Major corporations blacklist ads on news stories that include the words "Trump," "racism," "gun," "Brexit," "suicide" and more

The Wall Street Journal investigates major corporations' ad buyers' practice of blacklisting of ads on news stories that deal with the world's most urgent issues, including any news story that contains the word "Trump" or "racism" or "gun" or "Brexit" or "suicide" (so much for reporting on the opioid epidemic). Read the rest

Chrome is patching a bug that lets sites detect and block private browsing mode, declares war on incognito-blocking

The next version of Chrome will patch a bug that lets websites detect users who are in incognito mode by by probing the Filesystem API; they've also pledged to seek out and block any other vulnerabilities that will let servers detect users in incognito mode. Read the rest

The reporter on the NYT's Bernie Sanders beat consistently fails to identify her sources as corporate lobbyists

Sydney Ember is a news reporter who covers Bernie Sanders for the New York Times; her coverage is consistently negative (part of the Times's overall pattern of negative reporting on Sanders, including "stealth edits" to make its coverage less positive, to the dismay of the paper's public editor). Read the rest

Wonderful profile of Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist games critic who made an army of shitty manbabies very, very upset

Anita Sarkeesian (previously) is a brilliant media theorist and critic whose Feminist Frequency/Tropes vs. Women in Video Games projects revolutionized the way we talk about gender and games -- and also made her a target for a virulent misogynist hate-machine of harassing manbabies who threatened her life, doxed her, and did everything they could to intimidate her into silence. Read the rest

Empirical analysis of behavioral advertising finds that surveillance makes ads only 4% more profitable for media companies

In Online Tracking and Publishers’ Revenues: An Empirical Analysis, a trio of researchers from U Minnesota, UC Irvine and CMU report out their findings from a wide-ranging (millions of data-points) study of the additional revenues generated by behaviorally targeted ads (of the sort sold by Facebook and Google) versus traditional, content-based advertising (that is, advertising a piano to you because I spied on you when you searched for pianos yesterday, versus showing you an ad about pianos next to an article about pianos). Read the rest

New Ways of Seeing: James Bridle's BBC radio show about networked digital tools in our "image-soaked culture"

James "New Aesthetic" Bridle (previously) is several kinds of provocateur and artist (who can forget his autonomous vehicle trap, to say nothing of his groundbreaking research on the violent Youtube Kids spammers who came to dominate the platform with hour+ long cartoons depicting cartoon characters barfing and murdering all over each other?). Read the rest

Leak: Apple is demanding 50% of the revenue from its "Netflix for news" product

Apple's been playing Lucy-and-the-football with the media industry for years now, exploiting the media's horrible Daddy Complex that has it forever searching for a tech company that will give it a sustainable future. Read the rest

An archive of Freedom, Paul Robeson and Louis Burnham's radical Harlem newspaper

Freedom, published in Harlem during the Cold War and McCarthy years, was Paul Robeson and Louis Burnham's radical black paper that "ppenly challenged racism, imperialism, colonialism, and political repression and advocated for civil rights, labor rights and world peace"; NYU's Freedom archive holds browsable (but not searchable, alas!) scans of issues with contributions from "W.E.B. Du Bois, Alice Childress and Lorraine Hansberry" and many others. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Outstanding podcast on the Canadian government's plan drop $600m on a bailout for the national press

The latest installment of the Canadaland media criticism podcast (MP3) (previously) features an outstanding and nuanced discussion between host Jesse Brown and NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen (previously), regarding the Trudeau government's plan to hand Canada's press a $600 million bailout, with large tranches of that money to be funneled to billionaire media barons who ran their businesses into the ground by loading them up with predatory debt while mass-firing their newsrooms and paying themselves millions in bonuses -- Brown and Rosen don't just discuss the merits and demerits of this proposal, but get into a fascinating debate/discussion about what a better version of this would look like. Read the rest

Facebook made itself indispensable to media companies, "pivoted to video," changed its mind, and triggered a industrywide mass extinction event

From the beginning, Facebook's strategy was to build a walled-garden-cum-roach-motel: content and users checked in, but they never checked out, so over time, everyone and everything was captured within the site, and a prisoner of the whims of its algorithms. Read the rest

Tavi Gevinson is folding up Rookie, after seven years: part mediapocalypse, part moving on

At the age of 15, Tavi Gevinson was the prodigy founder of Rookie, a latter-day second-coming of Sassy Magazine -- a smart, funny, critical teen magazine that presaged the odd world we live in now, when magazines like Teen Vogue have become highly politicized. Read the rest

Coalition of small cable operators calls for antitrust investigation into Comcast (Trump agrees)

The American Cable Association (ACA) represents 700+ small/medium US cable operators; they've written to the Assistant Attorney General calling for an "immediate" antitrust investigation into Comcast's business practices, a call that was supported by Donald Trump in a tweet. Read the rest

Jay Rosen's "Letter to My Network: Join The Correspondent"

This is for everyone who follows me on social media, or who has read my press criticism. All my former students. Fans of my blog, PressThink. Anyone who owns my book. Anyone who's heard me speak. It is a personal statement, from me to them.

I have never asked you for anything. Except maybe to read this, or share that. I don't push products, or join campaigns. But today, after 32 years as an observer and critic of the press, I am breaking with that policy. Breaking it in half. Read the rest

NYT: Saudi Arabia's Prince Charming was Mister Bone Saw all along

Everybody knows that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the brutal killing and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (everybody, that is, except the Trumps, who coincidentally do a lot of business with the House of Saud) and the lurid brutality of that murder has prompted calls for western businesses to reconsider their increasingly cozy relationship with Mohammed bin Salman. Read the rest

Warren Ellis on the unique narrative power of comics

Warren Ellis's closing keynote from the Thought Bubble festival in Leeds is distilled Ellis: witty and wordsmithed, insightful and thoughtful, futuristic and deeply contemporary. Read the rest

Now in print: William S Burroughs' lost guide to overthrowing a corrupt government

Tony Sanfilippo says, "'The Revised Boy Scout Manual," a lost Burroughs manuscript concerning how to overthrow a corrupt government has just been published in its entirety for the first time. With an afterword and reminiscence by V. Vale, publisher and founder of RE/Search publications. Vale's afterword is available in its entirety." Read the rest

The sheriffs who cheered Trump's attack on the press have long histories of shady dealings, revealed by the press

Last week, Trump invited a collection to sheriffs to the White House for a rousing speech about the evils of the free press, exactly the kind of thing the leader of a democracy does all the time, and the sheriffs gave him a standing ovation, because that's exactly the kind of thing you'd want fairminded law-enforcement agents to do in a democracy. Read the rest

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