it’s an important move so that Automattic can own a bigger chunk of the (e-commerce) stack. WooCommerce competitor Shopify doesn’t provide subscriptions out of the box. You have to use third-party products, such as Bold or ReCharge. Like WordPress, WooCommerce is an open source project — it integrates directly with WordPress. It means that anyone can download WooCommerce and host it on their servers. And the WooCommerce ecosystem is one of the main advantages of WooCommerce compared to obscure e-commerce solutions. Many WooCommerce users probably host their e-commerce website on WordPress.com. But by controlling the payment module, Automattic can also generate some revenue if WooCommerce users choose to use WooCommerce Subscriptions as their payment solution. View the full article
  17. WWE superstars past and present, as well as wrestling fans worldwide, are remembering the life and career of WWE superstar Owen Hart today on the 20th anniversary of his tragic death. On May 23, 1999 Hart, playing the role of "The Blue Blazer," was scheduled for an Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather at the "Over The Edge" PPV at Kember Arena in Kansas City Missouri. As part of his entrance, Hart was to be lowered down from the rafters with a quick release mechanism meant to have him fall flat on his face just before touching down in the ring. However, the release malfunctioned far too soon and Hart fell nearly 80 feet to his death. Hart's niece Natalya, his brother Bret, Mick Foley, Ken Shamrock, Kevin Owens and countless others paid tribute to Owen on social media on Thursday. Legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross, who was ringside when the tragic accident took place, reflected on Owen's life during a special episode of his podcast this morning. Says Ross, "I've never met a guy in the wrestling business, or woman, that's more universally loved, liked and respected than Owen." Check out some of the heartfelt messages, memories and classic highlights of The King of Harts below. View the full article
  18. The Kevin Durant and Chris Broussard beef is the NBA feud absolutely nobody asked for. Despite this, it has somehow become one of the biggest stories in sports over the last few days, with the FS1 analyst and Golden State Warriors superstar going back and forth on Twitter. It all started when Broussard said it would be KD's worst nightmare if the Warriors won a championship without him. Durant clapped back at Broussard for that on Twitter which led the NBA reporter to speak about the situation on Undisputed yesterday. Broussard claims to have had text conversations with Durant, who hopped on Twitter again to say Broussard doesn't even have his number. Last night, the FS1 journalist posted a video on Twitter where he says they actually messaged each other on Instagram and Twitter, with these conversations lasting up to five hours on three separate occasions. To further his point, Broussard was on Undisputed again today and claimed that Durant is a liar and that he would never make up a lie to mess up his integrity. In fact, Broussard asked FS1 to fire him if they can prove that he made up the story. "KD has every right to get on social media and clapback. What he doesn't have a right to do is lie," Broussard said. "If anybody can prove that I was lying yesterday, then fire me. Don't let me set foot in this building again." So far, Durant has yet to respond to the allegations that he lied, although we're sure something is coming soon. Perhaps this time the words will be coming from a burner account. What a shame that would be. View the full article
  19. YG has been dropping off a few posts here and there, showing love to his fallen brother Nipsey Hussle and detailing just how much he misses him. YG was supposed to drop off his surprise album around the same time Nipsey passed but put the project on hold out of respect for the rapper. The "Big Bank" rapper recently paid a visit to Big Boy on Real 92.3, since his album 4REAL 4REAL arrives tomorrow, to discuss the latter and how he met Nipsey in the first place. "I met bruh at the studio in 2010, he was fresh outta jail," he explained at the ten-minute mark, as seen below. "We made some music same day, and after that, we kept running across each other just on some L.A. shit. He ended up being a big brother to me." Noel Vasquez/GC Images YG detailed how he was at [DJ] Mustard's house when he found out about the shooting from Todd Gurley, a Marathon Clothing store employee. "I just got up and left," he said. "They gave us the location of where they were taking bro [...] We were like 15-20 minutes away, and they were like, 'Homie ain't making it.'" He added: "That shit ain't right. Homie supposed to be here. I got a big question mark on my life right now. [...] How do God take somebody like that, we need him. I just don't get it, I'm not accepting it." Watch YG's full visit below. View the full article
