TruBlo Newsletter #13: Apple Privacy Transparency coming • How Substack tries to lure well-known journalists • A look at the slander industry • Profiles of blockchain platforms
Public Event on April 28, 15:00 CEST
Please join this week: On Wednesday, April 28 at 15:00 CEST (until 16:30) TruBlo teams up with Blockstart and Startup Lithuania for an online event -> Exploring Blockchain Ecosystem – Collaboration between startups and SMEs.
Updates this week:
Do you want to be tracked?
”If we had a choice, would any of us want to be tracked online for the sake of seeing more relevant digital ads? We are about to find out”, reports The New York Times
Because today, Monday, April 26, Apple will start to offer updates to iOS 14.5. With this release comes a new privacy tool: App Tracking Transparency.
The new rule on Apple devices running iOS is: If an app wants to follow you to share usage information with advertisers, they need permission from you. If you decline, data collection must be stopped.
Trust in a media brands might rely as much on design and general appearance as on the actual reporting
“A new Reuters Institute report finds that editorial standards and journalistic practices may be less important for trust in the news than audience impressions about brand reputations and the look and feel of how information is presented.”
A deep look at the slander industry
It can be a profitable business to shame someone online.
The way it works is allegations of wrongdoing are published with the full name of the person, usually on one of many dedicated websites.
Whether the allegations are true does not really matter. Often it is impossible to check. If you are the victim there is no straight way to take down the damaging content.
This is why “reputation agencies” are in business, to help with the removal. But the creators of the slander websites and those who offer the clean-up might be the same, says a report by The New York Times. Charges for such services be as high as $20,000.
A key reason why slander websites can do damage is how search engines handle this kind of content. The negative comments and reports tend to show up high in search results, for example, because they link to actual profiles of the user on Facebook, websites, etc.
Why are search engines not aware of how this works? For such content, they could double-check or introduce labels that the claims are “dubious” or even “unchecked allegations”. Hopefully, a high profile article like the one from The New York Times helps to initiate change here.
How TikTok helps songs to go viral
Bloomberg has an interesting background story on the engineering behind popular music used in TikToks. While the rise of certain songs appears to be organic, in reality, multiple buttons are being pushed.
Substack offers advance payment of $200K and more if well-known writers switch over
You may not know what Substack is. But potentially you are subscribing to a newsletter that runs on the platform, whether for free or for a fee.
Substack’s main business model is straightforward. It lets newsletter writers sell subscriptions to their work, and it takes 10 per cent of any revenue the writers generate (writers also have to fork over another 3 per cent to Stripe, the digital payments company)…
To get more good content, Substack currently makes lucrative offers to well-known journalists. The platform offers high advance payments, which in some cases would more than double monthly income.
Only writers get the offer.
”Substack’s biggest investors… are banking on a future for journalists that doesn’t leave much space for editors, copy editors, fact-checkers, or even much of a business side. Mostly just writers, a technology platform, and a whole lot of revenue to split.”
There is a lot of speculation here. Because it is not clear nor sure whether Substack can help multiple writers to build a lasting subscription business.
Earlier analysis: Stratechery: Sovereign writers and Substack
”Colette” short film wins first Oscar for Facebook
”The 25-minute film follows former French Resistance member Colette Marin-Catherine as she travels to Germany for the first time in 74 years. “Colette” was created for the World War II-set VR video game “Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.”
The film was produced by Oculus Studios (a subsidiary of Facebook) and Respawn Entertainment, which is part of EA (Electronic Arts). It is the first film from the game industry to win an Oscar.
Cryptocurrency founders providing funds for COVID-19 relief fund for India
In the face of the catastrophic COVID-19 wave that hit India several cryptocurrency founders and early investors got together, providing money for a relief fund. LINK
Profiles of different blockchain offerings
Everyone agrees that there is a lot of “noise in the ecosystem” for blockchain and crypto money.
”Basically, it’s a challenge of separating the players from the pretenders. But there is a solution now. Last summer, we acquired Blockdata and it’s relaunched today with rich profiles on notable blockchain vendors to help enterprises understand the most promising players across a number of categories.”
- Blockdaemon — Blockchain infrastructure and nodes provider
- BitGo — Institutional digital asset custody, trading, and finance
- Dusk Network — Open-source blockchain for tokenizing financial assets
- Gilded — Helping companies become bankless by automating crypto payments and accounting
- LTO Network — Hybrid blockchain for securing, verifying, and exchanging business-critical information
New records for crypto exchanges in March
In March 2021 crypto exchanges reached a volume of $1.3 trillion, a new record high.
The volume of trading in total reached almost 50% of the trading volume on the traditional stock exchange NYSE. If the crypto exchanges show that they can handle such volume and level of service, this will further advance acceptance.
But there are many other aspects which need to mature, too.
- The market for cryptocurrencies experiences high volatility. The price for Bitcoins fell in recent weeks, after an all-time high. Such a rollercoaster ride is not for everyone.
- Around the world, there are many regulatory challenges. The situation is currently different in almost every country.
- Last week remarks over potentially higher taxes for capital gains from US-President Biden resulted in a drop for Bitcoin.
- In Norway, the Norges Bank announced additional research towards CBDC (Central Bank Digital Coins) solutions. “While Norway is part of the European Union, it is outside the eurozone and, like Sweden, maintains its own currency, the Norwegian krone.” In Turkey, authorities detained several persons for running a crypto exchange.
Thank You for reading.
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