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Twitter launches ‘Birdwatch,’ a forum to combat misinformation

Twitter has announced a new service called Birdwatch, which will allow users to flag tweets as misleading

The service is being rolled out to a limited number of users who have verified their accounts with a phone number – and Twitter says it is targeting influential users and fact checkers first. 

On its blog post, Twitter says “We know this might be messy and have problems at times, but we believe this is a model worth trying,”

Discussion: 

Twitter is leaving moderation in the hands of its users… 

Better than the current method of reporting a tweet and getting zero feedback 

Facebook will let researchers study how advertisers targeted users with political ads prior to Election Day

Facebook for the first time is giving researchers access to data on how ads were targeted to users in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election 

Previously, Facebook has provided information on the advertising campaigns run on its platform, but the information has just been about how much was spent on various campaigns and community groups 

This new data set, from August 3 to November 3 2020, will show how advertisers targeted users based on demographics 

Discussion: Is this a risky move for facebook? To see just how much its platform can be used to target individuals with misinformation? Or is this a clever way of shaming those caught into not doing it again? 

Big Tech nemesis Lina Khan is gaining traction for top Biden antitrust role

Lina Khan is being touted as the new head of the Federal Trade Commission in the states, the organisation responsible for, amongst other things, antitrust legislation 

If Khan is appointed, Vox Media reports we should expect to see a renewed focus on antitrust in big tech 

As Vox points out, “Khan played a crucial role as legal counsel for the House antitrust subcommittee’s 16-month investigation into the Big Tech giants, and in producing the 400-page House Democrat report that alleged that all of the tech giants engage in anti-competitive practices and need to be reined in.”

Khan made a name for herself in 2017 when she penned a legal paper dubbed “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” – which argued that the current definition of antitrust, that relies on a “bad for the consumer” threshold, is inappropriate when looking at tech companies – because, in this example, Amazon provides a pretty great user experience, while still driving others from the market. 

Aussie video game company bought by French studio for $55m 

Australia’s Big Ant Studios has been bought by French-based Nacon in a €35 million ($54.9 million) deal

Big Ant Studios has made a name for itself being the kind of EA Sports to sports only Australians care about, like Cricket and Rugby and AFL. 

The deal will see Big Ant Studios run largely independently in Australia, with Nacon providing marketing and distribution to sell these games in markets like India (for Cricket) and France (for Rugby). 

After two decades of pretty terrible cricket games, Ashes Cricket was finally decent. Hopefully this new cash will allow for an AFL game that doesn’t suck. 

And finally… 

Apple released a new Fitness Program called Time To Walk, available exclusively for the Apple Watch. 

The program features famous people talking about stuff on a guided walk… Not sure what to make of it to be honest…