Thursday, May 30, 2013

Facebook Gets Strict With Harmful, Hateful Speech

Posted By on Thu, May 30, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Facebook has decided to update is policy on user comments, designating comments that advocate or trivialize domestic violence as hate speech.

Facebook added five steps in order to improve its reaction to misogynistic content:

First, Facebook will review and update guidelines used to evaluate how it responds to reports of hate speech. It will also add training for staff who must evaluate those reports.

Facebook also promises to continue speaking with women’s groups, and will petition to have those groups included in Anti-Defamation League’s Anti-Cyberhate working group.

Most importantly, Facebook pledges to out anyone who posts hateful content; it wants users to stand behind anything they post with their actual identities.

“If an individual decides to publicly share cruel and insensitive content, users can hold the author accountable and directly object to the content,” wrote Facebook vice president of public policy Marne Levine.

Facebook’s announcement came a week after Women, Action and the Media urged the social media giant to take greater action against content that “trivializes or glorifies violence against girls or women.” The group said Facebook users should alert advertisers when their products appear next to offensive content.

According to MediaWeek, 13 advertisers had already pulled their Facebook ads in response, including carmaker Nissan.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Idaho Education News Hits Ground Running On Day 1 of 2013 Legislature

Posted By on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 12:41 PM


Capitol watchers—especially those focused on education issues—will have a new source of information beginning this session.

Idaho Education News, a free news service officially launched today, announced it has hired three well-known Idaho journalists to lead its coverage: Jennifer Swindell, who spent 20 years at the Idaho Statesman before working with the Caldwell School District and Boise State University; Kevin Richert, the well-known Statesman editorial writer with a 27-year career in journalism; and Clark Corbin from the Post Register in Idaho Falls.

IEN promises to offer news and commentary on its website and through social media, while providing free content to media outlets across the state.

The news service is a product of Boise State's Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies' Idaho Leads Project, and the initial start-up money was provided through a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Makers of 'Pink Slime' Sue ABC News for Defamation

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 3:05 PM

South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. is suing ABC News for defamation after the Disney-owned media company dubbed boneless lean beef trimmings "pink slime" in media reports in March and April.

The meat processing company is suing for $1.9 billion, alleging that the public radically changed its perception of lean beef trimmings after the ABC reports aired.

ABC News' senior vice president Jeffrey Schneider denied the allegation.

"The lawsuit is without merit," he said. "We will contest it vigorously."

Beef Products spokesmen say that after the media reports ran, the company was forced to close three of its four plants in the United States and lay off 650 employees.

Lean beef trimmings is a disinfected, heavily processed ground beef that is used as an additive in ground beef products. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration approved it for human consumption, provided that it constitutes no more than 15 percent of a food product.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Media Moguls in Idaho Debate Blackout of SpongeBob, Snooki

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 9:26 AM

A highly contentious media standoff is playing out this week at Sun Valley's Allen and Company shindig, the midsummer gathering of movie, television and social network titans.

Early Tuesday morning, DirecTV blacked out more than a dozen channels owned by Viacom, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and others. More than 20 million American subscribers have had to do without SpongeBob, Snooki and Jon Stewart while the two companies haggle over a new contract.

Reuters is reporting that DirecTV Chief Executive Mike White and Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, both in Idaho this week, addressed the standoff with reporters, offering vastly different views on the blackout.

"In the last seven years since we did the last DirecTV deal, we have successfully and peacefully concluded affiliate agreements with every major distributor in the U.S. We are prepared to move forward. It's unfortunate consumers for the first time are not able to enjoy our channels," Reuters reported Dauman saying. "I don't want to negotiate in public."

But White laid the blame at Viacom's feet.

"We just think we pay a half a billion dollars a year and a billion dollar increase over five years, over 30 percent, is not justified by the marketplace or fair relative to our largest competitors or by their ratings," said White.

Dish blackouts are nothing new. On July 1, AMC, the network behind Mad Men and Breaking Bad, was removed from the Dish Network following a contract breakdown.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Media Titans Set to Descend on Idaho for Allen & Co. Conference

Posted By on Sat, Jul 7, 2012 at 3:28 PM

The week following Independence Day traditionally marks a bit of mogul sighting in the Wood River Valley, and 2012 will be no exception.

The 20-year-old Allen & Company conference will again take over the Sun Valley Resort as media titans fly in from across the globe. This year's guests are expected to include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, Google's Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Disney CEO Bob Iger, Apple CEO Tim Cook and talk show queen turned network executive Oprah Winfrey.