  20. The feud between 50 Cent and Teairra Mari could soon be nearing its end. For months, the two have been beefing over $35K. At first, they were at odds because of a social post Fiddy uploaded last year when Teairra's sex tape leaked online. For some reason, the rapper thought it would be appropriate to share a still shot of the reality star in the middle of an extremely graphic sex act. After they went to court for a revenge porn lawsuit, 50 Cent ended up on top and was due $35K from the Love & Hip Hop singer. Since the legal win, Fif hasn't seen a cent of that money but finally, things are moving forward as Teairra gave up her financial statements in court recently. Gotham/Getty Images As reported by The Blast and confirmed by 50 Cent himself, the reality star has officially turned her bank records over to the rapper. This week, she attempted to prove that she was at her grandfather's funeral, which is why she skipped out on a court date, and now she's cooperating fully in the case. The bank statements will reportedly assist 50 Cent in determining how he can collect the $35K he is owed. Posting about the situation on his Instagram page, the artist suggested that Teairra may be "broke" out of convenience. "So you say your broke, well I’m gonna have to look into this because I say I’m broke when I need to be," he said. "I want my fucxin money,by Monday." Will 50 Cent ever get his money? Stay tuned to find out. View the full article
  21. NBA fans were minding their own business this week when all of a sudden they realized the Houston Rockets Twitter account had been suspended on Monday. Fans weren't sure what happened as the suspension seemingly came out of nowhere. In a report from the Houston Chronicle, it was revealed that the suspension actually came in light of the fact that they were allegedly using copyrighted music in a few of their Twitter videos. Today, the Rockets twitter account was reinstated, although it lost about 1 million followers in the process. They started Monday at 2.8 million but quickly went down to 1.91 million. The Rockets should get their followers back though as it usually takes a full 24 hours before a previously suspended account gets all of its followers. "Twitter will respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement, such as allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted image as a profile or header photo, allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted video or image uploaded through our media hosting services, or Tweets containing links to allegedly infringing materials," explains Twitter in their copyright policy. The Rockets Twitter account posted a GIF today in relation to their suspension, making mention of the fact that they're pretty happy that the whole thing has been resolved. If the team was still in the playoffs, this ban definitely would have been a bigger problem. View the full article
  22. Just ahead of the launch of the Apple Card, a startup that has its own take on modernizing the credit card industry, Zero, is announcing the close of its $20 million Series A. The new round of funding was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and brings Zero’s total raised to date to $35 million, including both equity and debt funding. Other investors in the round include SignalFire, Eniac Ventures, Nyca Partners, and some unnamed school endowments. Zero had previously announced an $8.5 million raise in fall 2017, led by Eniac, and had raised $7 million in venture debt from Silicon Valley Bank. Zero has a clever idea that targets millennials’ hesitance to sign up for credit cards. Today, only 33 percent of millennials have a major credit card, a Bankrate survey found — largely because they’re wary of falling into the vicious debt cycle. Instead, this younger demographic often only carries a debit card. But that also means they’re missing out on credit card benefits — like points, rewards, and cash back. Zero’s idea is to offer a rewards credit card that works like debit. The Zerocard itself is a World Mastercard, so it earns credit card cash back. But unlike a traditional credit card, it’s combined with an FDIC-backed checking account called Zero Checking. That means Zerocard and Zero Checking work together in the app, allowing cardholders to see one net number they can spend from. That way, they won’t make the mistake of accidentally going over budget, as is often the case with traditional credit cards who then benefit from charging interest on the unpaid balance. Zero co-founder and CEO Bryce Galen says he had always liked optimizing his personal finances, but didn’t see the value in overspending to chase rewards. “People spend 10 to 15 percent more on average just because they’re putting it on a credit card, and not seeing where they stand all the time,” he says. “Spending 10 to 15 percent more to chase 1 to 2 percent in rewards doesn’t make sense.” Plus, he adds, “half of all credit card points are never even redeemed.” With Zerocard, the company does away with other credit card annoyances as well. Zerocard doesn’t charge annual fees like many traditional credit cards do. And Zero Checking doesn’t add any additional ATM fees beyond what the ATM owner charges. It also does away with foreign transaction fees, minimum balance fees, and overdraft fees — like many of today’s challenger banks. Meanwhile, the Zero app is built with an eye towards what makes apps great. Galen, who led product development for Zynga’s “Words with Friends” has experience in this department, while co-founder and COO Joel Washington previously co-founded car sales marketplace Shift. The executive team, combined, has backgrounds that include time at Affirm, Apple, Capital One, Dropbox, Google, Postmates, Silicon Valley Bank, Upgrade, and Wells Fargo. Overall, Zero’s design feels clean and simple, compared to the cluttered and dated apps from traditional banks. It has smart features, too, like a detailed transaction view that shows the vendor’s logo and location on a map to make it easier to recognize purchases. “Zero creates an innovative debit-style experience, with an elegant design, and truly compelling rewards. It’s a fabulous banking experience,” said Hans Morris, Managing Partner of Nyca Partners and former President of