Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Facebook builds ‘war room’
Ahead of the November midterm elections in the US, the social media giant is dedicating a room to bring leaders from the policy, legal and security teams at Facebook together in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the 2016 Presidential election, where misinformation was rampant across the platform. CNN reported the platform has hired thousands of new moderators with investment in AI and intelligent officials.
May urges EU action on cyber-attacks
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called for European leaders to create new sanctions and take immediate action on governments found responsible for cyber-attacks, The Guardian reported. May made it clear Britain will co-operate with the EU on security matters post-Brexit with suggestions on a voluntary code to assess companies and help to measure data manipulation and disinformation campaigns.
‘Dramatic’ global internet slowdown
With almost 50% of the world unable to access the internet, a report by Web Foundation found the growth of internet access globally has slowed significantly. The Guardian reported the data showed global internet growth has reduced from 19% in 2017 to just 6% and will cause a greater divide and “increase the existing inequalities.”
Khashoggi’s final call for press freedom
Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khaghoggi who last week went missing in Istanbul and is feared executed wrote in his final column published by The Washington Post that the lack of free media throughout the Arab world needs to be addressed. He warned that the public are uninformed or misinformed and called for the Arab world to modernise transnational media as it faces its own ’Iron Curtain’.
Netflix subscribers soar
Netflix has added seven million new customers to its subscriber base from July to September, bringing its total to in excess of 137 million. The BBC reported the surge in numbers can be attributed to record original programming with plans of spending $8 billion on content in 2018 alone - a quarter of which its own material. According to Telecoms, Netflix has seen a year-on-year growth of 36% with revenues topping $3.9 billion for Q3.
MTV signs a partnership with Facebook Watch
Facebook Watch is uniting with MTV Studios to ‘reimagine’ the series The Real World which covers culturally resonant stories about HIV/AIDS, race, mental health, homophobia and addiction amongst other issues. Rapid TV News reported the partnership will forge social conversation across Facebook and power audience experiences with the ability to vote and connect with the cast.
Jaunt drops staff and VR focus
The virtual reality (VR) start up has let go a “significant portion” of its staff as it pivots focus to augmented reality (AR) with immediate plans to wind down a series of VR products and content services. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the business changes have come after raising $100 million and was backed by investors including Disney and Evolution Media with plans to drive innovation across the immersive industry.
NTT Docomo announces miniature phone
The compact device measuring 5.3mm has been announced by Japan’s biggest telecoms firm which has been designed to fit inside a cardholder. The companion devices are a new trend that has limited functionality with no camera or internet connection but acts as a simple calling and texting device, the BBC reported.