Past conferences provided the backdrop for significant dealmaking, including Disney's $19 billion acquisition of ABC in 1995 and Comcast Corporation's 2009 purchase of NBC Universal.

The conference will run from July 10 through July 14, but jets are expected to be parked at Hailey's Friedman Memorial Airport beginning this weekend.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Video: Analyst Claims Facebook's Days Are Numbered

Posted By on Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM

A senior analyst and founder of Ironfire Capital shook up the social network this week when he predicted Facebook's demise.

Eric Jackson said on CNBC's Squawk on the Street that he believes Facebook will go the way of Yahoo within the next decade. Facebook stock has fallen by 27 percent, representing the largest two-week loss of any IPO since 1995.

"Yahoo is still making money, it's still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it, but it's 10 percent of the value that it was at the height of 2000," said Jackson. "For all intents and purposes, it's disappeared."

But in a move to broaden its scope of the web, Facebook recently announced that it would discuss the possibility of allowing members under the age of 13.

“They have so many problems with privacy and the impact of social media on the social, cognitive and emotional development of teens," said Jim Steyer, chief execution of the child advocacy group Common Sense Media. "Why on the earth would I want them to also go after my 8- or 9-year-old?”

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Boise Teens Participate in 'Hunger Games' Relationship Survey

Posted By on Sat, Mar 24, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Advocates for safe choices among young adults thought that the premiere for The Hunger Games couldn't be a better spot to gauge teenagers. The Center for Healthy Teen Relationships, a project of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, conducted an interactive survey at Thursday night's screening at Edwards Boise Downtown.

“We're looking at the idea of The Hunger Games and what resonated with teens as far as gender types,” said Kelly Miller, coalition executive director.

Interviewed for the survey were 424 local boys and girls, ranging in age from 11-19, providing the organization with some interesting findings pertaining to the movie, media and their portrayal of relationships.

For those not up to date with this weekend's No. 1 film, the story follows female protagonist Katniss into the so-called "Hunger Games," where she must fight to the death. Katniss faces off with a boy, Peeta, which instead leads to a special bond and budding romance.

Thirty-five percent of Thursday night's survey participants said they were drawn to Katniss because of her strength, abilities and belief in herself. Eighty-seven percent of the teens felt the “Hunger Game” makers and sponsors valued Katniss and Peeta more as a couple; 71 percent felt media glamorized relationships, while 73 percent claimed to feel more value in a relationship rather than being single.

“Unfortunately, the media promotes this idea that you have to be in a relationship to be cool,” said Kelly. “We want teens to know, as individuals, we still have a lot to offer.”

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Monday, December 5, 2011

KTRV 12 Ends News Programming

Posted By on Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 3:05 PM

It might not come as much of a surprise after KTRV Channel 12 lost its Fox affiliation earlier this year, but news operations at the station are officially over.

According to a release issued by the station, all news programming has been immediately suspended, and the company—Block Communications—will work to place affected employees in jobs in other markets.

“We have some exceptional people here who put forth a terrific and honorable effort every day,” said Rick Joseph, president and general manager of KTRV in a written statement. “But the new business model we find ourselves having to adopt does not include news.”

The station hasn't closed the door on ever offering news programming again, but Boise just won't see it on Channel 12 anytime soon.

Since losing its affiliation, KTRV has operated as an independent station, largely airing nationally syndicated shows and reruns of older series.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Netflix Admits Mistake, Reverses Unpopular Plan

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 9:33 AM

The chief executive of Netflix told his company's subscribers this morning, Whoops. Our bad.

In a stunning reversal, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reversed his decision to separate his company's DVD rental business and online video streaming service. The company had earlier planned to put movie and television DVD rentals on a different website. The original announcement sent shares of the one-time Wall Street darling down 60 percent since July. This morning's announcement sent Netflix stock up 7 percent in early trading.

"Subscribers voted and Netflix realized the whole thing was stupid," said Charlie Wolf, a media analyst at Needham and Co. "It was an act where you didn't raise prices but you lost subscribers."

In a statement issued on its blog this morning, Hastings said, "There is a difference between moving quickly, which Netflix has done very well for years, and moving too fast, which is what we did in this case."

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Newspapers Begin Move to Eliminate Anonymous Comments

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 3:02 PM

The Montreal Gazette is reporting that after the attack by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Brevik that killed 77 people in Norway, several Swedish newspapers have announced that they will no longer allow anonymous online commenting because they feel that their comment sections are being exploited as forums for hate speech.

The need to moderate comments by anonymous Internet users became apparent after the twin attacks by Anders Behring Breivik that killed 77 people in Norway in July, said the editor of the Aftonbladet daily, Jan Helin.

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