Visa, Inc., in a statement. “Few people understand how complex it is to launch either a credit card or a checking account program, and I believe Zero is the first U.S. startup to launch both,” he said. Zero launched in November 2018, but only to a small number of customers. Though officially open for business, it was functioning more like a public beta — though it didn’t call it that at the time. Meanwhile, its waitlist continued to grow. Today, there are still 204,000 people waiting to be allowed in — something that Galen says is now going to happen. “We haven’t launched to everyone on the waitlist yet, but we expect to within the next few weeks,” he says. Another interesting twist on traditional credit cards is Zero’s path to card upgrades: it encourages but also rewards customers for telling their friends. By doing so, customers gain access to better-looking cards and higher cash back percentages. Zero customers start with a “Quartz” card offering 1 percent back on purchases. When a friend they refer joins, they receive a higher-level card called “Graphite” that offers 1.5 percent back. Two friends earns you the “Magnesium” card with 2 percent back and four friends gets you the “Carbon” card with 3 percent back. The Carbon card is also solid metal, capitalizing on the millennial trend of wanting their cards to look cool. And metal cards are in particular demand. To receive the full cash back rates, customers have to pay their balances in full by the due date, Zero says. The company has partnered with Salt Lake City-based WebBank to issue the card, and deposits are held at Memphis-based Evolve Bank & Trust, an FDIC member. Zero makes money primarily on interchange and interest on deposits. While some users may leave balances on the card that generate interest, Zero isn’t focused on that aspect of the business for revenue generation. “Most companies in fintech today are launching undifferentiated debit cards as a feature or extension to their product for an additional engagement and monetization stream,” says Rick Yang, partner at NEA, as to why he invested. “Zero is completely focused on their card programs and building a differentiated solution that actually provides a value proposition that resonates with consumers. We’ve also been fascinated by the growth of debit outpacing credit, and we think that our solution gives consumers the best of both worlds,” he adds. Zero is currently iOS-only, but is working on an Android version which is expected to be ready in August. View the full article
  23. There are two things you need to buy for Memorial Day weekend: mattresses and big TVs. If you already got your sleeping situation on lock, then it's time to wade through the countless TV discounts. Dell has already started their holiday weekend early with a Memorial Day sale on TVs, laptops, and other electronics. If there's one TV deal from them that's can't-miss, it's a 65-inch Vizio 4K TV and free gift card that deserves its own spotlight. SEE ALSO: Best 4K TVs: From OLED to QLED, Samsung to TCL and more Score an amazing Memorial Day TV offer with $700 off a 65-inch Vizio LED 4K TV for $1,399.99 at Dell. That also includes a free $300 Dell gift card to buy other fun accessories on your next purchase, as well as free shipping. Read more... More about Vizio, Dell, Mashable Shopping, 4k Tvs, and Tech View the full article
  24. Facebook has just released its latest community standards enforcement report and the verdict is in: people are awful, and happy to share how awful they are with the world. The latest effort at transparency from Facebook on how it enforces its community standards contains several interesting nuggets. While the company’s algorithms and internal moderators have become exceedingly good at tracking myriad violations before they’re reported to the company, hate speech, online bullying, harassment and the nuances of interpersonal awfulness still have the company flummoxed. In most instances, Facebook is able to enforce its own standards and catches between 90% and over 99% of community standards violations itself. But those numbers are far lower for bullying, where Facebook only caught 14% of the 2.6 million instances of harassment reported; and hate speech, where the company internally flagged 65.4% of the 4.0 million moments of hate speech users reported. By far the most common violation of community standards — and the one that’s potentially most worrying heading into the 2020 election — is the creation of fake accounts. In the first quarter of the year, Facebook found and removed 2.19 billion fake accounts. That’s a spike of 1 billion fake accounts created in the first quarter of the year. Spammers also keep trying to leverage Facebook’s social network — and the company took down nearly 1.76 billion instances of spammy content in the first quarter. For a real window into the true awfulness that people can achieve, there are the company’s self-reported statistics around removing child pornography and graphic violence. The company said it had to remove 5.4 million pieces of content depicting child nudity or sexual exploitation and that there were 33.6 million takedowns of violent or graphic content. Interestingly, the areas where Facebook is the weakest on internal moderation are also the places where the company is least likely to reverse a decision on content removal. Although posts containing hate speech are among the most appealed types of content, they’re the least likely to be restored. Facebook reversed itself 152,000 times out of the 1.1 million appeals it heard related to hate speech. Other areas where the company