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Twitter Has New Policy for Fact Checking Ahead of Midterms

Twitter has released a plan to help combat misinformation and bolster election integrity as the midterm elections are fast approaching.

Eduardo Razo

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The 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching as the summer months are coming to an end. As a result, Twitter has released a plan to help combat misinformation and bolster election integrity.

The company said that as of Tuesday, it would begin heavy enforcement of its Civic Integrity Policy. This policy seeks to fight misleading claims and false news about voting access and election outcomes.

“Twitter is the place to find real-time, reliable information about the 2022 midterms – whether you’re looking for breaking news from reporters, information on voting, or policy positions from candidates,” the company said.

“We aim to enable healthy civic conversation on Twitter while ensuring people have the context they need to make informed decisions about content they encounter.”

Tweets in this category may be flagged with tabs, informing users that the post may include false information. As a result, some posts will not be able to be liked or shared on the outlet.

Furthermore, Twitter will bring back “Prebunks,” first launched in the 2020 election, to assist in preemptively debunking misinformation.

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Media Business

After Facebook Threat, Journalism Bill Left Out Of Year-End Legislation

“These threats were attempted before the Australian government passed a similar law to compensate news outlets, played out unsuccessfully, and ultimately news publishers were paid.”

Barrett News Media

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The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act — the bill vehemently opposed by Facebook — has been left out of a spending bill that leaves it unlikely to be passed before the end of the year.

The bill would protect media companies to jointly negotiate with tech companies for content distribution and be free from antitrust violations in the process.

Earlier this week, Facebook threatened to remove news from its platform should the bill pass.

“If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions,” a statement from the social media platform read.

The News Media Alliance, according to a statement given to Deadline, called Facebook’s threat “undemocratic”.

“As the tech platforms compensate news publishers around the world, it demonstrates there is a demand and economic value for news,” the group said. “These threats were attempted before the Australian government passed a similar law to compensate news outlets, played out unsuccessfully, and ultimately news publishers were paid.”

The bill was designed to help prevent the decline of local news outlets, both print and broadcast. A bipartisan coalition including Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Kennedy (R-LA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Ken Buck (R-CO), and David Cicilline (D-RI) sponsored the latest iteration of the bill.

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Media Business

James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas Hit With Layoffs

Layoffs continue to hit the media industry as James O’Keefe announced the Project Veritas dismissals in a Nov. 28 internal email.

Eduardo Razo

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Layoffs continue to hit the media industry as James O’Keefe announced the Project Veritas dismissals in a Nov. 28 internal email reviewed by The Daily Beast.

Approximately six people will be laid off, according to a person familiar with the plan and the report cites that it’s not transparent how many people work for Project Veritas, but from the nonprofit’s tax returns from 2019—the most recent available—list 45 employees.

Laying off six employees would mean more than 10 percent of the nonprofit’s staff were let go. Nonetheless, Project Veritas didn’t confirm the numbers to The Daily Beast

“As a part of our annual review process, we assess the performance of our organization and manage headcount to focus on attracting, maintaining and hiring the best talent available,” the group stated to The Daily Beast.

 “We’re always looking to hire the best people to carry out the gold standard of investigative journalism.”

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Media Business

BuzzFeed Axes 12 Percent of Its Workforce Due to Costs Cuts

BuzzFeed is axing 12 percent of its workforce, or around 180 staffers, as the company cites costs cuts and becomes the latest media outlet to lay off workers.

Eduardo Razo

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Media outlets are following through with layoffs or at least considering job cuts to ensure particular budgets, and the latest BuzzFeed is axing 12 percent of its workforce or around 180 staffers (h/t Variety). 

The reason for BuzzFeed’s decision to axe jobs is due to cut costs as the digital media company faces headwinds, including an ad-spending withdrawal and the culmination of its integration of Complex Media.

“In order for BuzzFeed to weather an economic downturn that I believe will extend well into 2023, we must adapt, invest in our strategy to serve our audience best, and readjust our cost structure,” CEO Jonah Peretti wrote in a memo to employees about the job cuts.

The bulk of the company’s layoffs happened on Dec. 6, with only a few cases of severance extending into 2023

BuzzFeed reported a 15 percent boost in revenue, to $103.7 million, boosted by Complex Networks for the third quarter of 2022. However, its net loss increased to $27.0 million compared with a net loss of $3.6 million in the year-earlier period. 

“It is clear that advertisers are continuing to exercise caution around spending as a function of strong macroeconomic headwinds,” CFO Felicia DellaFortuna said on the earnings call.

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