seemed immune to argument was with posts related to the sale of regulated goods like guns and drugs. In a further attempt to bolster its credibility and transparency, the company also released a summary of findings from an independent panel designed to give feedback on Facebook’s reporting and community guidelines themselves. Facebook summarized the findings from the 44-page report by saying the commission validated Facebook’s approach to content moderation was appropriate and its audits well-designed “if executed as described”. The group also recommended that Facebook develop more transparent processes and greater input for users into community guidelines policy development. Recommendations also called for Facebook to incorporate more of the reporting metrics used by law enforcement when tracking crime. “Law enforcement looks at how many people were the victims of crime — but they also look at how many criminal events law enforcement became aware of, how many crimes may have been committed without law enforcement knowing and how many people committed crimes,” according to a blog post from Facebook’s Radha Iyengar Plumb, Head of Product Policy Research. “The group recommends that we provide additional metrics like these, while still noting that our current measurements and methodology are sound.” Finally the report recommended a number of steps for Facebook to improve, which the company summarized below. Additional metrics we could provide that show our efforts to enforce our polices such as the accuracy of our enforcement and how often people disagree with our decisions Further break-downs of the metrics we already provide, such as the prevalence of certain types of violations in particular areas of the world, or how much content we removed versus apply a warning screen to when we include it in our content actioned metric Ways to make it easier for people who use Facebook to stay updated on changes we make to our policies and to have a greater voice in what content violates our policies and what doesn’t Meanwhile examples of what regulation might look like to ensure that Facebook is taking the right steps in a way that is accountable to the countries in which it operates are beginning to proliferate. It’s hard to moderate a social network that’s larger than the world’s most populous countries, but accountability and transparency are critical to preventing the problems that exist on those networks from putting down permanent, physical roots in the countries where Facebook operates. View the full article
  25. In case anyone was worried that any idea was too outlandish or weird for The Lonely Island to tackle in a musical/rap format, The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience is now on Netflix to disabuse them of that notion. The idea of a — just to get this straight — Lemonade-style visual album complete with spoken word poetry and rap tracks about Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco’s baseball careers in the late '80s is obviously bonkers, but the fact that The Lonely Island did it on purpose is reason enough for the show’s existence. Somewhere between the rap about Canseco cramming a broom up his ass surrounded by cardboard cutouts of Kathy Ireland and a bizarre, traumatic sequence wherein Maya Rudolph coerces the Bash Bros into “shaking their nasty butts” in an IHOP parking lot, it’s reasonable for the average viewer to dissociate while viewing TUBBE. “Yo,” a normal person may say to themselves, “what the fuck am I watching?” Read more... More about Netflix, The Lonely Island, The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, Entertainment, and Movies Tv ShowsView the full article
  26. Last week, eccentric musician, Tyler, The Creator, dropped his highly anticipated IGOR album on fans, which showcased his skills as an MC, as well as his singing abilities throughout. The musician took to Twitter to send IGOR listeners a message, letting them know not to press play with the expectations of hearing a typical rap album: "don’t go into this expecting a rap album. Don’t go into this expecting any album. Just go. Jump into it. I believe the first listen works best all the way through, no skips. Front to back. No distractions either. No checking your phone no watching tv no holding convo, full attn towards the sounds where you can form your own opinion and feelings towards the album." The album, which certainly had its own unique sound, was met with praise though, even projecting a sales battle win over DJ Khaled's Father Of Asahd, which was released around the same time. The "Flower Boy" artist also gave a grand rollout to the single “EARFQUAKE,” from the album - which features vocals from R&B legend Charlie Wilson and ad-libs from Playboi Carti. The single also has a video, which features Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross and Tyler in an unforgettable blonde wig/blue suit moment, so it may be safely said that the track is a big deal. According to a statement made by the artist during a live performance of his full album during an intimate show held in Los Angeles, though, the song could’ve been a much bigger deal if Tyler's original vision for the track had gone to plan. Apple Music broadcasted the show live, and during his performance, Tyler claimed that he’d written “EARFQUAKE” with Justin Bieber in mind, adding that he had also offered the song to Rihanna. Both Bieber and Rihanna apparently rejected it though. So the next time you hear the track you can attempt to imagine what might’ve been. View the full article
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